/var/www/html/wp-content/themes/Divi/single.php April Male Athlete Spotlight - Zack Schopper | CrossFit 913

When did you start CrossFitting? Who/what got you started? 

I started CrossFit almost exactly two years ago. My girlfriend at the time was an avid CrossFitter. I remember watching her compete and going to the gym just to watch some of her workouts, and thinking there is no way in hell I could ever do any of that. As scary as it was to think about even attempting some of the workouts and some of the lifts I had absolutely no experience with, I was drawn to the atmosphere, the sense of accomplishment I saw on people’s faces, the community and the comradery I felt every time I was around CrossFit. About that same time, I saw an ad for a 6 week “Body Transformation Challenge”. I don’t recall what exactly made me click the link, but I did. I signed up without telling my girlfriend, in hopes that I could learn the fundamentals and not look like a total noob when I decided to workout with her one day. The cat was let out of the bag the morning after the first workout with Ben, when I couldn’t walk down the stairs, or sit on the toilet, or bend down to tie my shoe without wincing or moaning. Although it was (and still is) painful, I was hooked. I completed the 6 week challenge and have been sore AF and loving it ever since!      

What is your favorite/least favorite WOD? 

Favorite WOD: Murph! It was the first Hero WOD I ever did. It was not long after completing the 6 week challenge, and the sense of accomplishment I felt after completing that 60 minutes of hell was something I will never forget. That WOD holds a special place in my heart.  

Least favorite WOD: Karen!!! Just ask anyone that was there the last time we tested this and I tried it Rx. I don’t even remember the last 15 reps. In fact, I don’t even want to talk about it… next question! 

What is your favorite/least favorite movement? 

Favorite movement: Back Squat – it makes me feel strong. And because Ant told me I have a beautiful squat (I could tell by the look in his eyes, he meant it)

Least favorite movement: My shoulders are my weakness. Anything overhead is my least favorite. I have been told that my deltoids are slightly under developed. So, until I fix that and can comfortably put weight over my head, OH movements are my least favorite.

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.) I come from a large Catholic family, most of whom reside in the KC metro or Eudora Kansas. I grew up on a small farm in Leawood (yes, all of Leawood used to be farmland). I graduated from Rockhurst High School in 2001, had my first son (Noah) in 2003, got married in 2004, had my second son (Aiden) in 2007, graduated from UMKC with a BA in Chemistry in 2015, divorced in 2016, joined CrossFit 913 in 2017, and that’s it… in a nutshell.

I have been with my family’s dental practice for approximately 16 years. I which time I have held nearly every position legally possible. It’s a large dental practice in the middle of Leawood and we do everything from fillings, to root canals, to orthodontics, to implants, and we are even certified to do mandibular advancement devices for patients with obstructive sleep apnea. It’s a one stop shop!

I am a huge Chiefs and Jayhawk Basketball fan. I go to nearly every home Chiefs game, and there is nothing like a KU Basketball game to get my blood pumping (and blood pressure and heart rate up).

As far as personal interests go, I enjoy going to my family’s lake house, camping, fishing, skiing (Snowmass, CO is the BEST!), hanging with my kiddos, going to the movies, working on cars, doing man stuff.

What was your workout routine before CrossFit? 

Playing with my two sons. Other than that, it was non-existent. 

What did you think after your first CrossFit workout?

After completing the 6 week challenge, and finishing my first legit WOD, I thought, “I’ve got a long way to go!” It was overwhelming, but I knew I was in the right place to get better… and I wanted to get better!

What were your goals when joining CrossFit?  Have you achieved any of those goals?

When I joined CrossFit, I was at a point in my life where I was really struggling with my self-image. The circumstances of my divorce I had been through the previous year were such that it took a big toll on my self-esteem. Not to mention, I had a lot of pent up anger and stress, and no healthy way to let it all out. My goals when I joined were to get stronger, release stress, and feel more confident in my body. I can say that I have achieved those goals. My next goal is to look like Sam Wells when I take my shirt off. That one is a little loftier, but anything is possible… right? 

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?

Absolutely! Now, every time I see a countertop or a ledge, I think, “I can totally box jump that!” Also, when I wake up every morning, I can feel a new muscle group I didn’t know I had before! Kidding aside, CrossFit has had a tremendous impact on my life outside the gym. I can do things with my kids I know I wouldn’t be able to do without the level of fitness CrossFit has provided me, I have met and created friendships with some amazing people I’ve met through CrossFit, and I believe the increased mental stamina and outlet for stress has made me a better person overall. 

Do you have any other special memories/ achievements during your time here?

So many special memories! Every competition, Friday Night Lights, special event, or anytime the whole CF913 community comes together, has created a lasting memory and impact on me. The experiences I have had at this gym and with CrossFit in general, I believe, can’t be had anywhere else. Another special memory is the day my son, Noah, joined me for his first WOD. From that day on, CrossFit has been a great way for my oldest son and I to bond and share experiences. I can’t wait to get Aiden involved so the Schopper boys can all get fit together!

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit 913?

Check your ego at the door, don’t be afraid to ask questions, embrace failure and learn from it, stretch, compete, and HAVE FUN!

Something you might not know about me is?

I am an Eagle Scout. It is something I am very proud of. Only about 4% of Boy Scouts achieve the rank of Eagle and it took me many years and a lot of hard work and determination to get there. The life skills and lessons I learned from my experiences as a boy scout are what helped shape me as a person and are things I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Plus, if the Zombie Apocalypse ever happens, I have the skills to survive out in some remote forest somewhere. So, there’s that.