Mike VenableCoach/Hype Man/Bust-a-Move Expert
What is your role at BLCF?
What certifications do you have?
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
What’s my fitness story?
I’ve played football and ran track (short distance ONLY!) my whole young life pretty much. I moved to VA to play college football after visiting a few schools throughout the country. After college, I wandered through numerous athletic activities to fill my competitive urges including powerlifting, distance running, and rock climbing but got bored with all of them. Once I found Crossfit, I knew it was the sport for me.
What brought you to BLCF?
My wife, Hannah, and I were living in Greensboro, NC when we found out we were expecting our first child. Because we didn’t have family nearby and my work schedule was so hectic, we decided to move up to Virginia where almost all of Hannah’s family lives. I was able to take a much slower pace job and we have the luxury of having our little Kennedy grow up with her grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. We tried out some local gyms and found the same family connection at Big Lick that moved us back to VA in the first place.
When/Where can you find me at BLCF?
I’m typically one of the faces of the afternoon. You’ll find me coaching either Swole Patrol, Dream Team or the Jungle Cats. Whichever class I’m not coaching is usually where you’ll see me trying to keep up with our athletes. On a rare occasion, I’ll punish myself with a morning workout with the Wolf Pack.
Inspiration—What drives me to be a better coach:
Being able to help people as much as possible. The more I learn, the more I can take what I’ve learned and give it back to the athletes
Memory bank—My most rewarding moment as a BLCF coach:
Each time an athlete steps out of their comfort zone and learns a new movement or crushes a competition or hits a new PR tops the previous moment. One of the many amazing things about coaching at Big Lick is the drive and excitement of our athletes. Nothing brings me greater joy than the success of our family here at BLCF.
I’ve got dreams, too—My personal goals in fitness and in life are:
At this point, my biggest goal is to be able to be healthy and active for my children. Putting as much distance as possible between me and sickness helps to ensure this. And of course, I still have some competitive juices flowing that drives me to jumping into a competition every once in a while to move some weight with my fellow CrossFitters.
Step into my world—What you can find me doing when I am not at the box:
Besides hanging with my family, you’ll usually find me working as an Engineer for the City of Roanoke. Outside of that I’m typically cheering for my alma mater, Virginia Tech, or my hometown Miami sports teams. I also do my best to get outside and play in the outdoors as much as possible; from the water to the woods.
Shhh, don’t tell anyone! Something that no one else knows about me:
I’m actually a huge nerd. As an overly-social ex-football player, most people don’t expect to find out I’m a puzzle-loving physicist with a Marvel and Harry Potter addiction.
What would your superhero name be?
“The Dance Machine”. If anyone has spent more than 30 minutes around me and music is playing, this will make sense. I’m a sucker for the dance floor at weddings and parties and find it hard to refrain myself when the right jam comes on at the gym.