Athlete Spotlight ~ Joe Petto

Ryan Fulwider | wod | November 5, 2020| 0 Comments

Meet Joe!  Joe joined Ardent Crossfit in 2017. Joe works for the Marine Corps at the Network Operations Center. He’s a regular at the 5:30am class during the week and most Saturdays he enjoys working out with his fellow Masters ++ athletes (recent team of 3 combined age 167!). His favorite movements are heavy cleans and most barbell complexes. Outside the gym and work, he enjoys being outdoors and spending time with his mostly grown kids.  If you see Joe around the gym, make sure and say hi!


1. Why did you join Ardent? I had been retired from the Marine Corps for about 10 years, obviously getting older, I realized that I had lost the dedication needed to workout on my own consistently. I started noticing some friends my age losing mobility or just accepting “getting older”. I knew I had to do something or it would only get more difficult so I took a chance and responded to an ad for a six-week “New You” challenge. During that challenge, Coach Heather and the other members were so incredibly positive and encouraging. I soon realized that the concept of scaling was key and made this something I could grow into. I just hit my 3rd anniversary at Ardent in early Oct.

2. What’s been your biggest accomplishment? Being consistent. My original challenge class was at 6:30 in the morning. As we waited to start, I remember watching the 0530 class (I thought they were crazy) finishing up and doubting that I’d be able to make the transition to regular classes. Besides just showing up, I’m glad I’ve challenged myself to compete in some competitions and the Open (50% percentile and Rx workouts last year). I’m also really happy that my daughter’s gotten into CF too and enjoy working out with her when she’s home from school.

3. What are you working on now? Pacing myself to keep moving during longer WODs. I used to take breaks that were way longer than they should have been. Now I just glance at the clock and pick a number to start moving again. Near term goals include learning to string together pull-ups into small sets (5-10) and hitting a 200# clean. Nutrition – I know what to do, I just have to do it.

4. What’s your favorite Ardent memory? I really enjoy the Opens, competitions, and Saturday workouts. It is great to see people besides the early crew and cheer everyone on.

5. What motivates you to continue at Ardent? The people! Initially, I picked Ardent because of its location. I live farther south and the 0530 class was convenient on my way to work. Never looked at anything closer.

6. As a Master Athlete, how do you approach every workout? I think there should be a Masters+ category! There is a big difference between 35 and 55+. I consider every day I show up a win. That’s helped me get comfortable doing what’s good for me and listening to my body to include the occasional unplanned rest day. I really like when the workout or coach describes the intended stimulus (unbroken or big sets) to help me select an appropriate weight.  I also stopped avoiding the workouts I don’t like and actually force myself to go to ones I would normally dread (running and the assault bike).

7. What would you tell your pre-Ardent self about starting CrossFit if you could go back in time? Just do it! Getting started is the hardest part. It’s much easier to continue doing nothing. I like motivational quotes. Two in particular related to health/fitness: “Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” and “If I quit now, I will soon be back to where I started. And when I started I was desperately wishing to be where I am now.”

8. What are your favorite hobbies outside of CrossFit? I really enjoy doing anything outside and spending time with my kids (now adults). Two years ago, I finally got my motorcycle license (maybe a mid-life crisis) and ride as often as I can. It’s been a great escape during this crazy year.