Titan of the Month September 2023 – Mark Long

TOTM Mark Long

I retired in 2010 from my first career where I served for 22 years as a Maryland State Trooper. Since that time I have worked in the Baltimore area as a Corporate Security investigator for a private Fortune 500 company. I have been married to my wife Stacey for 30 years and we have three sons.

What led you to try CrossFit?

There came a time when I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize myself. My diet and exercise routine were both in bad shape as I sat at a desk during work hours and drove my kids to practices and games year around. It was time to start thinking about self-preservation and longevity. CrossFit appeared to be the real deal and a great challenge.

Why do you continue to CrossFit?

Routines are the playground of a dull mind. I have always enjoyed mixing things up and physical challenges. At Titan, one day we work on strength, another day we work on cardio, another day we work on skills. Many days we work on everything. It’s a well-rounded program that keeps you moving. The coaches offer excellent advice when you need it most. As an added benefit, I feel like I am coming in to see my friends every day during the workout.

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

Since my fitness journey began, it has become clearer every day that there are no shortcuts to getting in shape and living a healthy lifestyle. Hard work has to take place almost every day and most days a little extra work has to happen so that you can keep up with classmates. I have also learned that no matter how much I exercise, I cannot exercise my way out of a bad diet. I’ve learned that exercise is a lifetime commitment.

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

There was a recent discussion in the 4:30 pm class that made me laugh. Randall and I were lined up on Echo bikes getting ready for the class WOD. Brandon just arrived and was walking past us and we asked him if he would join us. Brandon said that he planned on hitting the bench press instead, to work on repetitions of “half his body weight.” Randall said, “You need to do the WOD. Don’t go over there and bench 300 pounds.” Brandon said that he was good then he said, “Wait a minute, I don’t weigh 600 pounds!”

What are you proud of and why?

Overall, I am most proud of my increased personal records over the past 7 months to include cutting more than a minute and a half off of my mile run time, even though I am still slow.

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

The CrossFit experience is a marathon, not a sprint. If you do what you’ve always done, the results will be what they have always been, so push yourself as safely as possible. Remember, it’s about fitness, not brokenness so learn your skills, practice, then expand your horizons.

Why the coaches chose Mark as Titan of the month

Since joining Titan back in January of this year Mark has demonstrated a determination to make changes.  He started off slow and has been gradually adding more CrossFit to his workout regimen as well as a healthy dose of cardio and accessory work. We are proud of him for the pace in which he’s added his volume. It’s allowed him to build strength and conditioning without getting hurt.  This is the key to creating long lasting habits and becoming healthier than our previous selves.  Mark is fantastic about recognizing where he is athletically and being ok to scale movement accordingly. He asks questions when he needs clarification and accepts coaches’ suggestions and ques well.

Mark is more than just an athlete. He is a person who gets to know people through observation as well as conversations outside of class. It’s clear he enjoys being at Titan for the gym and the people.  He’s welcoming and helpful with new members. He’s eager to learn. Mark’s consistency has led to real long-lasting changes. The coaches at Titan couldn’t be prouder.