July’s Extraordinary Athlete is our dear friend Jeff Bogacz (pronounced “bogus”). Jeff is the husband of his beautiful wife, Tamara and father to two gorgeous daughters, Emma and Claire. Emma recently graduated from Ursuline Academy and is headed to Auburn for College and Claire is at Bishop Lynch. Jeff has had an amazing transformation over his past two years here at CrossFit Odyssey. He has lost about 30 lbs and looks and feels great! His brother even asked him if he had gotten taller!

When Jeff first joined us he was in good shape and was very strong, but he had some serious mobility issues, mostly with his upper back and shoulders. He is very typical of the mid-forty-year-old man who comes in here after sitting at a desk for years with a tight chest (anterior chain) and an elongated and weakened upper back and posterior chain. He is also typical of the man who is very strong, and therefore muscles his way through movements with a shortened range of movement because he CAN. What made Jeff stand out to us is that he recognized his weaknesses and he was willing to suck it up, lower the weights and do the very difficult mobility work necessary to change his movement and ultimately make him better and stronger.

When Jeff first joined us, he couldn’t do an overhead squat to save his life. His chest was too tight and his upper back was too weak to open up his shoulders correctly. Since then he has regularly used the Crossover Symmetry System and come to the Olympic lifting class with Lara on Saturday mornings to work on his mobility. We have opened up his chest and his hips and straightened him up so that he actually looks taller! He recently achieved an overhead squat of 135lbs, which is a huge accomplishment for someone with his mobility issues. He has also learned how to do pull-ups and toes-to-bar with a fully extended arm, learned how to sit back and drive through his heels to have more power and has increased his strength tremendously since he has been here.

The reason this all is so impressive is that we ALL have issues – mobility, strength, cardio, coordination – you name it. Most of us really hate working on the things we aren’t good at, it’s our nature. However, Jeff listened, learned, took our advice and became much, much better. He also took the initiative and changed his diet and lost weight. To top it all off, Jeff is friendly and helpful to everyone in the gym and a pleasure to work with. Way to go Jeff and congratulations on being CrossFit Odyssey’s Extraordinary Athlete for July 2018!