Eric Mason

WHY DID YOU GET INTO FITNESS (AND CROSSFIT)?

As a child, I was very active and enjoyed participating in different sports and activities.  I was kind of a shy kid growing up, but I was athletic, and I could hold my own at any sport that I participated in.  Sports were a great way for me to meet others, to break out of my shell, and to interact with other kids in school that would not normally hang out with me.  I participated in football, basketball, track and field, volleyball, competitive swimming, and martial arts.  In junior high school my father and I would go to the local gym and lift weights.  Working out at the gym was the father-son activity he and I enjoyed doing.  We would have long conversations about bodybuilding, follow the Mr. Olympia contests, and read Muscle and Fitness.  One of the things I remember most is my dad teaching me the importance of technique and proper movement over worrying about the amount of weight on the bar.

After my first year at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I decided to enlist in the United States Navy.  I was a Hospital Corpsman, and I was assigned to the United States Marine Corps.  Serving with the Marines requires one to maintain a high level of fitness.  I served during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.  I made sure to remain in top condition so that I was always prepared to protect my country.  Upon discharge, I moved back to Nebraska, obtained an associate degree in business administration, and moved to Las Vegas, Nevada.  After years of pumping iron, I realized I was not going to be the next Mr. Olympia, and I was looking for something new and challenging.  In 2013, I heard about CrossFit from a friend of mine, and I gave it a try.  I was immediately hooked, and I have been doing CrossFit ever since.  I enjoy the fact that CrossFit is for everybody, it isn’t about the best person in the gym, the “nobody is finished until the last person is finished,” and the CrossFit community.  CrossFit is something I will be able to participate in for the rest of my life.

WHY DID YOU BECOME A TRAINER?

CrossFit has improved my life not only physically, but it has improved my life in so many other ways as well.  I am a more social person, I am more confident in my abilities, and I believe my overall mental health has improved because of CrossFit.  I have always had a passion to help and teach others.  I was provided an opportunity to volunteer with a non-profit CrossFit gym for veterans and those in the recovery community.  I truly believe that for me to keep what I have, I need to share it with others.  The next logical step was to become a trainer.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CROSSFIT MOVEMENT?

My favorite CrossFit movements are muscle ups and clean and jerks. However, I am motivated to work on the skills and movements that are my “weak” areas and movements.  Each year I make a commitment to focus on one of these movements and spend extra time and training working to improve my technique and form.  I learn to embrace what I don’t like because I believe it not only helps me in various workouts, but I am challenged, and it helps build mental toughness.