After spending nine years doing CrossFit, Richard Toellner was on the hunt for a workout that is lower impact on the body and had much lower injury rates.
“I was trying to keep up with the young guys, so my body was taking a beating,” Toellner said.
Playing football and baseball, Toellner was always active in high school, and after graduation he spent 15 years in the Army. Even before starting CrossFit or joining Seattle Kettlebell Club, Toellner has always made physical activity a priority, and he has always been an active runner.
Like many of our members, Toellner enjoys camping and hiking in the area, and he used to compete in rolling techniques, which is a Greenland style of kayaking. He also enjoys talking to people all over the world using Morse code through amateur radio.
After joining SKC back in March, Toellner was coming to classes six times a week and kettlebell training became his main source of exercise. Unfortunately, Toellner has been out of commission recently due to a ruptured disc in his back. However, he would like to note that his injury had nothing to do with kettlebell training.
Although he is on the road to recovery and slowly getting back into the kettlebell game, Toellner is “bummed” that he did not get to compete at the Pro-Am competition on the 9th like he originally planned. That would have been his second competition; he competed in the Northwest Kettlebell competition back in September.
For newcomers, Toellner has some advice: ask questions, start out slowly, and be consistent.
“You’re not gonna improve if you’re not gonna show up,” Toellner said. “There are days when you’re sore, and days when you’re not.”
Being someone who has endured injury, Toellner also stressed the importance of knowing your limits and giving yourself time to recover.
Toellner also stresses the fun of competition because it’s a great opportunity for team bonding.
“I like the comradery especially at this club. It’s a family,” Toellner said.
Meeting his wife when he spent 5 years in Japan, Toellner has been married for ten years, and he has three daughters. He’s hoping that when she is older his eight-year-old daughter will want to give kettlebells a swing.
“[Kettlebell training] is for everyone,” Toellner said. “Men, women, doesn’t matter how old you are.”