Zach started at Recursive last summer and has spent a lot of time in classes and Personal Training getting back into things after a serious bike accident. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in Madison but only recently moved back in 2018 to start a job as a chemistry professor at the university. At UW, I run a research group focused on the development of new chemical reactions that use light and electricity to produce everything from medicines to plastics. I teach organic chemistry at a graduate and undergraduate level. I also like bikes, fancy cocktails, and board games.

Why did you choose Recursive?
I had a serious bike accident in late 2019 that left me unable to walk for a few months and then I sat on my couch for the next ~1.5 years while quarantining. After getting vaccinated and starting to move around again, I found that I was not in good enough shape to maintain the active lifestyle I used to enjoy. I recognized I couldn’t just “go back” to my previous lifestyle without a dedicated effort to rebuild my fitness. So, it was time for a gym. Recursive was really close to my house and had good reviews. I was also intrigued by the varied programing of CrossFit–I was pretty sure I’d get bored at a more traditional gym (I’ve never worked out at a gym before).

What is your favorite thing about working out at Recursive?
Awesome and non-judgmental people–both the other members and the coaches! Before starting, I was intimidated by “gym people” but have really enjoyed getting to know folks at the gym and I look forward to seeing everyone at class! Also, I appreciate that there’s always a clear “scale down” option when I simply won’t be able to do something in the workout–I am never embarrassed to scale down but I also know I’ll be cheered on when I can scale it up!

What is your biggest accomplishment since starting your commitment to a lifestyle change?
When I started out, my upper body was extremely weak and my legs were very uneven in strength due to my accident. My legs have started to even out, flexibility is coming back, and my upper body is way stronger than it was before.

How has Recursive changed your life?
Most fundamentally, I have much more energy throughout the day. But also, I learned that I can really have fun working out. I look forward to coming in to recursive. I check the workout of the day every night even if I know I can’t make it just to see what I’m missing out on. Oh, also my posture has fundamentally changed since starting.

What advice do you have for people who are nervous to get started?
I’m a nerdy dude who had never worked out at a gym before and had basically not moved for 2 years. If I can do this then you probably can too, just jump in and be kind to yourself as you learn the movements!

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