Name: JT Odom
Occupation: Mechanical Engineer
Hometown: Originally from St. Marys, GA
Which class time do you usually attend? 5AM
Favorite WOD: Anything with a good mix of power and endurance
Favorite CF Movement: Power Clean
Least Favorite CF Movement: Sumo Deadlift High Pull, just a terrible, ridiculous waste of time and effort
3RM Back Squat: 355
1RM Deadlift: 475
Favorite Food: Hawaiian pizza with whipped cream for dessert
Favorite Movie: I don’t get many opportunities to watch anything besides children’s movies, but I like “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”
Favorite Athlete: Stacey Odom 🙂 and also Ronald Acuna Jr for making me excited to watch baseball again
Dream Job: Still not sure, but if I ever find it I hope I have the courage to pursue it
Dream Vacation Destination: Australia and New Zealand
If you could have any super power… I just spent an hour trying to come up with a logical response to this illogical question. I just wish I could manage my time better.
Favorite Motivational Quote: “If I die tomorrow, I want this show to define my goal as a songwriter and entertainer.” – Johnny Cash. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to most of us literally, but it stuck with me ever since I heard it.
How long have you been doing CrossFit?
Since January 2014
How did you first discover CrossFit and what made you decide to start?
My wife Stacey became a member over a year before me and had just started coaching at No Excuses. I resisted as long as I could, citing the cliches that CrossFit is a cult, it’s dangerous, and the classic “they don’t do real pull-ups!” However once Stacey started progressing to movements that I couldn’t do, like handstands and overhead squats, I decided to give it a try.
Tell us about your fitness/sports background:
I played baseball my entire life, through college at Mercer University and one professional season with an independent league team in Indiana. I never considered myself to be an exceptionally gifted athlete, so I spent a lot of extra time on the field and in the gym trying to make up for it. After baseball I tried distance running, softball, and traditional gym memberships.
What sorts of positive changes (mental, physical, emotional) have you noticed in your life since getting involved at No Excuses?
I actually have friends now, so I got that goin for me, which is nice. I have no idea how adults make friends without a gym membership. I love being able to share the experience with Stacey; it has helped make our marriage even stronger. And although it sounds vain, the physical changes really do make a difference with confidence inside and outside of the gym. I’m stronger, more flexible, and more coordinated than I ever was before CrossFit. I can do things now that I couldn’t come close to doing in my early 20s, most notably touching my toes with straight legs.
Who or what keeps you coming back and motivated?
The community, competition, and results. I’ve always loved working out, even by myself, but being able to work out with friends and compete with other members makes the difference between forcing myself to put on gym clothes versus being excited to wake up at 4:30am. Competition and results have also encouraged us to learn to meal prep and eat relatively clean, which have had huge benefits to our health and time.
In what other ways do you use your fitness?
Besides carrying around my kids, not much. Like a lot of us, I sit at a desk for 10-12 hours per day and in the car for another 2. When I get a chance, I like to do competitions, hike, trail run, and play any recreational sport.
Please share with us a favorite CrossFit or No Excuses moment.
After almost 6 years there’s a lot to choose from. I probably shouldn’t mention anything from the camping trips or lake/boat parties, so I will play it safe and say that my favorite moments are watching people do things of which they didn’t think they were capable and the cheers that erupt from the people watching them, especially during competitions.
Name one goal you would like to achieve in the next year (doesn’t have to be CrossFit related, but it can be)
The guys from the camping trips are probably sick of hearing this and I’m sure Stacey is too, but it’s getting harder to ignore the evidence that there appears to be an unsustainable level of consumption of natural resources and disposal of waste throughout the world and especially the United States. I’ve committed myself to raising awareness on the issues and engaging in political activism to initiate action towards solutions. On a personal, less significant level, this year my goal is to install a rainwater harvesting system for my house and continue to make progress towards becoming a zero-landfill household.
Tell us about your hobbies and interests outside of the gym:
Spending time with family, gardening, hiking, home improvement projects. I’m hoping to transition more of my limited free time to volunteering and community activism, particularly with regards to sustainability efforts.
What advice do you have for someone just starting CrossFit or is on the fence about starting?
Working out by yourself eventually gets boring, no matter how self-motivated you are. And if you don’t have any training in exercise science, it will take time to research an effective program that is right for you, and even then, you won’t have an experienced coach to guide you through the movements. Do CrossFit, make friends, get fit, stay fit.
What do you love most about No Excuses?
Everybody says this because its true: the community is great. I’m sure this rings true at most other CrossFit gyms, but the staff here does an exceptional job of fostering the community aspect. Practically all of our friends are members at No Excuses, and I love the fact that our kids are growing up in the gym and that health and fitness will be second-nature to them. The gym is even having an impact on our willingness to move closer to work and away from No Excuses. It really has become one of the best parts of my life.