Client Success Story Questionnaire
Name: Mark Whetstone
What is your athletic background?
I was fairly competitive in baseball and basketball in high school, but injuries ended any possibilities or desires of playing in college. I was very grateful to be able to coach high school baseball for twelve years in Chicago Public Schools.
What was your workout routine prior to CF Spero?
I only played basketball during my 20's, then knee problems led to me stopping all physical activity in my early 30's before I started somehow becoming even less fit with a membership at X-sport for a few years. Most of my time at X-sport was spent on my phone waiting for open machines/weights and wondering what the hell to do next.
What was your first experience with CrossFit?
My sister- and brother-in-law (the amazing duo of Coach Abbie and Scott Glenn) were both pestering me to try CrossFit for about a year, saying I would love it. Scott eventually coaxed me in for a Bring-a-Friend workout in spring of 2018 and I almost died after completing about 4 minutes of actual work of a partner WOD while watching Scott do most of the movements. I believe it was then and there that I perfected my best CrossFit move: hands-on-knees for time (HOKFT).
When did you start CF?
I signed up for my on-boarding sessions during June of 2018.
Why did you choose CF Spero?
Already having family in the gym made Spero an easy choice, but I was immediately impressed by how welcoming, patient, and accepting the coaches and members were - so I was hooked right away.
What keeps you coming back?
I feel like Spero is a second home for me. I love the community and supportive atmosphere, and it really helps that it has become such an important place for my entire family. I've met some of my best friends at Spero, and I'm truly inspired by every person who has the courage to walk through the door whether it is their first class or they have been doing it for years. Spero has helped me to be more fit and happy than I've ever been.
Why do you live in the Oak Park Area?
I'm originally from Peoria downstate, but my wife Kirstin is from Oak Park and since I would have followed her anywhere, it was an easy choice to follow her to Oak Park and have been here since.
What do you do for a living?
I teach high school English at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Free time? What's that? Ha. Actually, when I'm not running my boys from place to place, I love hanging with family and friends. I definitely believe in "Work hard, play hard." I'm up for anything and love to enjoy life and be happy.
What are one or two improvements you have seen in your life since starting CF?
How do I love CF? Let me count the ways...Starting and sticking with CF has been one of the most consequential life choices I've made. I'm stronger, faster, and have more energy and confidence. I eat better, I'm happier, and more importantly I'm a part of an incredible community of amazing people. I look better naked too.
What is the biggest change you have seen since starting CF?
Working out use to be something I did not enjoy or appreciate, and now I actually look forward to walking through the gym doors each day.
What are your goals for 2023?
Murph with a vest, butterfly pull-ups, and a 450# deadlift
What's your favorite and least favorite CF movement?
Favorite: Any version of row or deadlift
Least favorite: thrusters
What's your favorite meal?
A giant steak paired with anything that is not white and creamy.
What would you say to someone thinking about starting CF?
No matter where you are in your physical journey, absolutely do it. If you stick with it, there are no limits to the positive changes you can experience.
Anything else you would like to share with the Spero family?
I love the Spero family - they're my people.