Meet an Athlete of Merit: David Hoffman's Story

David Hoffman

Merit Member Since June, 2017

David is a 41 year old father, husband, and obstacle course race enthusiast! An Eagles fan (cue the eye rolls... yes we still let him through the doors) he originally hails from Philadelphia, but lived in Florida in the early 2000's. In 2005 he left the sunshine state to work for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in the DC Metro Area. During the summer of 2017 David found his way to Merit, impressing us with his endless energy and positive spirit from the start, and never looked back! 

David and his wife Becky with their twin boys Drew and Dylan.

David and his wife Becky with their twin boys Drew and Dylan.

How do you spend your time outside of Merit?

Outside of Merit, most of my time is spent with my family- my twin 5 year old boys, Drew and Dylan, and my wife, Becky, and working as an attorney for the Trademark Office.  Outside of that, I try to stay active and supplement my strength and cardio training at Merit, with trail running and obstacle course racing (OCR). 

My biggest motivator would hands down be my mental and physical health, and being there for my wife and kids.

What were your goals when you originally joined Merit?

Prior to joining Merit, I had been working out with trainers at the gym. I lost a few pounds and got to a healthy weight, but the workouts started to become monotonous, and my motivation had been wavering. At the same time, I also started getting involved with obstacle course racing under the Spartan brand. After a few races, I was looking for something to help get me to the next level of fitness, and to help with strength training for the OCR races. Merit has definitely helped to accomplish those goals. My next goal is to qualify for the OCR World Championships.

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Have you accomplished any of those goals so far? 

I’ve definitely accomplished my goals, and then some. One in particular was completing a Spartan Trifecta, which consists of all three race distances in one calendar year. However, new goals have been developed along the way, and I’m excited that Merit will be a part of accomplishing them as well. One thing I’d like to focus more on this Spring is running technique and form (this makes Coach Jason happy). I know this will greatly benefit me in future races.  

What is your favorite CrossFit movement/WOD?

My favorite Crossfit WOD would include pull-ups, toes to bar, and burpees. These exercises and movements come relatively easily for me, and they’re also very beneficial overall body exercises. 

What is your least favorite CrossFit movement/WOD?

My least favorite WOD would include handstands and wall balls. I don’t so much mind hand-stand push-ups, but I don’t see any point in walking on your hands... that’s what feet are for! Plus, it kills my shoulders! Ha.

David and his partner Sherwin during the CrossFit Merit Winter Classic competition.

David and his partner Sherwin during the CrossFit Merit Winter Classic competition.

What is your most memorable CrossFit moment so far?

It’s hard to choose any one particular memorable moment in terms of personal records or goals because I am still establishing a baseline and working on them.  However, I participated in the SUP WOD and the recent Merit Winter Classic, and really enjoyed the healthy competition and camaraderie of both. I’m definitely looking forward to the next one. If I absolutely had to pick one memorable moment, it would probably be my first box jump fail. Ouch! I’ll never forget it, that’s for sure.

The people and coaches at Merit have also been a huge motivator for continuing to stay healthy, especially when you see someone else pushing hard to reach their own goals.

What/Who is your biggest motivator?

My biggest motivator would hands down be my mental and physical health, and being there for my wife and kids. Not only do I want to set a great example for my children, but I want to be around for them as long as possible. I am genetically pre-disposed to high blood pressure and cholesterol, so staying fit has become a quasi-necessity to maintain the status quo, and as a result, has become a lifestyle over the past couple of years. The people and coaches at Merit have also been a huge motivator for continuing to stay healthy, especially when you see someone else pushing hard to reach their own goals.

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What would you like to say to people on the fence about trying CrossFit?

For those on the fence about trying Crossfit, I can say from personal experience that it really depends on the gym. I feel very fortunate to have found Merit. The level of knowledge and professionalism from every single coach is extraordinary, which is obvious from the moment you enter the facility. Stretching and range of motion are also emphasized and considered part of the daily workouts, which is a clear indication that well-being and recovery is a significant concern of the coaches, not just getting into shape and bulking up. Not only are the classes small, but the coaches are keen to recognize and correct individual problems with technique and form to help to avoid injury. On top of that, the people I’ve met over the past 7 months at Merit have been particularly welcoming, and exceedingly supportive. 

As far as I am concerned, happiness is found from within, and in order to be happy you need to start with your own health, both physical and mental. Merit has provided an outlet to continue this pursuit, and to continue accomplishing life’s goals.