Good journalism requires that the writer remain objective (and let’s be clear…these member highlights are serious journalism), but that was a difficult task with this month’s highlight, as this writer happens to be married to Kevin Irwin, the March Member of the Month. It’s only appropriate that Kevin was chosen for Crossfit’s official “Open” month, because he’s been prepping for these workouts since the day he started at RTC over one year ago.
I’ll take credit for having suggested that RTC would be a good fit for Kevin. I knew he would love the structure of CrossFit and the strategic aspect of the workouts. I knew the stellar coaching staff would help him reach his goals. I also knew he needed consistency, as he had been in and out of other programs, but didn’t have long term success. “I struggled with my weight after graduating college – so a long time!” says Kevin. “I had done Weight Watchers multiple times and tried Noom. I could drop weight, but never keep it off because I never established good exercise habits. My attempts to ‘run it off’ at the local Y or Orange Theory were hard on my knees, and the lack of an integrated warm-up had me constantly fighting injuries.”
A life-changing event then made Kevin evaluate the priority he placed on exercise and nutrition. “Late in 2019, I had a motorcycle accident that was due to fatigue,” says Kevin. “The motorcycle was totaled, and I walked away sore and embarrassed. My weight and poor fitness were beginning to keep me from doing what I loved to do. I decided that if I wanted to continue to enjoy motorcycling, I needed to drastically improve my fitness, and not only lose weight, but increase strength, endurance, and agility. I needed to commit to a program that would work not just temporarily, but for the long-term. In one year, the nutrition program, personal training, and the daily WODs have helped improve my fitness, and I’ve shed 60 lbs. This is the fittest I have been in 30 years.”
Not only has Kevin seen results in increased strength, endurance, and weight loss, but he has discovered a hobby that brings him much joy and satisfaction, “The structure and variety of the CrossFit program has been fantastic for me. I love lifting weights. I can’t wait to see the WOD email at 8pm. If there’s a barbell in it, I am excited, so excited that I feel like a kid before Christmas!” (I should mention that not EVERYONE in our house gets so pumped up about an overhead squat, but it’s Kevin’s world we’re living in here, so let’s just go with it…)
Kevin brings the same level of anticipation and excitement to this year’s Open, which he’s been looking forward to since he experienced FNL as a spectator in 2021. “I joined shortly before last year’s Open,” says Kevin. “I went to Friday Night Lights and was blown away by the community, the athletic challenge and effort, and the suspense of the workouts being announced. I was smitten and followed the CrossFit Games the rest of the year. I love watching people lift weights. I knew I wanted to do open workouts and do my best. My goals are to do masters workouts as written, and I can’t wait for the announcements at the end of each week during Open season!” Kevin has had a strong start, completing 22.1 at the Masters RX level, crushing goal #1 for Open 2022!
Kevin gives credit for his success not only to himself for hard work and consistency, but to the RTC coaching staff and community, especially Coach Allie. “I really want to thank Allie for her coaching and encouragement. All the coaches have helped me, but she has been my personal trainer all year and encouraged me to do things I never thought possible. If I think of a goal, Allie can make a plan for me to achieve it. I have truly benefited from the community she has created. I am thankful for her and everyone at RTC.”
Kevin and I met in high school, and I can verify that for the most part, he is the same guy today that he was almost 40-some years ago. He describes himself as “loyal, intense, and persistent.” He’s got a strong moral line that he refuses to cross. He’s laser focused on whatever task is at hand, and there’s always a checklist involved that actually gets checked off. He researches and plans and then researches and plans some more. He’s never cared much about what others think and has always forged his own path. He’s selfless and has spent our entire marriage putting me and the kids first. He loves a good meal, a good beer, and a good conversation. Oh, and cookies. He really loves cookies.
Kevin has a dual degree in Computer Systems and Psychology from Grove City College, and is the Director of IT Distribution Systems at FirstEnergy, where he leads a team who provide technology that is used to keep the lights on in your home. We’ve been married 33 years, and have 3 kids, all grown: Cory, 28, Emma, 24, and Aubrey, 23. I refuse to admit that our cat Peanut loves Kevin best, and Emma’s 2 dogs, Copper and Yoder, absolutely adore him as well.
Aside from his newfound passion for all things CrossFit and weightlifting, Kevin enjoys riding his motorcycle, a 2021 Indian Springfield, bowling, golf, and visiting Civil War battlefields. He is retiring at the young age of 55 this spring, and will then embark on a journey of a lifetime, taking a 55 day solo motorcycle trip to the West Coast. The highlight of the trip will be traveling the Pacific Coast Highway from Olympia, WA to San Diego, CA, with visits from family members along the way.
What you see is what you get with Kevin Irwin: a good-hearted man with a drive and persistence beyond compare; a man of action who is always true to his word. Congrats, Kevin, for all of your hard earned success over the past year! You are truly deserving of the title “Member of the Month!”