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Featured Member – October 2018 – Chris Faulkner

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Our October featured member has, to date, dropped in at a total of 92 boxes across 17 states. *mic drop*

Let that sink in for a second. NINETY TWO. I would imagine the general public would be lucky to count the number of boxes they’ve dropped into on both hands, but that just goes to show that it doesn’t matter where you go, the CrossFit community will be there. Clearly, for October’s Featured Member, Chris Faulkner, “I travel a lot for work” hasn’t been an excuse for not getting into the gym, but what got him to CF to begin with?

“I tried CrossFit for the first time in 2013 after my kids made the comment to me that I was bigger than a lot of NFL players… but not necessarily in the right places.” He says he didn’t make it through his first WOD, but kept coming back and was slowly improving. It took about 6 months for him to feel more confident in the workouts, but was lacking consistency due to his work’s travel schedule… until he discovered the world of the Drop In.

“I started looking up CF gyms near my hotel when I was on the road. It was amazing. From Boston, to Chicago, to Seattle, to Austin, people in the CF community are just genuinely great folks.” The only issue? “…not a lot of people seem to carry 2XL shirts.”

Moreover, Chris says, “CF gave me the flexibility, strength, and athletic confidence to try another sport… Highland Games. The mobility and strength I have from CF has made picking up big rocks and trees and throwing them a lot easier.”

Wait… what? Picking up trees and throwing them?? When I asked Chris more about the Highland Games, he explained:

“The Highland games are a series of athletic competitions practiced in Scotland that simulate military competition, but without weapons as the Scots were usually under the thumb of the English. Modern Highland Games consist of 9 events focused around items that would have been common in most parts of Scotland. Most competitions run 7-9 hours and consist of a minimum of 3 throws per event. You MUST compete in all 9 events to qualify. You MUST wear a kilt… and yes you must wear undergarments… no one wants to see a bunch of 300 pound sweaty guys in the raw after wearing a wool kilt during the summer.”
Of the nine events, specifically the one referencing tree-throwing, the Caber Toss requires a 12-18ft tree that weighs between 60 to 120lbs to be cut down and shaved of it’s branches. The competitor must then try to toss it end over end with a goal of it landing at a perfect score of 12 o’clock. In this event, he says the movement itself is similar to that of a power clean’s hip pop.

Lastly, I asked what his advice would be to someone trying a new sport or form of fitness for the first time and he said “Don’t take yourself too seriously and have fun. The first time I tried the Highland Games, I was terrified, but it turns out, much like CrossFit, everyone was super encouraging and just glad someone else had joined their cult.” “I have also brought all 3 of my kids to CF Training Yard for workouts and love how everyone treats them and accepts them.”

Well, I don’t know about you, but now I’m looking forward to cheering on Chris at his next Games appearance!!