The Big Man: Vance Henson


A friend of ours mentioned a gym where you flip tires and jump on boxes and carry logs and a bunch of other stuff. I remember thinking that I would enjoy the variety but with my shoulder issues I couldn’t imagine that it was possible. My wife and kids joined and when they asked me to join my response was “I can do that stuff at home” I tried the workout “Fran”!!(in my basement) 95lbs had never felt so heavy. By rep 18 on the first set my shoulder muscles that I relied on to keep the bar close to my body(I can’t rack the bar in the front squat position) on the squat part of the thruster failed. I had never gone to failure in that way and lost all feeling in the front of my shoulders as the barbell fell to the floor. My lungs and quads were on fire and screaming for me to stop. I finished the workout at around the 13 minute mark. I tried a few more wods and found myself at the 2010 catalyst games  watching my wife compete. I was hooked and joined Cataylst the next day!!
I’ve been at Catalyst almost three years now. Hard to believe!! I started out in Barbell Bettys!! Worked out at 6am the first winter. Eventually joined the Green Army. Participated in the last three open comps and Catalyst Games.
I’m working on catching Chris Cooper. Sometimes I do,sometimes I don’t but I enjoy the chase. Watch out Chris!! I’m coming for you!! and overhead squats!! and everything else. You never stop working on everything.
I love the Catalyst Games. Everything!! The whole day! Watching a guy from thunderbay battle with the overhead squats in event 3. He would get a rep then fail. When I fist looked over and saw him alone on the platform I couldn’t look away. It was man vs bar. the bar was trying to crush him. bury him, pin him to the floor .He fought with that bar and completed all ten overhead squats!! Man 1 Bar 0!!
There are too many CrossFit memories to pick a favourite. Watching my wife and kids push themselves are favourite memories. Watching people cheering their competitors on. Everyone helping everyone to improve. Chris’s clipboard slamming the cage!!! Mary’s scream(first time I heard her yell at Shane or Sally to go I almost came out of my skin) Mel’s voice disappearing at the end of games day from yelling instructions all day. Coop cheating!!(watch his pushups closely)I’m coming for you Chris!! small kids doing nonstop burpees(how is that possible??)Tyler and Cam collapsing on the floor after a massive effort on an open wod.I could go on all day. Crossfit isn’t about finishing 1st. Its about People. Its about the effort. Lets keep it that way!!

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