Athlete Profile: Donald Jackson

Being active has always been part of Donald Jackson’s life – from enjoying the outdoors to running track in high school. After moving to Roanoke, Donald was looking for a way to get back in shape and found rugby through a friend.

“After a season of rugby, I was looking for a way to get into better shape for the next season. Enter Brickhouse,” Donald said. A co-worker told him about Brickhouse and after trying a workout, Donald was hooked.

He’s consistently trained at Brickhouse the past couple of years. “CrossFit was difficult and fun and really rewarding from the start. Attempting weights or movements that at first seem impossible and then hitting them, that’s what put the hook in me.”

Like many other athletes, Donald faced challenges inside the box that led to positive changes outside the box. “When I first started, I struggled with learning how to squat correctly. I had squatted before, but I avoided it because it was so difficult,” Donald said. “I remember Jay standing next to me with 135 pounds on the bar helping me get below parallel, that was a huge challenge at the time! It’s those types of challenges that have changed me outside the box. I don’t back down from things just because they are difficult or because I don’t know if it they are possible.”

Donald Jackson and his daughter, Lanaya.

Donald Jackson and his daughter, Lanaya.

Donald has also seen positive changes that impact his family, including a six-year-old daughter, Lanaya. “She’s funny, kind, compassionate, a ballerina (I call her my little black swan), and loves to play.  She is teaching me as much about being a good person as I am teaching her about navigating this big bad world.”

Donald also hopes to teach by example how to live a healthy life. “Health was never a big focus in my community growing up. Learning about making healthy food choices has been an awesome byproduct of Brickhouse and I am excited to share this in my own family. I started showing signs of elevated blood pressure in my mid 20’s – YIKES! After starting CrossFit and changing my eating, my blood pressure is now normal. I think of the movie Father of the Bride, I want to be healthy long enough to be able to play with my daughter well into her adult life.”

Through everything, Donald is thankful for the Brickhouse CrossFit community. “I am grateful for Coach Jay and Amanda taking a chance on all of us and creating such a special place. I used to avoid those types of risks in life, but because of them and CrossFit, I’ve learned that it’s ok to go for it. To Coach Adam Dickerson, I’d like to say thank you for genuinely caring about my progress and efforts as an athlete and a friend.  The time you’ve spent with me has been greatly valued!”

The Brickhouse 8

  1. If you could be any super hero, who would you be and why? This is a tough one.  It’s a toss-up between The Flash (Barry Allen) and Nightcrawler (Kurt Wagner).  Superhuman speed or teleportation, both would be awesome abilities.  I think Barry gets the nod at the end of the day.
  2. What are three things you can’t live without? Twizzlers, family, and games (video, of skill, any kind really).
  3. Favorite WOD? Yeesh.  I generally dislike most of them the same amount haha.  I guess Isabel because she is the shortest for me and involves my favorite movement.
  4. If you could teach one thing to the world today, what would it be? Get over yourself!  Let people be who they are and make the choices they want to make without your judgments.  The skin color of another person does not affect your life, and as long as their choices also don’t affect you, then your time on earth is better spent focusing on something more productive for yourself.
  5. What do you want to do when you grow up? I’m still trying to figure that out!  I think wiser and stronger.
  6. What is one thing no one knows about you? I am a HUGE introvert (I know, I know, but it’s true) and I am also turning into a pretty big feminist.
  7. What is your favorite music to WOD to? It depends on the WOD.  I like music to match the tempo that is needed for the WOD.  When it’s heavy I like that gutta gutta (senseless ghetto rap), but if it’s anything else definitely techno.
  8. What is one thing that you’re most proud of? That little girl is has gotta be it.  She is humbling in a way that you only understand if you know.   I don’t usually take too much pride in my personal accomplishments (on account of that introvertedness).