October Athlete Spotlight: Matt Walsh

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

 Many of you probably know me as “that guy who only comes in at 6AM”. While I wish I could make other classes and meet you all, my life is too hectic yet blessed to accommodate that right now. My wife Jenni and I have 2 kids, Kaylee (3) and Devlin (9 months). The kids are my world and Jenni is my rock. She motivates me to work harder every day. Watching Jenni take a leap, chase her dream, and forge a career for herself as an author has been truly inspiring. Proud husband plug: Jenni’s debut novel comes out in May ’17. (www.jennilwalsh.com)

Hobbies outside of CrossFit include:

Napping whenever possible & amateur DIY home/yard work.

 My favorite book or movie:

Book:

Barbarians at the Gate, The Nightingale

Movie:

Rocky I-IV, A Few Good

My favorite local restaurant:

 Haha, this is gonna be disappointing. With the 2 little ones and our busy schedules, Jenni and I have not gone out nearly enough in the area. But we did go to Trattoria Rosa Bianca in Yardley last year and it was pretty good. If you go, tell ‘em Matt sent ya’!

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

 Ugh. So embarrassing fact: I love competition themed reality TV, just not the uplifting kind. Think MTV’s The Challenge. Maybe it’s the competitor in me. Maybe it’s my love of booze-laden drama. I don’t know. But watching man-child CT finally win in Rivals II was on my crowning TV watching experiences (And I realize how sad that sounds).

My favorite though is the Bachelor franchise (Bach’, Bach’-lette, Bach’ In Paradise). It is probably THE best unintentional comedy of its time. So many twists, so many turns, so many roses. And can you believe they brought Nick back!?

How I was introduced to CrossFit:  

 I was looking for a change from “My fitness routine before CrossFit” (answer below: no spoilers!) and began hearing about CF online and from friends. I started out doing simple WOD’s that you could kind of get away with in the corner of an LA Fitness without getting TOO many questioning looks (i.e. Cindy). Then I started adding a barbell to the equation (i.e. Fran). That did not go well. Pretty soon I realized that: 1) I needed serious coaching, and 2) I needed a different environment. I joined a real box soon after.

My fitness routine before CrossFit:  

 Prior to CrossFit, I was heavily focused on Triathlons. I competed at all distances from Sprint to the Ironman. The consistent high volume training was really starting to take a toll on my body, not to mention my personal life. I was burnt out. I was looking for something structured that would still allow me to be competitive and feel stronger while freeing up my training time. CrossFit checked off all of those boxes.

My thoughts after my first CrossFit workout:  

 1st Thought, “So long arms, long legs, and limited mobility are NOT good for lifting?”

2nd Thought, “I don’t care. I love this, and just want to get better at it.”

My proudest CrossFit accomplishment is:  

 Getting my first muscle-up, and semi-gracefully making it back down to the ground.

My favorite WOD is:  

Nancy… I love and hate you. Can we just be friends?

My Favorite Lift is:  

 The Snatch. When I was first starting out, I would actually skip days if I knew this was the lift. But now, I have come to really enjoy the technique and feeling of pulling myself under the bar. Still a ton of work to go, but I’m enjoying the progression.

My next goal is:  

 Improve HSPU (See long arm problem above)

How has CrossFit affected your life outside of the gym?

 Starting my mornings at CFN allows me to kick the day off on a positive note. It’s a feeling of accomplishment and confidence I can take with me throughout the day. And the structured class time frees up my evenings for what’s most important to me; spending time with my family.

What I love most about CrossFit Newtown:  

 Above all, I love the people and coaches I get to work out with every day. I enjoy seeing familiar faces and new ones first thing in the morning. I actually feel a bit upset on days when attendance is light because it’s a running heavy WOD (You know who you are…).

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

 “Trust the Process”. You are coming into an amazing community, with dedicated staff, coaches, and members that all want to see you succeed. Be motivated, be coachable, and be willing to fail. Measure yourself by your personal achievements and applaud the achievements of others along the way. Most of all have fun. This is a 1 hour commitment you made to being a better you today, enjoy it!

Do you have any diet/nutritional advice?

 Feed the machine. During college, I rowed on the varsity lightweight crew team. I had to maintain a constant focus on my weight and my fitness. At times, I felt that by limiting one variable (weight), I was also limiting the other (fitness).

Today, I am ~40lbs above my former weigh-in weight, yet feel stronger and healthier than ever before. My advice is to focus on your fitness goals first, and use nutrition as a catalyst to get you there. Our coaches have designed excellent training plans. It’s up to us to make sure we are getting enough of the proper nutrition to recover, build, and progress.

 

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