Phil has been flying high on the radar over the past 3 months with his consistency in training and dedication to mastering technique i.e. our mascot for RESPECTING THE PROCESS!! Phil has been busy getting his GymNASTY strength on, which is now paying dividends in his CrossFit classes. He always wears his fabulous smile and is just generally a cool and humble cat in the gym. His response upon learning of his AOTM award: “how embarrassment”. Please be sure to celebrate our Athlete of the Month by doing a burpee every time you see him. Let’s find out a bit more about Phil…
Why did you start CrossFit?
Make yourself comfy and I’ll tell you a little story.
In my 20s I lived in the UK for a bit and I started swimming on my days off. Mostly because it was so cold in winter and the pools were indoors and heated.
I was swimming at a pool one day and saw a chart on the wall which was a training program with sets of different distances aimed to help you build up to swimming a couple of kilometres. I achieved it and then swimming became part of my life from then on. I paid for some coaching and was amazed at the benefits of watching yourself on video where technique needs to be refined. I joined swimming squads and started entering ocean swims and races. It all culminated in a solo Rottnest Channel crossing in 2011.
What did I like about swimming?
1. You trained with a group of like minded people – your friends
2. I love thinking about technique. So much can be gained form refining technique
3. Achievements were gained not just by building strength but mostly through efficiency of movement
4. Like all exercise, it’s a great way to start the day! Clearing your mind and concentrating on body movement. SOUND FAMILIAR???
Anyway, a while ago I thought I might change to short course swimming and did a season in the Masters club, 50m and 100m events and had great fun. I thought – I need to get stronger! I read an amusing article about The Mill and their approach to training. I applied, did the intro sessions and was accepted – I loved the concept but I moved house and it wasn’t practical for me to go back there.
Then one day I took a short cut from Carrington St to Stock Rd and passed a little itty bitty sign with an upside down gymnast on rings….and the rest is history.
What is your most memorable moment to date?
My first rope climb. I was scaling that little sucker for a while and was watching everyone fly up there. I don’t know why our brains do this but sometimes there’s a long lead up where there is only gradual improvement or none at all. Then one day everything seems to click and BANG! suddenly you’re doing it. Anyway, that happened. Tore my shins to shreds but I got up there.
What is your most and least favourite WOD or movement?
Most favourite – not a WOD or a movement but what it teaches. Staying calm under duress has advantages. Focusing on breathing and body position can help you be more productive (instead of wigging out all the time which is what I tend to do at the office)
Least favourite – I haven’t worked out why just yet but I feel so sucky in an overhead squat position or doing snatches. I keep laughing it off but it’s starting to give me the turds. Amy took a picture of my overhead squat position recently and my body position looked about as weird as it felt. I’m thinking that shoulder mobility may be an issue, having started this movement at 46 years of age…
What tip would you give someone just starting in CrossFit?
Go light until you get it right. Keep a journal.
What is one random, non-CrossFit ‘thing’ about yourself?
I was once a high school teacher. It was brief and inglorious.