While we only sometimes hear his Long Island accent come out, we’re thankful Mike Chechel’s wife’s job brought them to Michigan 20 years ago from the New York area. It was his wife Jami too who, when bringing in their boat cover for repair to the neighboring shop in 2012, suggested he give CrossFit Brighton a try.
Since then his friendly face and ability to make anyone feel welcome has probably made him familiar to you,
but it wasn’t until this past Winter that Mike made a commitment to regularly and consistently attend classes at CFB to make strides in his health and fitness.
Since then, how does this busy dad of 3 (Madison 15, Mikey 12 and Mackenzie 9), who is an owner of
Executive Wealth Management in Brighton, a football coach for his son’s team AND who makes family time a
priority ALSO make working out an important part of his day?
What were your initial feelings about CrossFit?
I was always into sports and working out. Believe me, I thought I was in decent shape until the day I came in for
my intro evaluation with Chris. That was an eye opener. I had no cardio ability at all! I certainly struggled at first
until I could build up my endurance.
What do you like most about CrossFit?
I really enjoy the atmosphere at CFB. The coaches are great and are always so positive and offer guidance. I’ve had many conversations with John about proper form, techniques and what works best for me. He has been a big asset for me these past few months. I have improved not only my cardio but also I’ve really seen growth in my time on benchmark WODs like Murph.
I hated that I couldn’t do double-unders. With some guidance from Alex and some members, I can now string off between 5-10 and I’m improving each time I do them.
It’s a natural challenge to want to stack up against the other strong people in class. But even if I’m last to finish, there’s such a satisfaction of completing.
What do you like least?
I really don’t like doing overhead squats! I’ve had some painful shoulder issues in the past and don’t like when I see that on the whiteboard.
There are so many options for training, what keeps you coming back to CFB?
I have been lifting weights since I was 13 years old because it was required to play football. However, after 25+ years of conventional lifting, I got bored going to the local gym and doing the same old thing. CFB offers so much more from the opportunity to really challenge myself, to the motivating coaches to the variety.
Every work out is different and you didn’t know what it is until you look at the whiteboard. I wish I had CrossFit when I was younger because I know it would have made me a better athlete.
What are your goals?
My first goal is to train smarter so I can stay healthy. I also learned that if I pack a bag AND put a workout day on my calendar, I don’t miss it. With kids and work, I tended to miss too much in the past. I wasn’t myself when I missed coming in, I felt almost depressed.
I’ve been consistently getting in 4 to 5 times a week now since November 2016 and I feel like my fitness continues to improve. I keep a bag in the car too so if I miss the 9:30 class I can grab a 4:30. Besides, if I plan on going to an 8:30 a.m. Saturday LT, I work out and am home before my kids are even getting up!
What else would be helpful for people to know about your story?
I’m a very competitive person, but I’ve learned to dial that down quite a bit. I approach each workout the same: have fun and do my best. I will say 9:30’s are one of my favorite classes. The ladies are great! They know how to train hard and have a lot of laughs while doing so.