Posts in Athlete of the Month
Brian Brady - Athlete of the Month July '19
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Brian Brady

An open letter by Coach Josh,

With over 370 workouts under his belt, Brian is a straight up pleasure to coach and have in our training environment. I love having him in my morning 5:30am class (see below) because of his lack of ego and desire to make small improvements each and every single session. This is what it is all about, training being apart of ones lifestyle, not just something that you have to do.

Brian has been consistently be doing extra work with coach Renee around all things health and fitness for over a year now with amazing growth not only inside the studio but outside, improving his nutrition and recover has really lead to his major improvements in the studio.

Keep it up my man!

MEMBER SINCE: 

18/09/2017


HOW OLD ARE YOU?

33

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?

I'm an actuary (prizes to anyone who knows what that is!). Basically I make financial projections to help insurance companies / Super Funds manage their balance sheets and financial risks. At the moment I'm working for a large Australian insurer providing technical pricing guidance to assist portfolio strategy.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

So, there are 'tree tings' people probably don't know about me:

- I'm from Ireland

- I have an accent

- I love a good potato

Other trivial info:

- I arrived in Melbourne in Jan '17 after 7 months of travelling. I only intended to stay for a few months

- now I'm practically a local.

- I hitch hiked solo through Central America in 2016.

- My brother also lives in Melbourne with his Aussie wife and I'm an uncle to 3 Aussie children.

- I'm an uncle to an adorable dog called Finn!

- I've almost perfected the pronunciation of 'TH'.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE AT CROSSFIT COLLINGWOOD?

Josh welcomed me and we sat down to talk about why I chose Crossfit and what my goals were. I remember specifically asking about The Ox box approach to technique and good form. Josh reassured me they take technique very seriously and I was sold.

HOW DID YOU FIND THE OX BOX?

Google machine

What has been a special/favourite moment in your CrossFit journey?

First Ox Box open - the camaraderie and the buzz in the box is amazing.

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BRIAN'S STORY

I guess I would have to say I was a late bloomer when it comes to sports & fitness. I wasn't really 'sporty' until I was about 14 years of age and realised I was fat! So I just got up and started running (Forest Gump style).

After a few years of running and smashing 5km / 10km goals I decided to take on the Dublin marathon in 2010. After a respectable time and a very sore body, I realised long distance wasn't for me and that the body wasn't designed to run 42km in one go. So I started branching into the gym. I was never much of a gym goer pumping weights (I know, you can hardly tell), I always found gyms kinda boring. So I mainly stuck to the classes (body pump, conditioning, yoga etc) and kept up my running on the side.

FINALLY - I found Crossfit (insert heavenly sound here). My London flatmate Matt introduced me to it. I dabbled in it for about a year and realised this was exactly the type of gym I wanted to be part of. It had a good mix of conditioning, strength and mobility so it ticked all the boxes. In addition, the box is a community so you get to know the people you're working out with.

After about a 2 year break from Crossfit, I eventually picked it up again at The Ox box and haven't looked back since!

Tell us about your CrossFit experience, and why you enjoy training

After a few months training in The Ox box, I was seeing some great improvements, but I also realised if I wanted to Rx the WODs I needed to put in some extra work and that's when I started PT work with Renee.

The improvements in the past year have been amazing - first muscle up, toes to bar, HSPUs, overhead squat (never thought this was possible), squat snatch and all round better mobility. I can also dabble a bit more in the Rx space too. Thanks Renee :D

I like that we just need to turn up at the box and all the programming is worked out, you don't have to think. Phones are left behind and you can just concentrate on health and fitness for 1 solid hour.

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If you can’t love yo ‘self, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else - can I get an Amen up in here?!
— Ru Paul

GOALS

PERSONAL:

Managing to find that balance between work, relationships and health. We can too easily let ourselves be switched on all the time and personal life tends to suffer.

PROFESSIONAL:

I'd like to lead a team in my area of expertise. I like engaging with people and have a passion for encouraging people to meet their full potential.

HEALTH:

I want to be able to Rx all 5 workouts in the next Open. After the last open, I reviewed all previous open workouts from the past 5 years and noted all Rx movements I currently can't do. Then I gave Renee the list and said these are my goals!

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Sure if you can’t have a laugh, then what’s the point!
— My Grandmother

WOD

WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE WOD?

Any workout that doesn't have burpees.

3 SONGS YOU LOVE TO WOD TO?

Ubu - Methyl Ethel

17 - MK

This Charming Man - The Smiths


RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS

WOULD YOU GO BACK IN THE PAST OR GO INTO THE FUTURE AND WHY?  WHICH TIME PERIOD WOULD YOU GO TO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

I'd go back to the 50s/60s post war boom. This era has always fascinated me. I'd probably just drive around in a Mustang and party.

WHEN DO YOU PREFER TO TRAIN?

Mornings - but never 5:30, that's ridiculous.

WOULD YOU RATHER BE A PIRATE OR A NINJA?

Ninja - have you seen how fit they are?!

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE TREAT FOOD?

hot chips, hot chips, hot chips

WHAT'S THAT INGREDIENT THAT YOU ALWAYS END UP ADDING TO YOUR DISHES?

Salted Butter (side note - whoever created unsalted butter should be shot)

If you were in the Zombie Apocalypse what would be the object you'd always have on you?

24Kg Kettlebell - smashing skulls and smashing goals

You check the WOD and think, "HELL YEAH", the WOD has _______________ in it?

Box Jumps

IF YOU WERE AN ACTION FIGURE WHAT WOULD YOUR 2 ACCESSORIES BE?

A sword (because it looks cool) and a cape (because it looks cool)

IF YOU COULD GO ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW WHERE WOULD IT BE?

Anywhere in the northern hemisphere - for some sun. Lucky I'm off to the States this month.

BRIAN’S TIPS FOR READERS

BURPEES - THEY NEVER GET EASY!

Tom Rea - Athlete of the Month June '19
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Tom Rea

An open letter by Coach Josh,

Tom is a straight up nice dude. Finding his place in our early morning classes, this quiet achiever humble attacks each workout striking the right balance between pushing himself and staying safe which has lead to big improvements in his fitness and mobility.

Anyone who will happily tackle a workout 5kg under the Rx weight is someone who’s mindset is in the right place when it comes to training.

I am excited to see how you continue to improve Tom, especially with your dedication to your overhead mobility, it is a slow road but a worthwhile one. Keep listening and keep pushing, i am excited to see how you go in October with the second open for 2019.

MEMBER SINCE: 

17/01/2017

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HOW OLD ARE YOU?

37

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?

IT Consultant / Project Manager - at the moment I'm working with clients to help develop IT strategies and fulfill their technology aspirations for new commercial office buildings.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I'm a Kiwi (yes I do dead lufts from the mud shun - respect to Coach Kev). I've lived in a lot of different places throughout my life including NZ, US, Guam, Malaysia, Singapore, Egypt, London, Paris, and Melbourne which I have to say has been the best yet. Also, I'm about to become a Dad in August which is super exciting :)

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE AT CROSSFIT COLLINGWOOD?

Laura and I came in and met with Coach Josh, we were both really keen to try something different. We had been doing F45 for a year before and CrossFit seemed much more exciting. I think it was a Saturday morning, and the metcon must have been cleans or snatches because I could remember lots of barbells being dropped from a great height... slightly intimidating!

HOW DID YOU FIND THE OX BOX?

My wife - she always has the best ideas

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TOM'S STORY

As a child I was mainly into team sports such as Soccer, Rugby, and Basketball. Later on in life when my social life sometimes got in the way of the obligations of team sports I got into long distance running as it's a great way to exercise and clear the head while getting to explore new places. When I moved to Melbourne I wanted to get more serious about my fitness and I joined F45 in Fitzroy for a year which was great but started to get a bit repetitive. Laura and I then came into the Ox Box to give it a go and we haven't looked back since!

CrossFit is what gets me out of bed in the morning. It's not the fear of the no show fee penalty, but the jolt that I need to get the day going. Let's be honest, if you can get through a CrossFit workout first thing in the morning, you can tackle anything the day throws at you.

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You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take
— Wayne Gretzky

GOALS

PERSONAL:

In my personal life, my (our) goal has been to start a family and we're both super excited and blessed for this to be happening very soon!

PROFESSIONAL:

To never get into a comfort zone and to never stop learning.

HEALTH:

Generally improve in all weightlifting and gymnastics movements, but in particular this year I've been focusing on improving my squat strength, and my shoulder mobility.

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Be the change you wish to see in the world
— Mahatma Gandhi

WOD

WHATS HAS BEEN A SPECIAL MOMENT IN YOUR CROSSFIT JOURNEY?

CrossFit Open 2019 - I was able to RX 3 of the 5 WODs (even if it wasn't pretty!).

WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE WOD?

Murph - it's a great benchmark workout, but also a great way to commemorate Australian and New Zealand Forces.

3 SONGS YOU LOVE TO WOD TO?

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger - Daft Punk
Eyes - Rufus du Sol We
Are Your Friends - Justice Vs. Simian


RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS

WOULD YOU GO BACK IN THE PAST OR GO INTO THE FUTURE AND WHY?  WHICH TIME PERIOD WOULD YOU GO TO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Into the future, according to Back to the Future we should have hoverboards by now so I want to know when we'll be getting them.

WHEN DO YOU PREFER TO TRAIN?

Mornings, it's good to shock your system to prepare it for the day ahead.

WOULD YOU RATHER BE A PIRATE OR A NINJA?

Drunken criminal with missing limbs or agile warrior that can do flips - Ninja!

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE TREAT FOOD?

Juicy Lucy burgers - if you don't know what they are, Google it. Amazing.

WHAT'S THAT INGREDIENT THAT YOU ALWAYS END UP ADDING TO YOUR DISHES?

Hot sauce

IF YOU WERE IN THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE WHAT WOULD BE THE OBJECT YOU'D ALWAYS HAVE ON YOU?

Light Saber - better than a shot gun as there's no need to reload.

IF YOU WERE AN ACTION FIGURE WHAT WOULD YOUR 2 ACCESSORIES BE?

A pair of nunchucks because Michelangelo

IF YOU COULD GO ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW WHERE WOULD IT BE?

Sunbathing on the Mediterranean with Bae in Cassis

TOM’S TIPS FOR READERS

Don't listen to me!

Claire Willis - Athlete of the Month May '19
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Claire Willis

An open letter by Coach Josh,

A member of our awesome community for last 12 months, Claire has made a mark but the good kind :) She has trained in over 200 sessions (that is f**king impressive) and settling into the 6:30 am class, using the WODs as a means of improving her strength and making everyone jealous with her impressive gymnastic skills.

She is hitting all kinds of personal records with a notable elusive first muscle up! and has done so without EGO and consideration for her fellow athletes. Watching her compete in her first CrossFit Open was such an example, with Claire being intelligent in her training and choosing to scale workouts in order to continue to be able to turn up for her next training session.

I am really happy to recognise her as our AOM! She exudes a welcoming smile, a bright personality and is always eager to learn and take the teachings of her coaches on board. The crew are constantly impressed by Claires positive vibes, dedication and hard work and in the mere year she has been with us.

Keep it up Legend, thank you for being apart of our community.

More importantly thank you for imparting in the greater community the the importance of health and fitness.

MEMBER SINCE: 

10/05/2018

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HOW OLD ARE YOU?

29

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?

I’m a postdoctoral research fellow and clinical exercise physiologist – essentially a scientist that experiments with exercise as medicine. I work mostly with children with cerebral palsy and other neurodisabilities, developing and testing new paediatric rehabilitation models, and creating a bit of a paradigm shift in the process! I’m very passionate about knowledge translation (making sure our science gets implemented into practice), and I do some lecturing to support our next generation of allied health professionals in paediatrics. At the moment I am leading a big clinical trial in Melbourne that is supporting young people with disabilities to exercise at their local gym, but am also working on projects investigating heart function during exercise in children born very premature, and evaluating neurorehab services in rural and remote areas. The very best part of my job is being able to work with such awesome kids and their families, and I am very privileged to be able to share in the joy of their movement experiences and achievements. I absolutely love what I do.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

When I was 21, I booked a one-way ticket out of Australia and traveled solo for the best part of 2-3 years. I was very shy and introverted (I still am, but manage social situations somewhat better than those days), and this experience genuinely transformed me as a person. I didn’t really have a plan, which was sometimes silly but mostly great because it meant I had to continually think on my feet, embrace spontaneity, and adapt to whatever situation that landed me in! I lived and worked in some amazing places in the world, from rehab centres in the mountains in Norway, to onboard cruise ships sailing the Caribbean, to remote village hospitals in Nepal. It was an extraordinary experience filled with exceptional people that changed me for the better!

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE AT CROSSFIT COLLINGWOOD?

I met Tommy first! I so vividly remember this, he took me through my initial health/exercise interview before my academy started with James. When Tommy asked “What are you looking for in your exercise experience”, I answered without hesitation and said, “a community”. His eyes grew wide and his face lit up like a kid at Christmas as he replied, “that’s what we are!!!”. Just in case such authentic, raw passion for the Ox Box hadn’t been enough to convince me (it was), he was also well versed on effective sales strategies for females in their late twenties, casually adding in that there was a crossfit doggo called Murph (who ran up on cue). Signed, sealed, delivered, I was on board.

HOW DID YOU FIND THE OX BOX?

My partner Dylan (once a crossfitter) had been encouraging me to try crossfit for years, and after moving to Melbourne I was looking for a fitness pursuit that would also help me make friends! After a failed attempt at a popular circuit-based workout gym (I made zero friends), I googled ‘CrossFit near me’, and after evaluating the available options, Dyl specifically recommended this one. I ignored his advice, had a terrible experience elsewhere, decided to take Dyl’s advice, and never looked back!


CLAIRE'S STORY

I grew up in country Western Australia, in a goldmining town in the middle of the bush. We were always pretty active as kids, spending hours on our bikes, playing in the local creek, and staking out the bush lookout. My Dad was convinced he was another Steve Irwin (even wore the same khaki get up), so chasing lizards (and being chased by lizards!) formed a decent chunk of my early physical activity experiences. My mum enrolled me in my first gymnastics class when I was 7, as by that point cartwheeling had become my preferred mode of locomotion (especially down supermarket aisles). Down the track, my sister and I were accepted into one of the academies in Perth, which opened up a heap of opportunities for us, and we were incredibly lucky to train under ex-Olympians and alongside very talented gymnasts for many years. After retiring at the old age of 16, I attempted to play every sport my high school offered after having focused my attention on one sport for so long. One of my PE teachers tricked a few of us into attending state trials for volleyball, and that evolved into quite a few years playing and coaching in a sport not normally frequented by those of us challenged in the height department. Completing a sport science degree at uni exposed me to more traditional gym-based training which I really enjoyed and pursued on and off since. Mixed with my love of gymnastics, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to join CrossFit. I love the variation and the infinite pursuit of competence/excellence (be it performance or health) – you can always be better!

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You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take
— Wayne Gretzky

GOALS

PERSONAL:

Dyl and I spent most of last year setting ourselves up here in Melbourne…now I’m excited for us to spend some quality time enjoying life on the east coast, and doing some exploring (locally and internationally)! That’s Goal 1. Goal 2: Get a dog!

PROFESSIONAL:
Long-term, to be leading my own research program, and supporting research students to answer the big questions that are important to the kids and families we are doing our research for. My journey so far in this industry has been made possible by some incredible women in science, so building a program underpinned by a positive and supportive culture, a strong mentoring focus, and collaborations with other teams is an important component of that goal.

HEALTH:

Crossfit has really helped me find a renewed purpose with my training, and has also helped me develop a lot more resilience around a health condition I manage. More than anything, it has really encouraged me to push the boundaries on what I am capable of day-to-day. My health goals at the moment are about committing to practices that sustain the good patches (and eliminate the bad), so I can do the things I love at optimum capacity. Creating a healthier work/life balance (or harmony!) is currently the focus.

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Be the change you wish to see in the world
— Mahatma Gandhi

WOD

WHATS HAS BEEN A SPECIAL MOMENT IN YOUR CROSSFIT JOURNEY?

I recently experienced my first Open, which was every bit the highlight everyone guaranteed it would be. Seeing so many people smashing glass ceilings with the whole box cheering them on was very special! The Ox Box Games also comes a close second. But I think my favourite part of the journey so far has been as simple as feeling very much a part of the community that Tommy promised me I was coming into!

WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE WOD?

Anything gymnastics. Although I do enjoy the strength/RM days too!

YOU CHECK THE WOD AND THINK “HELL YEH” THE WOD HAS:

At the moment anything squat-related, because my legs need to get a lot stronger. But if we are talking fun, bar muscle ups take the win.

3 SONGS YOU LOVE TO WOD TO?

1. Undercover Martyn – Two Door Cinema Club
2. Opposite of Adults – Chiddy Bang
3. Sunlight – Bag Raiders


RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS

WOULD YOU GO BACK IN THE PAST OR GO INTO THE FUTURE AND WHY?  WHICH TIME PERIOD WOULD YOU GO TO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

The past – back to the sixties and Beatlemania.

WHEN DO YOU PREFER TO TRAIN?

Mornings!

WOULD YOU RATHER BE A PIRATE OR A NINJA?

Ninja! Working on cruise ships channeled the pirate life, so would be keen to explore the ninja world.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE TREAT FOOD?

Hot cross buns! Actually they are currently a staple in my diet so hardly a cheat food. Has to be hot chips.

WHAT'S THAT INGREDIENT THAT YOU ALWAYS END UP ADDING TO YOUR DISHES?

Coriander

IF YOU WERE IN THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE WHAT WOULD BE THE OBJECT YOU'D ALWAYS HAVE ON YOU?

Hermione’s bag from the last Harry Potter movie that can fit anything in it but still be feather-light. Must include the tent.

IF YOU WERE AN ACTION FIGURE WHAT WOULD YOUR 2 ACCESSORIES BE?

A trampoline and a cup of tea

IF YOU COULD GO ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW WHERE WOULD IT BE?

K2, the world’s second tallest mountain in Pakistan

CLAIRE’S TIPS FOR READERS

  1. Health is everything.

  2. Never stop learning.

  3. Explore, dream, discover.

Adam Rice - Athlete of the Month Apr '19
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Adam Rice aka Mr Rice

(i have often wondered if the nickname happened due to the ever dashing pepper hair)

An open letter by Coach Josh,

Mr Rice is the 2nd longest standing member of The Ox Box much to his disgust. He has made no secret, that he will be hanging around to claim the title of No. 1 if ever they decide to leave. After a hiatus for an extended overseas trip it was so good to see him back for his triumphant first workout post break.

So why athlete of the month?

I have had the honour of sharing many amazing moments through his health and fitness journey. I was reminded of my favourite recently as I was going through some old photo’s. I came across what was his “fat photo” before we started working together to better his nutritional habits. It was like looking at a different person. What was placed into focus was the persistence and perseverance that Mr Rice can exude. See, whatever information I provided in helping him shed the weight, it was HIS willingness and commitment that had him achieve the results.

Over the many years of working together, the ups and downs, it is this amazing quality that continues to shine through. As he now works through the work life balance and improving the strength of his back, it is that same commitment to his mobility that will see the results occur, not by some quick fix but by determination and resolve just as his showed when losing the weight.

I am incredibly grateful for his courageous walking of the gang plank when he first came into the studio and the trust that he continues to show me to be able to contribute to his health and fitness.

As I write this it is hard to convey the love I have for this man, and a genuine respect for who this man is. Spending time talking to him will always make my day better, so if you have not had the chance yet, make sure you go over and say hello. It will be worth your while… no pressure Mr Rice :)

MEMBER SINCE: 

29/12/2012

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HOW OLD ARE YOU?

36

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?

I keep my fingers in many pies but my passion lies in taking ideas for web applications and turning them into viable products.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

Many naturally assume that I put a lot of effort into my hair but I actually wake up like this. What you really don't know, however, is that I use my hair as a distraction from my inadequacies. For instance, I pretty much have the world's smallest tongue. I also have trouble breathing out of my oddly shaped nasal cavities. As a child, I lost a plastic wall plug up there and was too embarrassed to tell anyone about it. It was found by a doctor at much later date when investigating bad breath. My mother keeps the (mouldy) evidence in an album with all of my first teeth.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE AT CROSSFIT COLLINGWOOD?

When I arrived, the concrete was still wet. I started walking the plank to towards some friendly faces but Josh quickly ran over to save me from an inevitable fall into the mirky waters below. Years have past but I'm pretty sure Josh looked deep into my eyes and whispered "I got you"... or maybe it was "you got taco on you"... I just can't remember.

HOW DID YOU FIND THE OX BOX?

The founders painted the town purple in one of the most prolific examples of Guerrilla Marketing in the history of Collingwood.

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ADAM'S STORY

You could expect to find the movie of my life under Cliché Every-person Tales Of Childhood Insecurity leading to a sophomore release within Understanding Of Self Actualised Through Typical 30s Adversity. When I joined CrossFit Collingwood, my goals were driven by body issues. While this is a poor lens from which is view the path—and most likely the reason for previous failures—I'm grateful that it got me in the door.

The first step in my development was learning the difference between diet and nutrition through the Precision Nutrition course. The combination of finally understanding why I couldn’t lose weight when I thought I was eating “correctly” and the terrifying knowledge that Josh was watching me at all times lead to a more than 25KG loss. This was actually life changing for me—it may have only placed a cover over broader issues of well-being but at least it made me happier and reduced my cognitive load—and I’m confident this created the space for further development.

Given a new sense of encouragement, I’m pretty sure I missed the point of CrossFit. I was driven to keep posting bigger numbers on the bar but without the balance of mobility. As someone who has always been a desk worker, I’ve long struggled with back pain that I would push through because, you know, I was so tough. The combination of an unsuitable work environment and trying to do more than I should lead to a bulging disc and a year off. Probably the worst part of this was the knowledge that I could blame the desk all I liked but, if I had done what I was told, this could have been avoided.

Listen to your coaches…. they know shit!

Yeah, mobility takes time and, if you have a busy life, it can be hard to fit it in but give a few months screaming in pain a try and decide which you prefer.

I spent most of 2018 travelling in Europe. My goal was to slow down a bit and take some stress off, but it actually lead to a period of self-analysis. I’ve returned with a slow and steady plan for 2019 and, while I push myself, I’m pushing within my limits. I sincerely missed exercising last year and never felt quite right without it. While some incredible athletes do CrossFit, CrossFit is about feeling better and living longer. Not being hung up on the ℞ weight and applying the intent of the workouts to where I’m at has made me far happier than I’ve ever been. But don’t get me wrong, if you’re a little better than me, watch your back, I’m coming for you.

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The answer is not more hours, it’s less bullshit
— David Heinemeier Hansson

GOALS

PERSONAL:

Travelling taught me I need to relax more… and travel more. Not only do I find that I’m just a nicer person when I have some balance in my life, but I like myself a whole like more. So far this year, I’ve done a pretty good job of slowing down, but there is plenty of room to do better so I’ll keep chipping away at it.

PROFESSIONAL:
I’ve set myself some pretty ambitious goals for the next year. I’d like to almost double my income while further reducing my hours. I’m a director of three businesses and can see areas I can focus on to find the growth but won’t be allowing myself to fall back into old work patterns—I’m really looking forward to the challenge. Will I achieve it? I guess I’ll have to be good enough to fill out this survey again in a year for you to find out.

HEALTH:

I’m really honoured to be following Tammy because I pretty much just want to be her. This year is all about enjoying the journey, being happy, and bringing greater consistency to all areas of my health and fitness.

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If you break the rules before you master the fundamentals, you’re not a disrupter, you’re just wasted potential.

WOD

WHY DO YOU ENJOY TRAINING AT THE OX BOX?

There is so much to love. There are the community and encouragement—I’ve always felt connected to the people at CrossFit Collingwood. I also get bored pretty quickly, so the diversity suits me perfectly. But, even if I’m playing it cool on the outside, I’ve got 0 internal chill, so I’ll be celebrating every little PB.

WHATS HAS BEEN A SPECIAL MOMENT IN YOUR CROSSFIT JOURNEY?

One Open, the box took a photo of Sam Cumming, the late Dan Edgar (lost to Sydney), and I laughing (clearly I’d said something super hilarious). That photo made its way to my Tinder profile (not sure I got permission for that one, soz) and then a cute lady was like “oh ddddaaaammmmmnnnnn, look at him”, and so now I’m not single. I think that’s pretty special. CrossFit Collingwood, bringing hearts together since at least 2016.

WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE WOD?

I love getting better at the things I’m terrible at. It would be hard to design a workout that tests my weaknesses better than Murph, and so it’s always been a favourite. Maybe if they replaced the squats with burpees or something.

YOU CHECK THE WOD AND THINK “HELL YEH” THE WOD HAS:

Snatch. Every gain I’ve ever had with snatch has come from getting better at technique. When I was trying to beat my last PB, the bar would float up to my eyes, but I just couldn’t drop under it. It’s such a no-bullshit lift—it doesn’t matter the size of the guns you bring, the snatch will disarm you.

3 SONGS YOU LOVE TO WOD TO?

Mid-WOD, I’m all about hard and fast beats; I never got sick of the year when Pendulum was on permanent rotation. For the other 50 minutes, however, I’m bringing strong women with funky beats:
• Offence — Little Simz
• Like Sugar — Chaka Khan
• New breed — Dawn Richard

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RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS

WOULD YOU GO BACK IN THE PAST OR GO INTO THE FUTURE AND WHY?  WHICH TIME PERIOD WOULD YOU GO TO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

I’d probably go back a decade and tell myself to stop drinking and put all that money into Bitcoin farming.

WHEN DO YOU PREFER TO TRAIN?

Midday breaks up the day

WOULD YOU RATHER BE A PIRATE OR A NINJA?

I’d much rather be a ninja—although I’d probably be an early Naruto pigging out on ramen and generally considered to be a bit of a dick but can release the power of a Silver Fox in a time of need. Fantasies aside, I think we know I’m more likely to be a drunken idiot walking a plank (and stories comes back around).

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE TREAT FOOD?

Oh, pizza for days. But none of that all-the-toppings-with-a-stuffed-crust shit, just a couple of top quality ingredients and a wood fire.

WHAT'S THAT INGREDIENT THAT YOU ALWAYS END UP ADDING TO YOUR DISHES?

I used to be a hardcore chilli addict. These days I’m a lot more moderated, but I still love a little bit of a tingle.

IF YOU WERE IN THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE WHAT WOULD BE THE OBJECT YOU'D ALWAYS HAVE ON YOU?

Shoes? My limited understanding is that zombies are not particularly agile, I feel like I could basically just speed walk away.

IF YOU WERE AN ACTION FIGURE WHAT WOULD YOUR 2 ACCESSORIES BE?

I’m a walking stereotype; give me a Mac covered in stickers and some noise-cancelling headphones.

IF YOU COULD GO ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW WHERE WOULD IT BE?

Iceland. It’s like being on another planet; it’s gorgeous. Maybe one day I’ll even get around to putting up travel photos.

ADAM’S TIPS FOR READERS

Filling out the Athlete of the Month survey can take some time if writing doesn’t come naturally to you. When Leish tells you to do it on the weekend, listen to her.

Tammy Fankhanel - Athlete of the Month March '19
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Tammy Fankhanel

An open letter by Coach Josh,

Without this woman, we would all likely not be here. I am obviously going to be a little bias about this legend of a human being as she is after all me MA!. 

This #over55crossfitter has been an integral part of the 1st class of the day ever since we started the Box back in 2012. Tammy is always, bright, bubbly, has amazing team spirit, the purveyor of Ox Bricks and Bombs, works hard, inspires her greater community and will be the first to lend a hand if you ask. 

So why this long to be athlete of the month? Why only now?

Tammy has been dealing with injury for a very long time now. She has always done the right things, eaten well, trained consistently, seen countless professionals around the right type of treatment and finally worked on improving the issue. However, all that has lead to is more questions, and never the result she has desired. 

This is due to her focus being in the wrong spot; aiming to get to the DESTINATION of being pain-free instead of concentrating on the JOURNEY by doing the work necessary to be pain-free.

Recently she has taken the OX by the horns (see what I did there); she has taken ownership of the journey by doing what is necessary to get the results she wants and it’s paying off big time. This small shift in mindset has seen vast improvements to not only her injury but also her overall well being too. Her range of motion is improving and pain decreasing to where she was able to jog again, pain-free, a couple of weeks ago. 

I could not be happier to see her taking control, making the necessary changes to the way she trains, tracking the inputs to be more healthy and adjusting as necessary.

Being able to contribute to a woman who has done so much for me is something I cherish.
I could not be prouder of you Mum, Love you, Keep it Up!

MEMBER SINCE: 

19/12/2012

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HOW OLD ARE YOU?

58 years young!

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?

Now retired... My days are filled with looking after (my husband) Ian, CrossFitting, hip rehab, making OX-BOMBS and OX-BRICKS. Keeping home, with ALL that entails: cooking, smoothie-ing, juicing, vege-gardening, and trying to share recipes, thoughts, experiences and colour on my non-business Insta account RAW VITALITY - NOURISH TO FLOURISH .. (or one could say living the life to which I have much gratitude for.)

Nature gives you the face you have at 20, it is up to you to merit the face you have at 50.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I'm a car lover. The ones that you start and hear that engine rumble, it’s just ... well it just takes your breath and makes you think “awwww shite that's so good, and you just have to smile”. I’m blessed to drive some EPIC cars - so I don't mind the 'old Sunday drive and AUDIOBOOKS are my new thing to do when I'm in the car.

Also, I'm currently doing a minimalist clean out at home from top to bottom. OH MY GOD ... another EPIC event.

Finally, I love to relax with a sublime wine :)

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE AT CROSSFIT COLLINGWOOD?

Well I was a kind of proud Mum, seeing Coach Josh (my son) and Coach Ren open the box - seeing their dream come to fruition. I loved the catchy, strong name: The Ox Box. The WODS looked hideously difficult and I didn't think I could do it at all.

HOW DID YOU FIND THE OX BOX?

Through your illustrious leaders ... son, Josh and Coach Ren. Too easy.

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TAMMY'S STORY

I was always a kind of chubby kid (the brunt of fat jokes at school) that loved sports over academia. I represented Brisbane in the QLD Softball State Schools competition. I just missed out on representing the school in Netball because the selector chose her daughter (bugger). After having my son I got into aerobics. Then work and motherhood was all consuming.

I really only got back into it after 40. I looked at myself in the mirror and made a promise to myself not to live the rest of my life in that shape. I went to the gym and achieved bugger all. I then learned that nutrition and exercise were a partnership. I worked with a sports nutritionist to fine tune how I ate. Did a shopping audit and learned that you don't need 80% of the supermarket. Frightening. I then looked into organic foods. I then read a gazillion books on fitness, health, nutrition (I still do). I was my own guinea pig .. diets were many. Eat Right for your Blood Type, Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, 100% Raw, Metabolic Nutrition, Precision Nutrition, Anti Cancer Diet, Juicing Diets, Eating to your Individual DNA... shall I go on?

What I did notice is that across nearly EVERY food program, there is a core that they all agree on. Eat fresh vegetables in abundance, some fruit, berries, nuts, seeds and drink plenty of clean water. Today I follow my individualised DNA profile that tells me how many serves my body likes of veg, grains, meat/alternatives, dairy/alternatives, fat and fruit each day. It’s a lifestyle not a diet.

SUMMARY IN A NUTSHELL: 1. we need way less protein than we eat (and I did not lose muscle as a result of reducing the protein and my liver is happier for it) 2. Your nutrition needs to be your lifestyle - not a constant challenge. 3. Its not a diet that we need - its self discipline. There is so much crap food scientifically designed to taste amazing that we fall slave to, and we mere mortals are weak when it comes to self discipline. (Keep that in mind).

I started CrossFit 12 weeks after hip surgery 6 years ago. Some thought it would be the worst thing I could do, but from a functionality point of view, I now have more movement over all joints and muscles than when I was half my age. I'm still a work in progress - its perpetual. I love training with younger members. I love their vitality, enthusiasm and keeping up with changes to the English language (i.e, WHATSUP - in my day that meant 'what's wrong' - today it's another way of saying 'HI' ... go figure - or SICK ... you were just effing sick, it didn't mean something was awesome). I also love training with older athletes because I understand what it takes. The community is 'SICK'. Is that the right context? (The Ox Box: yes Tammy its is, nailed it!)

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The BEST things in life are FREE (ain’t life grand) .... The second best things are VERY EXPENSIVE.
— Tammy's words to live by

GOALS

PERSONAL:

HEALTH - HUSBAND - FAMILY - PEACE.
My life is amazing and I have immense gratitude for that. But I'm a Libra (zodia sign) and need all my family to be healthy and achieving their personal and business goals. My goal is to see that achieved. When it comes to health, my husband Ian has a saying, I'll earn the money - you keep us healthy. So my fave hashtags are #fitfood #fitmind #fitbody that feature often on Raw Vitality posts. I just don't think it's possible to prosper optimally without that combo - they 'fit' (pardon the pun) perfectly in sync to me.

PROFESSIONAL:

Happily retired. My professional life was receptionist, secretary, admin, internal sales, sales rep, sales manager, state manager all in QLD, then a relocation to Melbourne as Australian marketing manager - all with the same firm. I loved my job, I loved the journey. I paid off my house as a single Mum in those days. That moment still excites me now. F R E E D O M.

HEALTH:

Well on account of we start losing muscle after the age of 35, my thoughts of continuing to grow in strength are now elusive to perhaps non-existent, but as long as I can continue to be my best me and crossfit on, achieve little goals along the way - I'm as happy as a pig in mud. I am strong and fit for my age and I know what I have to do to keep it up.

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Gentleness doesn’t get the job done unless you’re a hen laying an egg.

WOD

WHATS HAS BEEN A SPECIAL MOMENT IN YOUR CROSSFIT JOURNEY?

Coming 2nd in the 2018 CrossFit Masters League by one point. (Womens 55-59 Category). I got that CrossFit T-shirt with FANKHANEL emblazoned on it. I actually felt proud of that achievement. Sometimes I can surprise even

WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE WOD?

Absolutely any workout I do to a good standard and complete is a fave at that time. I don't have a precise favourite. I fear many. I'm not a fan of Karen - 150 wall balls - OMG what is that about ... or that 7 minutes of burpees. WTF.

YOU CHECK THE WOD AND THINK “HELL YEH” THE WOD HAS:

Double unders - they really test me

3 SONGS YOU LOVE TO WOD TO?

Personal Jesus - Marilyn Manson (even though he is cringeworthy to look at sometimes)
Supermassive Black Hole - Muse
Infinity - Guru Josh

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“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
— Thomas Edison

RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS

WOULD YOU GO BACK IN THE PAST OR GO INTO THE FUTURE AND WHY?  WHICH TIME PERIOD WOULD YOU GO TO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

I'm happy right now ... but if I was in the time tunnel (that was a 1960's TV show), I'd press the 1940's .. those gorgeous old cars, the simple things in life, jazz music, time, dizzy love, honour, dressing 'fine', respect, a time when in life, possessions and people weren't so disposable. Shopping was collected in paper bags, you baked a pie and didn't buy it. All that kinda stuff.

WHEN DO YOU PREFER TO TRAIN?

5.30am (Mornings = Energy for me)

WOULD YOU RATHER BE A PIRATE OR A NINJA?

Neither - me rather be Sarah Sigmunds

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE TREAT FOOD?

Ice cream and Dutch liquorice (Salmiak to be precise)

WHAT'S THAT INGREDIENT THAT YOU ALWAYS END UP ADDING TO YOUR DISHES?

Anything green (in abundance too)

IF YOU WERE IN THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE WHAT WOULD BE THE OBJECT YOU'D ALWAYS HAVE ON YOU?

An invisible onesie maybe ??

IF YOU WERE AN ACTION FIGURE WHAT WOULD YOUR 2 ACCESSORIES BE?

My thermo-mix and my Mini JCW, but I'll add an aftermarket Remus Exhaust system so me be loud and sassy

IF YOU COULD GO ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW WHERE WOULD IT BE?

The Ritz, Paris - It's really really Ritzy

TAMMY’S TIPS FOR READERS

1. Life is short. It catches up so quickly. Remember #1body1life - look after it in every way and it will repay you in spades till the end.
2. And some wisdom from my Mum R.I.P. - ALWAYS make the best of it (whatever 'it' is). Just think about that for a minute - it's a valuable mantra for life.

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Andy Corlett - Athlete of the Month FEB '19
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Andy CORLETT

Mechanics, Consistency and only then intensity is a catchphrase you hear the coaches throwing around the Box and this AOM is an embodiment of just that.

CrossFitter of mornings and a purveyor of the most sought after drug in Melbourne by day (aka Allpress coffee), I have had the pleasure of plenty 1 on 1 time with this legend since joining us at The Ox Box, it has truly been a awesome watching his progress and dedication to getting shit done right and improving where it needs to happen.

Congratulations, on being our Athlete of the Month. You deserve this moment!

Coach Josh

MEMBER SINCE: 

15/02/2017

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HOW OLD ARE YOU?

36

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?

I work in Sales and Business Development for Allpress Espresso. A day in the life includes drinking loads of coffee, eating delicious food and saying 'no' very nicely.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

My accent tells a wee bit of a lie.
I grew up in a tiny English town called Spalding in Lincolnshire (UK), but got out of there as soon as I could. Cool fact is that the town is build on historic fenland and sits at six meters below sea level. That really is the only most interesting thing about the place, other than the Flower Parade of course.

Once I escaped Spalding, I lived in the US for seven years studying, and then coasted around Europe for a few, until I met a girl and landed in Australia in 2009 - a cliched story I know, but for as long as I can remember I've sounded a little Australian so I guess it's quite fitting I now call Melbourne home.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE AT CROSSFIT COLLINGWOOD?

I booked a catch up with Josh after work. When I arrived the gym was empty but for Coach Kev doing some weird weightlifting movements on the back platforms. It was pretty impressive but also rather intimidating. Not a chance I could do that. Josh reassured me that snatching my body weight on the first day wasn't expected, and that mastering those sorts of movements was a slow process, taking years of practice to master. I liked that, and signed up on the spot.

HOW DID YOU FIND THE OX BOX?

The Urban List's best Crossfit Studio's list (https://www.theurbanlist.com/melbourne/a-list/melbourne-s-best-crossfit-studios)

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Andy’s STORY

I grew up playing most team sports and was pretty average at them all - "he tries really hard" was the best my under 10's rugby coach could muster. After a while I started to gravitate to individual sports and ended up being a little better than average at tennis. It was very good to me and opened the door to finishing high school in London, and then move to the US on a scholarship with the Mighty Weber State Wild Cats in Utah (teeny bit of sarcasm should be read here). This was my first exposure to strength and conditioning, and a very intense, alpha male, Drill Sergeant-of-a-coach who managed to put me right off the weight room and organised training for a solid ten years.

I love the process of CrossFit. Every movement has a foundation or is a building block to another movement and while its not always easy to see, its awesome to see and feel the results in time.

Show up and you’re most of the way there.
— Andy's words to live by

GOALS

PERSONAL:

I'll be a Dad for the first time in June, so working out how to be good at that is the goal for the next little while.

PROFESSIONAL:

Never be too busy. From what I've seen those who find good balance never seem to to put too much weight on being busy, but instead they're intentional.

HEALTH:

Muscle ups are the next goal. They looked so far out of reach when I started two years ago, but edge a little further each week.


WOD

WHATS HAS BEEN A SPECIAL MOMENT IN YOUR CROSSFIT JOURNEY?

Getting my first strict pull up would be a highlight.

WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE WOD?

Murph - it's simple and brutal.

YOU CHECK THE WOD AND THINK “HELL YEH” THE WOD HAS:

Double-unders

3 SONGS YOU LOVE TO WOD TO?

Born Slippy - Underworld
Hey Boy Hey Girl - Chemical Brothers
Breathe - The Prodigy

The first draft of anything is shit.
— unknown

RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS

WOULD YOU GO BACK IN THE PAST OR GO INTO THE FUTURE AND WHY?  WHICH TIME PERIOD WOULD YOU GO TO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

To the future because I’m not good with surprises.

WHEN DO YOU PREFER TO TRAIN?

Morning.

WOULD YOU RATHER BE A PIRATE OR A NINJA?

Pirate - for the rum.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE TREAT FOOD?

Andrew's Hamburgers in Albert Park

WHAT'S THAT INGREDIENT THAT YOU ALWAYS END UP ADDING TO YOUR DISHES?

Garlic

IF YOU WERE IN THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE WHAT WOULD BE THE OBJECT YOU'D ALWAYS HAVE ON YOU?

Cricket bat - practical and fun

IF YOU WERE AN ACTION FIGURE WHAT WOULD YOUR 2 ACCESSORIES BE?

Kettle and coffee

IF YOU COULD GO ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW WHERE WOULD IT BE?

The Alps

Liam Dermody - Athlete of the Month Jan '19
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Liam Dermody

No other lifting face compares to Liam Dermody’s. Aside from having the best lifting face, he also has a great heart. Liam was unanimously chosen by the coaches to receive our “Heart of the Box” Award in 2018. Athletes who receive this award show genuine care and support for their fellow Oxens. They are always bright, energetic and most importantly, coachable. The Heart of the Box Oxen brings a positive attitude to the box and to their training. Liam embodies all of these attributes and is truly a spectacular member and an impressive athlete.

Warning: Photos will make you want to lift your face game.

MEMBER SINCE: 

09/01/2018

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HOW OLD ARE YOU?

33

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?

Public servant (read: I've spent entirely too much time in Canberra)

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I worked as a movie projectionist with old 35mm film back in the day. And before you ask, I didn't "Fight Club" any of the movies, but I did splice out frames from the film to create a questionably legal collection. Was definitely any easier gig than when I used to coax urine samples out of drug users detained at police stations for research...

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE AT CROSSFIT COLLINGWOOD?

I did a drop-in with Kiwi Kev at the helm. I remember being taken back about how welcoming it was. Most crossfit boxes are friendly, but the Ox Box had a genuineness to it. Pretty much the entire class came up to say hello. Mads Knight was like the unofficial Ambassador of the box, introducing me to people like it was a diplomatic function.

HOW DID YOU FIND THE OX BOX?

Good ol Google

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LIAM'S STORY

My family had a rule that you had to play a sport all year round, but you could do whatever you wanted. I chose baseball which I played for over 10 years as well as a short stint in Rugby Union. When my best mate needed to get his fitness up to scratch so he could pass the police entry physical, we took ourselves off to the gym where we spent many an hour doing quarter depth squats, thinking we were going to be the next Ronnie Colemans. After almost 10 years grinding away with sweaty headphones, I wanted something more. Something that motivated me, that I could develop at. I swallowed my pride (I had some pretty harsh preconceived notions about crossfit) and jumped into a class. I was instantly hooked. That was September 2014 and I haven't looked back.

Training is my mediation. The intensity of Crossfit and the Ox Box's community help lift my head out of whatever problems might be going on in the outside world and focus my mind on something positive.

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People only know you by your actions. Just thinking you’re a good person is not enough.
— Liams words to live by

GOALS

PERSONAL:

To be the Dad my kids deserve.

PROFESSIONAL:
To be surrounded by people who inspire me.

HEALTH:

My main goal is to keep showing up until I'm old and disgusting. They'd better have a lifting platform at my retirement village is all I'm saying.

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It’s all data (baby)!
— Coach James (when discussing missing oly lifts)

WOD

WHATS HAS BEEN A SPECIAL MOMENT IN YOUR CROSSFIT JOURNEY?

Redoing Open WOD 15.4. When it came up in the open, I didn't even bother doing the workout as I couldn't even do one of the required 80+kg cleans. That weight seemed so ridiculous. Cut to a year or so later and I was able to get through the workout with confidence. It really demonstrated that with time and persistence you can do things you thought were well out of your reach.

WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE WOD?

Anything bodyweight

YOU CHECK THE WOD AND THINK “HELL YEH” THE WOD HAS:

Push ups!

3 SONGS YOU LOVE TO WOD TO?

Tints - Anderson.Paak
Legend Has It - Run the Jewels
Let's Get Married - Jagged Edge

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“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
— Thomas Edison

RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS

WOULD YOU GO BACK IN THE PAST OR GO INTO THE FUTURE AND WHY?  WHICH TIME PERIOD WOULD YOU GO TO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Future. I want to see interstellar travel dammit!

WHEN DO YOU PREFER TO TRAIN?

Weekends!

WOULD YOU RATHER BE A PIRATE OR A NINJA?

Ninja - they be gymnasty!

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE TREAT FOOD?

Chocolate. Always.

WHAT'S THAT INGREDIENT THAT YOU ALWAYS END UP ADDING TO YOUR DISHES?

Avocados. It's an expensive habit....

IF YOU WERE IN THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE WHAT WOULD BE THE OBJECT YOU'D ALWAYS HAVE ON YOU?

Baseball bat

IF YOU WERE AN ACTION FIGURE WHAT WOULD YOUR 2 ACCESSORIES BE?

My bike and my thumb tape.

IF YOU COULD GO ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW WHERE WOULD IT BE?

Beirut

LIAM’S TIPS FOR READERS

Lemon juice helps balance out your dish if you over salt it.

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Michael Van Uffelen - Athlete of the Month Nov '18
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Michael Van Uffelen

Master Mike is one of our beloved, longer standing members.

He has shown excellent commitment to his training not only in his attendance, but his attentiveness in class, respect for coaches and the box as a whole, and his desire to improve daily.

Michael is a humble athlete and is always downplaying his achievements and strengths, and he can always be heard providing encouragement to fellow athletes.

Michael respects the movements, the standards, and the stimulus which is a big part of his incredible improvement across his time with us.

If you can navigate his heavy dutch accent, he is always happy to take the time to have a chat and a laugh with any member.

Anyway, enough from us, here are some words from the man himself...
 

MEMBER SINCE: 

04/01/2015

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HOW OLD ARE YOU?

35

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?

I'm a Business Intelligence consultant. Which means that I am helping out companies in understanding what type of data they have available and what they can do with it. Still no clue?!? I'm making companies smarter by providing reports/insights based on data they didn't even know was available in their systems :-)

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

In my younger ages I loved to go to rave parties. Enjoying myself with a beer on the dance floor. Yes! I used to be on the dance floor, can you imagine?!?

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE AT CROSSFIT COLLINGWOOD?

When I first walked through the door, I met with Josh. Even though he didn't understand a word of what I was saying, because of my accent (nothing changed in the last four years :-)), he was a very welcoming and was taking me through my first foundation session. It was a good first session and one of the things I remembered is “how heavy is this 15Kg barbell....”

HOW DID YOU FIND THE OX BOX?

Simply searched for Crossfit boxes in the area and Crossfit Collingwood was the closest in my area.

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Michael'S STORY

Growing up as a child, I tried a few sports, but most of them I didn't enjoy. Born in The Netherlands, it is kind of mandatory to play football (or soccer as some people would like to call it), so I tried that for a year, but kicking a ball is not made for me. So I changed to tennis for a bit, but hitting a small ball with a racket, combined with my amazing hand-eye coordination, didn't seem to be the right sport for me either. Then I started doing Judo as self-defence, they also said this would help with practicing my fine motor skills and I ended up doing this for quite some years. Going to practice twice a week and playing a tournament once in a while. Unfortunately I never made it to the Olympics.

At some point I started combining this with handball, two times a week training and once a week a match. Even though I was smoking at the time, I was definitely at my fittest. Then Uni started...I quit the two sports I was enjoying for different reason and I substituted it for a global gym. I went twice a week with a mate to this gym, did the basics, more chatting then exercising and finishing off with some junk food and a beer (you need your carbs after exercising no?!?). At this time of my life, I seemed more interested in beers and going out then being active. I still ended up doing a yearly trip to the (European) Alps, so apparently I was still fit enough to climb up the mountains. At some point, I quit smoking, I gained some weight, but kept doing what I was doing - twice a week a social catch up at the globo gym.

Then just before I left the Netherlands, I got a little taste of CrossFit. My brother is a PT and he gave me (and Colette) a few sessions. Once arrived in Australia, I decided to never go to a globo gym anymore and once a job was secured, I joined CrossFit Collingwood. Started with three times a week, which quickly became 5 times a week (weekends were off) and after my first Crossfit Open, which meant waking up early on a Saturday, I kept going on Saturdays as well. I started eating healthier, lost the kilos that I gained since Uni, gained some muscle and now I am training 6 times a week, sometimes 2 hours a day. I am doing this with joy, because I know it keeps me fit and healthy!

I am doing CrossFit for nearly 4 years now and the thing I enjoy most is that everyday is different and I keep seeing progress. Also the Ox Box community is great, they really helped me settle here in Australia.

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If I wanted you to understand it, I would have explained it better.
— Johan Cruijff

GOALS

PERSONAL:

Getting more time for my little one. Because he loves daddy time and it's amazing to see him growing up happily.

PROFESSIONAL:

I would like to get a job which involves less development and more mentoring/coaching/leading, because I've done enough boring development work.

HEALTH:

I want to solve my shoulder injury, because its bugging me for a long time now. Also once it's solved, it will help in my second goal and that's having a 100Kg Clean and Jerk.

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WOD

WHATS HAS BEEN A SPECIAL MOMENT IN YOUR CROSSFIT JOURNEY?

My first muscle up! Mainly because I got it months before my brother got his first and he has been doing CrossFit for so much longer then me!

WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE WOD?

Anything with thrusters. I don't know why, but somehow I just love them.

YOU CHECK THE WOD AND THINK “HELL YEH” THE WOD HAS:

NO double unders

3 SONGS YOU LOVE TO WOD TO?

I'm not a big music guy, so I am OK with anything as long as it's not on Tommy's list (To much Kanye :-))

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RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS

WOULD YOU GO BACK IN THE PAST OR GO INTO THE FUTURE AND WHY?  WHICH TIME PERIOD WOULD YOU GO TO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

The past. Bet on a sports event and be rich(er).

WHEN DO YOU PREFER TO TRAIN?

I prefer mornings. But sometimes you need to sacrifice

WOULD YOU RATHER BE A PIRATE OR A NINJA?

Pirate. Because I love the sea... and rum

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE TREAT FOOD?

Burgers and fries as long as the fries are crunchy.

WHAT'S THAT INGREDIENT THAT YOU ALWAYS END UP ADDING TO YOUR DISHES?

Garlic.

IF YOU WERE IN THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE WHAT WOULD BE THE OBJECT YOU'D ALWAYS HAVE ON YOU?

My running shoes, so I can run away from them.

IF YOU WERE AN ACTION FIGURE WHAT WOULD YOUR 2 ACCESSORIES BE?

An ice axe and a kettle bell

IF YOU COULD GO ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW WHERE WOULD IT BE?

A white sandy beach in the Carabean.

Freya Rastall - Athlete of the Month Oct '18
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Freya Rastall

In the short time Freya has been here training with us we have witnessed a massive transformation. She is looking amazing, strong and vital! We can’t just attribute this to our amazing coaching and programming ;) Freya has gone above and beyond! Pushing her self to show up and train regularly, also making nutritional changes to better enhance her health and performance. She has put in the hard work and it certainly shows.

Her success is not just face value. She has also undergone an amazing transformation from within. We’ve watched her pursue her goal to be a yoga instructor, and couldn’t be more proud and awed by how she has embraced movement and meditation into her life. We love people that embrace both the Yin and Yan to movement. It is key to have a balance of both to be a healthy athlete.

More importantly, Freya is a well loved human at The Ox Box. It’s so important to our community to have people like herself who are kind and supportive. It truly makes this space a special place to come to everyday and train in.
 

MEMBER SINCE: 

06/10/2016

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HOW OLD ARE YOU?

29

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?

I'm a social worker and a yoga teacher. As a social worker, I support children who may not be able to live with mum or dad but get the chance to live with grandparents, aunts, uncles or foster carers. I specialise in trauma and creative therapies, so I love anything that looks at the impact of adverse experiences on children's development and ways to heal using creative outlets such as art, music and movement. As a yoga teacher, I love helping people get into their bodies, to experience movement and breath, to develop their health and wellbeing and to hopefully be the best versions of themselves possible.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I'm an IVF baby - so sending the love to the people that are trying to grow their families bigger - it can happen! Also, I love using exclamation marks - sometimes I wonder if I talk like I type, or whether I just get really excited when typing. Let me know if you have an answer?!

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE AT CROSSFIT COLLINGWOOD IN 2016?

Coach Josh's smiling face! I remember thinking, wow this is one happy guy, I want to be like him!

HOW DID YOU FIND THE OX BOX?

Some smart person put a Crossfit Collingwood sticker on the telegraph pole outside my house, I saw it everyday for a year, and then when it had eventually burnt onto my brain, I decided to google what it was all about. Obviously never looked back.

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Create without possession. Act without expectation. Guide without interference.
— - Freya's words to live by

FREYA'S STORY

Oh gosh - it's been a rollercoaster... I tried every sport under the sun at school - soccer, waterpolo, tennis, cricket, hockey, under water hockey (seriously that's a thing!!) - I could write a novel. I wasn't particularly good at any of them, but always had a go. Once I left school - I went wayward trying to stay healthy by joining group fitness programs or running - nothing lasted long. Fast forward to three years ago when I found my true loves. Crossfit and Yoga!! I have never stuck with any training so long, so I assume they are my true loves or perhaps I have just matured. What I've noticed is that the community and the people are my favourite part of training. When I am able to connect with people and be part of something bigger than myself - that's when I see the best results in my fitness.

I love the wholistic nature of Crossfit, that it focuses on all aspects of being healthy and not what is perceived to be healthy by society. Especially as a woman, it feels good to be encouraged to be strong as opposed to thin. I also love the challenge of building strength in areas of weakness and that there is always room for improvement. Although I enjoy strength based work and lifting, my favourite movements are anything mobility driven. I prefer to move well than to move heavy.

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If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely
— Ronald Dahl

GOALS

PERSONAL:

I've been working on really getting to know myself - the good the bad and the ugly. I am giving myself lots of time and space to explore the parts of myself that I love and the parts of myself that I am learning to love. From this place of deep inquiry I hope to be my best self possible.

PROFESSIONAL:

I dream of combining my love of teaching yoga with social work. I want to be able to use yoga as a way of building communities and as an option for healing experiences of trauma, improving mental health and general well-being.

HEALTH:

I want to be healthy all over. I'm constantly learning to be healthy in as many aspects of my life as possible. I love training my body through Crossfit and yoga is a huge part of building my heart and mind. Lately, I have been working on my internal layers - taking care of my gut health and also learning heaps about gynaecological health!

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WOD

WHATS HAS BEEN A SPECIAL MOMENT IN YOUR CROSSFIT JOURNEY?

First prize: I love the open! Such good energy, and the opportunity to see everyone kicking goals and hanging out as a community. Runners up prize: Every time Murphy sings happy birthday.

WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE WOD?

Murph!! I always go to the dawn service, now I have more that one way to show my gratitude for our service men and women.

YOU CHECK THE WOD AND THINK “HELL YEH” THE WOD HAS:

Wall balls. And I love a health day.

3 SONGS YOU LOVE TO WOD TO?

You were right - Rufus
Go Bang - Pnau
Don't stop me now - Queen

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RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS

WOULD YOU GO BACK IN THE PAST OR GO INTO THE FUTURE AND WHY?  WHICH TIME PERIOD WOULD YOU GO TO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Neither! I find it hard enough to stay in the present as it is!

WHEN DO YOU PREFER TO TRAIN?

Morning!

WOULD YOU RATHER BE A PIRATE OR A NINJA?

Ninja - I channel crouching tiger hidden dragon all the time. Well try to.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE TREAT FOOD?

Salted caramel!

WHAT'S THAT INGREDIENT THAT YOU ALWAYS END UP ADDING TO YOUR DISHES?

Chilli!

IF YOU WERE IN THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE WHAT WOULD BE THE OBJECT YOU'D ALWAYS HAVE ON YOU?

I would be a Zombie, I hate being chased so would accept my fate early, and then go and Zombie everyone else. I guess I could still use an object. Probably a sawn of shotgun because then I would look bad ass.

IF YOU WERE AN ACTION FIGURE WHAT WOULD YOUR 2 ACCESSORIES BE?

Chocolate and a dog. Most people like both, or one or the other, therefore I could get myself out of any situation and win the hearts of nations.

IF YOU COULD GO ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW WHERE WOULD IT BE?

Big Sur, California.

Andrew Collier - Athlete of the Month September '18
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ANDREW COLLIER

The (on again off again) fantastic moustache man - Andy Collier! We've known this guy long enough to say his seasonal moustache is something to behold. If we had a moustache award it would go to that guy. Obviously we're easily distracted by facial hair, that being said, under neath the (sometimes) bristly exterior is an equally fantastic dude. 

For first time readers a reminder, our athletes of the month are chosen based on their: perseverance in training, commitment to their health, and value they add to making this community awesome. Andy has shown all these qualities over the 3 + years he has been training here. In that time he has evolved as an athlete, showing progression in his strength, stamina, and resilience. He also shown his willingness to learn and improve, he is inquisitive about improving his movement. When you read his story, he even says it himself, he will choose good movement over heavey movment - we like that! We have also witness some massive milestones in his life, becoming a dad and starting his own business. Despite these massive life events he still shows up at The Ox Box, fighting to be the healthiest person he can be. 

What we love and appreciate most of all about Andy, is his attitude when he walks through the door. He's always ready to have a friendly conversation and bring a positive vibe into the room.

 

MEMBER SINCE: 

21/09/2014

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HOW OLD ARE YOU?

31

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?

Quantity Surveyor - I let banks know if construction projects are feasible from a cost perspective.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I'm the most impatient person you have ever met. I use to walk to work because I couldn't be bothered waiting for a tram. Then it took to long when I was on it. I also love to cook and am very competitive.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE AT CROSSFIT COLLINGWOOD IN 2016?

I walk in the door and a class was mobilising after a workout. I noticed everyone looked across at me and someone said 'fresh meat'. I thought I walked into prison. Oddly enough I'm still a member.

HOW DID YOU FIND THE OX BOX?

By fluke. I let my fitness drop off when I was at university and started working full time. I was looking for something other than the gym or footy training to keep me in shape. Anyway, I went out for a run and strained my ITB. I was looking for some home remedy and stumbled across Kelly Starrett and he kept talking about this CrossFit thing. So I googled it. The next week I joined a Box.

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Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
— Andy's words to live by.

ANDY'S STORY

When I was younger Dad was always running or doing weights, so I guess I looked up to that. (He is 65 and does HIIT 6 nights a week, he's still got it). Mum was the woman who visited Primary-school and told you about healthy eating habits. So a decent grounding to a healthy life style. At school, I was involved in anything that involved sport (mainly because I wanted a day off). I was part of the athletics, swim and cross country teams, I played football, cricket, tennis and was even the volleyball captain (and yes, I'm only 5'10). I grew up in the country and after school, I had two choices: 1) wait at mum's work and do homework, 2) go to the gym/play sport. I always chose the second option. On the weekends to get out of the house I was playing a sport or going for a run. This active lifestyle lasted until I went to university, where I replaced a 5 days a week sports cycle with a 5 day a week drinking cycle; debasing the grounded healthy lifestyle I had developed. I think I always preferred longer workouts like long runs or high rep body-weight work etc. In CrossFit I prefer the chipper workouts that last +20 min.

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GOALS

PERSONAL:

I co-sleep with a teething 8 month old child. At the moment my main goal is to get as much sleep as possible.

PROFESSIONAL:

I recently started my own business, so to have that not tank would be nice.

HEALTH:

I'd like to be able to perform all the movements in crossfit well. Not necessarily at the heaviest weight or for the most reps but just to be able to move well in all the movements. Gymnastics movements are at the top of my list to improve.


WOD

WHATS HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE MOMENT IN YOUR CROSSFIT JOURNEY?

Anytime I beat Sam Cumming or Liam Dermody in a work out is a pretty good moment. 

WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE WOD?

Anything with GHD's or Murph.

3 SONGS YOU LOVE TO WOD TO?

Hard to explain - The Strokes
Lonely boy - The Black Keys
This is America - Childish Gambino (good video clip)

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RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS

WOULD YOU GO BACK IN THE PAST OR GO INTO THE FUTURE AND WHY?  WHICH TIME PERIOD WOULD YOU GO TO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

The future, I already know what happened in the past. Probably 1000 years from now. Just to see what possible.

WHEN DO YOU PREFER TO TRAIN?

Mid-morning, say 10 am.

WOULD YOU RATHER BE A PIRATE OR A NINJA?

Pirate, swashbuckling seems like a good way of life.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE TREAT FOOD?

Homemade chocolate fudge pudding served with cream

WHAT'S THAT INGREDIENT THAT YOU ALWAYS END UP ADDING TO YOUR DISHES?

Garlic and Parsley

IF YOU WERE IN THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE WHAT WOULD BE THE OBJECT YOU'D ALWAYS HAVE ON YOU?

My dog Boon, she hunts out dead things all the time (and then rolls in it)

IF YOU WERE AN ACTION FIGURE WHAT WOULD YOUR 2 ACCESSORIES BE?

GHD's or Murph

IF YOU COULD GO ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW WHERE WOULD IT BE?

San Sebastian, Spain

Josh Haigh - Athlete of the Month August '18
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Joshua Haigh

Over the course of his 2 years with us, Josh Haigh has been a shining beacon of consistency, hard work, commitment and talent.

A permanent fixture to the 5:30 am class and our evening specialty classes, Josh attends every session seeking to move with purpose and intent. There is great care in ensuring every rep looks the same, and that all those reps look as good as they possibly can, and that all those reps meet the required movement standards.

Although Josh is a familiar face at the top of the whiteboard day in and day out, he is always humble in regards to his performances and achievements. He cheers on the last one to finish, and embraces the energy of the cheers when he is the last to finish.

As an athlete, Josh is constantly improving, always challenging himself, and although he occasionally rocks up looking a little bit on the tired side, makes a clear effort to be attentive and responsive in class.

As a person, Josh has a gentle and approachable nature, is down for a friendly chat or joke, but always knows when it’s time to put his head down and do the work.

We are lucky to have him as part of our community.

MEMBER SINCE: 

30/06/2016

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HOW OLD ARE YOU?

27

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?

Traffic Engineer/Transport Planner. A majority of my job is working with developers to ensure that developments are suitably designed with regards to transport. This includes things like car parking and traffic assessments to developing sustainable transport initiatives and designing road networks. One of the biggest things I've learned through my work is that pretty much everybody exaggerates the impacts large development will have in terms of car parking and traffic as well as the time you can be stuck at traffic lights (a fun fact no traffic lights in Victoria have a cycle time longer than 140 seconds). The thing I enjoy the most about my work is it is constantly varied, just like Crossfit. As someone who struggles to pay attention to anything for longer than an hour the constantly varied nature of work helps to keep me engaged. In addition, the industry I work in is very small, and everyone knows everyone which makes it especially fun when we all catch up for the many events through the year (the primary reasons I miss Thursday night specialty classes).

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

Most people don't seem to know my ethnic background and few people are able to pick that I am half Indonesian. I spent the first three years of my life living in Indonesia and regularly go back there. Both my parents are Indonesian teachers and Mum regularly takes school trips there. In fact, when I was about 10 I went on Sarah Fardy's Indo trip. I'm sure if you ask her nicely she will dig up some embarrassing photos of me from it.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE AT CROSSFIT COLLINGWOOD IN 2016?

The first person I met at Crossfit Collingwood was Josh and sitting down to have a chat about the box with him and Joanna. My first impressions were that the philosophy of the box around longevity and staying healthy really appealed to me. I tore my ACL a few years ago and since then I am far more conscious of trying to extend the health of my body as long as possible, knowing that I am already at a higher risk of developing knee issues now.

HOW DID YOU FIND THE OX BOX?

We were moving from Moonee Ponds to Collingwood and our old box was a little bit too far away. I loved Crossfit and wanted to keep doing it so looked up what boxes were the closest to our new house. We were equidistant from Crossfit Collingwood and Crossfit Victoria. Collingwood had the timetable that worked better for our schedule so it was the first box we decided to visit and the rest, as they say, is history.

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The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.
— Chancellor Palpatine

JOSH'S STORY

My first taste of fitness was in primary school when my school was entered into the Peak Fitness Challenge, which was kinda like CrossFit in that you had to go around and complete a heap of activities, there was skipping, a ball throw, a broad jump and other tests. I somehow managed to win the challenge out of all competing Primary Schools in Geelong. Following, my health and fitness took a bit of a slump. During high school, I played a variety of sports including swimming, basketball, and footy at different times. In around year 9, a few friends and I decided to have a crack at rowing, mostly cause we used to walk past the regattas on the Barwon River in Geelong and check out all the girls. Rowing introduced me to training early, we would train three days a week from 6:00 am – 7:00 am before school. After high school I completely stopped exercising and gained a heap of weight topping out at a bit over 100kg while I was at uni. Back then the most exercise I used to do was walking to and from my local Red Rooster. It was during this time I had a bit of a health scare, where doctors thought I may have some issues with my heart as I had high blood pressure. After a heap of tests, it turned out my heart was fine and that I had high blood pressure as a result of my weight and lifestyle. I was only 22 at the time, but the thought of dying young from something that was completely in my control terrified me and spurred me on to develop a healthier lifestyle. Personally, the biggest change for my fitness was changing my relationship with food, I taught myself to cook. Which helped me make healthier and tastier food choices. I then started going to the gym a little bit at uni but could never fully motivate myself to go regularly. During this time I stumbled across Crossfit on youtube, watching a random video with Rich Froning in it. It turns out I was watching events from the 2012 Crossfit Games, the year that Annie and Rich won. I got hooked on watching CrossFit videos, the whole concept of an athlete that can do a bit of everything really appealed to me, as someone that has always struggled with cardio. I watched CrossFit videos for almost two years before I finally took the plunge and signed up for my first Crossfit class in 2014. From there it has been a slow journey to lose the weight and get fitter, including setbacks like my ACL tear.

I have been doing Crossfit for almost five years now. I basically enjoy the constantly varied nature of CrossFit as well as the fact that I am held accountable to someone to attend class. I have always struggled to motivate myself so CrossFit helps to eliminate some of the things that would typically stop me from doing exercise. Also, I love all the cool movements we get to have a go at like muscle ups, Olympic lifting, handstand stuff and everything in between.

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Do. Or do not. There is no try
— Yoda

GOALS

PERSONAL:

At the moment my goals are mainly related around being a more relaxed person and being content with what I have. I have a big fear of missing out a lot of the time, so I am currently trying to cut down on going out to every event possible.

PROFESSIONAL:

Professionally, I have had an interesting 12 months having changed careers and then changed back, all of which has been quite stressful. My goal for the next year is to find a good balance at work and take my career a little less seriously.

HEALTH:

My only goal at the moment is to hit a 100kg Snatch. Once I've done that though, I really want to focus on improving my open performance from this year.

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WOD

WHATS HAS BEEN A SPECIAL MOMENT IN YOUR CROSSFIT JOURNEY?

There have been so many. I think my favorite moment was last month when I got a sub 3 minute Fran time, double bodyweight back squat and 2.5 bodyweight deadlift all in the same month. I never thought I would ever be fit enough to reach these milestones in my fitness journey and it was just such a great feeling. It also showed me that even when you're in a bit of a mental rut or you might not think you are making any gains in your training if you stay consistent and trust the program the hard work does really pay off.

WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE WOD?

Surprisingly my favourite workout I have ever done is Unpartioned Weighted Murph. Other than that I love anything with lots of double unders and a heavy barbell.

3 SONGS YOU LOVE TO WOD TO?

Youth Allowance - North East Party House
San Diego! - The Beach Bods
Boys - Charli XCX

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RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS

WOULD YOU GO BACK IN THE PAST OR GO INTO THE FUTURE AND WHY?  WHICH TIME PERIOD WOULD YOU GO TO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Future. Mainly cause its unknown and unknowable.

WHEN DO YOU PREFER TO TRAIN?

5:30am

WOULD YOU RATHER BE A PIRATE OR A NINJA?

Ninja. Stealth, also they have sick gymanstics skills

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE TREAT FOOD?

Famil Size Poutine from Rock Salt and Vinegar for 1

WHAT'S THAT INGREDIENT THAT YOU ALWAYS END UP ADDING TO YOUR DISHES?

Chilli

IF YOU WERE IN THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE WHAT WOULD BE THE OBJECT YOU'D ALWAYS HAVE ON YOU?

Cricket Bat

IF YOU WERE AN ACTION FIGURE WHAT WOULD YOUR 2 ACCESSORIES BE?

A case of beer and a bottle of wine

IF YOU COULD GO ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW WHERE WOULD IT BE?

San Sebastian in Spain

JOSH'S TIP TO ALL READERS

In addition, I make a shit tonne of playlists in my spare time at work.
Seriously check out my playlists.

Fiona Royall - Athlete of the Month July '18
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Fiona Royall

2 Years going strong with this Warrior Woman Fiona Royall!

Even when she is holidaying Fiona is training hard and exploring her fitness in different environments. This dedicated attitude isn't the only thing we love about here, but also the general good vibes she brings into the class every session.

She has been an amazing athlete to watch grow and progress, seeing her flourish in every CrossFit Open brings so much pride into our hearts. 
 

MEMBER SINCE: 

04/05/2016

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HOW OLD ARE YOU?

34

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?

I'm a Digital Consultant. The work I do, where I do it, the size of the team and timeframes constantly vary from project to project. That's why I love it. I've been part of a team delivering a content strategy, then the next project I was part of a small team defining a digital business model. The parts of it I enjoy most is where I can work on strategy and be part of a collaborative team, travel is also ace when I have the chance. I spent most of last year working between Melbourne and Brisbane and got to explore parts of Australia I'd never seen before, and that I would never have had the opportunity to otherwise. I'm fortunate in that I get to work with incredibly talented, intelligent people who are also a lot of fun. It can be chaotic at times as you may have to travel or start a new project at short notice, which can make life balance difficult.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I went through a running phase a few years ago. Hilarious because I am a terrible runner - you will see me shuffling while we do block runs. I took it on a recommendation from a physio, as I was recovering from a meniscus injury I'd sustained. I got super into it, joined a running group and did heaps of fun runs. 10km was my favourite distance but I managed to do two half marathons. Every weekend I would roll out of bed and run 10km along the beach from Brighton to St Kilda. I still wasn't great but it was a lot of fun. I would love to build up to those distances again and rediscover the joy in it. Savage Conditioning was fantastic over summer to tap back into the cardio side of things.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE AT CROSSFIT COLLINGWOOD IN 2016?

I met Josh first. I had been thinking about CrossFit for years (I had even visited another box in the past) but had felt intimidated. My perception aligned with a lot of the stereotypes that are out there. I thought it seemed extreme and out of reach for me. I had moved to Collingwood about six months before and joined the local Anytime Fitness but was so bored and unmotivated. I had a mate who has done CrossFit for years so he was super encouraging and motivated me to start looking into it once again. Josh was so friendly and welcoming so the decision was easy to join. The onboarding process put me at ease as well, having to go through Academy before joining the main classes so we were able to get exposed to the fundamentals under close supervision.

HOW DID YOU FIND THE OX BOX?

Credit to all the stickers and posters that are around the neighbourhood. The power of subliminal advertising. Every street I'd see the purple stickers, and across the road from the building where I live there was a poster so I'd see it every day.

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Act with respect, honesty and integrity.
— - Fiona's words to live by

FIONA'S STORY

I was a fat kid at school, I hated sport and would generally do anything to get out of it. My brother was the total opposite, he had to go out and move every day otherwise he'd go stir crazy (he actually is a PE teacher now). I tried a lot of different things but the only sports I stuck with was tennis and horse riding. Horse riding was my obsession for quite a few years. It wasn't until after I finished high school I got into fitness. That was motivated as a way to improve my mental health as much as physical. My friends and I played basketball, then I got into mixed netball, and I joined a gym. I did get into running for a bit as well. Over time though I became increasingly bored with the gym, I would roll up and do treadmill and circuit work and that would be it. I ended up feeling lazy and unmotivated. Hence I began looking for something new.

I remember doing The Ox Box Academy at 6:30am and seeing the 5:30am crew wrapping up their sessions and thinking they looked intense, and a dedicated group so I decided to throw myself in the deep in and train with them. Early on it could be frustrating, there was so much to think about! It was reassuring learning everything can be scaled. I learnt box jumps by doing little jumps onto a stack of plates and holding Coach Caity's hand!! Everyone was so welcoming and friendly. I remember Tammy coming up up to me at my first class to introduce herself. I fell in love with training at the box as every day is different, you don't have to think about what to do, you can track your progress, you are being instructed by incredible coaches and the best part is the community aspect. Becoming a fitter, stronger and a better person is fantastic but the main reason I turn up is to spend time with a bunch of awesome humans. I love the ethos Josh, Ren and the team have instilled at the box: leave your ego at the door, be teachable, move well, help each other out, have integrity and support each other. I've now trained at a few other places and the more I do, the more I realise how lucky we are and how special the community is.

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Control what you can control. Ignore everything else.
— Ben Bergeron

GOALS

PERSONAL:

Travel! There is so much I still want to do but in the near future planning to get back to Thailand for more training, back to Nepal for more trekking and to Japan to do snowboarding. I'm trying to balance the love of travel with adulting and saving for an apartment which is a challenge!

PROFESSIONAL:

The main thing is to work on cool projects with cool people and learn. I would love to work overseas again. It's important to me that my work has value and meaning, to be a part of a team, work with creative, fun people and to continue in a role where I act as an advisor/consultant.

HEALTH:

For me, I believe the most work I have to do is around my mindset. If I can continue to develop there, I hope to see the improvements translate into how I train and eat. So that is my main goal, though I don't see it ever ending, it will be an ongoing journey. This year I read 'Chasing Excellence' by Ben Bergeron and listen to his podcast so he has been hugely influential on that front. Outside of CrossFit, I have done yoga for many years and would like to do yoga teacher training. Not to teach, but to further enhance my knowledge, understanding and practice.

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WOD

WHATS HAS BEEN A SPECIAL MOMENT IN YOUR CROSSFIT JOURNEY?

I enjoy seeing others achieve new feats, it's super inspiring: things like Jellie getting her first muscle up, Freya's first pull up, Mads' first toes to bar. It's very cool. At a personal level, taking myself off to Thailand at the end of last year to train and the benefits that flowed on from that. Work had messed with routine last year and I didn't feel I was where I should be, I was feeling burnt out from stress and travel. Going into an environment where you are completely focused on training (4+ hours a day), eating well and recovery surrounded by like-minded people from all over the world was exactly what I needed - plus the island hopping and exploring on rest days. It was a total life/work detox. Coming back to the box in January and noticing the progress I'd made, and soon after a lot of things started coming together was exciting: my first toes to bar, handstand push-up, double unders and pull-ups all within a month.

WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE WOD?

Anything with the rower: I love rowing! But in all honesty, my favourite workouts right now would be anything where I get the opportunity to work on a weakness, of which there are many (the more I do CrossFit, the more I realise there is to learn). The biggest ones would be running, assault bike and anything gymnastics related. I have a lot of work to do to better drop under the bar in both cleans and jerks and snatches.

3 SONGS YOU LOVE TO WOD TO?

Reunion - M83
Stronger - Kanye West
Testify - Rage Against the Machine

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RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS

WOULD YOU GO BACK IN THE PAST OR GO INTO THE FUTURE AND WHY?  WHICH TIME PERIOD WOULD YOU GO TO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

I have a degree in history so I'll go with the past. It would be incredible to see the Roman Empire at its zenith.

WHEN DO YOU PREFER TO TRAIN?

5:30 am

WOULD YOU RATHER BE A PIRATE OR A NINJA?

Ninja! Give me stealth.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE TREAT FOOD?

The prosciutto pizza from Lazer Pig.

WHAT'S THAT INGREDIENT THAT YOU ALWAYS END UP ADDING TO YOUR DISHES?

Olive oil

IF YOU WERE IN THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE WHAT WOULD BE THE OBJECT YOU'D ALWAYS HAVE ON YOU?

A Valyrian steel sword

IF YOU WERE AN ACTION FIGURE WHAT WOULD YOUR 2 ACCESSORIES BE?

Coffee and a yoga mat.

IF YOU COULD GO ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW WHERE WOULD IT BE?

Nepal, trekking in the Himalayas. It is paradise on earth. Stunningly beautiful. The landscapes are so special: lush green trees, roaring rivers, the mountain peaks, glaciers, up to the sparse landscapes at higher altitudes. To look up at the skies filled with stars at night is an experience I will never forget.

FIONA'S TIP TO ALL READERS

If you're reading this and thinking of giving CrossFit a go: DO IT! Walking through those doors was one of the best decisions I ever made. You will be supported by excellent coaches and be welcomed by a bunch of new friends waiting for you! It is a powerful opportunity for learning, growth and development.

Dan Savage - Athlete of the Month June '18
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Dan Savage

He was predestined to join the box.... his last name is Savage - need we say more? He has a fun easy going attitude. He brings a laugh to every class. Despite his ability to see the humour in all things, he approaches his health and fitness with sensible ambition and respect. We can't help but give praise to the obvious physical transformation he has made during his training here at The Ox Box, from his weight loss to his pull-ups. We also have a gushing appreciation for the fun he brings into this space and other members. Keep being your Mr Savage.

MEMBER SINCE: 

21 September 2016

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HOW OLD ARE YOU?

30

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?

Product Manager High Speed Ovens (Sales)

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I like candle lit dinners and long walks on the beach. Jokes. I'm a chef by trade, love any excuses to go to the pub, Swans tragic and don't mind going for a ride.... (When its warm) Oh, and drives in the country.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE AT CROSSFIT COLLINGWOOD IN 2013?

Man, I'm not cool enough to be here.

HOW DID YOU FIND THE OX BOX?

Like all the things in life..... Google

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You can only control your patch of dirt. Don’t sweat the stuff you can’t change.
— Dan Savage

SAVAGES STORY

Well, I was a member of a very select and secretive covenant called Anytime fitness. There I would do a lot of nothing oh, and any movement that involved arms or chest haha. Apart from that I've always ridden bikes or skateboarded when I was younger (I was/is terrible a skating).

Favourite moment in my CrossFit journey includes: Losing weight has been a huge highlight. I was always self-conscious of how I looked and would avoid certain situations. Being able to do pull-ups has been a big one for me too! Doing the partner open was a blast. My partner was rubbish though.

Over CrossFit has been fantastic and I can see why people would call it CrossCult. You get hooked. You get hooked on everyone's energy when you walk through the doors, even on the days when you CBF. Also learning to back yourself, and pushing for that extra rep or that little jump in weight or being the last one to run around the block but to have everyone clapping when you make it in as if you came first. It's that constant group motivation that really drives me to walk through the doors and know you are part of a team. Even if you are only really competing against yourself.

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You are only as good as your last meal.
— It's a chef quote, meaning you are only remembered by your last dish on the pass, not everything you did before.

GOALS

PERSONAL:

Being able to put my boxers on in the morning and not get my leg stuck and trip into the dresser would be nice while Mo laughs at me. Its all about the little wins.

PROFESSIONAL:

Enjoy what you are doing. I realised that titles and money don't mean anything if you don't enjoy getting out of bed every day.

HEALTH:

I would love to be able to touch my toes without bending my knees (this would sound really fucking weird to anyone who doesn't do CrossFit) Lifting some heavy shit along the way is always fun too!

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WOD

WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE WOD?

Assault bike and power clean ladder?

YOU CHECK THE WOD AND THINK, "HELL YEAH", THE HAS ________ IN IT!

Bench Press

3 SONGS YOU LOVE TO WOD TO?

Daryl Braithwaite - Horses
Stardust - Music sounds better with you
Silverchair - Tomorrow

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RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS

WOULD YOU GO BACK IN THE PAST OR GO INTO THE FUTURE AND WHY?  WHICH TIME PERIOD WOULD YOU GO TO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Go back in time and tell myself to not be a jerk when I was in high school.

WHEN DO YOU PREFER TO TRAIN?

Morning. (who am I?)

WOULD YOU RATHER BE A PIRATE OR A NINJA?

Pirate. But I don't like boats.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE TREAT FOOD?

Easey's burgers

WHAT'S THAT INGREDIENT THAT YOU ALWAYS END UP ADDING TO YOUR DISHES?

Kewpie Mayo

IF YOU WERE IN THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE WHAT WOULD BE THE OBJECT YOU'D ALWAYS HAVE ON YOU?

Zombie Repellent

IF YOU WERE AN ACTION FIGURE WHAT WOULD YOUR 2 ACCESSORIES BE?

My phone and our Doggo.

IF YOU COULD GO ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW WHERE WOULD IT BE?

Eating bagels in bricklane in London.

 


Joanna Jellie - Athlete of the Month May '18
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JOANNA JELLIE

Joanna Jellie started her journey with us as an experienced CrossFitter in 2016. Instantly she demonstrated the cultural spirit we strive to foster in the Ox Box. She was, and is, kind, strong, and driven.

2 years later we have witnessed a MASSIVE growth in hear strength and technique - despite her recent shoulder injury. Once again, embodying a lot of attitudes we hold dear, someone that comes in every day despite any perceived physical limitations or discomforts. 

Athlete of the month isn't strictly a recognition of performance, it's also a celebration of character. Someone that is supportive of others, and genuinely wants to be part of a community that wants to see people be the best version of themselves. We can say with confidence that everyone in this space would agree that Jellie has that character. 

Read more about her story below...

MEMBER SINCE: 

30 June 2016

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HOW OLD ARE YOU?

27

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?

Transport Planner at Arup. Majority of the time I plan and design infrastructure for transport and pedestrian movement but I also do some work in strategic planning and master planning. At the moment I am working on Melbourne Metro as well as a couple of sports stadiums around Australia.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I spend so much time in the gym. I'm not sure there's much that people don't know about me! I've never rode a bike, until the box got assault bikes, even though I live in Collingwood. I'm sports mad and will watch any sport if it's on TV, although I managed to marry a man who doesn't like sport much so I've had to limit this to AFL (I go for Geelong). At uni I was treasurer of the More Beer Club, a position I won by doing the fastest beer bong (even though I'm known by my friends for being the slowest drinker of the group). I'm half Greek so most Sundays are spent feasting and getting told that my arms are too big, and I'm not going to be able to have kids...

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE AT CROSSFIT COLLINGWOOD IN 2013?

I met Josh first! He was so welcoming and the space has such a good feel that Haigh and I knew we wanted to join straight away.

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Get up, get it done, future you will be better for it
— Joanna Jellie

JELLie'S STORY

I played netball from age 9 and used to umpire and coach a few teams as well. This normally involved training twice a week and then I'd spend most of my Saturday at netball. I played centre a lot so had an ok base of fitness. I used to get pretty physical on the netball court and very competitive so I'm lucky that I was never injured. Apart from netball I played some cricket but hated most other sports. I also joined a couple of gyms while I was at high school and used to do sit ups and stuff with my friends. When I got to university I let myself go a little bit and met Haigh who gave me glandular fever pretty much as soon as we started dating. I ended up losing a lot of weight and looked and felt very unhealthy. I was also drinking and eating out a lot, I just didn't think it was that unhealthy because I wasn't overweight. Josh wasn't so lucky and when he joined a gym and started losing weight it inspired me to get healthy as well so I started exercising each day and I would do versions of the workouts that's Josh would do at CrossFit but I was too scared to join his CrossFit gym. Eventually he convinced me to try CrossFit and I was terrified when I started!! All the girls were really really fit and I died in my first workout (it was elizabeth) but I loved it! I started off with 3 sessions a week and built it up from there over the months. I started at the Ox Box around 2 years after starting CrossFit.

Crossfit has made me a much better person. I'm more relaxed, I eat healthy and I feel like I have a better perspective on life since starting. It's awesome to share it with Haigh and it's time that we get to spend together working on ourselves which is pretty cool. I also love all the amazing people at the ox box, especially the 5.30am crew who always make the early mornings easier.

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You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take - Wayne gretzky
— Michael Scott

GOALS

PERSONAL:

Doing meaningful things with my spare time. I struggle with this because I just like to zone out when I get home from work.

PROFESSIONAL:

I want to be a leader in my field in Australia. I work in a specialised field so there is a good chance to work my way up.

HEALTH:

I just want to keep improving and staying healthy and injury free. I've seen a lot of improvement in the past year by taking better care of my body so I want to keep that going. Last year I put a lot of extra effort into improving my pulling, this year I really want to get my pressing better.

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WOD

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE CROSSFIT OPEN 2017 WOD MOMENT?

My first muscle up! Easily my favourite part it was so awesome having everyone cheer me on! I'm hoping that next year I can do all the movements and hopefully string some muscle ups or hspu together!

YOU CHECK THE WOD AND THINK, "HELL YEAH", THE HAS ________ IN IT!

Double unders

3 SONGS YOU LOVE TO WOD TO?

Feel the way I do - Jungle Giants
Green Light - Lorde
Stronger - Kanye west

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RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS

WOULD YOU GO BACK IN THE PAST OR GO INTO THE FUTURE AND WHY?  WHICH TIME PERIOD WOULD YOU GO TO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Past, I would go back to ancient Greece to witness a time where my people were at their prime and not in massive debt.

WHEN DO YOU PREFER TO TRAIN?

Morning!

WOULD YOU RATHER BE A PIRATE OR A NINJA?

Ninja, Im not a fan of the ocean.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE TREAT FOOD?

Hot chips

WHAT'S THAT INGREDIENT THAT YOU ALWAYS END UP ADDING TO YOUR DISHES?

Olive oil

CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA OR ___________?

Vanilla

IF YOU WERE AN ACTION FIGURE WHAT WOULD YOUR 2 ACCESSORIES BE?

My phone and a bottle of red wine.

IF YOU COULD GO ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW WHERE WOULD IT BE?

The beach in San Sebastian in Spain

 


Adam Purbrick- Athlete of the Month Apr '18
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Adam Purbrick

Adam Purbrick has been a part of The Ox Box Community since its first year open, and recently celebrated his 5 year anniversary as part of our herd. He moved to Melbourne from Canberra in 2012 to pursue a lifestyle change from his job of public service desk grind & what he's created here in Melbourne has afforded him career satisfaction & meeting his soon to be wife, Antheea Borch, along with so much more... grab a coffee with him, his story is a good one.

As an athlete he has come leaps and bounds, from not being able to do an unassisted pull up to unbroken muscle ups on both rings and the bar. His training has taken him from busted up office worker, to someone that has evolved through chronic postural issues, back & knee pain.

The community have a term for those members that are family, and as Coach Ren's younger brother he definitely fits the bill to be considered CrossFit Royalty, but its more than just his blood relations that see him fitting this bill. Adz is always good for a smile & chat, welcoming, easy going and supportive when the WOD gets tough and you need that shout of encouragement from the sidelines.

MEMBER SINCE: 

6th March 2013

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HOW OLD ARE YOU?

34

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?

I'm a Facilities Coordinator at David Jones. Basically, I look after all the stuff that breaks in stores. Including but not limited to keys dropped down lift shafts and possums being trapped in management offices.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I'm a pretty big wrestling fan, WWE all the way for me. Hitting up a Wrestlemania is on my bucket list. Love hiking and getting out and about. Ant and I are planning some more this year and possibly looking at Canada in 2019. Could be skiing or hiking depending on the time we go. I'm a huge metal fan, it's in the blood and there has been many a live show with many more to come. My weird one is my knowledge of random movie stats and facts. I seem to be an encyclopedia for a bunch of stuff that gets kept locked away somewhere. Can't remember yesterday but that stuff, got it covered.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE AT CROSSFIT COLLINGWOOD IN 2013?

Hmm... It was so long ago now! I remember being so inspired by the space and was excited to start my fundamentals course. I'd heard so much about it from when they opened in 2012. When I started out in March 2013 it was Ren and Josh coaching full-time. The box was a bit different to how it is now. No rig down the back etc but was just as awesome.

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Live in love, everyday is an anthem to celebrate your life.
— Adam Purbrick

ADAM

As a kid I played a bit of baseball early on. My big thing was hiking. Through my early teens I was away pretty much every weekend and school holidays hiking and camping. I had a bit of a lull until a joined a globo gym in 2011. Did that for a few years before I started my Crossfit journey in 2013. I also did some Kung Fu last year for about 8 months. That was super fun.

CrossFit, it keeps me grounded. When I moved here back in 2013 I was on a very different, destructive path. Through some damn hard work and amazing support from Ren and Josh I was able to channel that energy into Crossift instead. I haven't looked back since. I do have this memory early on just as I was starting out. We were at a box in Werribee over the weekend for an athlete throw-down. I'll never forget the WOD and it was super hot that day. 10 to 1 of running, muscle ups and handstand pushups. One of the dudes had tore his hands up bad and was screaming through the ring work. I remember being so inspired and thinking "fuck, I really want to do this'". Brutal workout!!!

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It’s all in the reflexes
— Jack Burton - Big Trouble in Little China

GOALS

PERSONAL:

Getting married! OK so that's not far away now, can't wait. Loving life and the people I get to share it with. Ant, my son, my family and my friends. I think a bunch more travel with my adventure buddy is certainly on the cards. Canada next then who knows. I like to try new things and experiences. Who knows if we get to come back to do it again. Better to do as much as possible now!

PROFESSIONAL:

I like to be surrounded by good people in a supportive team. I have that at the moment and things are pretty damn good. I get the balance I need from my work to my personal life. Will see where David Jones takes me over the next few years. I may look at getting back into workplace training, I do really enjoy that.

HEALTH:

Looking after my body and mind. I've had a few injuries over the years and that has kept my focus on what's important. You have to give back what you take out. I'd love to say injury free but that's part of the journey right? I have had some pretty cool firsts this year. Got double unders (finally) and am linking bar muscle ups together. Now onto a 100kg clean.

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WOD

YOU CHECK THE WOD AND THINK, "HELL YEAH", THE WOD HAS __________ IN IT.

Toes to bar, and/or muscle ups!

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE WORKOUT?

All the gymnastics! Now this one is tough as there are so many. I did really like 18.2. Finishing with a 1RM clean was a lot of fun. Death by toes to bar. 12 days of Christmas, everything Crossfit wrapped up into a no time cap ball of awesomeness muhahahaha.

3 SONGS YOU LOVE TO WOD TO?

Executioner's Tax (Swing of the Axe) -Power Trip

Swing - Parkway

Drive Venom - Blazer (Got to have one song in there Josh will accept on the playlist LOL.)

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RAPID FIRE

WOULD YOU GO BACK IN THE PAST OR GO INTO THE FUTURE AND WHY?  WHICH TIME PERIOD WOULD YOU GO TO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

I'd go into the future to see if we finally get hoverboards, then i'd bring one back and ride it to work like a badass.

 

WHEN DO YOU PREFER TO TRAIN?

Afternoon/evening!

 

WOULD YOU RATHER BE A PIRATE OR A NINJA?

Both! I'd be a Ninja Pirate that keeps to shadows performing assassinations while drinking loads of rum

 

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE TREAT FOOD?

Enchiladas!

 

WHAT'S THAT INGREDIENT THAT YOU ALWAYS END UP ADDING TO YOUR DISHES?

Paprika, the ultimate spice!

 

CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA OR ___________?

Choc mint

 

IF YOU WERE AN ACTION FIGURE WHAT WOULD YOUR 2 ACCESSORIES BE?

My next RP meal, locked and loaded. My sunglasses, don't leave home without em.

 

IF YOU COULD GO ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW WHERE WOULD IT BE?

Canada, skiing down a mountain with Antheea