Member of the Month: Joel Carpenter!

Joel Turkey Day 2011
No legs, what?!?!?


Joel with a small village on his back!

If you’ve ever been to the 7pm class in Southie Green, you definitely know Joel. If you haven’t yet, you are missing out! Joel’s positive attitude and strong work ethic is contagious. As you’ll read below, Joel’s journey to CrossFit  is very unique, and he’s dealt with more than most of us will ever have to – but that doesn’t stop him! Joel is always pushing himself outside of his comfort level to hit a new PR, but he cheers the loudest when someone in class with him PRs. He’s always got a funny story or joke to tell, and he’s the first to volunteer a helping hand when it’s needed. His hard work has been paying off, and we are so excited and proud to watch all of his progress over the past year. Drop by the 7pm class and get to know Joel – and be sure to give him a big high five. CrossFit Southie would not be the same without him!

How did you get involved in CrossFit? What was your first WOD/experience?
I got involved in CrossFit by accident. In November 2011, some people at my office were signing up for the May Tough Mudder, so I signed up. On my way home I realized that I had made a big mistake. I had no chance of completing this thing. 10 miles…. might as well be 100. I was 20 pounds heavier back then. I had a pretty sweet double chin, a killer beer belly, blood pressure through the roof, and daily cholesterol medications. Not a good look (to steal a line from Sham). I needed to make some major changes.
So, I decided to stop in at BSC to sign up for a trainer. As luck would have it I was paired with Beth (a legit CrossFitter/regional competitor). I started the following week and Beth had me doing these seemingly insane workouts which I came to know as WOD’s. Over the next 8 months, she taught me the basics of all the Olympic lifts we do in CrossFit (which was probably brutal for her as I had no idea what the hell I was doing). She taught me how to do unassisted pull ups – started with 3 of the thickest bands we could find. I lost my second chin and my beer belly.
Working with Beth was a great onramp to CrossFit/healthy living but it was time to spread my wings. She had been begging me to quit BSC and join a real CrossFit gym for at least a month. So August 2012 I signed up for a Thursday night intro class at CFS. Voided check in hand, I came in the next day for ‘Fight Gone Bad’. With an odd number of people in the class, I paired up with Beretta.
When did you start coming to CrossFit Southie?
August 2012
Is this the first CrossFit you’ve worked out at / how long have you been CrossFitting for?
CFS is the first CrossFit box I have worked out at and I have been a member for just over a year.
When did you realize that CrossFit was right for you?
I had a feeling I would enjoy it but I never had any idea I would like it as much as I do. I think it took me about a day to realize I was hooked. WODs by yourself at BSC while a trainer watches you makes you look like a lunatic — At CFS you’re just part of the family.
What are you short-term and long-term CrossFit goals?
Short-term: I want to get a muscle up (Amy claims she can teach me in a day so I could have it before this hits the web site)
Long-term: I want to back squat double body weight—260#. Mobility – I have come a long way from where I started (couldn’t even do an air squat) but I am still far from being flexible.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
So far…. no leg rope climbs, 215# back squat, 295# deadlift, 135# push press.
What is your favorite / least favorite WOD/movement?
People will laugh but I like burpees. Yup. And rope climbs are fun.
My least favorite movements are rowing and wall balls – those are a tall man’s game. Chuck and I invented a nightmare WOD for me – 5,000m row, 150 30# wall balls, 100 30 inch box jumps It doesn’t have a name yet but we are taking suggestions.
What do you do for a profession outside of CrossFit?
I trade US Equities for Congress Asset Management Company. We manage just under $7.5 billion and specialize in creating diversified portfolios of equity and fixed income securities for institutions and high net worth individuals. Congress employs about 50 people.
What are your hobbies outside of CrossFit?
Anything outside — Hiking, skiing, mountain biking, surfing, boating. I started doing the Spartan Races last year and really got hooked. I am running the Beast at Killington later this month. I love live music and traveling.
Do you eat Paleo or Zone? What is your favorite paleo/non-paleo meal?
I do eat Paleo for the most part and have been doing so since February of last year. Beth and a coworker were relentlessly trying to convince me to go Paleo. So, like the Tough Mudder, I collapsed under the peer pressure and gave it a go. I will be the first to admit that I thought they were full of it. But I was wrong. It really worked wonders for me. I lost something like 18 pounds in a matter of months.My favorite Paleo meal is steak with grilled veggies and some sort of salad. Boring but delicious. I cheat on the weekends. I love beer. But you won’t find me down at Sissy K’s chugging Bud Lattes after work anymore.

Fun fact?
Hmm… I am a Leukemia survivor and blind in one eye. 5 bucks if you can guess which one.


Rope Climbs

5 Rounds
50 Double Unders
10 Toes to Bar
10 Burpees
1 Rope Climb
Rest 1 Minute

L2 – 25 Double Unders
L1 – 4 Rounds 100 singles
ADV – (20 ft rope climb)

**Reminder to wear protection for those legs on the rope climbs! Long pants, tape, soccer shin pads, cardboard, chainmail, etc**

Ca$h out
4 minute plank hold (front, right side, left side,front. switch on the minute)


  • sarahpisborg

    09/26/2013 @ 3:16 am

    Joel! Congrats, man! I can’t wait to give you a solid high five next time I am lingering around 7PM!

  • nicole dholakia

    09/26/2013 @ 1:59 am

    24:13 25 dubs/knees to armpit
    Thanks to the 7:30!for cheering me through that last rope climb!

  • nicole dholakia

    09/26/2013 @ 1:58 am

    Joel, so well deserved!! Congrats my man and keep f-ing killin’ it!!

  • jason barrow

    09/26/2013 @ 12:34 am

    WOD: 19:30 Rx
    Every round came to a SCREEEEEEEECH when I hit the burpees.

  • Emily

    09/25/2013 @ 3:45 pm

    Congrats Joel! Joel is one of my favorite people to run into at the gym. He’s always upbeat, friendly, and works hard!

  • Patrick V

    09/25/2013 @ 3:42 pm

    Congrats Joel, glad to see your progress and results rewarded!

    13:49 today, cash out was amazingly terrible.

  • Bish

    09/25/2013 @ 3:27 pm

    Congrats Joel! Keep crushing it my man!

  • Chris Wilson

    09/25/2013 @ 2:31 pm

    Goat house. 22:19 Rx

    • jason barrow

      09/25/2013 @ 4:42 pm

      I like that you’re sticking with the ‘goat house’ term.

      • Chris Wilson

        09/25/2013 @ 5:37 pm

        Thanks dude. Lately, I’ve used this and the term you coined – “PW” – with some frequency.

    • Jason

      09/25/2013 @ 4:56 pm

      I like it… I was thinking, I read most of the comments on the board and almost daily ,someone posts/mentions the word “goat” (and not in a college mascot or Marc P loving sort of way either, thankfully). I’d propose that, in an effort to keep us all moving forward, if you’re going to use the term “goat” or “goat house” or “goat salad” or anything with similar implications, then you also must post your plan to de-goat the goat (aka, a goal with deadlines, etc.), and we hold each other accountable for them. We could limit it to 1 goat/person at a time to make it meaningful and sustainable… thoughts??

      • Chris Wilson

        09/25/2013 @ 5:39 pm

        Any suggestion that gets someone thinking about how to exit the “goat house” and enter the “wheelhouse” is a good one in my book. Here’s hoping the “Paleo Challenge” does it for me!

  • Jason

    09/25/2013 @ 12:46 pm

    14:09 Rx on the wod. Forearms tight and tired, last couple rounds of rope climbs were harrowing.
    Congrats Joel! I gotta get to a 7p class!

  • Marc Piccuirro

    09/25/2013 @ 11:28 am

    Way to go Joel.

    Arms feeling very stretched bc of the last few days.


  • Gianna Marie Passacantilli

    09/25/2013 @ 3:54 am

    Congratulations Joel! You are a role model in the box as well as outside. . Bumping into you on the Spartn Beast course was the best thing that happened to me on Saterday! Your encouraging words helped get me through the grueling 8+ hours of torture. You deserve member of month and a bud latte!

  • sammy belton

    09/25/2013 @ 2:21 am

    Aye congrats Joel! You were one of the guys who made me feel welcome at CFS. You definitely add to that mysterious energy of the 7pm crew!

  • Kelly

    09/25/2013 @ 2:12 am

    Yeah Joel! Congrats on your amazing progress! But WTF is a Bud Latte? I want one immediately.

  • Andrea

    09/25/2013 @ 1:53 am


    Love working out with and coaching Joel. Always working his butt off, always wants more, and always eager to learn. He also is such a team player, always cheering on and congratulating everyone in class, and was constantly encouraging me as I was on the LONG journey to get my muscle up. Joel is just a great, cool dude!
    I have no doubt that you will reach your goals. Joel, continue being awesome!!

  • Dale

    09/25/2013 @ 1:33 am

    That a boy Joel. Putting in the work and it shows!!!! Keep crushing it broseph!!!

  • jason barrow

    09/25/2013 @ 1:22 am

    MY BELL-RINGIN’ BROTHER!!! Love this dude. He’s been entrenched in the 7PM crew for quite some time now (although he did leave us briefly for the morning classes, I heard all his numbers went down during that stint, just sayin’).

    That intro write-up’s spot on, his presence makes going to class fun and when it’s time to put in work he pumps you up. What that write-up doesn’t stress however is how freakin’ STRONG he is. One of my favorite exercises to do on strength days is to compare my lifts with Joel’s. I’ll PR and think that I crushed it. Then Joel will tell me what he did. I’ll calculate what percentage of our bodyweights we each lifted and discover that Joel absolutely destroyed me. Definitely agree that he’s not afraid to push himself, on the platform and in the WODs he’s been constantly challenging himself.

    How does this write-up not mention that Joel went to college out in Boulder at the University of Colorado? I’ve been out there a bunch of times, I’ve never seen so many drug-rug-wearing hackysack-playing kids in one area before. So knowing he spent time out there it was no surprise to find out that he’s a certified PHAN (waaaay down with Phish). You’re in class with the same people week in and week out, so you notice when someone’s not around. I like to joke that when I’m expecting to see Joel and don’t that he’s following a Phish tour somewhere across the country. Well I jokingly said that to him one time after he was missing, and come to find out, HE LITERALLY WAS ACROSS THE COUNTRY AT A PHISH CONCERT. OG freak status.

    • Ryan Gould

      09/26/2013 @ 1:15 am

      I’m pretty sure I was out doing the SAME THING haha…way to go Joel, keep killin’ it bud

  • Shamwow

    09/25/2013 @ 12:54 am

    I’ve had conversations over the past few weeks with a few folks, completely unaware of the member of the month award, about how Joel is, without a doubt, THE guy at CrossFit Southie that new members should look up to. Joel always shows up, puts his work in, and has a great time doing it. When you do that some really cool things happen. On top of that, if I’ve ever had a rough Wednesday, Joel is right there with a Cosmo Kramer impersonation to get me rolling again. Congrats big guy- giddy up!

  • Matt Mike

    09/25/2013 @ 12:07 am

    Yeah JC! Great job! Keep crushing it!

  • JeffSully

    09/25/2013 @ 12:05 am

    Congratulations Joel! You are such a huge inspiration buddy, keep at it and in no time you will have that muscle-up! See you around the box soon!

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