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Derek Alansari is a Medical Professor who found CrossFit as a way to lose weight and build a healthy lifestyle. He was initially too scared to try CrossFit, saying “I was afraid it would be too intense for someone with zero experience with Olympic weightlifting, and I was terrified I would sustain an injury.” He says his experience at CrossFit Balance has been the exact opposite of what he expected. Since joining CrossFit Balance, he’s lost more than 40 pounds, can do a handstand, and competed in the CrossFit Open this year.

Name: Derek Alansari

Occupation: Assistant Professor of Medicine

Balance Location: Thomas Circle

CrossFitting Since: November 2016

Why do you CrossFit? Why should other people try CrossFit? 

I always had a weight problem. Over the years I tried multiple times to fix it with dieting alone. I stayed away from working out for the same reason a lot of people do A- I hated working out B- It was intimidating as I had no idea what I was doing. Although I have succeeded many times in losing a lot of weight, I always gained that weight right back after stopping my the strict diet and going back to my old unhealthy eating habits. I  knew working out combined with a healthy life style is the only way to lose weight then maintain that goal weight. November of last year I decided do something about it. I started reading about the best ways I can turn exercising into a daily habit. I realized I needed help in how to workout and a system to keep me on track. I looked into personal trainers but the price tag was too high for me to afford. Initially I was too scared to try Crossfit because of all the rumors out there. I was afraid it would be too intense for someone with zero experience in Olympic weight lifting and I was terrified I would sustain an injury from being pushed too hard.

My experience at Balance CrossFit was the exact opposite of that. I was not allowed start until I completed the foundation class, I was impressed with how each class had 2 coaches, the coaches are always paying attention to the techniques and what matters to them the most is the form and not how heavy we are lifting.

What’s your favorite CrossFit workout/movement? Least favorite?

My favorite is the clean and jerk. My least favorite is the American Kettlebell Swing.

What’s been your proudest CrossFit moment so far? 

When I finally did my first handstand.

How has your body changed since starting CrossFit?What are some of your upcoming fitness goals? 

I used to weigh 220 lbs and had no muscle mass. Now I am 180 lbs with a significant improvement in my strength and fitness level. Looking to improve my overall exercise endurance and doing my first muscle up.

What do you like most about working out at Balance? 

The coaches. I can’t stress  this point enough or ever give them enough credit, how friendly and supportive the others members are, and how classes are frequent and spread out through the day.

What do you like to do outside the gym for fun? 

Dinner parties with friends, wine tasting, photography, and exploring new parks with my dog.

Why did you decide to join the CrossFit Open this year? What were you post nervous about? 

I was encouraged to participate by the couches and the other members. I am so happy I decided to join. I was nervous about underperforming, but I’m so proud of what I can accomplish when I push myself and having a baseline to exceed next year.

Tell us something we don’t know about you (fun fact): 

I can’t wait to retire from practicing Medicine to pursue my true calling which is being a Chef.

How do you fit working out into your busy schedule? 

I make it a priority.

Complete this sentence #BalanceLife is: A cornerstone habit. It doesn’t matter if I’m having a fantastic day or a terrible day. All I have to do is show up at CrossFit Balance, where I always get a great workout with an awesome group of people.