Hi Tobin tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, job etc.
I’ve been Cheryl’s life partner for just shy of thirty years. We have two wonderful sons – Dylan and Zachary – now graduated from college and living in Chicago and Flagstaff at the moment. I’ve worked as a history professor and director of African-American studies at the University of Montana for the last seven years.
What kind of exercise or sports were you doing pre-CrossFit?
For several decades I ran 5-6 times a week, having picked up the habit after running cross-country in high school and for a short-time in college. I did a bit of wrestling, volleyball, and pole vaulting in high school as well, but didn’t pursue those sports later on. I’ve run a couple of marathons, a handful of half-marathons, and a bunch of 5-Ks, but my competitive running days are now past.
What made you decide to give CrossFit a go and how long have you been at it?
I damaged my right foot by running in “barefoot shoes.” While going through physical therapy for that injury, I tried long-distance biking, but never felt like I was getting a good workout. Friends from Seattle suggested that I give CrossFit a try. That was three years ago. I’ve enjoyed every day since.
Tobin I know you like to tell your wife all about your CrossFit workouts. How interested is she and do you annoy anyone else with all your CF talk?
Cheryl tolerates my recitation of the daily WOD – with a few eye rolls in the process. We enjoy dinner with a group of friends each week and the minute I say something like, “Well, today in Crossfit . . . .” I am greeted by good-natured howls of protest. They enjoy teasing me about whether I “did” Cindy or Grace or Fran that day.
You travel quite a lot and have visited lots of different CrossFits all over. Besides us of course, tell us about one or two of your favorite ones and why you liked them so much?
A box in New York City impressed me with how many people they could fit into very little space; a box in Jackson, Mississippi, amazed me by how they were able to sweat out intense WODs in the midst of a sweltering, un-air-conditioned gym; I really enjoyed working out with folks at a San Diego box where they had set a gym-wide group goal of improving their push-ups. Of the three-dozen or so boxes I’ve worked at across the country, I’ve been welcomed and included at every one.
What is your favorite place to eat in Missoula and why?
Caffé Dolce on Brooks has won a soft spot in my heart. Not only is it a wonderful, airy place, but the food is incredible. A former Five Valleys Crossfit member used to give me a glass of champagne every time I visited, but – alas – she moved to Philadelphia.
Tell us what an ideal Saturday would look like for you?
Getting up and completing an 8:30 WOD, having a big breakfast, going for a hike with Cheryl and our dog Jenny, and finishing the day with dinner at Caffé Dolce with friends.
Do you have any fitness goals or targets you would like to hit in 2015?
Working out five days a week is my first goal. I’d like to get past 200# in my clean and past 150# in my push press.
When we don’t see you at the gym what are you most likely to be doing?
Lecturing in class, working at my computer on my current book project, or riding my bike – my students call it my “freedom ride” in honor of the research and teaching I do on the civil rights movement (and which my sons call the “nerd-cycle”) – to and from campus.