Matt has been with us at CFNP for a while now so it is only fitting that he makes his debut as the July Member of the Month. When asked why Matt was a solid choice for this month's shining star, coach Gabriel said, "Matt is a fun balance of coachability and sarcasm and anyone with that kind of personality is a blast to coach." As a coaching staff we all agree with that fact and as athletes working alongside Matt it is clear to see that he brings an awesome air to any class he is attending. Matt is always the person who can be found cheering others on or giving you that much needed look of solidarity when you both know you're suffering through a workout together. Without further ado, please congratulate our member of the month and learn more about him!
How long have you been Crossfitting?
I started in December of 2018, so about 8 months.
What made you try CrossFit?
A gift certificate and a bit of serendipity. Before I started CrossFit, I was at a point where I was either going for a short run or to a small gym near my house as my exercise every day, and I wasn’t seeing any noticeable results because I wouldn’t really push myself during those workouts. I had gained weight and, for the first time in my life, hit the 200 lb. mark on the scale, and believe me when I tell you it wasn’t muscle. I was real down on myself physically and mentally, because I didn’t feel comfortable in my skin and knew I could do better. I had gotten a gift-certificate for some free foundational classes and a couple months of free membership at CFNP that had been sitting in a drawer for a few months, so I decided it was finally time to cash it in. Boy am I glad I did!
What has been your biggest accomplishment while at CFNP?
I would say just coming on regular basis 4-5 times a week. I’m more comfortable with a beer in my hand than a barbell, and up until I joined CFNP I wasn’t sure I’d ever find a workout routine I could get excited for. But really, I’m mostly focused on things I still want to accomplish, like getting Rx pull-ups down, completing a rope climb, and finally getting on the board for one of the benchmark workouts.
What’s the best thing(s) about CFNP?
The coaches and community, hands down. I was a little nervous about the workout environment I’d be walking into at first, and worried that it might be too intense for someone like me who was still trying to figure out if I could even hack something like CrossFit. From the very first class, I could tell that it wasn’t about who could lift the most or the fastest. Several members came and introduced themselves right away, which that really helped make the gym feel like a home for me from the get-go, and I love how everyone cheers each other on through the workout.
Which class time do you most commonly attend?
You’ll usually find me at 5:30 class on weekdays and weekends when I can make it!
Is competing one of your goals?
Not at the moment. I have a ton of respect and admiration for the coaches and members who do, but right now I’m focused on coming to class consistently, getting better at some of the key movements that I don’t have down yet, and improving my overall physical fitness and endurance.
Do you have any advice for someone on the fence about trying CrossFit or joining CFNP?
Don’t let any real or perceived physical limitations prevent you from at least giving it a shot. With the right environment and coaching, CrossFit can be a fit for anyone. I suffered a pretty gnarly injury to my shoulder 12 years ago that required two surgeries to fully repair over the course of a decade. I never in a million years thought that I would have the upper body strength or mobility to do an intense workout program like CrossFit. The coaches at CFNP took the time to get to know me, understand what I felt my limitations were, and helped me find modifications for certain workouts and movements that made me feel comfortable, and I can’t thank them enough for that.
What keeps you motivated?
Staying healthy for my wife, maintaining the confidence I’ve built so far through doing CrossFit, and the mental image of looking down at the scale and seeing 200 lb. on the screen. Never again.
How has CrossFit changed your life?
Besides giving me grueling workout in a fun environment with great people to look forward to every day, doing CrossFit has given me back a lot of the confidence that I had lost previously, makes me feel 100 percent more productive with my days, and has forced me to be constantly mindful of what I’m eating. These days, I’m thinking twice about getting those Taco Tuesday tacos when I consider how bad I’ll feel at class later that night!
What has been your favorite workout and why?
I don’t know if I have a favorite full workout, although I suppose I’m sort of partial to Annie because I like how deceivingly simple it looks and then how wrong you realize you were after you finish and are lying crumpled on the floor. My favorite movement is definitely the deadlift, though, because it makes me feel like I’m a lot stronger than I really am!
What is your favorite cheat item?
Hot wings, pizza, beer, clam chowdah, tacos…I can’t choose just one. That’s why I do Crossfit!
Anything I missed that you would like to share?
Being part of the CFNP community has changed my life in so many ways and I can’t say thank you enough to Gabe, Corina, Tawny, Erik, Veronica and the whole CFNP family for being so welcoming and friendly and making exercise, something that I have spent most of my life avoiding, fun.