I live in Sudbury with my wife, Michelle, our three daughters: Lauren (18), Lexi (15), Ella (13) and our aging Springer Spaniel, Brady. Yes, you read that right – three teenage girls living under the same roof so there is never a dull or quiet moment at the Petronio house. The best I can explain it — at any given moment the wheels are off the bus with one of our girls, the fun (?) part is guessing which one it’s going to be that day. In March, Michelle and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. I am the Director of Eastern Sales for Ditech Financial, we buy the servicing rights to residential mortgages after they have closed. It’s a confusing business to explain but if you’ve ever bought a home and had your loan transferred after you closed that may or may not have been with me. I’ve been doing CrossFit for 5 years, Faber dragged me into this. He tried to get me to come to the parking lot workouts but I was pretty skeptical about that. I’m lucky to work from home, I get to see my girls off to school each day, have some coffee, organize my day then head to Daybreak at 8:30.
1- What keeps you coming back to CrossFit each day?
Everything, I was hooked from day 1, first WOD was Fran and it dropped me to my knees. It’s the people I see every day, the coaching and programming, you guys know my strengths and weaknesses, all I need to do is show up and workout. I see the results everyday, crossfit gives me the physical strength to continue to do the things I love, and the mental strength to face the challenges of life. My only regret is that I didn’t start doing this at a younger age. Oh yeah, I can’t forget double pump Fridays!
2- Tell us about mountain biking and your latest race, the Vermont 50.
There is nothing better at the end of a stressful day than to jump on my bike, put on some music, and head out into the local trails for a little fun. It’s like skiing in the summer and an awesome release for me. We are fortunate here to have so many great trails to explore in our backyard.
The Vermont 50 is an epic mountain bike adventure race with 8,500 feet of climbing, bomber downhills and classic single track, it’s an all out beat down. This year was my 9th time competing and was my best finish so far at 6 hours and 15 minutes, the elite riders finish just over 4 hours. Each year I learn something new which makes me want to try again, I hope to be able to do it when I’m 70.
3- Winter is coming! What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family in the winter months?
That’s our favorite time of year, you won’t find us in Sudbury on a winter weekend. We spend a lot of time together up in the Mt. Washington Valley with long days on the mountain and warm nights by the fire, it’s definitely our happy place. True to the Petronio way of doing things, it’s not a relaxing schedule with our oldest working as a ski instructor and the younger two doing the ski racing thing – apparently we thrive in chaos. But the best part of it all – we spend all our time outdoors, more so in the winter than summer.
4- You seem to enjoy extreme sports. Are you a thrill seeker? What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Maybe a little. After I graduated from college I rode my bike across the country, on the Blue Ridge Parkway in VA I hit my top speed PR of 74 mph. On that trip I fell in love with Colorado and the Rocky Mountains so I moved to Aspen where I learned technical rock climbing, mountaineering, started mountain bike racing and tried to chase down the US pro mogul tour. I climbed several of Colorado’s 14K peaks but the most extreme was a 17 mile trek/technical climb up Capital Peak at 14,130 feet. It was a 2 day adventure and I spent the night camping on a vertical rock face at 10k feet. The thrills have slowed down, these days I prefer backcountry skiing over lift served (except powder days), I like to ski up hill (skinning) as much as downhill. One of these winters I’d like to learn to ice climb and climbing 20K’er like Denali in Alaska is on my bucket list, but for now my girls are my priority.
5- What’s your spirit animal (an animal that represents you)?
I’ve always been a fan of the Wolverine.