We're excited to share the inspiring #CrossFitStory of Ivan Lopez, who has been training with us since 2019. Learn about his journey, his training to reach his goals and what motivates him to stay with CrossFit GVA.
Ivan, can you introduce yourself in a few words?
My name is Ivan Lopez, and I'm 38 years old. I'm Hispanic-Swiss, born in Spain. I've lived in Geneva for over 34 years, where I did all my schooling. I work as an asset manager in the Private Banking department of a Geneva bank.
When did you start CrossFit and why?
I started CrossFit in 2019. At the beginning of 2018 I had decided to do a team triathlon with some friends. I was in charge of the running part where I had a bit of experience in the past. I was overweight, out of shape and the race was an ordeal. Nevertheless, this race made me discover a passion for triathlon. So I spent the rest of summer 2018 training to do small triathlons around French-speaking Switzerland. I continued in 2019, I did the same race as the year before with better results, but I realized that I lacked strength. One of my friends was registered with GVA and my wife wanted to try CrossFit too. So we did the fundamentals and started CrossFit at GVA around April 2019.
Did you play any other sport before?
I played a lot of soccer when I was young, but you couldn't say I was very athletic. As I said earlier, my return to sport came with triathlon the year before I signed up for CrossFit.
What was your goal when you started out? Have you achieved it since?
Basically, I just wanted to strengthen my muscles. I needed it to be faster on the bike or in a run. But as I took part in the classes and progressed, I started to develop a taste for CrossFit. I began to lift heavier weights, to progress in gymnastics (which remains a big weak point all the same) and above all to feel better and better with my body. My physical transformation made me aware of my body's capabilities and unused potential. My goal has changed as I've practised CrossFit, and it continues to evolve in line with my sporting objectives outside CrossFit.
What are your goals for this year?
My sporting objective for the year was the Ironman 70.3 in Majorca, which took place on May 7. I prepared for it with Titouan, who prepared me specifically for this event. Of course, I spent a lot of time in open gym on the bike or doing strengthening exercises. In particular, I had to strengthen my hamstring following an injury a few weeks before the competition. At the moment, I'm preparing for the Lausanne marathon at the end of October and, as far as CrossFit is concerned, I'm trying to maintain my muscle mass and train my lower body so that it's efficient for the competitions I'm preparing for.
What do you particularly like about CrossFit GVA?
I like many things about GVA. Firstly, I like the closeness of the coaches, who always take the time to answer any questions we may or may not have about CrossFit. I also really like the relaxed atmosphere of the classes, where you can easily adapt your workout to the intensity you want on the day in question. Finally, I like the variety of classes from one day to the next and the fact that it's accessible to everyone. At CrossFit GVA, there's a place for everyone and they're all made to feel welcome.
Have you gained in confidence since you started CrossFit? Do you feel better in your body, have you developed your mental outlook?
Yes, I feel more confident in my body, sharper and more athletic. I've noticed that I'm able to do exercises that were unimaginable for me before, and that I've acquired a strength that was previously unknown to me. Inevitably, this strengthens my mind, or I set myself challenges that seem out of reach at first sight, with a confidence I didn't have before.
Do you have an outstanding memory from your time at the box that you'd like to share?
If I had to keep just one, I'd say my participation in the opens. Being cheered on by everyone during the workouts gives your body an unexpected energy. Then you realize that you're part of a community and that CrossFit GVA goes beyond the classic gym.
What would you say to someone who's hesitating to start CrossFit for fear of injury or lack of skill?
I'd tell them that the starting level isn't important, but that you need to be patient. CrossFit is learned over the long term. Don't try to put on weights that aren't suitable, follow the advice and trust the process. Results will come naturally. And above all, don't hesitate to ask your coaches for advice. They're experienced professionals who will help you achieve your goals!