Meet a Member – Niels Maumenee

Hi Niels, tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, job etc.

I’m originally from Maryland. I went west to Colorado College and then bounced around for a while as a field ornithologist. In the Spring of 2001, I had a job surveying for songbirds recolonizing the burned areas of the Bitterroot National Forest. I was pretty into whitewater kayaking at the time and one evening surfing the ledge 15 years ago I met a beautiful woman floating with her friends. Fast forward to 2016 and I’m now a 42 year old happily married man with 2 awesome sons (ages 12 and 9).

I have been an employee of the University of Montana for the last 14 years until last week, when I started working remotely for DreamHost as a Cloud Systems Engineer.

I started CrossFit two and half years ago with some encouragement from wife as a way to combat my rising blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Since that time my numbers have dropped and I can say I am in better shape now than I was in my late twenties as a field biologist.

You just recently stared working from home. What are the biggest changes you’ve noticed. What’s been really great so far, and what’s the been the biggest struggle?

I just started working for DreamHost on their cloud computing offering – https://www.dreamhost.com/cloud/. April 11 was my first day on the job. Up until now, I have worked at the University of Montana on various technology projects and the last two years I’ve spent my time building a cloud to support research computing in the College of Forestry.

So working from home is a big change from going to an office. So far I really like it. I feel like I really have a lot to learn so I can get quality focused time at home with fewer interruptions than what I used to get in the office. The biggest struggle is making myself stay away from my computer when it is time to stop work. It is harder to get away from the office, since it is only a few steps away.

Do you have any fitness goals or targets you would like to hit in 2016?

There are a couple goals that I am shooting for. I would like to back squat over 300 lbs, Right now my one rep max is 295. I would also like to deadlift over 400. I’m also really close with a one rep max of 395 lbs. Most importantly, I would really like to build my stamina. I’m getting better at pacing myself but I still loose it when I have to do something that takes some skill like double unders or toes to bar and my heart rate is jacked.

What is your favorite way to spend your time outside the gym and work?

I love spending time outdoors with my family camping, biking, floating, etc., but skiing is my favorite. Both the boys are becoming little rippers and Zia is one of the best skiers I know so it it is pretty fun to spend a day on the hill with them. I’ve also been getting better at cooking and I actually enjoy it when I am not pressed for time.

What pushes you in CrossFit? When you’re about to drop down for that 50th burpee, or do that 30th pull-up, what keeps you going? Where do you go in your head?

I go blank. I believe some folks call it ‘the dark place’.
Just kidding…sorta’ , I pretty much think about not puking :-).
Actually, at one point suffering my way through 16.1, I thought to myself, “Is this what I consider a good time on a Friday night?… I guess so.”

If you were put in charge for a day at 5 Valleys, what WOD (workout of the day) would you design, assuming you yourself had to participate as well?

I would pick one of the CrossFit girl WODs like Fran, Grace or Helen, or perhaps a hero WOD. I feel like it is interesting to know your scores for those benchmarks. I think that is why I like the strength testing we do at 5 Valleys, it gives you something to compare yourself to. It has been a while since I have done Fight Gone Bad so –

Three rounds of:
Wall-ball, 20 pound ball, 10 ft target (Reps)
Sumo deadlift high-pull, 75 pounds (Reps)
Box Jump, 20″ box (Reps)
Push-press, 75 pounds (Reps)
Row (Calories)

In this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute.The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. This is a five-minute round from which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. On call of “rotate”, the athletes must move to next station immediately for best score. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower where each calorie is one point.

Thanks Niels!

Meet a Member – Ali

Hi Ali, tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, job etc.

I’m married to my best friend Bryan and together we have two beautiful dogs, Elliott and Sam. I work for a web development company, Gecko Designs, as a graphic designer and project manager. I also have my own photography business, and photograph weddings, couples, families, and commercial work.

What do you hope for your life in five years? Where are you living, what are you doing?

In five years I hope to be living right here in Missoula, along with owning some land in the forest to enjoy on the weekends. I also hope to have my own business.

Along with the design and photography work you do, you mentioned something that made me very happy, which is that you play the Tuba. I don’t know why but I love this, I think it might be because I can’t imagine anyone being angry or mean and playing the Tuba, it just seems like a kind and happy instrument. Where can we see you playing your Tuba in Missoula?

I love playing the tuba, music was my minor in college. I play with the Missoula city band and a local brass quintet; we don’t have any upcoming concerts. We usually play around town for non-profit fundraisers (such as the Bike for Shelter event). I will definitely let the club know when we have upcoming concerts. 🙂

Having the lugs for Tuba must be a nice asset for CrossFit. How did you first get involved in CrossFit and how long have you been CrossFitting?

I have always wanted to try Crossfit, after learning about it from friends in my hometown (Great Falls). Last August I Googled crossfit gyms in Missoula and Five Valleys had the best reviews. I’ve been a crossfitter ever since.

Do you have any fitness goals or targets you would like to hit in 2016?

I would love to be able to do at least one pull up without the assistance of a band.

If you were put in charge for a day at 5 Valleys, what WOD (workout of the day) would you design, assuming you yourself had to participate as well?

  1. Back squats 3×5 at 80% maximum effort
  2. Push Press 3×5 at 80% maximum effort
  3. 3 rounds for time:
  • 200 meter run
  • 30 double unders
  • 20 deadlifts
  • 10 front squats

I want to get your cousin Miranda to be our next Meet-A-Member, what’s the best strategy to get her to say yes?

I told her she is obligated to do the next Meet-A-Member 🙂

Thanks Ali!

Meet a Member – Chelsie McCampbell

Hi Chelsie, tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, job etc.

I am a middle child with 5 siblings and I have two doggies. I am currently on pace to graduate this spring with a Biology degree. I currently work at 4 Paws Veterinary clinic and I love it there.

What drew you into wanting to become a vet? When did you first know that was what you wanted to do with your life?

This is a little cliche, but I have always loved animals and I have always seen that as my career path.

You’ve been in Missoula your whole life, do you see yourself moving away at some point and trying to live somewhere else?

I love Missoula but I would not mind living somewhere else that had a similar environment for a little while.

How did you first get involved in CrossFit and how long have you been CrossFitting?

The last couple years I have kind of wanted to get into CrossFit but never did. Last May I sprained my knee playing a pickup game of soccer and realized I needed to get in better shape to prevent future injuries.

Do you have any fitness goals or targets you would like to hit in 2016?

I would like to finally master double unders!!!!!! I would also like to do an actual muscle up.

What pushes you in CrossFit? When you’re about to drop down for that 50th burpee, or do that 30th pull-up, what keeps you going? Where do you go in your head?

I try to keep just keep moving and do a count down in my head of the reps.

If you were put in charge for a day at 5 Valleys, what WOD (workout of the day) would you design, assuming you yourself had to participate as well?

That is difficult to say. I like the shorter workouts that are rounds not AMRAPs. I like squats, cleans, toe to bar, & kettle bell swings.

Meet a Member – Gina Ingalls

Hi Gina, tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, job etc.

I’m married with 3 little fur babies. I’ve been a cosmetologist for many years. I have my own salon and work by myself and feel lucky to have a job I enjoy and look forward to going to.

You run Capelli’s Salon, can you tell us how you got into hair styling?

I’m not really sure how I got into hairstyling since I’ve always been a tomboy, other than I’ve always enjoyed being creative and like working on my own.

How did you first get involved in CrossFit and how long have you been CrossFitting?

I first got involved in cross fitting last September when a friend /customer told me about the Fit & Lean challenge. I was very intimidated about Crossfit because of things I’ve heard about it, but I like a challenge and have always dabbled in some kind of fitness. The people at 5 Valleys made it easier because they are so friendly & helpful. I really like the coaches and the camaraderie of the members.

I think that 5 Valleys Crossfit is a great find because going to a gym can be intimidating but they make you feel welcome no matter what your fitness level is. I really appreciate that!

What pushes you in CrossFit? When you’re about to drop down for that 50th burpee, or do that 30th pull-up, what keeps you going? Where do you go in your head?

I think the encouragement from the coaches and the members help push me & have always been one to just Get it Done….. I like to feel that I accomplished something, even if it’s just a number to strive for.

If you were put in charge for a day at 5 Valleys, what WOD (workout of the day) would you design, assuming you yourself had to participate as well?

I really like rowing, back squats, kettleball swings, & maybe a few push ups, but still learning a lot of the lifting moves.

Do you have any fitness goals or targets you would like to hit in 2016?

Some day I want to be able to do unassisted pull ups. That would be a great accomplishment for me.

What is your favorite way to spend your time outside the gym and work?

Outside of the gym & work, I feel like I’m a late bloomer, I learned to ski 5 years ago and can’t get enough of it! I like to hike, bike, waterski…..anything to do with water. Spend time at Flathead Lake and with my dogs. I also like to read and watch a good movie once in awhile.

What is your favorite place to eat in Missoula and why?

Probably my favorite place to eat is Taco Del Sol, mostly because it’s fresh and delicious, and reasonably healthy for you as far as eating out.

Thanks Gina!

Meet a Member – Meredith Rappold

Hi Meredith, tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, job etc.

Hi, well let’s see, I am 20 years old and I was born in San Diego. We lived there until I was 11 and then we moved up here so I probably did most of my “growing up” in Missoula. I am the youngest of 4, with my siblings all living in different parts of the country which is kind of neat. Right now I am just working on getting my undergrad degree and once that happens I really have no idea what I’ll do next but I’m thinking I’ve got some time to figure it out.

While you weren’t able to read my mind after class the other day (which I’m fairly certain your psych degree is for), you did mention that you were hoping to leverage that education to work with Vets suffering from PTSD. That’s fairly specific destination, can you share with us the motivation and inspiration for that journey?

I’ve grown up around the military–both of my parents were Captains in the Navy and I have a brother-in-law in the Army. Also, having lived in San Diego which is a big military city probably helped to fuel this fascination of mine. I have also come to the realization that mental health isn’t always talked about nearly enough as it should be. What initially interested me in PTSD in military vets is how PTSD manifests itself so differently in each individual, making it very unique.

Liz Marshall mentioned that you’re an expert sitter. I’m pretty good myself, but I get the feeling she was referring to something else… tell us more.

What Dr.Liz meant by that is that whether it be kids, houses, pets, etc. I can watch it all, sometimes even all at once but that might be pushing it a bit. I love kids and MOST animals so it makes my jobs easier and more enjoyable, plus it can be acceptable to do some actual sitting on the job.

Let’s talk shop now. How did you first get involved in CrossFit and how long have you been CrossFitting?

Well, as most 5VCF members may know, former coach Emily just happens to be my older sister so as you can imagine I didn’t have much choice in the matter but I am thankful now for her pushing me into CrossFit. She is about as beast as it gets, and she has bigger arms than most guys I know so I have used that as motivation to get my butt into the gym. A year and a half later, here we are.

Do you have any fitness goals or targets you would like to hit in 2016?

Hmmm well in terms of goals for 2k16, there are still certain movements that I would love to be able to do, i.e. handstand push-ups and the ever frustrating double-unders along with others. I would also love to hit some heavy PRs this year just so I can ring the bell. I also would love to do a competition completely RX’d and that goal may take me all year.

What is your favorite way to spend your time outside the gym and work?

As cliche as it sounds I love spending time with my friends and family but in all honesty I spend most of my time at school, the gym or busy doing all of my “sitting”. Although I have recently started shooting so I do a bit of that and the sad thing is that my mom has better aim than I do…you go sal pal!

What pushes you in CrossFit? When you’re about to drop down for that 50th burpee, or do that 30th pull-up, what keeps you going? Where do you go in your head?

I know people talk about going to this so-called “dark place” and to be honest I am not even sure I know what that means, I just think to myself ‘one burpee at a time, or one more pull-up’ because I seem to do better in workouts thinking about getting one rep done at a time rather than the total number of reps. Also the little bit of competitive nature in me helps with finishing a workout.

If you were put in charge for a day at 5 Valleys, what WOD (workout of the day) would you design, assuming you yourself had to participate as well?

Hmmm, I actually really like tire flips even though we don’t do them very often so I would say something with tire flips and heavy barbell work so perhaps either cleans or snatches. We can maybe even throw a few squats in there.

Thanks Meredith!

Meet a Member – Sarin & Taylor

Hi Sarin and Taylor, tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, job etc.

Sarin: I was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, but spent most of my childhood in Oregon. I did undergrad and grad studies in Nutrition at the University of Florida (GO GATORS!) and worked as a dietitian for a bit, but ultimately decided I wanted to pursue dentistry and moved to Portland to do so. Taylor and I started dating (conveniently) 6 weeks before he moved back home to Missoula. I moved here 2 years later last June and now we’re engaged and planning our wedding! I’m currently working part-time as an associate dentist in St. Ignatius. My goal is to eventually work in public health as a dentist and maybe dabble a little in nutrition/dietetics. Taylor has recently gotten me into skiing (it was hard to do that in FL.) I also play soccer and golf, love to craft, and have been an avid eBay sellin’ fool lately.

Taylor: I was born and raised right here in Missoula and graduated from Sentinel High School just a few years behind Ian. I then moved West to Tacoma and then Portland in order to get an education. Two and a half years ago, after being away for 10 years, I made my dream come true by coming home to Missoula and opening my own dental practice. Sarin caught my eye just prior to that at the tail end of dental school. I strategically brought her to Missoula for her first visit on a nice summer weekend. I convinced her to move here last summer and we are now planning our wedding for this summer. I love living in Montana and try to take advantage as much as I can. Most commonly that means skiing, hiking and spending time at the lake.

What’s great about both of you being dentists, and what’s tough about it? For instance, is there a 0% chance that you wouldn’t brush your teeth before bed because you know the other person would be looking at you with judgment in their eyes? Have you guys not had a piece of candy in years? That type of thing.

Sarin: The biggest advantage I can think of thus far is that if Taylor gives me a heads up that I’ve got some broccoli between 7 and 8, I know exactly what he’s talking about. You’ve gotta practice what you preach so Taylor and I do brush and floss every day. I do have to confess though (and I know this is true for most dentists) that we all have a pretty wicked sweet tooth. I can eat Sour Patch Kids for daysss! But I don’t. Obviously.

Taylor: Sarin is a floss nazi. She keeps me honest. But hey, I’ve got someone to fix a chipped tooth in case I don’t get my chin out of the way during a thruster.

How did you first get involved in CrossFit and how long have you been CrossFitting?

Sarin: I joined a CrossFit gym in Portland about 4 years ago while I was in dental school. Previously, I had done P90X a couple times through and lifted some weights, but I needed a little more motivation and the group atmosphere as well as olympic lifting is what drew me to it. I joined the 5VCF community this June when I moved here as I saw great reviews and had great experiences with all the awesome coaches here. I didn’t try to convince Taylor too hard to join since I knew I just needed to plant the seed and he would come around on his own eventually (I like to think that’s how I got him to propose also 😉 )

Taylor: When we started dating, I joined Sarin for a few WODs in Portland, trying to impress her. It got a little embarrassing that she could consistently out lift me. She finally convinced me to join 5VCF this winter once it got too cold for my morning runs. I’ve been at it for a couple of months now.

Do you have any fitness goals or targets you would like to hit in 2016?

Sarin: I seem to have the same goals every year that I have yet to reach: 100# snatch, 200# back squat, and a handstand push up! Most importantly though, I’d like to stay consistent with coming to classes and making healthful choices at home to be my best self – mentally and physically.

Taylor: My goals at this point are probably pretty modest. Mostly I’d just like to stay fit, get more comfortable with the olympic lifts and not hurt myself. Also, I’ve gotta be looking good in those wedding pictures!

Are either of you participating in the CrossFit Open?

Sarin: I’ve done it a few times but I used to get almost too psyched up about it (I actually had nightmares about the WODs before I did them) so I may opt out of it this year. I’m not cut out for competitions apparently!

Taylor: I’m not there yet

What pushes you in CrossFit? When you’re about to drop down for that 50th burpee, or do that 30th pull-up, what keeps you going? Where do you go in your head?

Sarin:I just tell myself to keep moving and I think about how accomplished I will feel once I’m done. Even on days I’m feeling sluggish and want to fall straight to the floor, I just have to keep pushing at whatever pace I can sustain. Sometimes the struggle is real, but it’s good to know that everyone else is feeling the same pain. At the end of the day, I’m stronger than I was yesterday.

Taylor: I’ve never pushed myself as hard in a personal workout as I do with a CrossFit class. It really is a great community. And, I can’t let Sarin beat me!

If you were put in charge for a day at 5 Valleys, what WOD (workout of the day) would you design, assuming you yourself had to participate as well?

Sarin: Pretty much anything that doesn’t include running or rowing! Probably an AMRAP with lots of double unders, box jumps and deadlifts.

Taylor: Elliptical training and Bicep Curls!

This was great, thank you both!

Meet a Member – Samantha Arcand

Hi Samantha, tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, job etc.

I’d like to start out this interview with a shout out to 5 Valleys CrossFit; I have been dreaming about this moment ever since I can remember. Where do I begin? I am a single mother of four boys -two K9 and two feline- not to mention the two fish I look after. I moved here from Minnesota about eight years ago for college. Although many people think that I “don’t have a real job,” I actually have three; I am the Project SUCCESS Counselor for Big Sky High School, the Adolescent Intake Coordinator for Western Montana Addictions Services and I also run the Minor in Position (MIP) class.

From Ryan’s interview we learned that you and he are engaged! What are you most looking forward to in marriage? Any fun details about the wedding or honeymoon you can share with us???

I’m most excited to use the statement “because I’m your wife, that’s why!” it’s going to save me a ton of time not having to explain myself. We don’t have much planned for our wedding yet except that we (I) want to get married in BANNF, Canada. As for our honeymoon, we plan on taking an African safari in Tanzania. I personally would like to go on our honeymoon first and then work on the wedding but we will see how things go.

How did you first get involved in CrossFit and how long have you been CrossFitting?

I started CrossFit about 3 years ago when it was still Emergence; I went out on a limb to try something new. I was in so much physical pain after the first week that I literally thought I was dying. I remember skipping class and calling my mom, demanding that she drives down here and takes me to the hospital. Turns out I was just out of shape. I dropped the class shortly after but was back at it the following semester.

Do you have any fitness goals or targets you would like to hit in 2016?

Every year I tell myself that I will compete in a CrossFit competition and every year I don’t. So I would say that my goal this year would be to compete in a CrossFit competition.

You’ve joked around about hardly being in the gym on a regular basis. What keeps you away?

The workouts, lack on motivation, laziness, the cold, naps, Netflix, the list could go on and on.

Crossfit Open – did you compete last year and do you plan to this year?

The Open has always been during spring break for me and if anyone knows me, they would know that I take my vacationing very seriously. Due to this, I have yet to compete in the Open. Oddly enough, this year it is not over my spring break so currently, I am registered to compete… That is if I don’t book a last minute va-cay to get myself out of it.

If you were put in charge for a day at 5 Valleys, what WOD (workout of the day) would you design, assuming you yourself had to participate as well?

Dead lifts and back squats baby. All day erryday! Then of course my second favorite activity, stretching.

Thanks!
-Samuel

Meet a Member – Emily Robideau

Hi Emily, tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, job etc.

I was born and raised in Massachusetts and still have a large extended family back that way. I moved to Missoula right after grad school when I found a job that actually put my history degrees to use. I’ve been here since 2008. I spend a lot of time outdoors doing things like backpacking, hunting, and fishing–at least in the spring, summer, and fall. In the winter I’m more likely to be binge-watching shows on Netflix and trying out new recipes at home. I work for a historical and archaeological consulting compaany in Missoula. My job takes me on research trips all over the country, which can be interesting. But I’m always glad to come home.

As a historian for hire you must have learned or uncovered some pretty interesting information. Can you tell us about a particularly cool project you’ve worked on?

Most of the projects I work on are related to environmental litigation–I basically travel around to archives, libraries, and other records repositories to research how specific waterways became polluted over time, and then write up long reports explaining what I found.

The coolest project I’ve worked on was definitely researching the history of a major bourbon brand. They were redoing their visitor center and needed information to use in the exhibits. I traveled to the distillery in Kentucky and did oral history interviews with many of the employees–including the master distiller (a bourbon industry legend). Part of my job was to tour as many distilleries as possible while there. Tough work. I learned a lot about that particular brand of bourbon, and about the bourbon industry as a whole. I came out of the project with a newfound taste for bourbon, and more knowledge about the process and history of bourbon-making than I ever thought I’d have.

What do you hope for the future? Where do you hope this work takes you, or do you want to end up doing something completely different?

For now I’m happy to just keep doing what I’ve been doing! The topics we research are very different from what I studied in school (I mostly focused on the Civil Rights Movement) and I’ve learned a lot in the past seven years. I’d like to eventually feel like I have a really solid expertise in the topics I research now. I could also see myself doing something completely different in the future–maybe something in the culinary world.

On to CrossFit, how did you first get involved in CrossFit and how long have you been CrossFitting?

I think I’ve been at it for about 5 years now. I’d been hearing about it and reading about it online and was curious to try it out. Before CrossFit I did some group exercise classes, workout dvds, and running. I was bored and looking for a new challenge and CrossFit definitely fit the bill–it’s never boring and it’s always a challenge.

Do you have any fitness goals or targets you would like to hit in 2016?

I’d love to improve a lot of things–I’m pretty uncoordinated and struggle with anything gymnastic. I’d like to get comfortable being inverted and kicking up into a handstand. And I’d really like to see improvements in my pull-ups and toes-to-bar. I also need to start trying to use double unders in workouts rather than defaulting to singles!

What pushes you in CrossFit? When you’re about to drop down for that 50th burpee, or do that 30th pull-up, what keeps you going? Where do you go in your head?

If I’m on my 50th burpee, I’m probably in a pretty dark place in my head. I’m not always great at pushing myself, and tend to do best when I have a coach encouraging me to keep moving. But I can usually keep myself going by just focusing on the next burpee or pull-up rather than focusing on the total number. And being surrounded by other people who are pushing through the same workout definitely helps. Seeing other people knock it out makes me want to work harder.

If you were put in charge for a day at 5 Valleys, what WOD (workout of the day) would you design, assuming you yourself had to participate as well?

Probably some kind of EMOM involving power cleans and/or shoulder-to-overhead. And maybe some rowing intervals. I would definitely avoid anything with burpees, gymnastic movements, or running.

Thanks Emily!

Meet a Member – Brent Dodge

Hi Brent, tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, job etc.

Originally from sunny southern California, I’ve lived in Montana since 1992 and in Missoula since 2000. I married my high school sweatheart, Liz, in 1980, a mere 35 plus years ago. We have four children ages 19, 17, 7, and 6. Our three daughters are from China, and my 6-year-old son is from Haiti. You could say we’re an All American Family!

I started Alpine Physical Therapy 12 years ago and watched it grow from a solo practice to now three clinics with 18 PTs. I continue to own and operate the company, and I still see patients two days a week.

How did you first get involved in CrossFit and how long have you been CrossFitting?

Back in 2005, I happened to click on a link at the bottom of a doctor’s email, which took me to the CrossFit headquarters website. The next morning I started doing CrossFit by myself in my living room 5 days a week. My wife wasn’t too happy because my antics often woke her up.

Shortly after I started CrossFit, I introduced a personal trainer friend of mine to it, and nearly immediately, he started CrossFit Missoula. I joined their group here and there, but for the most part I continued to go solo in my living room.

In ’08 I discovered there was a group of 15 CrossFitters that were hitting it at 5 AM at the Peak 5 days a week. By then I was getting tired of working out alone, so I joined their group and absolutely dug working out in a group. Ultimately, this group went on to become CrossFit Montana, then CrossFit Emergence, and now 5VCF!

This is a two-partner:
1. What types of injuries are you seeing common to CrossFit athletes that they should be aware of when working out? Particular areas of the body affected, particular movements exacerbating stressed areas, etc.?

In 9 nears, I’ve suffered one injury doing CrossFit. Back in ’08, I was completing Grace. As the bar dropped to the ground, I was reaching down to grab it for another ground to overhead. The bar bounced up as I reached down for it, and it yanked my right thumb, spraining one of the thumb ligaments. My fault!

Quite frankly, I know of very few injuries among our members. And contrary to what so many on the “outside” say about “all those injuries,” our CrossFitters are not laden with injuries. I attribute this to the incredible attention to detail and form on the part of our coaches.

That said, here are two precautions I offer. The first is the need to remain diligent about your form, even when it’s late in the WOD and you’re fading fast.

The second is to take pain seriously. You’re body may be trying to tell you something. Don’t ignore it. Working through pain and injury can lead to even bigger problems. As a starting point, talk to your CrossFit coach for some ideas on what to do next. They know when something needs more attention than they can give, so for sure they can point you in the right direction.

2. Same question, but this time for knowledge workers, desk jockies, etc. What are the biggest issues you’re seeing from those types of folks?

Hemorrhoids. Kidding. But not really. For people who have to sit for long hours are at a huge disadvantage. Sitting, they now say, is the new smoking. It’s not only a pain in the butt, but it’s deadly to the human body.

Discover ways to alter posture at work so you’re not stuck in one situation, like sitting. Consider a standing or treadmill desk. Or simply kick your chair away and kneel on one or both knees (funny, I’m doing exactly that as I type this). Doing so puts your back in a posture as if you’re standing. You might need knee pads, and you coworkers will confirm what they’ve always known about you. You’ll see it in their faces!

As a general rule, be sure to take breaks, hydrate, move, breathe, and mix up your work postures.

What I love about 5 Valleys CrossFit is that it has a good gender mix, as well as a great age mix. What advice would you give for successful aging to various age groups? For example what we should be watching out for, what we should ease up on, etc. at ages 20-30, 30-40, 40-50, …?

I’m not sure what our 20 to 40 year olds need other than adequate sleep, good nutrition, and a balance of strength, agility, flexibility, and conditioning.

Any one over 40 . . . and especially over 50 needs to shift the mindset to maximize mobility, functional strength, balance, and butt-kicking conditioning. The science is clear that strength wanes after 50. When strength wanes, a loss in balance isn’t far behind. You lose balance, you lose longevity. By that, I mean you die well before your time.

As a guy who is over 50 and who happens to be a physical therapist, I can tell you that our current programming creates an ideal fitness approach for aging adults (not that I’m one!). By this I’m referring to the programming at 5VCF in which we see a healthy balance of mobility, true functional strength, and incorporation of an interval model of conditioning that wages war against the dreaded reality of strength loss that occurs in less active aging adults.

This phenomenal approach sets the stage for people (visualize older folks) to keep whooping up on the young bucks and to ensure that we can crank out all the recreation that Montana has to offer . . . well into our platinum years!

What fitness goals do you have for 2016?

My aim for 2016 is to realize the greatest fitness of my adult life. How? Consistent presence at 5VCF, clean eating, and logging a million meters on my new SkiErg from Concept2. Doing so will ensure I can keep up with my 6 and 7 year old kids for the long haul.

Do you have any other non-fitness personal goals that you’re excited about for 2016?

Attain blue belt in American Kenpo Karate. Celebrate 36 years of marriage in June.
Archer a 6 x 6 elk. Fly fish the Bulkley River in British Columbia for monster steelhead.

What pushes you in CrossFit? When you’re about to drop down for that 50th burpee, or do that 30th pull-up, what keeps you going? Where do you go in your head?

Aside from a ridiculous Turkish get up WOD a few years ago that almost killed me, I’ve learned over the past 9 years of CrossFit that even when it gets hard and I begin to wheeze and whine, there’s a high likelihood that I will in fact live through the WOD. So I push through till it’s over. And after I catch my breath I congratulate myself on the powerful effects that WOD will have on my physical and mental fitness.

Where might someone run into Brent while walking around Missoula? Where would you be and what would you be doing?

They’d probably find me in line at Rosauers or the Good Food Store purchasing a bottle of Cannonball wine, which is our favorite Cabernet Sauvignon. My wife and I haven’t confirmed our experiences with it, but we think it contains some kind of aphrodisiac. Not kidding!

Meet a Member – Zach Shearer

Hi Zach, tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, job etc.

I’m a 23 year old recent college grad who lives in his parents basement, doesn’t have a job, and spends way too much time on the internet. Basically, I’m the reason everybody hates millennials. With that being said, I am going to start putting my degree in Creative Writing to use next week when I’ll start a part-time job delivering food. Gotta make that green somehow. Just so I don’t give the impression that my life is terribly depressing, I do have some longer term plans in mind. In a month or so, I plan on moving to Seattle where I hope to find work somewhere in the non-food service realm and to get out of my parents basement. I’m also currently working on a variety of writing projects and will continue to work on them in hopes that one day something will get published or filmed or even just read by somebody not my parents/close friends. So, yeah, I’ve got some things going for me.

How did you first get involved in CrossFit and how long have you been CrossFitting?

I first heard about CrossFit, like, three or four years ago, when my dad started to do it after getting introduced by some friends. From that point on until I actually started attending, I routinely mocked my dad for going to CrossFit and incessantly talking about it at the dinner table. In my defense, when you use words like WOD, pood, box, split jerk, and snatch, CrossFit sounds both hilarious and ridiculous to the uninitiated. Whoever’s in charge of naming things for CrossFit, the Chief Namer or whatever, should be fired.

Anyway, I just started CrossFit a couple months ago in November. I finished hiking the Appalachian Trail in October and my upper body strength had all but disappeared. I was the most physically weak I’ve ever been in my adult life. My dad invited me to bring a buddy week and I figured it was time to start getting strong again. I’ve had to eat some of my words but mostly my dad is just super pumped to have someone in the family to talk to about Crossfit.

What’s it like to work out with your dad? How would you describe your relationship when you’re in the gym, are you competitive with each other?

Here’s how this works: right now, my dad, despite being super old, is a lot better at CrossFit than I am because he’s being doing it for a few years and I’m pretty new. We don’t really compete because he’s gonna beat me every time and he just wants me to keep working out with him so he’ll have someone to talk to about it. When we work out now, we encourage each other, give each other high fives, and often partner up on the Saturday WODs.

Now, lets fast forward about 6 months to a year. At this point, I’ll have inevitably become stronger than he is and will start getting better times in the workouts. When this happens, and it will happen, it’s gonna get real competitive. I’m gonna make sure to always lift weights at the rack across from him just so he can see exactly how much weaker he is than me. When we do AMRAPs, I’ll keep count of my reps with poker chips and whenever I finish a rep, I’ll flick one at him so he know just how far behind me he is. At some point, even though it’s not exactly a CrossFit exercise, I might set up a basketball hoop just so I can dunk on him. So yeah, I’m looking forward this.

Do you have any fitness goals or targets you would like to hit in 2016?

I can’t do pull-ups for the life of me. I guess my main goal is to get through a workout that involves pull-ups without having to use a band.

Another goal of mine is to look as ripped and roguish as Chris Pratt does in Guardians of the Galaxy. This is a less concrete goal but I can sorta start seeing some defined abs when I flex in the mirror, so I feel like I’m getting pretty close.

What is your favorite way to spend your time outside the gym and work?

As I mentioned before, I was a Creative Writing major in college, so my biggest hobby is writing. I try to spend at least an hour or two a day working on some sort of project whether it be the novel I’ve been struggling with for a while, a script for a short film, or a long, involved Facebook post ranting about the Philadelphia Eagles or why the new Star Wars movie is awesome.

I’m also a big fan of the outdoors. I’m pretty proud to say that I spent about half of the nights in 2015 sleeping in the woods or the desert away from civilization. I haven’t been able to get out as much recently because of the weather but I’m really looking forward to going on some more backpacking trips this summer.

You recently completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, which in 2015 was 2,189.2 miles. That journey is too much to capture in this interview, but can you tell us about a stand-out memory or moment from that trip?

Oh man, there are so many great stories and moments from my thru-hike that it’s hard to pick just one. There is one story that I tell the most because I look like a badass man of danger. I’ll tell that one again.

I was hiking one evening through Shenandoah National Park which is one of two National Parks that the AT goes through. Me and the friends I was hiking with at the time had decided to take on the task of hiking about 25 miles that day to make up for the couple days we’d spent hiking very little and instead bumming around in town watching American Ninja Warrior telethons. At around the 20 mile mark, I decided to stop and make my dinner. I had made good time throughout the day and was ahead of my friends and I figured I’d have enough time to make it to camp before dark. As I was ridiculously hungry, dinner ended up taking awhile and by the time I finished all my friends had passed and I was at the back of the pack.

So I found myself hiking the last five miles to camp without anyone behind me and the light starting to disappear. This isn’t necessarily a bad situation. I’d night-hiked before and, while the Shenandoah’s are known for aggressive bears, I carried bear spray and was from Montana where we have Grizzlies and these black bears ain’t nuthin to worry about. I only really started to get worried about my situation when I heard thunder in the distance, rolling towards me. I decided to pick up my pace.

One of the nice things about Shenandoah was that, even though the trail was mostly view-less and through a ‘green tunnel’ of trees, it was pretty flat which was a luxury after hundreds of miles of ups and downs. So, I was cruising along and I could hear the storm getting closer and closer. At this point, I resigned myself to getting wet, but I figured if I hurried, I might be able to make camp before everything I own got soaked.

Then out of the corner of my eye I saw a blur of orange at my foot. Instinct caused me to stop dead in my tracks. I looked down and a small orange snake that was almost definitely a copperhead had it’s fangs about an inch from my big toe. I watched as it reared it’s head back. I jumped back out of it’s range and my heart exploded in my chest. Something I didn’t mention before was that I wore Chacos when I hiked so when I say it was an inch from my big toe, I mean it.

But I still had a problem: the snake wouldn’t leave the trail and the woods were so dense that I couldn’t really find a way around. Thinking on my feet, I grabbed a near-by stick on the ground. I tried to fling the snake out of the way but it didn’t give up so easily. It slithered back and it kept its head raised. Whenever I tried to get the stick under the snake, it lunged at me. And not only that, but just as I started fighting with it, the storm hit. Thunder was directly overhead, rain fell, and the sky brightened with lightning. I was sword fighting a snake while Mother Nature crashed down around me. It was biblical, man.

Eventually, I bested the snake with my Inigo Montoya like skills and flung it off the trail. I threw the stick away and hiked the remaining few miles to camp in the rain. It didn’t really hit me til later that night just how close to death I was. Copperhead poison is really dangerous and I was miles from any road, without cell service, and there was nobody hiking behind me. If the snake had been an inch closer and bitten me, I might not be here right now. Does this story make me a badass man of danger? I dunno, that’s for you to decide.

If you were put in charge for a day at 5 Valleys, what WOD (workout of the day) would you design, assuming you yourself had to participate as well?

I’ve only ever been the best in the gym at one thing and that was when we played the fish game on the rower machines for warm-up. I had the highest score of the day and I was super proud of myself. So I guess my designed WOD would just be a full sixty minutes of the fish game. That’d be dope.

Thanks!
-Samuel