About Ben Rocha
I found CrossFit in August of 2014. At the time, I was working as a personal wellness coach. Part of what I did was help people reach their weight loss/gain/lifestyle/athletic goals by changing their nutritional habits. Then I started working with two sisters to improve their performance at CrossFit 913. During their consultations, I quickly learned that it was not going to be easy to understand the constantly varied approach to CrossFit programming without experiencing it myself. Coincidentally, a high school classmate, Nick Reyes, reached out to me about trying out CrossFit 913. I decided that the timing was right to give it a shot. At first, I was a bit skeptical, but quickly fell in love with the culture, the competitive atmosphere, and the challenge that each workout presents. I’ve learned that no one can tell you how to live your life; you’ve got to figure it out on your own. Thankfully, I have been lucky to have had some outstanding human beings serve as guides on the path of my life’s journey. Some of those guides have been the coaches at 913. In fact, they’ve taught me that even though I feel like I’m gonna die during a workout, that I’m really fine; how to have fun while working out; that posture matters, as it’s an indication of the state of my mindset; that I often can do more than I think I can. These lessons and coaches had such an impact on me that they inspired to become a coach myself. I continuously seek out opportunities to grow and pride myself on being a lifelong learner. When I’m not in the gym, I enjoy trying new sports, riding my mountain bike, rock climbing, listening to podcasts, and reading.
Growing up I played basketball, volleyball, ran track, and golfed. Although I liked those sports, I fell in love with baseball at a young age and played up through my high school years. After high school, I played competitive men’s fast-pitch softball for 10 years. Although it is a dying sport in the area, it was once a thriving sport. Throughout the summer there were leagues 3 nights a week and a tournament just about every weekend during the spring and summer months. i was lucky enough to play on a couple of teams that played in national tournaments. Although I feel a bit like Al Bundy sharing, I’ll share a few of the accomplishments I’m proud of. I once hit for the cycle, going 5-5 with a homerun to complete the cycle in my fifth at bat. I once hit 3 inside-the-park home runs in a single game. I played 9 games in one weekend….six in a row on Sunday to come out of the loser’s bracket and win the championship. I had to work really hard to meet my own expectations, so when the desire to practice and go to the batting cages went away, I decided to hang ’em up. Now I love competing in CrossFit competitions and try to compete 2-3 times per year. It’s been a ton of fun coaching athletes as they compete in the their first crossfit competitions. Competing provides a great opportunity to grow and to test the hard work you’ve put in the gym against your peers.
Rewind to 2012 and I was 30 lbs overweight. As a result, I was tired all the time and generally unhappy with my life and the direction I was headed. Therefore, I made a decision that I was ready for a change. I started eating more fruits and vegetables, trading fast food for shakes and was able to drop 15 lbs. Not being satisfied, I entered into a Body Transformation Challenge and challenged a buddy to join it with me. We ended up finishing 2nd and 3rd out of over 700 people. My friend went on to lose a total of 60 lbs. He looked at me and said “Ben, you’ve changed my life. My life was headed down the wrong path. I’d probably be divorced right now if it weren’t for you.” That moment had a massive impact on the trajectory of my life. I knew that we only get one chance to do all that we’ll ever do in our life. I had discovered that the secret of life is giving. I wanted to help more people. I wanted to do something meaningful with my life. At that moment, I knew I would be a coach for the rest of my life in some capacity. I hit a turning point as an athlete at about six weeks after I started CrossFit. It was hot out, we were doing a WOD that had a running 400s and 800s in it. I remember thinking, “I don’t know if I can do this. This is really hard and I’m not 18 any more, in fact I’m way past that.” It was at that point that I realized if I quit this, I would quit other things in life. I also reminded myself that I’m not a quitter, and that I’m not afraid of a little hard work. So I went to work on my fitness and have kept going ever since.
I am passionate about leaving this world a better place than the way I found it. Furthermore, I don’t believe that just because I am getting older that I am declining in any way, shape, or form. To the contrary, I believe I am getting better every day. It gets me fired up to help people do things they previously viewed as impossible or something they only were able to do when they were younger. Whether it’s walking on your hands, getting your first pull-up, or being able to run 400 meters without stopping, I love helping people achieve their goals. I’m obsessed with progress. I have found that progress equals happiness in my life. I think this quote by Benjamin Franklin best sums it up. “On the whole, tho I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet as I was, by the endeavor, a better and happier man that I was otherwise should have been had I not attempted it.” In CrossFit, we specialize in not specializing and aim to be a well-rounded athlete. This concept was/is a big draw for me as there is always some progress to celebrate and something to chase. I’ve come to know for myself that when you chase that thing that you don’t want to see in a workout head on and work your butt off to get better, you will, and the gains will crossover to other areas of your fitness. We work hard and if you choose to start a program with us, you will too. Although we work hard, I’m passionate about making your time in the gym the best part of your day. Above all, my hope is that you’ll leave the gym feeling better than before you came in.
My motivation is to get to the end of my life and feel good about the life that I’ve lived. I think one of the most tragic things that can happen is to get to the end of our lives and to have the thought, “what if I’ve done it all wrong?” I know what it’s like to feel unmotivated, depressed, anxious, unhappy and to feel like you’re lost. I also know what it’s like to release those things and live a life with a sense of well being and a peaceful mind. Fitness has played a key role in my journey to health. Our community and coaches have encouraged me to do things I didn’t necessarily feel like doing at the time. They’ve been there for me when I’ve needed them. They’ve held me accountable to a high standard for myself, they’ve challenged me when I may have otherwise wanted to coast during a workout, and have helped shape the man I am today. My motivation is to pay that forward and help you get out of your own way and learn to live a life you’d love living with fitness as the foundation. Helping others reach their full potential is my calling in life….let’s chase excellence together and reach our full potential.