Member Spotlight: Michael Vasko
Every month, we’re going to be spotlighting one of you guys. Maybe you’ve been a member since the Renew dawn, or maybe you just finished foundations — no one is immune to our public displays of affection. To kick off our new segment, we thought we would start with one of our beloved veteran members…
Michael Vasko: AKA the older(er) guy who claps during his workouts. Let’s jump in!
Q: How long have you been doing CrossFit?
A: I have been doing CrossFit for 6 years! Easy question!
Q: How many marathons have you run?
A: Philadelphia 1/2 Marathon, Austin full Marathon with my daughter Noelle, and Austin 1/2 Marathon with my son and my son-in-law. Oh yeah, a 10 mile beach race in Wildwood NJ with Noelle. They said running on the hard sand by the ocean would be easy. They lied!
Q: What do you love about CrossFit and why do you clap so much?
A: Crossfit is like church, yes I said that, and it is why I love it soooo much. When I started Crossfit I was broken and there was no shame attached to the fact I could not do what everyone else could. The coaches led me, mentored me, were patient, kind and motivated me to be a better version of me. They took 2 years of patient mentoring, after 2 years of training I could finally do 1 overhead squat with a PVC pipe. They applauded and my classmates cheered.
I have always been humbled by the care shown to me and I love to return that care to others. I clap because I am so grateful that I can be at the gym, that I can participate, that I can make those that are new to Crossfit Renew feel welcomed. I also want them to know that, just as I was cared for, that we will care for them as well. I will tell them about Burpees later. I enjoy and admire what the young people can lift, can move, can leap and be pregnant at the same time. It is great watching people mature into wonderful athletes. I clap because I know I will never catch up to everyone’s athleticism and their strength, but I also know that they will catch up to me! Yeah!
Q: What is one thing about you that would surprise us if we knew it?
A: He gave us a huge list (of course) so we narrowed it town to our favorites!
- I am an ex-con in Mexico. I was arrested in Mexico city at age 14 and put in jail (and lived).
- At age 13, I was stabbed in the back, and the Catholic Church gave me Last Rites (but I lived).
- I once passed out in 120′ of water while wreck diving off the Long Island (but I lived).
Next time you see Vasko around the box, give him a high five and a few extra claps during his workout. His positive attitude and impressive endurance should be motivation for all of us.
Clap on, Vasko! We can’t wait for more stories from you.