The Sona community congratulates Peter Wall, our 2019 Member of the Year!
Peter is a band teacher at Johnson City School District. Outside of the gym he performs bass trombone in the Binghamton Community Orchestra, and low brass and guitar in high school and community theater productions.
Peter is also a runner. He will run his first full marathon on January 12th at Disney World!
Peter has been a member of our gym community for almost 2 years. He told us that CrossFit encouraged him to set goals in fitness. As a result he regained a passion for distance running, and branched out into other areas he never thought he would enjoy, like gymnastics and weightlifting.
“One of the most important changes CrossFit brought to my life is becoming part of an encouraging and supportive community of athletes. A special shout out to Jeff Smith who was my first teammate in my first CrossFit class and Sona Slam competition!” Peter said.
“When I met Peter he was going through a rough time in his life and it had been a while since he worked out regularly. But, despite his trials, he knew exactly what he wanted to accomplish,” said Traci Meier.
Traci coached the first CrossFit class that he took. She told us, “It was hard and he pushed back harder, maybe a little too much. After a few more workouts, later that same week, things got rougher for Peter.”
Peter ended up in the hospital with Rhabdomyolysis, a serious condition that left untreated could be deadly. It’s very rare but it happened in this case.
He recovered quickly and returned to the gym. And, even though things had got even tougher for him, he still knew what he wanted to do, he went after it, and he has accomplished all of it and then some.
“Almost 2 years later, Peter is one of our most improved athletes. He successfully overcame tough obstacles and as a result, he’s become an athlete who sets the bar very high for others to aspire to. He exhibits courage, determination and perseverance. He is not only deserving of this award, he worked hard for it, he earned it,” Traci added.
One of Peter’s main goals when he started his journey was to lose weight. In just under two years he has lost 40 pounds and has maintained that loss over time, which is quite an accomplishment. It takes a lot of patience and resolve to not only lose weight, but keep it off.
Peter told us that he has learned through the coaches and community at Sona that it’s the work that is done when you’re tired, when your mind tells you to give in, that makes the biggest difference.
“I have applied this to all aspects of my life whether I’m teaching, running, lifting, or learning a song. We all have these moments of wanting to give up, and the action that immediately follows has the most impact on who you are and how you grow,” He said.
Frank Ford, one of Peter’s coaches had this to say about him.
“Peter is an example of exactly why I wanted to become a coach at our gym. I enjoy watching our members set goals and work hard to not only succeed at them but push beyond them. Peter has done exactly that. He came to us with a simple goal of losing weight and getting in better shape. Not only has he done that, but he has molded himself into an impressive athlete. Everyone talks about his running and the races he’s completed and those are impressive feats. But to me, I’m most impressed by the way he’s been able to pair that with really big improvements in other aspects of his fitness. At our gym, we stress being well rounded. Peter has become one of the most well rounded athletes I’ve seen. He has fantastic cardio capacity (for some reason actually enjoys burpees) but he’s also developed strong gymnastic skills like large sets of pull-ups and his weightlifting has improved so much.”
“All of this is a result of the fact that Peter is hard working, consistent and has a great ability to keep his eye on the goals he sets. He absolutely deserves this recognition. I’m proud to have him as a member and I’m glad we have people like him to be a role model to the children in his school,” Frank added.
“My favorite moment since starting CrossFit was participating in the 2019 Sona Slam with my brother, Andrew. Growing up we never had the opportunity to play on the same teams. Competing in Sona Slam was our first opportunity to do so, and it was fitting since Andrew was the one that convinced me to find a CrossFit gym in the first place. We placed 3rd, but we are coming back with a vengeance in 2020!” Peter said.
The Sona community looks forward to Peter’s continued success. Congratulations Peter! We are proud to call you our Member of the Year!
To learn more about Peter’s journey, please check out his member of the year video spotlight! Click Here!