Peter Ankeny – SISU Featured Athlete

Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I have been an athlete my whole life. I competed in tennis, swimming, diving, soccer, lacrosse, track and field, cross country running, and downhill skiing. Recreationally, I have played pretty much any sport you can think of. Skiing was my passion, and I was lucky enough to compete for Dartmouth College at the Division 1 level. I currently work as a Mechanical Engineer at Eaton in one of their rotational programs.
Why did you start doing CrossFit?
First reason, being the older brother, it is my responsibility to make sure I can still beat up my younger brother. Since Mike is a professional athlete on the US Ski Team, that is a tall order to fill. Crossfit is about the only sport I can find that gets me close to the fitness level of a pro athlete. Second reason, being in competitive sports my entire life, I really missed the competition and team atmosphere. Working out at a globo-gym alone with headphones in really left me feeling like something was missing from my life. Third reason, you have to wear a shirt at regular gyms, huge bummer.
What made you decide on CrossFit SISU?
I love the sense of community at this gym. The members are very social and spend a lot of time together outside of the gym. Since I move around a lot for work, having a community like this makes it very easy to start in a new location. The first thing I do when I move to a new city is look up the best rated Crossfit gym, which is what lead me to SISU.
What were you doing before CrossFit?
I was a D1 skier in college, and all our workouts were done as a team and programmed for us by our coaches. Team workouts had a lot of Crossfit elements in them and gave me a great base to start Crossfit with. After I graduated though, I found it really difficult to continue these type of workouts on my own, and I got a lot of funny looks when I would try to do circuits in the gym.
What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit SISU Intro class?
Since I was in grad school on the east coast when I started CrossFit, I started it on my own. I randomly found it on the internet and gave it a try. My first workout was Fran, and it took me 18 minutes. It was extremely frustrating to me, since beforehand I watched videos of people finishing in 2 minutes. Since that first workout, I was hooked.
What physical changes have you seen so far since starting at CrossFit SISU?
I have noticed that an increasingly large percentage of my wardrobe is sleeveless. Even more concerning, is that a lot of my sleeved shirts are now sleeveless.
Please share any special memories or achievements during your time at CrossFit SISU?
Teaching coach Jason how to do a backflip. He is a big guy, and I had no business spotting him. Huge sigh of relief when he didn’t land on his head on the first attempt. There is a big difference between ‘winging it’ and ‘seeing what happens’.
What advice would you give to a person thinking about joining our SISU Community?
A lot of my friends love the idea of CrossFit, but are intimidated because they don’t have an athletic background or experience lifting. I would say this puts people in a good position, because they don’t have the chance to develop bad habits. Coaches at SISU will have a clean slate from which to develop superstar athlete.
Favorite WOD?
Open WOD 14.3. Ascending ladder of heavy deadlifts and box jumps.
Secret Ninja exercise is?
Deadlifts. Also, I am taller than the average CrossFit-er, so I’m also much better at getting the wallballs off the top rack than most people.
My not so secret sucky is?
Pushups. One of the most basic movements out there, and I seriously struggle with them.
My favorite cheat meal is?
DONUTS! I am generally pretty good with my diet, but I go weak in the knees when faced with a simple donut. Old fashioned cake donuts are my go-to, but given the recent popularity of boutique donut shops, I will dabble in exotic varieties when presented with them. Maple-bacon long johns come to mind. I also love Bloody Mary’s.