I’m 22 from Lapeer, Michigan.

I started CrossFit here at Torrent in June of this year (so about 6ish months ago). One of my good friends Camden McDonald was a member here and pushed me to come out and then I eventually did and it’s been great since.

When I started we were in the midst of a running training cycle which was the absolute worst and best thing for me to start on as I’d be gasping for air after the warm ups most days. After about 2 weeks I noticed a drastic change in my ability to run a mile plus at a decent pace and realized how quickly I was getting better physically and how good it felt mentally challenging myself and that was when I realized that CrossFit was going to be super good for me.

My first WOD was sprints that progressively got longer and I remember just having a moment after the first few having came out too fast going oh my god this is going to be rough and realizing that I wasn’t going to be able to just work myself as hard as I could and muscle my way through it.

My least favorite movement has got to be double unders because of how long it’s taking me to get them and my favorite is probably muscle ups or hang cleans.

One thing I’ve done that I thought I’d never do is honestly just being social and having fun while working out. For years I’ve been a “go to the gym early, keep my headphones in and don’t look or speak to anyone because it’s time to work type guy”.

I’ve got a lot of things I’ve mentally struggled with in terms of anxiety, depression, and just obstacles in life and when I’m fighting through a hard workout I have that conversation internally and think about that stuff and it pushes me through to perform way past what my body wants me to.

My favorite thing about CrossFit is the intensity and how hard it pushes me even on the days that I try to take it easy.

Short term goals: Stringing more than 5 DUs together, 315 Back Squat, and a 405 deadlift.

Long term goals: Snatch more than 135 and be able to do Fran rx at a sub 6 minute pace

Mentally I’ve become a lot more aware and mature and physically I’ve been able to put on lean muscle mass while having the best level of endurance I’ve ever had.

CrossFit has impacted me in a lot of ways. It’s been a big outlet for me to dig deep and fight some battles internally and has just helped me become a better person as well as putting me in the best shape of my life physically and looking at fitness from a different place.

My advice to anyone starting out is to go slow yet go all in. Going 4-5 times a week consistently after my first class and maintaining that over the last 6 months has helped me grow so fast as well as slowing down and listening to the coaches putting in work on the technical movements.

Favorite Cheat Meal: Wings and a cold beer (Waldo’s has the best in town)

TV Show: The Office and any of the marvel shows I watch religiously.

CrossFit Athlete: Colton Mertens is the man 

Clayton came to Torrent with FIRE. He knew he had big goals and he attacked them. He has grown into a strong, mindful, strategic, humble athlete and I feel so lucky to have witnessed it all! Can’t wait to see what you do next man. – Morgan

Clayton has made such great progress at Torrent because he isn’t afraid to challenge himself! He approaches every WOD with a growth mindset and pushes himself to do harder movements. He’s not afraid to step outside of his comfort zone. – Bri

When I first coached Clayton I thought he really didn’t like me, but he assured me he just had RBF. Even though he came with an athletic background, Clayton is always looking for coaching cues on how to get better. He make small adjustments that lead to big improvements. So excited to see what he does with the next chapter in his life!

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