For close to 30 years John Lynch has dedicated himself to living an active lifestyle; body building, triathlons, and for the last 7 years, CrossFit. CrossFit is a branded fitness regimen that came about in the early 2000’s, it encompasses everything from gymnastics, weight lifting, running, rowing and more. The draw to CrossFit is not solely about the workout, but rather the cohesiveness and comradery which comes with training and exercising together.
“Working out for this long can get kind of boring,” said Lynch. “You lose that family mentality you once had in high school or college, CrossFit is not just going to the gym with one or two buddies, it is about challenging each other, with the mindset that you will be suffering together and training together in a good productive way.”
John 45 from Guilford, is a husband, a father to three boys, and an emergency room physician at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown CT. For six years he has been training at the Shoreline CrossFit gym in Branford. The environment at the Shoreline CrossFit gym and the people he has met throughout the years, as well has his family have pushed him to be a better athlete.
“You can be anybody and be friends with everybody, it doesn’t matter what your background is, Shoreline CrossFit is made up of likeminded people that take good care of ourselves and train hard.”
This year Lynch participated in The CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin as a part of the Masters Men division which includes men ages 45-49. This is not some simple feat; to even get to the games there is a series of workouts which must be completed. The athletes begin with opens where a workout is posted once a week for five weeks, the athletes complete the workout and post their scores. After the five weeks are complete the top 200 men with the best scores advance to qualifiers which take place in April. Over one weekend the athletes must complete four more workouts, scores are calculated and the top 20 men of the top 200 advance to the games.
“CrossFit is an all-encompassing fitness and endurance program, it incorporates almost ever fitness modality there is,” said Lynch. “So you sort of have to be well versed in most things with high intensity.”
With the motivation of his family both inside the gym and out, Lynch ended up earning a spot on the winner’s podium at the games in his division, coming in third place overall.
“I want to set a good example for my kids by being fit and working hard, because they learn from example.”
It is no wonder that given the family oriented atmosphere at the Shoreline CrossFit gym, John became close with the Callahan family. David Callahan is a coach at the gym and John has been working out beside him as well his kids for the last six years. David and Paula Callahan lost their middle son Ben in a tragic accident this past July.
“Ben and his brothers trained hard and loved to work out with their dad, they were in there with us almost every day during the summer and even occasionally during the school year.”
Lynch says that Ben truly embodied the spirit of CrossFit which is why he dedicated his podium finish at the games in memory of him.
“Ben had that spirit, drive and intensity that defines CrossFit and what athleticism is. It is who he was, he was a true warrior.”
When asked if he planned on stopping this intense workout regimen as he gets older, he says it is all about knowing your abilities.
“I don’t plan on stopping, I have been doing fitness for 30 years, it is about dialing it back and making sure you have time for recovery. I am almost 50, I want to capitalize time with my family but also have goals…I plan on hiking up Mount Washington in a couple of weeks.”