Soft spoken Demosthenes Juanatas, Jr., we frequently call DJ, just recently took the baton of coaching, joining the roster of qualified trainers here at Primal Ape CrossFit. Several of us at the box for sure had brushed elbows with DJ - probably got handed out with some tidbits of advices, or a motivating push during the WOD. Let's get to know more about our Coach DJ as he starts his mentoring in our classes.
Can you give us a brief story how you started doing Football and eventually doing CrossFit also?
[I've] been playing competitive sports my whole life as my siblings are well involved in sports also. Played American Football since I was 8 years old, tried wrestling when I was about that age but I didn't stick with it (wish I did!) and eventually got into Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Mixed Martial Arts.
I heard about CrossFit in 2007 from my BJJ instructor Daniel Camarillo, but haven't actually tried it until I got to the Philippines. In 2012 I attended my first CrossFit class and immediately fell in love with it! It was the most intense feeling I've ever felt. The feeling of almost dying (during the wod) and coming back to life right after finishing a WOD got me hooked in to CrossFit.
I was amazed at how these CrossFitters can keep going to this kind of training every day, and this immediately inspired me. I said to myself, If they can do it, so can I. But due to time constraints, I was only able to do Crossfit for a month and I had to stop. Fast forward to August 2015, that's when I took CrossFit training seriously.
Since you've been coaching and organizing a local American Football team, what coaching aspects in American Football that you can carry over in mentoring CrossFit?
I'm very new to most of the coaching disciplines in Crossfit, but I do believe some parts carry over from being an American Football Coach. Leadership is a good example. Leading by example has always been my motto for my American Football League.
What realizations, inspirations or reasons made you decide to coach CrossFit as well?
American Football and Crossfit go well together and I hope to eventually forge a 'Crossfit Football' thing so that all the American Football Players in the Philippines may have a chance to experience Crossfit WODs specialized for American Football Players.
Any message for our community?
Back to the patience thing, I guess I would like to remind everyone reading this that they have to be patient, especially when it comes to Crossfit. Crossfit, just like life itself, is not a sprint, but a marathon. Just take it one day at a time, one lift at a time, one step at a time. Embrace the process and enjoy the journey
Want to get into Coach DJ's class? Check out our schedule by clicking thru the link!