athlete-of-the-month (1)

Nolan Ploegman

May 2017

About The Athlete

Nolan joined our On-Ramp (Intro) Program late 2015 to see what this whole ‘CrossFit’ thing was about. After a few classes, you could tell that some form of past competitive spirit, drive for personal improvement and love for training and intensity was reignited. It wasn’t long before a pull-up or two turned into multiples, that the strength and capacity from a previous life spent in/around the hockey rink started to re-surface or that he became a regular in our evening classes a few times a week.

Since then Nolan’s progress, performance and capacity have grown leaps and bounds. He consistency outperforms his strength numbers, has built is press, dead-lift, clean and squat significantly and has become a daily metcon “RX” athlete on the whiteboard. He’s an all-around great human being that bring positivity, kindness and an incredible drive to perform to CFC every day. He’s a staple in our community and we, as coaches, only see things getting better!

Keep up the awesome work and congrats Nolan!

A little more about them…

What got you into Crossfit, how long have you been doing it and what keeps you coming back?

I haven’t really told anybody one of the primary reasons I started CrossFit so here it goes…..nervous…..It was a cold and windy day, November 17, 2015 to be exact, and after a series of back-and-forth emails (between 3:55pm and 5:54pm) with Mr. Jamie Townsend (fellow CFC member) I hesitantly agreed to start the December 2015 On-Ramp Program at CFC.  I had been physically dormant since my junior hockey days and always full of excuses ever since.  Jamie was in the middle of the November On-Ramp and convinced me to join in collusion with my wife Rachel, warning me I might dry-heave on day 1.  In exchange for me joining CFC, Jamie agreed to apply with me to be on a national televised reality TV show – just for fun, never thought we’d actually have a chance.  Amazingly, we made it all the way to the very final round of casting, thought it was happening, and then received our rejection notice mid-February of 2016.  So I was working out at CFC as hard as I could thinking I might have to take my shirt off on national television!  Even though we were rejected I couldn’t quit CrossFit.  I acquired a compulsive psychological need and use for the CrossFit Programming and the CFC Community and that is what keeps me coming back on average 3 times per week.

What are some of your non-crossfit hobbies or activities?

Not like family is a hobby or activity but naturally I enjoy spending high quality time with my family.  My wife Rachel and I have been married for 13+ years and we have 3 awesome future CrossFitters named Alexander (7), Logan (4), and Sadie (11 days old!).  I also don’t consider work a hobby or activity but feel really fortunate to truly love my work which is also quite time consuming these days.  If I am not working or not doing family activities, you are very likely to find me out on the golf course.  I love all sports, but golf has more recently become my #1 passion and I find it similar to CrossFit in many ways:  1) You can get better at it as you get older and 2) You can compete against yourself and not necessarily against others.  I am also interested and involved in a few non-profit / charitable organizations and I’d like to do more of this in the years to come – this is very important to me.  Another hobby is simply just dreaming up crazy and ridiculous ideas and then determining if they are actually feasible or not.  And last but not least, I may also have a  compulsive psychological need for using sarcasm and travelling the world (two unrelated things – but you can be sarcastic while travelling I promise).

One sentence to describe CFC from your perspective…

CFC offers me a judge-free environment with the most comfortable rubber flooring in all of Winnipeg for me to lie down upon in my own pool of sweat.

What is your favorite part of CFC?

Nothing original here to say, hands down, it is definitely the coaches and the fellow members of CFC.

Favorite and least favorite movement/workout, and why?

My favorite movements used to be front and back squats but more recently has become cleans and snatches.  There is just something satisfying about getting in the ‘zone’ and moving that bar with speed and rhythm.  Least favorite movement is the overhead squat as my shoulder feels the pain of past hockey injuries.

Favorite superhero, band/musician or celebrity, and why?

Embarrassingly enough, I have to admit to being a huge Daniel Wroughton Craig fan (born March 2nd 1968).  Not only because he has a super-cool middle name, but because he is the one and only, sometimes controversial, Blonde Bond.  I just feel I have so much in common with him.  One of my crazy ideas is to make my own movie one day and perhaps I’ll be lucky enough to have him star in it.  I could gush on-and-on about Daniel Craig all day long, but I’ll have to just leave at this for today.

Biggest/proudest/latest accomplishment or PR?

My proudest moment is undoubtedly performing 350 Double-Unders during Workout 17.5 of the 2017 CrossFit Open.  I was crying on the inside the entire time.

What’s your take on our coaching team?

Michelle – Michelle is awesome as both CFC Coach and athlete.  She takes the time to analyze your movements and provides great tips and cues to improve efficiency.  It is safe to say that she has probably given me the most in terms of tips and cues that I actually still remember and use today.

Jenna – Jenna is an all around impressive individual.  I still remember one of the first times I was at CFC and Jenna was there also, I was blown away by her strength and work ethic.  She is an inspiration to us all and you can just tell she has a genuine interest in every member at CFC.

Jason – Jason and I bonded instantly at CFC after I learned he was a firefighter and shared with him that my father is a retired firefighter.  You cannot help but to be drawn-in to Jason and his energy and enthusiasm – he makes everyone feel very welcome at the gym.  As a fellow ‘Masters’ competitor – he reminds me all the time that there is hope for me yet!

Taylor – Taylor, what can I say.  I can’t even dream of reaching his level of fitness.  He gives us all something to strive toward.  I also really appreciate his easy-going, laid back style.  I have gained a true friend in Taylor and for this I am thankful.  This man leads by example in the gym – enough said.

Shane – Shane packs a serious punch and I love his hairstyle.  In the first year at CFC I was probably coached by Shane the most and he has educated me quite a bit in all things CrossFit.  Shane would not let me add more weight until I corrected my technique.  Being new to weightlifting, I struggled with this concept at first, but am eternally grateful to Shane for his persistence with me on this.

All Coaches –The time and effort you commit to all of us at CFC shows lots about your character and I can truly say it has made me a better person.   A sincere and genuine thank you from me to you all.

Do you have any goals set for the near future – in or outside of CFC?

Outside of CFC most of my goals are related back to time management, work, family, and other.  Inside of CFC my goals include:  Learning to ‘Kip’, Handstand Pushups, and improving further at Double Unders.  For a very short period of time I tried not lying down after the Metcon but failed at that one pretty quickly – I would like to try this again and stick to it.

Give us a little known fact about yourself…

Way back in time, I skipped Grade 3 (went from Grade 2 right into Grade 4 the next year).  If my memory serves me correctly, I got into a little bit of trouble during Grade 2, had a bit of a ‘mouth’, they determined I must be bored in class, and then decided to skip me a grade.  Being at least one year younger than everyone else had both its advantages and disadvantages later on in life!

Coaches Comments

Nolan is looking for sponsorship and with these glowing letters i hope he gets it. He is always a treat to have in class. He has an internal drive that always has him pushing his limits. He puts his blinders on during Metcons and just keeps moving, its pretty awesome to witness. But my favourite thing is his camaraderie that his present every time he is in the gym. He brings a sense of levity to the gym which helps other enjoy working out. Fun, is the best thing you can bring to the gym and Nolan always has fun. He also brings a sense of balance with him juggling work, family and getting time for himself. Nolan always puts a smile on my face and very easy to coach. He understands that you have to build a strong foundation before you progress to the next levels and Nolan has built himself a very strong one. looking forward to seeing him continue on his path and also like i said becoming the spoke person/ sponsored athlete for the ” Average Joe” in the crossfit word. Keep up all the hard work, you always impress me. – Coach Jason

Nolan is a squatting and metcon dark-horse. The frequency in which I see Nolan laid out next to a rower or barbell, gasping for air and yelling,”why?” is mind-boggling. From week one, day one, he has never once slacked a metcon or come in without a goal of adding a couple pounds or percent on to his lifts. He is constantly pushing his limits, both safely and effectively. Over the last few months, we’ve spent some considerable time together in the gym and the more I get to know, the more appreciation and respect I have for a man of his kindness, intensity, intelligence and the general way he carries himself personally and professionally. He’s also one of my favorites to throw on some Andrew W.K. with, hit a random workout and exchange some pre/post-workout Ploegman originals with. At least once a week you can find us doing karate in the garage, rehearsing movie lines that we’ll dust off as our own and sharing stories of our youth.  – Coach Taylor

No moment is dull when Nolan is around. Hilarious, fun and of course guaranteed hard work. Nolan is a perfect example of the balance between family, work and fitness! It is motivating and inspiring to be able to maintain a strong, happy and successful lifestyle! Nolan is definitely a success story and I am honored to be one of his coaches! Looking forward to crushing some more workouts with you…. and suffer (like the 30 minutes of double unders). Proud moment. See you on the floor soon! – Coach Jenna

Nolan’s been a staple of the CFC community since he first joined. I remember Nolan’s first on-ramp was an eye opener for him (though not as much of an eye opener as it was for his buddy Jaime). You could tell he loved every minute and he hasn’t looked back since. Coming from a powerlifting background, I gained an automatic appreciation for Nolan’s ability to squat in probably the best squat positioning I’ve ever seen. Torso so upright, I’ve never seen a bar so close to ones center of gravity it was unbelievable. Nolan’s a all around solid dude in, and outside of the gym. Congrats on athlete of the month Nolan you earned it. – Coach Shane

Nolan is most definitely one of the funniest guys at the gym. You will always find him cracking jokes, which usually have something to do about his double unders or his abnormally long limbs. He is a pleasure to have in class, both to coach and to workout alongside. You can be sure that he always has something witty to say, whether it be about his struggles or his successes. He shows up, works hard and encourages others along the way – what more can you ask for?! Besides the fact that he has the ability to make me burst out laughing during a lung-burning metcon, my favourite thing about Nolan is that he checks his pride at the door each and everyday. He knows where he lacks and dedicates most of his time to those areas. He scales the weight when he needs to and pushes himself when he knows he should – a trait every athlete should have! Congrats Nolan, I hope one day you fulfill your life-long dream of becoming sponsored by Rogue! – Coach Steph Tomy


The CFC Coaching Team