Tell us about yourself (name, age, education, family, work, etc.)
My name is Wylie Powers, born and raised in southwestern VA. I will be 43 in a couple weeks, and it has been an interesting 43 years. I joined the US Navy out of high school, where I trained to operate nuclear powered propulsion and power generation plants. My wife Shelly and I live in Broadway and have been here off and on since 1996. Our 22 year old son completed college, gotten married, and is now embracing his life in sunny southern California as an assistant pastor. Since 2002, I have worked at ColonialWebb in various roles from field service technician to service manager. My current role as a refrigeration sales engineer gives me the flexibility to be more serious with my health needs. Outside of work and Rocktown, I am active in our church and I get to work with the teenagers there.
How long have you been at The Rock and what got you started?
I have been coming to Rocktown off and on for 3.5 years. Going to the gym just did not excite me, and actually depressed me more due to travel demands. I heard about this thing called CrossFit and it looked interesting. After driving into the parking lot several times, I came in and picked up a card from the front desk. I called Lauren, scheduled an appointment and asked, what do I need to do so I am fit enough to start working out here at Rocktown. Answer: We will scale the work accordingly, come in and start now. It took a while, but I have been seriously committed since August 2017.
When/what was your “crossfit moment” or have you had one? (the one where you think you may actually die)
I can remember many…
So I am not a runner, though I am working on getting there. After my first three months, keeping in mind all my workouts had been scaled, the class went for a 1 mile run. Nate was the coach and he informed me, they are running, “I would like you to row 2000 meters”. I hadn’t done more than 800 meters before this date. Well, I did the row, then the rest of the workout. When I finished, I hit the floor, rolled over and just laid there. Then for the rest of the day, I was in a fog…lol…and let’s talk about sore…I wasn’t sure I would walk upright again.
Favorite workout?/Least favorite workout?
I like rowing- What can I say? Then dead lifts are always fun too.
Jumping rope is my nemesis, actually any jumping. So, the chipper from 12-4-17 still gives me shivers.
You can go to any concert of any artist (dead or alive) which one would you go to?
The Piano Guys
What are your CrossFit goals?
Life. That is the easiest way to say it. Until the end of November, I had not weighed less than 300 lbs. since 1999. My true goal is health, with a side effect of weight loss.
I adapted a saying about three years ago I found, and unfortunately until this past fall, had not made any head way…”Who wants to be spectator and watch life go by”. I have spectated for too many years, and excited to live more.
What’s your favorite cheat food?
Cheeseburger, oh, it must have sharp cheddar cheese, dill pickle, tomato, onion, Duke’s mayo and light ketchup. I think it’s time for a cheat meal.
In your own words what is Rocktown Crossfit?
The Rock is a place to go to lay it all down and to take a break from the whirlwind of life. The day may have been crazy, but I can leave work in the car, burn off some of the frustration in the warm up, give in to the energy and atmosphere of the workout, and when done, it feels like a reset of the day. Because of the people, the family, that make up the Rock’s community, I am slowly coming out of my shell. I do not know everyone, but everyone I have met is approachable, friendly, genuine, and real.
Free Write: (anything you want to say about trainers/facilities/other athletes/etc)
BACK Story: April / May of 2017, I spent some time with my primary physician and a nutritionist. At 348 pounds, they both advised that I no longer do CrossFit at all. “It is too intense, and my body was not benefitting due to chronic fatigue syndrome.” I tried their recommendations, their food and workout plans, and ugh is all I can say. Come August, I said enough was enough. There was not any real progress for months. I reached out to Lauren, she may or may not remember the conversation, but it was a turning point. The conversation went like this, I am tired of listening to the doctors, I stopped coming to CrossFit because my doctor’s recommendation. Their eating and exercise regiments are not working. I will commit, will you help me? We had had many discussions in the previous three years, and I am sure she thought “here we are again” but she was gracious and didn’t say it. We talked about where to start and started counting macros. Easy – no, worth it – yes. And in September, Shelly even joined me.
Here we are now 70 lbs. less. The Rock has introduced me to life without spectating. My energy levels are higher and I can do things I have not been able to do for years. Lauren and all the coaches have had patience with this grumpy / quiet / sometimes negative person. If I was not able to make it to the class Lauren was coaching, the coach at the time I was able to attend was aware I was coming and had some options and great input. Each coach has helped with scaling and it’s awesome to have the equipment for the modifications and creative ways of perform the Workout. Even with the scaling, I am sure no one else has heard “keep your head up” and “drop lower” for the squats.
The Rocktown family is accepting, helping, encouraging, and real. Many times I have needed and received encouragement from others in the class. Donald, Jakob, or Sherry and others are there offering some of the much needed encouragement when I am dragging. I have another family. It is the people of Rocktown. Like it or not, I claiming you.
A Note from the Rocktown Staff
70lbs. It took 2 things…self discipline and commitment to consistency. Wylie rarely misses an opportunity to get better, scales when he needs to and give it everything he has for 60 minutes. But as Wylie and others can tell you, the hour you workout is important but its nothing compared to what you do the other 23 hours of the day. The foundation is and always will be laid with nutrition. Once we get that right the rest will take care of itself. You can look at Wylie and clearly see the changes he’s made but more importantly its seeing how he moves is most impressive. His speed with a barbell, his ability to move off the floor…its working. If anyone has ever seen a coyote in the wild, you notice that he’s very quiet, keeps his head down and never stops moving. This couldn’t be a better description of Wylie…and while he may not say much he couldn’t be a nicer guy and its been great getting to know him and his wife Shelly through The Rock. Congrats Wylie, keep up the good work!