Fitness and sport has always been a big part of my life. Ever since my older brother got a bench press and a barbell for Christmas when I was 10, I have been hooked. During my time at high school gym training became a big part of my life. I played Australian Rules football and needed a bigger frame to dominate in the game. A daily session at the gym, working one body part at a time was the ritual, and I thought this was the best way to train and I was training hard.
Fast-forward a couple more years and I had finished High school and was going into university. I always wanted to do something in the fitness field but thought it wasn’t a feasible career so I studied English and Business thinking that would give me a lot of options. At the end of my university I applied for a graduate program for a major Bank in Australia. Over 6000 people applied and only 110 were offered a position nationwide. I was one of those lucky people. In my mind I had made it! This was going to be my career, I was going to make stacks of cash and I was set. As I started my new career, I worked with many different people that all had one thing in common. They were overweight highly stressed and exercise was a comical notion to them. From day one at the bank I would go to the gym at lunchtime and my co-workers would laugh at me and ask what the point of exercising is while they guzzled down their bottle of coke and sausage roll. I didn’t get it at the time, why they were like this and becoming like them didn’t even cross my mind.
At the same time of landing this job I had discovered Crossfit via a YouTube video of Fran. It completely changed my workouts and I started to break away from the traditional ‘body building’ workouts and started incorporating WOD’s into my week. I could not get enough of Crossfit. At that time there was really no affiliates on my side of town, so I did my workouts at a franchise globo gym, much to the shock of the other gym goers. While they were doing there bicep curls, I was working on my snatches. While they were using the leg curl machines I was dead lifting.
It soon became clear to me that a lot of the people in the gym I went to, didn’t realise that a barbell could be used in any other way other than with a bench press. The other thing I realised was that I absolutely loved training this way!
As I worked my way up at the bank over 3 and a half years, work started to rule my life. The politics of the workplace, the 2 faced nature of managers and employees alike, the sole-less pursuit for money that banks are famous for really started to take its tole on me. Weekends were a blur of un-healthy binges trying to forget my job and the stressors of it. Crossfit started to take a back seat to the priorities of work.
I was making a lot of money that I always thought was what being successful meant, but I soon realised that all the money I was making was not making me happy. I can easily say the best part of my week was when ever I was in the gym.
All the negativity with my job was leading to something, I didn’t know what, but I felt like I was drowning and I didn’t know which way was up. Furthermore I was becoming like my co-workers that I didn’t think was possible. The thought of changing careers kept coming into my head but to take a pay cut and start from scratch was a ridiculous thought and one that I was not prepared to entertain.
A turning point in my life happened on March 22nd 2010. I was playing a social footy match; I clashed knees with another player and snapped my patellar tendon in half. The first thing that went through my mind when I landed and looked at my knee was “shit my knee cap is in the middle of my thigh! And the second was, “Woo Hoo, I don’t have to go to work tomorrow.” I was rushed to hospital where I was scheduled for surgery to put my tendon back together that same day. As I lay in the hospital getting ready for surgery I knew it was clear, I needed to change careers. In my head I knew what had to be done in order to change my life and follow my heart, but it was going to be harder than I thought as I had a long slow recovery ahead of me.
Once operated on I remained in hospital for a couple more days then I was sent home, but not before I saw the surgeon one last time. The surgeon was a young guy, fairly arrogant and pretty un-sympathetic to my injury. He got me to stand using my crutches, he then proceeded to look at my knee closer. While squatting he said, “See what I am doing here? You’re never going to be able to squat like this again. You can forget about running properly again as well, injuries like this never fully recover.”
What a Prick!!! I thought to myself. I couldn’t believe what he had said. To this day I am not sure if he was just that insensitive or just that brilliant, because once he said that, all I wanted to do was prove him wrong, and prove him wrong I did.
(I can now squat heavier and better than I did before my injury (ass to grass) and I have completed 2 half marathons and 2 Tough Mudders since the injury.)
During my rehab I spent 6 weeks on the couch, away from work. After a week of getting used to the couch I looked up Personal training courses, I enrolled and started studying. I had a clear line of progression that I could see : 1- Get qualified as a Personal Trainer 2- Quit my job
And this is what I did. I didn’t think twice about leaving the bank and started at the local gym as a PT as soon as I could.
Once in the fitness field, I knew the only thing for me was Crossfit. I continued my studies to become a Strength and Conditioning coach and did a functional training course, and was waiting for the Crossfit Level 1 certificate to come to Melbourne.
A lot of trainers I came across had nothing but negative things to say about Crossfit. I soon realised those negative opinions were driven by ignorance and lack of knowledge.
I knew I loved Crossfit and people’s opinions didn’t really get to me. I knew why I liked it, I knew why I did it and as soon as the Crossfit level 1 course came to Melbourne I signed up and had the time of my life.
In that 2-day course I learnt more about fitness than I had in any other course I had studied. Going into the course I thought I had a reasonable idea about Crossfit, but after I realised there is so much more to Crossfit than I thought.
I see Crossfit at its core as a holistic approach to fitness, being available to all fitness levels. Its pursuit of overall fitness strikes a clear balance between strength, stamina, nutrition and mobility. Through scalability beginners can train side by side with very fit people and together help each other to improve.
Crossfit has been an underlying support structure through some really hard times and I wish to share its strength and benefits with everyone I can.
My vision for CrossFit VSC is to have a gym that will be the meeting place for great workouts and social interaction between like-minded people.
It will be a place where as a community we will strive to be better people than we were yesterday.
When I started going to Crossfit affiliates that begun to pop up around town I realised that doing Crossfit with other people introduces a whole new dynamic to your workouts. There is a special feeling especially after a workout that one gets at a Crossfit gym. Being able to share pushing your self to your limits along side someone else, who is doing the same thing, creates a great sense of appreciation and camaraderie that is not only contagious but also addictive in a great way!
Crossfit is more than an exercise program to me, it’s a lifestyle, it’s a journey, it’s a benchmark, it’s the answer, and to have my own affiliate is truly a dream come true.