You’re not going to want to miss this one.  Jerry’s one of our oldest members and one helluva good guy.  His talents and jokes are endless, and he’s a friend to everyone he meets.  Read on to find out the strange reason why Jerry Weltzin actually works out every day.

rochester mn gym crossfit progression

What do you do for a living?

I am retired from IBM and ex-Navy.  I have a small gun shop and metal working business at home to keep me busy.  I enjoy building things.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of the gym?

I like to duck hunt, shoot trap, read, ride my dirt bike, travel some, Life Sponsor Ducks Unlimited, Life Sponsor National Rifle Association.

What made you decide to try Progression?

My wife, Linda, talked me into coming to a Murph to keep time and score for her on Memorial Day 2016.  I talked to some of the coaches and participants and it sounded like something that would build me up from a couch potato to a more flexible and greater endurance old guy.

How long have you been a member?

I signed up Memorial Day and had my first class June 1, 2016.  And I am still going, which surprises even me some days.  It sure made my wife happy that I am trying and doing it.

What was your experience with fitness prior to joining us at Progression?

I was not doing much at all to try and stay in shape or lose weight.  My heaviest workout was to cut us up firewood for a year.  It would take me 7 to 10 days to cut, haul, split, and stack the firewood.  I love fall in the woods, the colors and smells get me every year.

What was your biggest fear when you started at Progression?

My fear was that I probably wouldn’t cut the mustard at all.  My wife was afraid I’d overdo it and have a heart attack.  When I first started at Progression, I had my heart rate up to 190 and didn’t make it through a class warm up without sitting down and sucking a lot of air.  After my first day at Progression, I was so sore that I couldn’t bend over to put my own socks on without pain.  So, I can keep exercising or give up using socks.

What goals are you currently working towards?

I hope to increase my endurance and my flexibility as I am 73 years old and was 235 lbs when I started at Progression.  I am now 220 lbs and much more flexible, but still have a lot of work to do.

What is the most challenging part about your fitness journey at the moment?

I have trouble with overhead worth with my shoulders.  The left shoulder is not as strong as the right and has a pain in it every so often.  Trying to keep up with Linda is a problem, she can run me into the ground with her rep rates and her times on the timed WOD’s.  She has a very good motor and doesn’t quit ever.  I am getting closer, but still have a ways to go to be even with her.  I am proud of her and her effort.

rochester mn gym crossfit progression

What’s one thing your fellow CFP’ers would be surprised to learn about you?

Probably my age of 73.  The 5:30 am class knows this already.  And I still have all my original joints; knees, hips, shoulders so far and hope to be able to keep them in shape via Progression.

What’s your favorite piece of advice you’ve gotten from a coach or member at Progression?

There are many and all are pretty good but my favorite of all is from Tony.  When I hit the wall, he said I’d never get past the wall unless I did one more rep, even if it hurts.  That piece of advice has stuck with me and works most of the time.  Sometimes I stop for some extra air or shake out the arms, but keep going. I am not the fastest guy in the class, but I do not always finish last.  Linda finishes ahead of me a lot of times and I hope to catch up to her with my rep rate and times.

How has your outlook on health/fitness changed since starting at Progression?

I have a lot of friends that have had knees and hips replaced and it is not fun.  I have friends that have died an early death and I miss most of them.  So, if you want to live a long and happy life, get off the couch and get in shape.  I know round is a shape, but it doesn’t make you a physically better person.  Linda just recently retired and we want to do some traveling.  Our bucket list is long and I need to be in better shape than I was 6 months ago.  One or two hours a day to get your body and mind in shape isn’t a big price to pay for a longer, healthy life.

What has been your fondest memory during your time here?

I have several memories I really like about Progression.  My wife is proud of me for trying it and losing some weight.  I remember that the two of us flipped the largest tire in the back lot in the dark and cold, 31 times.  Linda kept pushing me to keep going.  I like the positive attitude of all the coaches and all of the people at the gym. There’s not a single negative person in the group; high fives for everyone.

Why do you think you’ve stuck with Progression?

I have stayed with it because of the people, coaches, and classmates.  I have stayed because of the results I can see in my wife and myself.  It is not only the physical improvement it is also a mental improvement.  I feel like doing a bit more than I used to.  I still take a nap after a hard workout.  I still get sore joints or muscles.  But I feel it is all worthwhile to be more fit physically and mentally than I was before Progression.  The hardest part of doing early morning workouts is getting up out of a nice warm bed, driving almost 20 miles to make the class and then work til you drop.  And folks, I sweat a lot and drop to the floor after several of the classes.

What would be your one piece of advice for someone who’s thinking about joining Progression?

Just get off the couch and try it, you might like it.  I feel it is time well spent taking care of your body and mind. Your body starts to feel better and your mind will possibly work a little better.  Your attitude about life and yourself will change for sure.  I should have started this stuff years ago, and now I have to catch up for all I have missed out on.  But it is never too late to start.