December Athlete Spotlight: Matt Shaffer


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

I am married to Jen, who most of you know. We just moved to Washington Crossing after living in Newtown for almost 2 years. We also lived in San Francisco for 4 years and Chicago for 14, but are both from the Philly area originally. We have 2 kids – Abagael, 16 and Carson 13, and a 4 year old dog, Truffle. I work as a hedge fund adviser – we advise funds on their options strategies, but for most of my career was an options trader on various trading floors.

My favorite book or movie:

What’s a book? Actually, I’m one of those Ayn Rand nut jobs. While I love Atlas Shrugged, I would recommend Anthem to all. Short, and well maybe not sweet. As far as movies are concerned I love Pulp Fiction, but also Rounders and the original Evil Dead.

My favorite local restaurant:

Charcoal in Yardley

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

I love the sport of horse racing. In fact, we are involved with several horses and were fortunate enough to be a part of a KY Derby winner

How I was introduced to CrossFit:

In 2010, yes 2010, a Crossfit gym opened along my train ride home on the north shore of Chicago. I had read about it and decided to give it a go.

My fitness routine before CrossFit:

Typical globo gym stuff mixed with occasional spin classes. A while back I also did some extensive kettlebell training in Chicago which also used tires, clubs, etc. That was a fun beatdown.

My thoughts after my first CrossFit workout:

You get the number of that truck that just hit me?

My proudest CrossFit accomplishment is:

Frankly, sticking with it over the years and going from a very soft 217 lbs to the 190 I am now. The lifting accomplishments are great but I’m prouder of my overall journey.

My favorite WOD is:

Helen. (Fully aware I spelled Annie wrong)

My Favorite Lift is:

Strict press.

My next goal is:

Bar muscle up you are mine.

How has CrossFit affected your life outside of the gym?

It has given me more confidence in all aspects of my life. It has also made me more conscious of what I put in my body. It has made me more conscious of how I treat myself and my life. I don’t think I am exaggerating when I say it has made me an overall better person.

What I love most about CrossFit Newtown:

Aside from Christian O?! I love that the atmosphere is as friendly as it is. Everyone takes their work seriously, but still find the time to talk, laugh, etc when not in workout mode. Also, the coaches are very welcoming to questions. They are all extremely knowledgeable, but never come across as “know-it-all” or arrogant.

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

You have to walk before you can run. Be patient. Listen to the coaches. Scale more than you think you need to scale. Fitness is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Do you have any diet/nutritional advice?

I’m probably not the best person to dispense advice, but what has worked for me in the past is to eat real foods (pastured meats, lots of veg, some fruits and starch), but also remember that life is short, and you should enjoy yourself. If you can successfully do both you have achieved the holy grail.

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