September’s Extraordinary Athlete is Bill Kingsley. Many of you know him because he has pretty regular attendance – he works out in the evenings, shows up for Olympic lifting class, and he often comes on the weekends. Bill works for an insurance company that insures airplanes and he drives that cute little coveted white Alpha Romeo 4C you always see outside. Bill joined CrossFit Odyssey in April of 2016 and he has been with us ever since. He has made incredible strides since starting with us, but to be honest, when I first started working with Bill in his Personal Training, I thought he would never stick with it. He was gruff and grumpy and frustrated as hell and he acted like the workout was sheer hellish torture. And it was.

If you know Bill, you may have noticed that he has a slight limp. Several years ago he had back surgery due to degenerative disks in his spine. He has a spinal fusion that holds everything together, but the surgery severed a nerve and now he can’t use one of his legs as well as he should be able to. For example, when he jumps, he is jumping almost entirely off of one leg. However, this injury hasn’t stopped him. In fact, it has made him more determined than ever to fight for the strength that he once had. You might also notice that he hates burpees. I mean he really, really hates them. And he can only do a few before he has to sit down and recover. That is because he has a rare red blood cell disorder that makes it hard for him to process his oxygen and work at a higher capacity.

Knowing that he has all of these physical issues, you would imagine that his performance would be highly compromised and mediocre in comparison to the rest of the class, or that he would simply decide that working out wasn’t for him because it’s so much harder for him than it is for everyone else. On the contrary, his performance is quite remarkable! In the past few months John, Lara and I have all been noticing just how remarkable it really is. His form has improved tremendously, his squats are all much heavier, his Olympic lifting is much tighter, he just achieved a 42-inch box jump and even his burpees are better.

Ii is easy to play the poor me game. I see people do it all the time. But Bill never plays that game. Sometimes I tell him to scale a movement back and he just shakes his head. He wants to do it right and push himself to be the best he can be every day. That is why we have all agreed that he should be September’s Extraordinary Athlete. Congratulations Bill on your Journey to Extraordinary!