Meet Jan Botha…
Jan (pronounced “Yon”) dropped into the gym on the last night of our 2019 Friday Night Lights series. 19.5 isn’t exactly the best workout to start off on but hey, he came back the very next day for more….. so he must’ve liked something! Ever since then, Jan has been a steady 5 am’er and has became an awesome addition to our family. It’s truly a sight to hear him say “Ah Bugger” when he catches a heavy lift or he get’s in a pinch… so funny! In all seriousness, we are blessed to have Jan join us and we love that Jan has made us his “home away from home.” Make sure to give Jan a high five and continue to make him feel right at home!
As part of being Athlete of the Month, we asked Jan a few questions to get to know him a little more, below are his answers:
1. Where are you from?
I grew up on a farm in a town called Paarl in the Western Cape of South Africa.
2. What do you do for a living?
I am the Regional Black Belt for a Swiss Company with a global footprint, working in their business unit, ICS in the North America Region.
3. Favorite hobbies?
Of course CrossFit is pretty much up there. Other than that I like camping, mountain biking, body surfing and a proper “braai” (South African term for barbeque but with a wood fire) with lots of meat and something to keep the throat lubricated.
4. Athletic Background?
Grew up in a house where a seasonal sport was compulsory, so in the summers I would swim and play tennis. During the winters I would play rugby. When I was 15 I starting canoeing and did my first marathon 3 months after starting. My dad thought it well to enter for the Berg River Marathon, it is a 4 day stage race covering 240km (150 miles). I was doing marathons for about 3 years. Competed on regional level for SA sprints. When I finished school canoeing was no longer possible when I moved away from a river to train on. I started mountain biking not long after finishing school, it was the outing the drew me into the sport. The places you see and the untamed terrain you cross. I liked to go race on the weekend and did a few stage races in the KwaZulu Natal area where I stayed before moving to the US. I tried road cycling a few times for additional training while mountain biking, that did not really stick, got bored just cycling on the road and realized quickly a road bike is not made for jumping over side curbs. Hung up my mountain bike when my daughter was born, I could not justify the hours way from home being on the bike the whole time. Then I started doing CrossFit, in the beginning it was just to stay moving trying to get to the box 2 maybe 3 times a week, skipping a week here and there. It was only after about 2 years faffing around like that, that I started picking up the frequency. When back in SA I would go 3 to 4 times consistently a week. Depending on what my body was able to handle. I like the flexibility to drop in at a box when I traveled and sweat it out with fellow CrossFitters.
5. Why you chose CrossFit 926?
I liked the reviews that I read on Google, it was the closest to where I am staying, but really since the first day walking in there, it felt like this is the people I would like to train with. The coaches are great and supportive, they push where needed and assist when it is required. Not a lot of people that can say they train with an Olympic weight lifter and a regional CrossFit athlete….well, I get to do that every time I go to CrossFit 926.
6. Favorite movement?
7. Favorite thing about CrossFit 926?
It is a place you get to feel welcome every time you step into the box. I cherish the values they stand for.
8. What advice would you give to a new comer?
Be patient and keep on trying. Great things tend to happen when you leased expect it. When you start doubting yourself, remember where and why you started in the first place. Enjoy stepping into your pain cave and yes it is normal to walk like cowboy after serious squat days.