Brian Rich


1. What brought you to CrossFit?

Well, about 6 years ago while I was still in the Army, a good friend of mine invited me to his Cross Stitch class. I was single at the time and he said I might be interested in his friends Fran and Grace. I learned two things that day: 1- I need to get my hearing checked. 2- A homemade wool sweater is probably the worst possible thing you could wear to meet either of those ladies. Slight kidding aside, the unit I was with practiced Crossfit regularly, and I was excited to gain my L1 certification before my final deployment where I helped coach at Crossfit Leatherneck in Helmand, Afghanistan.

2. What was your first impression?

When I was looking for a new box, I only heard good things about this spot. My first impression of Black Bolt was in my introductory meeting with Jason, where I noticed his Team USA hockey jersey on the wall. I was particularly struck by the fact that I also had a Team USA hockey jersey, that I had sent to me on another deployment mainly to spite the Canadian Special Forces Team that not only had all their hockey equipment sent with them, but also regularly challenged us to "ball hockey" matches that we held our own on. In short, I knew immediately I found a new home:)

3. What’s been your biggest accomplishment?

Honestly, my biggest accomplishment has been getting back in the gym. I left the Army in 2015, and held down two jobs while pursuing my Bachelor's Degree full time at NC State. I barely had time to sleep, let alone take care of myself. Now that I am a year removed from graduating with a steady job, I knew it was time to get back in the mix. As with everything though, it's always a work in progress. On top of that, I've already bested my previous Squat Clean PR, and I didn't even mean to!

4. What are you working on now?

Consistency. At my Crossfit peak, I was guiding others through movements that I can't quite pull off anymore thanks to the time off and lack of attention to my skill set. Regaining the mobility I once had is my main goal, because strength has always been secondary to the ability to be in the right position.

5. What’s your favorite Black Bolt CrossFit memory?

My favorite Black Bolt Memory so far is the 2019 Open.  I haven't participated in one for a few years, and even that was shoddy.  The AM crew I work with are phenomenal, the coaching- Initially Jason and Sam for me, now Liz and even more recently Brianna and Rachel, all come together to keep me coming back and helping me achieve my 2019 goal of not turning into a human manatee replica that does nothing but watch Friends re-runs and eat Doritos while I cry into an ice cream puddle.  


Jason OBannon