If you see a flash of fluorescent blue, pink, orange, or yellow flying around the gym at high speed, don’t be alarmed.  It’s not a meteor shower; it’s Josh Allatzas in his matching No Bull tank top and shoes.  Josh is known for both his bright sense of fashion and his speed in any WOD that involves running.  And while running was his sport of choice for many years, he’s come to embrace CrossFit as his new passion. And speaking of things Josh is passionate about, we need to talk about shoes.  Josh loves them.  Actually, he’s somewhat obsessed with them.  But we’ll touch more on that later.  

Josh was looking for a new gym about a year ago when he noticed a friend’s posts on social media about RTC.  He decided to give it a try, and immediately felt welcomed and at home.  A former high school and Malone University runner with some HIIT experience,  Josh is enjoying the fact that CrossFit is a different kind of workout challenge for him, and he credits much of his success to the coaching staff and the RTC community.  “When I first began CrossFit I was in a tough mental space,” he says.  “The coaches are always teaching and paying attention to us in a way that is so supportive.  Their intentionality and care created a space for me to find myself again.”  

In his journey of self-discovery, Josh has fine-tuned his goals and, in the process, become more focused on what he wants to achieve.  “Currently, I want to become a better athlete,” he says.  “My goal is to make the quarterfinals in 2 years and consistently keep growing in nutrition discipline.”  Josh is interested in the fitness industry and in someday getting certified as a nutrition coach, and appreciates the support he receives from the RTC coaching staff in this area.  “Coach Allie has taught me so much about nutrition, and helped me find where and how to start the process of getting certified,” he says.  “The coaching team is constantly answering my questions, giving me insights on how to become better. In fact, I am passionate about CrossFit because of them.  I couldn’t ask for a better team to learn from!”

Of course, the RTC community has also become a web of support for Josh, and he notes that his fellow members “push me towards my goals every day.”  He remembers a particular Friday night before the Open when he was attempting a 185 lb. squat clean.  After two failed attempts, he was frustrated and walked away, “being super dramatic about it.”  “It’s obvious that the friendships and connections make RTC amazing,” he says, “but there’s nothing quite like Sara D. and Michelle P. yelling at you to push yourself in a workout.  As I walked away from that weight, Sara stopped me and literally said, ‘Get back over there and just pick it up.’ Lo and behold, that’s exactly what happened.  I have been to a few other gyms, and RTC is by far the most intentional and friendly.  That’s why I love it here!”

Josh, who has a degree in Philosophy/Theology, has built a career “for 9 of the last 11 years” at the Starbucks company, and currently manages the store in Brimfield.  “I started when I was 16 years old, and I knew this could possibly be my career almost immediately.  I was a shift leader for 5 years before leaving to gain some leadership experience,  returned as an assistant manager in 2018, and then opened the Brimfield store a year and a half later.”  If Josh appreciates the spirit of teamwork that permeates RTC, it’s because he embraces that same mindset at work.  “Our store’s purpose is ‘Growing Together Through Hard Work and Trust.’  We stick to this heavily, and it is one of the reasons that my team is so successful.  I create the framework, and the team operates together to accomplish our goals.  My favorite part about my job is helping others grow into who they are and what they want to become.  This can be physically and emotionally tiring at times, but seeing others get to where they want to be makes it all worth it!”  Josh’s love for leading teams of people drives his motivation to become a district manager within the next few years.  

And now…back to Josh’s previously mentioned obsession with shoes…

While Josh readily admits to an obsession with caffeine, his obvious need to fill his closet with shoes needs to be addressed.  “I currently have 32 pairs of shoes in my apartment,” he says.  “I’m not sure of their total worth, but I’m pretty sure it’s enough to pay off grad school if I wanted! (Just kidding!  I think…)  Most of them are basketball or training shoes, but I promise I have some dress shoes and ‘normal’ shoes to wear out.”   About 3 months ago, this author spoke with Josh about his “problem,” and Josh signed a legal and binding whiteboard contract that stated, “I’m probably going to stop for a while.” (See pic for proof)  After checking in on the status of this oath, Josh reports that “Hahahaha that lasted like a week or two.”  So clearly Josh is not only shoe-obsessed, but he’s also a lawbreaker!  There’s hope, though, as he’s “had to cut back” because of adulting that requires him to buy more practical things, like a washer and dryer.  Adulting always gets you in the end, Josh.  

Lawbreaking aside, Josh is truly a good guy, always encouraging others, always willing to make a new member feel comfortable and welcome.  He’s the first to ask you how your day is going, the first to remind you of how capable you are. He describes himself as loyal and hard-working, and enjoys hanging out with friends, watching sports, cooking/baking, and spending time outside being active.  He typifies all that RTC stands for, and is the kind of person who feels like a friend after one conversation.    Congratulations to Josh, who is so deserving of the title “RTC Member of the Month!”

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