4 Minute AMRAP:
Buy In – 100 Double unders
15 OHS (75/55)
4 Minute AMRAP:
Buy In – 75 Double unders
12 OHS (95/65)
4 Minute AMRAP:
Buy In – 50 Double unders
9 OHS (115/85)
Congrats to Patrick Fitzgerald for being the July Member of the Month at Apollo! Scroll down to learn more about Pat.
Each month we brainstorm on potential candidates for Member of the Month. So there we are looking at the whiteboard for the day, and your name popped out immediately. Very little deliberation was required. Fortunately for us we’ve all had opportunities to have you in class. And we all agree you are the perfect person to highlight to our community. We have a tremendous respect for your positive attitude, willingness to learn, and for the valuable lesson you’ve taught us by just being yourself. Congratulations on joining this group of awesome people!
I am humbled that you would consider me. I love being part of Apollo. So many great people work here and are members here. It’s a really special place. Thank you so much.
Folks may not know that you’re a teacher at Ralph Cadwallader Middle School. One thing that I’ve always admired is how passionate you are about teaching our youth. What keeps you driven/motivated each year? Also, what’s your favorite thing about teaching?
I appreciate that you can see how much I love my job. I am not sure I can answer so specifically but I will try. I always wanted to be a teacher. When I was 14 I taught my 6 year old nephew how to read. He is dyslexic and was failing at school. My older brother is also dyslexic and I watched my grandmother, a retired teacher, help him to learn to read. So I tried the same things with my nephew and I felt the thrill one gets from helping someone learn a life-impacting skill. There is really nothing else like it. From that moment on I wanted to be a teacher. But I got derailed in college when people told me I wouldn’t make enough money to have a happy life. So I switched to the business college. I got what everyone else thought was a good job with great pay. I was miserable. It wasn’t for me. I was lucky enough to get a chance to go back and finish the teaching degree I had started in the first place. Now I am about to start my 28th year in the profession and I’ve had a happy life with enough money. That’s my motivation, that I am doing what I am meant to do.My favorite thing about teaching changes every year. Its a dynamic profession and the continuing changes keep me fresh. If I had to pick one single thing, I’d say its forming a relationship between the student, parent, and the group of teachers I work with. When everyone is onboard we really can accomplish anything. 8th grade is a make or break year for some kids and I have seen this teamwork change some lives and send kids to high school with confidence and new outlook toward school.
This would be a good time to thank you and Chad and Monica for visiting my class two years ago. My students enjoyed your visit too. I hope we can do it again this coming year.
I happen to know you have two phenomenal dogs. What breed of dog are they? Any interesting facts or crazy stories you’d like to share?
Aw, thanks. I love my dogs very much. I have Breezy, a 7 year old Doberman Pincher , and her sister Prudence who is a 4 year old Manchester Terrier. They look exactly alike except that Breezy is 65 pounds, and Prudence is 12 pounds. We get a lot of looks when we take them out together. I think the Doberman is a misunderstood breed. Many people think they are a crossbreed of a rottweiler and a greyhound – not true. Doberman was a tax collector in the 1800s and he created his breed from a variety of dogs that he would travel with as he collected money. He noted the dogs most committed to his personal safety and bred those dogs to improve his own breed. Eventually he created the seven sire dogs that all registered Dobermans can be traced to. The Doberman Pincher is the largest dog bred for companionship and personal protection. They are incredibly smart and loving. If you get a chance to know a Doberman, you’ll probably want one for yourself
As for Prudence, she is really cute and a good companion for her sister. She loves bees, but she is allergic to them so that presents a constant challenge.
How did you find your way to Apollo? Do you remember your first experience at the gym?
Location is what drew me to Apollo. I was looking to try Crossfit and Apollo is close to home and to work. I remember meeting Chad and being impressed with his enthusiasm and how much he loved his business. I commented on how he had built this from working in his garage, and he was surprised that I had read the coaches profiles on the website. I started foundations the next day.
I am very grateful to be part of Apollo. I look forward to my time here every day.
You’ve mentioned before that you grew up in Michigan. What was that like? Is there anything you miss?
Michigan is hot and cold – literally. Summers can be hot and humid and winters can be frigid. Its also very beautiful there. Everything is lush and green. I grew up on a farm near Ann Arbor. Summers in Michigan are hard to beat. The sun stays up very late, often past 10PM. The late sunset is due to the location at the 45th parallel (halfway between the equator and the north pole), and the fact that Michigan lies at the very end of the eastern time zone. Those long summer days make the season very special. The loamy soil provides great crops. You can get any kind of produce you want from farmers at roadside stands. I really miss the corn, the berries and cherries the most.
I miss the lakes too. Michigan boarders 4 of the 5 great lakes and has over 15,000 inland lakes. Boating and beaches are a big part of the summer. My wife and I just returned from a week on the Lake Michigan shore. That’s one of my favorite places. There are beautiful beaches with piers and lighthouses. The lazy beach towns are great for wandering and hanging out with friends. It was a great trip, but I like being part of Las Vegas now. I can’t do the Michigan winters. The skies are always gray, the roads get icy and every thing freezes. The summers were just not great enough to keep me there. I prefer the desert now.
One thing I’ve always been jealous of as an adult is teachers having the summer off. What do you enjoy the most about your summers?
I can’t blame you for being jealous. It’s pretty awesome to have summers off.
What I like best about summers is that I can do what I want with the time. There have been summers that I’ve continued to work; summers that I have traveled, and summers that I have done little more than tend my yard and take naps. It’s a time of rejuvenation and preparation for the next year. I believe that it is a necessary reprieve to do the best job I can do with my students. When teaching is done well, it can be depleting. I start each year with a new group ready to enter 8th grade and each day I have to push them a little further than the day before. It takes a lot of care and an immeasurable amount of patience and energy. We reach a crescendo at the end of the school year and then relax and prepare to do it all over again, hopefully better than the previous year.
Honestly the break can be a bit long for me. By July I am typically getting antsy and start thoughts about the coming school year. It’s a cycle I really enjoy and I am thankful that its part of my profession.By the way, it might be good to mention that teachers are not paid for the time off in the summer. Some people think we are, but the truth is I am staying home at my own expense. I only get paid for contracted days in the classroom.
If you had to make a workout that best represented you, what would it be?
Actually, you created that for me. For my last birthday (54) you and Chad created “Throwin’ Fitz” which was a partner workout with dumbbell cleans, pull-ups and shuttle runs. It was a lot of fun and everyone in the place seemed to have a good time with it. It was a great start to this trip around the sun, so thanks for that.
Now for a goofy question. Which animal would make the best type of president if the animal kingdom ever rises up and takes over?
I think a sloth is a good choice for president. They are slow, but not stupid. I think it might be good to slow down and listen to the perspective of a creature that spends a little more time in each moment.