Titan of the Month March 2024 – Ken Bowden

Ken Bowden Titan of the Month, February 2024

My name is Ken, and I am a computational biologist at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, specializing in the analysis of biological data across various fields such as human health, virology, and biological engineering. I hold degrees in Economics and Biology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and a Master’s degree in Biotechnology with a specialization in Bioinformatics from Johns Hopkins University, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. Currently, I am pursuing a second Master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence from Johns Hopkins University, Whiting School of Engineering, to further expand my expertise.

My journey into fitness has evolved significantly over the years. Beginning with a focus on swimming during my early education, I later shifted towards football, and track and field events like shot put and discus during the latter part of high school. Post-college, my interest veered into ultra-running and obstacle course racing, eventually leading me to discover CrossFit. For the past eight years, CrossFit has been a significant part of my life; I have been an L1 CrossFit coach at CrossFit Harbor East and competed in two weightlifting meets.

Outside of my professional and fitness pursuits, I cherish spending time with my girlfriend and our two dogs, exploring new destinations, skiing, sampling cuisine at different restaurants, and maintaining an active lifestyle.

What led you to try CrossFit?

I was deeply engaged in Tough Mudders (Obstacle Course Races) in 2014, and transitioning to CrossFit seemed like a natural step to elevate my fitness level. My initial workout, the Filthy 50, served as a harsh but enlightening introduction, revealing ample room for growth. I started with a 2-day per week pass, quickly upgraded to 3 days in the second week, and by the third week, I had opted for an unlimited pass. My rapid commitment indicates how quickly I was captivated.

Why do you continue to CrossFit?

The answer is simple: the community. Having lived and traveled to numerous places, CrossFit has been a constant in finding a supportive community of like-minded individuals. The shared experience of facing challenging workouts daily fosters deep bonds and relationships, surpassing those typically formed in work or other social environments.

Describe how your attitude towards health and fitness has evolved since you began your journey

I’ve always had addictive tendencies, which have led to periods of extreme unhealthiness or overzealous health-consciousness. Finding a balance remains a challenge, but CrossFit has been instrumental in teaching me about my physical and mental limits, nutrition, proper training, and movement techniques, helping me narrow these extremes.

Share a memorable CrossFit moment that makes you laugh or puts a smile on your face

During my first competition, I experienced a moment where I completely blacked out for a 7-minute workout. They had to physically remove me from the floor, and I’ve never seen my father more concerned for my well-being. Despite this, the experience taught me the extent of my resilience, making it a cherished memory.

What are you proud of and why?

Now in my eighth year of CrossFit, applying my fitness outside the gym has become crucial. Despite a profound fear of heights and a risk-averse attitude towards injuries, I learned to ski a few years ago. Overcoming these fears, attributed to my fitness, has not only made me proficient at skiing but also immensely proud.

What’s your advice for other CrossFitters or people looking to start?

Embrace the experience. CrossFit often faces criticism for its intense community and innovative fitness methodologies. However, approaching it with an open mind, ready to absorb everything from your coaches, can redefine your fitness understanding and lead to significant personal growth.

Why the coaches chose Ken as Titan of the month

Ken has been with Titan just less than a year. He is an experienced athlete who has reinvigorated the competitive spirit of Titan, especially the noon class. Ken’s ability to complete crossfit movements with such good form reflects the time and hard work he has invested. He’s intertwined himself into the community by competing, making plans with workout buddies, bouncing ideas off fellow Titans, helping the gym stay tidy and much more.

The coaches love that Ken is a humble athlete. He accepts compliments when given. He cheers and supports everyone in workouts, even the first day he’s met them. He’s always looking to learn more, do more, be more. Sometimes the “more” is coming in to complete a scaled workout when he’s capable of RX simply because scaled was more than he felt like doing that day.

Ken treats the gym like a partnership. A partnership where he provides expertise, a helping hand, motivation and a friendly face. The gym provides the same In return. Titan is happy to have Ken as long as he’ll stay.