So I was really excited to write a post about Chris Mada, who is so deserving of the title Athlete of the Month! It wouldn’t be a hard post to write because as you all know, this guy puts every ounce of his heart on the floor every time he is in the box. The PR’s are incredible, the determination is incomparable and the look in his eye mid-WOD is fierce! My favorite thing about Mada is his “no fear” factor. He will try anything and is not afraid to throw up some crazy weight or try any movement. Whether he fails or sets a PR, he will always give it try. Love that.
I asked Chris to answer a few questions about CrossFit so I could start writing and he sent me something that I did not want to take apart and put into my own words. It is way too good to not share in it’s entirety.
Before I let you all read on however, another thing I love about this guy…….when Mada is in the box, after we’re dying on the floor following a breathtaking WOD, you’ll always hear a perky voice ask……”quick mile”? And for some reason, we will peel ourselves off of the floor and go……See Mada, YOU motivate US!
Here are Chris’ words…..
“I started CrossFit at MCCF in August of 2012, seems so long ago. I was a depressed, overweight ex-tennis player whose body had begun to fail him in his late 30’s and early 40’s – ruptured Achilles, broken bones, and two back surgeries, a potential third closing in. Doctors and physical therapists stressed the need to lose weight, get a stronger core, improve my fitness, lower my stress. Not much seemed to work. Running, even just a mile, crippled me for days. I was tired of pain medication. I heard about CrossFit from an acquaintance, a gym rat, that was bored with her current routine and tried, fell in love, with CrossFit. I was certain only fit, young, athletes did that crazy stuff. She explained the concept of constantly varied movement, scaling, etc., and I was intrigued.
On a whim I called MidCoast CrossFit, closest gym to my house at the time, spoke with Elayne, and asked to meet her for 10-15 minutes to discuss my current health status and to see if CrossFit might help. I expressed concern, I didn’t want to hurt myself further, but needed to get stronger. My planned 10-15 minute discussion ended up being closer to an hour, and Elayne patiently explained scaling, how we would move slowly and deliberately, work on form, and get stronger in the process. I had my doubts but was hopeful, and now looking back at old journals I kept when I started, and comparing it to where I am today, it is truly mind blowing stuff. I still have goals, things to work on and improve, but I’m stronger than I ever was, no back pain, and I am never going to stop doing CrossFit. It has been amazingly good for the mind, body, and soul!
I have a number of really great memories at MCCF. I’ll share with you my very favorite. First, MCCF is supportive… coaches and members alike – love that! When I first started, 25 lbs overweight, not a muscle on my body, the “Opens” were approaching. The buzz began. I was encouraged to sign up. Against my better judgement I did just that, and OMG the support was amazing. In particular I recall a WOD that required multiple T2B’s. I had never, ever done one. My coach/judge Shawn Hatchell was incredibly supportive… he encouraged me, showed me how to do one, implored me to keep trying, time was running out, yelled at me, like really YELLED at me, whatever he thought he could do to help me get that FIRST one! He no-repped me 15 straight times (I counted) but on my 16th attempt, I FREAKING GOT ONE! It was my only one, but he was so stoked, I was so stoked, and the other athletes watching, they were so stoked! To this day, my favorite moment – I knew then, as I do now, if I keep working, I can do anything – at CrossFit, and in life.
For me, CrossFit is first and foremost therapy. It helps to deal with the stress at work, and the stress in life. It has made me stronger both physically and mentally, and it’s amazing to be part of a community, a family, that supports that. We all want each other to do well in the gym, but also at life. And I think we really do that – we celebrate through so many things – PR’s, weddings, job promotions, babies (human and furry), all the things that happen in life. And that’s really the reason I will never stop doing this amazing thing called CrossFit.”
Congratulations Chris! You are the MCCF Athlete of the Month!