We would like to introduce a new member to our staff- most of you know him that have trained with him in the classes or you have seen his name on the board (especially when there is running a running WOD involved) Please welcome PJ! We are lucky to have him and we can’t wait to have him get a chance to coach all of you! He will be shadowing a few classes coming up.
PJ grew up in Pittsburgh, Pa where he played football and volleyball in high school and continued to play volleyball on a traveling club team in college and many tournaments indoor and outdoor representing for the Coast Guard. Prior to his CG life and after college he worked as a paramedic where he blew up to a 230 lb fast food eating, smoking, out of shape dude that didn’t like where his life was headed at 24 years old.
He met his wife Erin on vacation in the Caribbean in 1999 and married 1 year and a day later in St. Thomas, USVI. They now have two girls, Dylan 14 and Casey 10.
PJ enlisted in the CG in 1998 wanting to jump out a helicopter for a living, the recruiter laughed at his big a$$ and said “sure, sign here”. From that moment he quit smoking, started eating healthy, and started to get himself back in shape again. He graduated helicopter rescue swimmer school in 2000 and became interested in endurance sports. PJ is a two time Ironman, half ironman, marathoner, and even a 50k in his previous life.
The CG has sent him to CT, GA, NC, Puerto Rico, HI, LA, and finally Air Station Clearwater, where he is Chief Aviation Survival Technician commonly know as a helicopter rescue swimmer. He has to maintain all of his medical qualifications as A National Registry EMT, CPR, and all that jazz. PJ hit 20 years this August. When asked what his favorite rescue is he said he doesn’t really like to talk much about rescues because he feels like it’s show boating. But, he has had a ton and has gotten much recognition including TV shows and books about the cases. He said, “One that is funny that went viral last year that I don’t mind talking about is during the flooding in Baton Rouge,La. I rescued a mom, daughter, and 2 dogs from this trailer. After a long day I came home and this lady had found my wife on Facebook without me even telling her my name, wrote this long sappy post that went viral and I continue to get crap from it to this day.”
PJ started CrossFit in 2013 in Hawaii while sitting at his daughters karate classes. He was watching these people running with sandbags, pulling sleds, carrying each other, etc… And figured that while he is sitting here watching the kids he could be getting his fitness on! From that moment he trained there for his last 10 months, moved to LA trained there for 3 years, until finally making Droogs my new home. He got his level 1 certification in 2016 and started a small military box in an old shed on my base for military members in New Orleans before he left, CrossFit Over Torque. I started at Droogs full time in June 2017.
He has wanted to coach ever since he began. His entire grown up life has been dedicated to helping people in trouble and he wants to continue that path and help people in a different way outside of the CG.
Favorite type of WOD is anything long and drawn out.
Hero WOD is Murph because of it’s importance to him (hence his dogs name- Murph)
He LOATHs push ups!!!!!!!