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Justin Flagg
Sarasota Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012 5 years ago

Athlete of the Week: Justin Flagg

by: Rachel S. OHara Staff Photographer

Justin Flagg is one of the newest faces of CrossFit in Sarasota County. Flagg moved from Huntington Beach, Calif., to Sarasota with his wife, Stacy, and two little girls, Sloan and Hayden, in October 2011. Flagg, a former firefighter, met his wife when they lived in California and were both personal trainers. Soon, the two founded CrossFit and started doing some personal training sessions at their home gym for clients who were interested in CrossFit. Today, Flagg runs CrossFit Suncoast.

What is CrossFit?
The definition is constantly varied, functional movements, done at a high intensity. So, you take things such as squatting, dead-lifting, pushing and pressing things over our heads, running, jumping, pull-ups, push-ups, lunges, kettle-bell work, work with dumbbells — anything where you are moving more than one joint at a time in your body. It is broad, general and inclusive. I like to say our specialty is not specializing.

What is the CrossFit community like here in Sarasota?
It is small but growing. There are a couple other gyms in the area, and it is just on the brink of expanding. Tampa and Miami have large CrossFit communities. We are a smaller-type town, but it is just starting out, and it has potential to be a big influence within Sarasota in how people work out and live their life. It is a community-based sport that leads to a healthier life style.

What other sports did you play?
I was a linebacker at UC Berkeley. I grew up playing a lot of different sports — basketball, baseball, football. I did a little bit of track in high school, and I’ve done surfing and snowboarding and other outdoor activities as well.

Any CrossFit advice?
Don’t give up. Take it slow and know you are not going to learn everything in a month. You could spend years and not master everything there is in CrossFit. I’ve been doing it for four years now, and I have worked out in other gyms with other coaches, and I am nowhere near where I can be with all the movements.

Is there someone in the CrossFit community you admire?
Greg Amundson is one of the original CrossFit athletes, and I admire him for his mental side and approach to the sport of fitness.

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