December Member of the Month- Ira Rigaud

Coach Abbie
November 29, 2023
December Member of the Month- Ira Rigaud

Client Success Story Questionnaire  

Name: Ira Rigaud

Age: 40     

Occupation: Implementation Director for Education Technology Company

What is your athletic background?  

I ran around a lot as a kid- just always getting involved in what my older cousins were up to- but I was uniquely non-athletic. Just uncoordinated, bad hand eye coordination- I wore an eye patch until I was 10 to try to fix it!

I swam and played water polo in High school (the water polo team was new and the coach was looking for anyone who could swim), I wasn't good but I loved the process of it and am grateful to have learned a life-long skill of lap swimming.

What was your workout routine prior to CF Spero?  

I would get into a routine in spurts. Like I'd run 3 days a week for 2 months and then nothing. Or swim 3 days a week for a few months and then stop. Or like use some abs and core app on my phone every morning for 2 weeks and then stop.

Mostly, I was inconsistent and random.

What was your first experience with CrossFit? 

Here at Spero!

When did you start CrossFit?

November 2021

Why did you choose CF Spero?  

I saw this video of Oprah on Facebook or something, and she was asking someone, "Who do you give the best hour of your day to? Why isn't it yourself?" And it may sound funny but that really struck me. I decided to commit to giving myself an hour of my day to work on me. I googled a bit and a lot of the gyms seemed like the types of things I've done before inconsistently. Spero seemed scary and hard, but different- so I signed up for an intro session.

What keeps you coming back?  

The coaches- I've learned so much about my body, my mindset, my strengths, my weaknesses, from their coaching and advice. I think my first week here, Coach Gio corrected how I was doing Bird-Dogs during the warm-up. And that blew me away: "Coaching during the warm-up!? I'm all in," I remember thinking to myself.

Also the community- I love just chatting before and after class- the 9am crew (my most regular class) feels like family!

Why do you live in the Oak Park Area?

We moved to the Chicago area from New York and walkability was our top priority. We live in Central Oak Park (is that a thing?) on Oak Park Ave and love being able to walk to coffee shops, the library, to our girls' schools, to grocery shopping, to the train- hard to find many communities that are as bike and walking friendly.

What do you do for a living?  

I used to be a Middle School teacher for 8 years and moved into school administration and school district support. I now support school districts who partner with my organization as we work to build a new and different type of assessment for kids. One that moves us away from the high stakes testing we know now, and moves us to quicker assessments that helps kids learn about their strengths.

How do you like to spend your free time?  

My family and I (wife and 2 daughters) like to do a family friendly hike at least once a weekend (Thatcher Woods, Waterfall Glen, etc).

Besides that I'm a pretty big reader and geography nerd. I play like 5 daily geography quiz games everyday.

What are one or two improvements you have seen in your life since starting CF?  

I feel so much more confident in my body- I've always been a skinny (scrawny really) uncoordinated guy, and Crossfit has helped me step into a new version of myself. I overcome fear everyday at Spero. Every WOD (like literally almost every single one) terrifies me- I see it and my heart starts pounding- I'm nervous every day but I get through it. I think this is starting to make me less fearful in other areas of my life

What is the biggest change you have seen since starting CrossFit at Spero? 

I have muscles in places I didn't know muscles went: like lats- I always thought that they were like this imaginary thing, but actual lats that I can engage- who knew?!

What are your goals for 2023?  

I want to get better at Double Unders, and to keep steady progress on my squat weight (My first fail on a squat 2 Rep max was at 125lb my first or second week, and last week I did 225lb 1 rep- so want to just keep moving that number up)

What's your favorite and least favorite movement?  

Favorite: might be snatches, I am relatively good at them, and they feel adventurous!

Least Favorite: Tie between Thrusters and Wall Walks- my soul leaves my body on these

What's your favorite meal?  

I am Haitian American- so I love Caribbean food. A good plate of rice and beans with fried pork, fried plantains and avocado would be my last meal.

What would you say to someone thinking about starting CrossFit at Spero?  

Do it! It's scary and it's fun and you'll learn so much about yourself!

Anything else you would like to share with the Spero family?  

Just grateful for you all- really feel like you've helped me open up this new part of myself, and are making me a more confident and proud person.

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