One Thursday night, Penn State graduate student James Bondi was watching TNT basketball. Former NBA stars Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley were arguing over Insanity vs. CrossFit workouts.
“So they were just going back and forth about how one was better than the other,” Bondi recalls. “I guess Charles Barkley is the reason why I started, in a weird way.”
And so Bondi’s journey began at CrossFit Nittany in State College, Pa.
At that point, he stopped smoking—a habit he had maintained for more than 10 years—and started eating Paleo. Bondi went from barely being able to complete the first mile run of Murph without wanting to die to being on a team that completed an ultra-marathon.
“I guess one of the biggest things I was surprised about when I came to CrossFit here was the atmosphere,” he says. “I didn’t expect the community that I was going to get from it.”
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Additional reading: By the Numbers by Amy Santamaria and Tim Retzik, published Sept. 29, 2010.