Joe Barham

Systems Engineer for Jefferson County Public School

Favorite sports teams?
Bears, Cubs, Blackhawks — Any Chicago team… well almost any Chicago team!

Favorite local restaurant or bar?
The Sea Hag at The Village Anchor

When did you join DCCF?
November 2014

Why did you join? Were there some specific health/fitness issues you were trying to address? And have they improved?
I’m only 36 years old, I had lower back and sciatic pain, and sleep apnea. I wanted a permanent change in my life and my options were: bariatric surgery or transforming my diet and exercise. I knew neither choice would be an easy, but surgery would only fix one problem, my size; it wouldn’t make me feel younger or stronger. I’ve heard so much about CrossFit and its supportive community, so I decided to give it a try…I’m glad I did. I am feeling better, I have lost 25 pounds, and my BMI went from 42 to 37 which means that I am no longer a candidate for weight loss surgery!! I can’t wait until the morning to get destroyed by T-Rex or Kara; my coaches have been great motivators throughout this journey.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting? i.e., Have you made #gainz?
I’ve noticed that my clothes fit LOOSELY now (Down two belt loops)! I feel stronger and healthier, my stamina has increased, and the chronic back and leg pain I had before I started at DCCF is gone.

What class do you usually attend?
I attend the 5:00 (Ahem…5:05 according to Kara) a.m. class.

Favorite lift?
Clean and Jerk

Tell us about one of your goals for 2015.
One of my goals for 2015 is to lose two pounds per week.

Any tips for new members?
I would tell new members to be patient and stay committed. Once you ignore the numbers the scale spits out at you, you will see results! Join. Stick with the program. Make new friends doing it…having that support with the friendly members and coaches is HUGE!

What are your hobbies, interests or talents outside of CrossFit?
I enjoy hunting, smoking cigars, brewing beer, spending time with my wonderful wife and two beautiful kids.

Tell us something interesting or surprising about yourself:
I was once Mr. Pierogi, the loved and honored mascot of the Whiting, Indiana annual Pierogi Festival!