Chris Keeps it Real

1. Tell us a bit about you! Perhaps something most people may not know….

I’m a pretty simple dude. I spend my time trying to keep everyone happy, whilst trying to find the time to do all the stuff I want. In my home life I am a father to two little legends both of whom love coming with me to CrossFit Westgate when they can. In my professional life I am a criminal defence barrister.

In between being a really good husband, an acceptable parent and a barrister there is very little time to do all of the other things that I enjoy doing. Thankfully things like spending time at Williamstown beach, riding bikes, cooking, kicking the football, skateboarding, playing cricket and a bunch of other stuff are entirely compatible with small children. I also have a boat, which I never use, and have a weird obsession with building dinning tables.

On a not-so-positive note, I am a dead set wine wanker, and I spend a heap of money and time on buying and drinking wine. Such an interest is incongruous with my home life and health. That said, I still try to make time for this interest as well.

2. You’ve been a CrossFitter for a while now and are one of the most self motivated and dedicated members we know, what keeps you coming back through those doors every day?

I like to pretend that the greatest motivation for me is to get fitter, become stronger and improve my overall health. That is true to an extent, but what motivates me is the fact that I am an unnecessarily competitive. 

In addition to this I also just really enjoy the workouts. I like smashing though a workout as quick as is possible, but at the same time I also like thinking my way through a workout in advance and trying to be strategic. A good example of this is a workout such as DT where I will aim to complete round in a certain time, and then repeat that to try and beat everyone else’s time. As I said, unnecessarily competitive!

I also really enjoy beating my own previous times, and getting PB’s. As you progress and see demonstrable improvements it is a real incentive to keep coming back.

The final reason that I keep coming back through the doors (and perhaps the most significant) is that my work is often draining and stressful. Whilst this leads me to avoiding all conflict in my day-to-day life, I also need an outlet from the stress. Apropos I find that Crossfit is a great opportunity to turn off my mind and release some aggression.

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3. You’re a working Dad with a young family, what’s the secret to juggling everything?

The greatest pressure in my life is time, and I rarely if ever, have enough of it. When I started Crossfit I had been thinking about doing it for a long time. One of the reasons that took me so long to commit though, was a concern about fitting it in around work, family life, and being able to get to the sessions. 

A limitation on this is that I am committed to being home by 6.00pm each night because I want to see my kids. Another complication is that I regularly work at home in the evening (regularly means every night) and it is not unusual to work well past midnight.  This makes getting up at 5:30 am for a 6.00am session difficult.

Regardless of this I signed up and my goal was to get to 3 morning sessions per week. I enjoyed this and got some good results, but not the results I had hoped for. My progress was limited by the fact that whilst attending 3 sessions a week was aspirational, it was rarely if ever reality. Often I would struggle to get to a single session.

I mulled over all sorts of ideas as to how best address this issue, and I ultimately determined what would best suit me.

So I changed my approach. Instead of aiming for 3 morning sessions a week I would just go whenever I was free to do so. Importantly this would include getting to Crossfit Westgate in open gym times and working out on my own.

This was the best thing I ever did. Nowadays I usually manage to get to 5 sessions a week, with most of them being completed in open gym.  The great thing about open gym, and something, which I had not contemplated, is that I rarely, if ever, end up working out on my own.  

4. What would your advice be to anyone considering giving CrossFit a crack?

Just get involved.  It is fun, you will see results, and if you are considering taking it up there is no reason not to.

Also, I am yet to meet someone who has started Crossfit, be it at Westgate or somewhere else, who hasn’t loved it. What better endorsement is there?

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5. Anything in particular for your CrossFit future? Particular goals you have set yourself?

Over my time at Crossfit Westgate I have ticked off various movements that I wasn’t previously able to do such as double unders, rope climbs etcetera. I still am not able to do hand stand pushups or muscle ups but will continue to work towards them.  

Once I get them I want to win the Crossfit open.

6. So, what would a Chris WOD look like?

No surprises here. Something with a heap of deadlifts, some wall balls, some cleans, and maybe some push jerks.

For Time:

55 Deadlifts at 140kg

55 Wall Balls

55 Power Cleans at 80 kg

55 Push Jerks at 70 kg

That would be a good workout.