What brought you to PCF?
I originally found CrossFit through friends of the owners, Dan and Brian. Around 2008 they were in the process of opening a gym, Potomac 1.0, and in the hopes of gaining members were hosting park workouts at a local high school. These weekly workouts typically consisted of running, dumbbells and body weight movements. Stuff that I thought I was pretty good at until I met some of the other folks who were regularly doing interval training and competing and well, the competitive side of me was into it. Shortly there after I traded in my running shoes for lifting shoes and Nanos/metcons and haven’t really looked back since.
What do you do out in the real world?
I am a consultant working for Deloitte Consulting managing projects primarily focused on real estate technology and business process improvements.
What is something about you we might not know?
As a true renaissance man, I can quote essentially all of ‘Top Gun’, ‘Varsity Blues’ and ‘Mean Girls’.
Who is your superhero (could be fictional or not!)?
I guess I have to say Mighty Mouse. Something about his size to strength ratio and general tenacity. (Hi Gretchen)
What’s your favorite CrossFit movement?
Hands down, “active rest”. It just seems to fit so well into so many workouts. Beyond that I have always been a big fan of the traditional strength movements like back squat and deadlift. Barbell complexes are also high up there on my list.
What is your greatest achievement in the gym so far?
Couple of achievements:
- Learning and becoming reasonably proficient at muscle ups (bar and ring) was pretty cool as those are gymnastics movements and I’m no gymnast.
- Breaking the 1000# total several times has been solid baseline, especially since I am #notabiglad
- Successfully transitioning to the morning classes without hurting myself or someone else
What is one short-term goal, one long-term goal, and what have you been doing to work on them?
Short-term goal is learn freestanding handstands and handstand walks. Long-term goal is to continue to #justshowup at least 3-5 times a week. In terms of what I am doing about these goals I would say “thinking about them”. Which, you know, is like the precursor to the first step so I got that going for me. Which is nice.
What motivates or inspires you?
You mean beyond the amazing work of Taylor Swift, which I assume is just a given? I guess I’ll have to say all the “positive” encouragement that exists between the morning classes and on the blog. This camaraderie honestly makes it easier to get in there on a regular basis. Also, something adorable about how I want to stay fit so I can keep up with Cole.
What’s your best tip for new members?
- Do all you can to quickly move through the 4 phases of a CrossFit athlete (Puberty / F-this sh!t / Oh Sh!t I’m Hurt / Maturity*). While making this progression, do all you can do stay out of the hurt zone by scaling smart and taking lots of breaks
- Practice the 11 elements of fitness (especially number 11).
- Ask questions. Not necessarily about CrossFit but generally good advice
- Come to the morning classes. The “bro-ness” of the scene will improve your numbers.
- Make fun of Shane’s calve to bicep ratio
- Find a lifting buddy or Pals who you can share bars with as it makes clean-up easier/faster
- Get on a schedule and stick to it
- Recognize that life happens and this is just working out
“Paul Blanchard, also known as “Mighty Mouse,” is an exceptional athlete. Just like any athlete he pushes his limits and strives to be one of the best in the gym. He lifts just as much as the big boys and has excellent body weight movements. He is a force to be reckoned with. Don’t let his lean body mislead you this guy is strong, wherein his nickname comes in to play. This coming year he will be in the master division for 35-39 where I know he will do some serious damage.” ~ Coach Gretchen