Despite some preliminary experiments with basketball, tennis, and martial arts as hobbies while growing up, Ketan did not find athletic pursuits enjoyable due to poorly controlled asthma. In graduate school, stress, bad food habits and a fully sedentary lifestyle led him to gain over 50 pounds in two years. In the final year of his program, he started modifying his nutrition and noticed significant improvement in body composition using intermittent fasting. Following through on a new year resolution (2013), he consulted with a personal trainer and touched gym equipment such as barbells and dumbbells for the *first* time in his life (and had to promptly take sick leave the next day due to horrible DOMS). After about a year of lifting weights alone while completing his PhD, he joined CrossFit (CrossFit Latham) in May 2014 to broaden his training and later joined CrossFit Hardshells in September 2015 after he moved to this area.

As a chemical engineering researcher, Ketan researches the motion of atoms and molecules using computer simulations for developing better materials. He enjoys traveling and has visited about 15 countries and 20 states in the US. He also enjoys reading, extemporaneous writing, and watching television. He currently finds peace in the solitude, simplicity and flexibility of his single life.

Regarding CrossFit, he says, “What I love about CrossFit is the focus on functional fitness by combining strength training, mobility, cardiovascular activity, agility, etc. in diverse combinations using exercises and workouts inspired by different athletic disciplines. And despite the focus on intensity, CrossFit does a great job of bringing in athletes of different levels of fitness and age under one roof in a supportive environment filled with camaraderie and friendship. It doesn’t matter whether you need to scale. Or when you finish. Or what weight you were lifting. Unlike some of the other members, I don’t do well in a competitive environment. And CrossFit lets you choose your approach based on your physical and psychological needs.”

After moving to the MoCo area, CrossFit Hardshells initially drew Ketan’s attention due to (1) the great website and (2) how friendly and relaxed the coaches are. What he likes most about Hardshells is the people: the coaches and the athletes. Their personal life stories inspire and motivate him. Attending the evening class is one of the highlights of his day. He normally works out at 6 or 7 PM in the evening.