Community Profiles

Russ Thomas - CrossFit Orrville Profile

CFO Spotlight On: Russ Thomas

If you are reading this, chances are you have grown to love CrossFit. You hate burpees, you hate thrusters, you hate sprints, you hate the fact that there are a whole slew of names that you used to like but now you can’t mention without gagging a little bit (Annie, Helen, Cindy, etc.). We hate all the components of CrossFit, but we love the community. We love the teamwork. We love the feeling of hitting PR’s that others wouldn’t dream of…and most of all, we love the inspiration. We are inspired by so many people that we meet in the community.

Enter Russ Thomas. Russ has been CrossFitting with us for several weeks now and he has an amazing story that he wants to share with you. His story will motivate and inspire you. And hopefully, his story will help you push through not only the WOD, but also the ups and downs of life with a new drive!

On December 5th I will be running the St. Jude marathon… my first.

Seven years ago I could barely run more than 5 miles. But then I had an unthinkable tragedy in my family that would change us forever and put me on this path to running a marathon.

In April of 2008 at St. Jude, my son Konley Thomas was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. To hear the doctor tell me that my son was going to die and there was nothing physically I could do was the worst feeling in the world. Konley asked one thing from me before he passed… He asked me to never forget him. I think of Konley every day. To honor him, I have ran the half marathon at St. Jude in order to raise funds to help fight childhood cancer for past six years.  

Russ & Konley

After running the half marathon last year I felt it was time for me to take on the monster, the full marathon. In the first part of my training I found myself being able to endure the long-distance runs, but was losing a lot of speed after the 8th mile. After speaking with a friend about gaining speed and endurance in my runs, she suggested I try CrossFit.  

At first, my concerns were, was I going to be able to keep up with the class, and how would this effect my marathon training, etc. But after the first week filled with burpees and deadlifts and other CrossFit training, I could see how this would benefit me in my running. After just three weeks I have been able to take 5 min off of my 8 mile runs and my legs are starting to feeling stronger each week. As for keeping up with the class, the trainers are supportive and really push you, but allow you to take things at your own pace to prevent injury.

I look forward to my marathon this December! I want nothing more than to honor my son, and I know that CrossFit will be a big part of helping me cross the finish line!

~ Russ Thomas

We want to sincerely thank you for sharing your story with us Russ. You are a true inspiration to us. We are in your corner!!!