December Athlete Spotlight: Mark Brattebo

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Tell us something about your life outside of CrossFit (career, family, hobbies, etc).

I’ve been lucky with my career having been involved with financial analysis (valuation) for the last 35 or so years with the same private company that has progressively changed with the times. I work with smart people- both young and more experienced- and smart clients that do interesting and varied projects.  Although I’m semi-retired, I’m still somewhat active with the company but mostly on a board level. My career exposed me to a good amount of travel, which I loved and plan on continuing. I’m married with 2 children and all of us have cycled through CrossFit at one time. Hobbies include a variety of sports, travel, wine, movies, visiting small specialized museums and trying to learn a foreign language.


My favorite book or movie:

I’m a big movie fan so it’s difficult to pick just one favorite but I will go with “Casablanca” followed by something more recent called “The Secret in Their Eyes” (not to be confused with the new Julia Roberts film of the same name) which is a foreign flick that won an Academy Award.


My favorite local restaurant:

I like BYOB’s so Caleb’s, Oishi’s, and the Blue Heron fall into that list. For non-BYOB’s, I like what Princeton has to offer including Mediterra and the Swan Bar in Lambertville.


Tell us something that we don’t know or would be surprised to learn about you:

I like movies much more than music and in particular I like a primarily American genre called film noir. This genre is where the femme fatale character was more or less invented on screen and bad characters became psychologically more complex. I think I’ve seen more wicked women in film noir movies than most people and actively support the Film Noir Foundation as they try to restore the old deteriorated 35 millimeter classic films to a digital format.


How I was introduced to CrossFit:

As I started thinking about semi-retirement, I knew I would finally have more time to devote to fitness and I began looking for an effective fitness program. A friend of mine wrote a book called “Fitness after Fifty” in which he mentioned CrossFit and the benefit of working with trainers. My wife was seeing Dr. Tom for some chiropractic treatment and she mentioned to me that he was affiliated with CrossFit so I thought I’d check it out.


My fitness routine before CrossFit:

I was always active but it was really ad-hoc with no use of trainers or coaches and little understanding of the advances made in fitness training over the last decade or so.


First thoughts after my first CrossFit workout:

This is a different kind of fatigue. Also, I could see my definition of an athlete  needed to be updated after seeing the high level of performance in so many men and women.

My proudest CrossFit accomplishment is: 

Just hanging with it although I occasionally surprise myself  by box-jumping over 30 inches.

My favorite WOD is:

Anything that doesn’t involve overhead lifts with barbells.


My Favorite Lift is: 



My next goal is:

Given my age, my goals are perhaps different than most. I don’t set personal best goals for specific exercises.  Rather I try to maintain an overall level of health and fitness that will extend the prime of my decline for maybe 7 years or so and I’ll evaluate things after that.


How has CrossFit affected your life outside of the gym?

I’m fitter and it’s noticeable when I’m really active. Not only has my performance improved in some activities but I have fewer aches and pains afterwards and I recover faster.


What I love most about CrossFit Newtown:

 I like its friendly culture and knowledgeable trainers. It doesn’t make a difference whether you are young or old, or man or woman, etc. It’s about fitness and training.

What advice I would give to a someone just joining CrossFit Newtown: 

For those over fifty, I think they’d  be pleasantly surprised at the benefits it offers and how quickly some of them are noticeable. To some extent, you have to be your own adviser and learn your limitations and the risk/reward of pushing things. However the overall program is compatible with an active lifestyle and for those with a long term plan.


Do you have any diet/nutritional advice?

Not really, I haven’t changed too much in that area as I continue to enjoy good food and drink.


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