For this month's member spotlight, we introduce you all to Matt! Matt is a 5:30am warrior - showing up day after day in the early morning hours to get his training in. If we could pick one word to describe Matt, it would be consistent. Since joining in late 2020, Matt has shown up, done the work, and committed to himself.
The functional fitness aspect of CrossFit is paying off for Matt's everyday life. He is takes what he does in the box and transfers those skills to other areas - marathons, trail races, and a a leg of a triathlon. We love seeing his fitness move interchangeably from the gym and into his "real life".
Matt's spotlight is an uplifting read. He really highlights the positive changes he has experienced since joining CrossFit, not just physically but mentally as well. Read on to find out more about Matt's physical and mental progress, who at the box has inspired him, and his cheeky (literally) bike ride around London.
I've jumped around several gyms over the years and always stopped after a while out of boredom. CFTH is the perfect storm of great workouts, constant variation, very knowledgeable coaches and a hugely supportive community."
How long have you been doing CrossFit/how long at CFTH?
About 5 months. I actually went to a trial class a couple of years ago in the old box but it didn't click for some reason. Mayo told me about the new box and that he was enjoying it, so I just booked to go straight into the Essentials sessions and get started.
What was your very first class at CFTH like?
It involved 40 pullups. Not being able to do a pullup, I had some reservations about that. Then I got my foot stuck in the bands and flipped over backwards…Lewis managed to fish me out. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming to new faces which is not something you see at other gyms.
What are some of your recent accomplishments/a-ha moments/or something you have been proud of in the gym recently?
With burpees I'm now not getting as destroyed as I was before, so hopefully those have clicked! (Don't give me more burpees though please!) I also lost 6kg in short order and improved all sorts of fitness and body measurements with Rico's 'Mission Nutrition Challenge' program which I highly recommend.
What are some goals you are working toward?
I'm happy to keep making steady progress. I've signed up for some of the trail runs and my first 21k, the Danang half ironman (I'm the swimmer in a relay team), some longer bike rides. The 'functional fitness' aspect of CrossFit is great - I can enjoy all these activities without being too worried now.
Favorite movement/WOD and why?
I just like turning up not knowing what the WOD will be and having to grind it out. I'm enjoying getting better at a lot of exercises that I've never done before like gymnastics movements and barbell work.
Favorite CrossFit Tay Ho moment (doesn’t have to be during a class, just any favorite moment at CFTH)?
The weigh-in and fit test after 8 weeks of MNC was cool. Also, the 5:30am crew is really good fun to work out with.
Something positive CrossFit has taught you?
Good things will happen if you keep turning up and doing the work.
Any advice for someone just starting?
Go as often as you can to learn the techniques and get your cardio up sooner.
How has your health/fitness/mindset changed since starting CrossFit?
I think it's completely changed; rather than a chore it's now something I look forward to. And it’s a positive feedback loop; the progress and results motivate you to keep going further.
Have you experienced any other completely unexpected changes after joining CrossFit?
Yes. Now most of my clothes are too big for me! Try buying clothes my size in Hanoi…..
Now for a little bit about Matt outside of the box...
What do you do out there in the real world?
I manage Savills in north & central Vietnam; we work on all types of property developments from office towers, to industrial parks or resorts - as a consultant, agent and property manager. Savills is a UK public listed company and has been here since 1995, and now has around 2,000 employees in Vietnam.
How long have you been in Hanoi?
Since 2004; mostly in Hanoi apart from a couple of years in Danang.
Hobbies, Talents and or Interests? What does a day in the life of Matt like outside of being a CrossFitter?
My workday is very varied, so with that, a business with my wife (Tannin Wine Bars), & two kids it can get full-on. That’s why you normally only see me at the 5:30am CrossFit sessions or at the weekend! In the evening I'm ready for either the sofa or one of the wine bars!
Favorite thing to do in Hanoi (outside of CrossFit)?
I got into cycling a couple of years ago and have enjoyed exploring weekend and overnight rides outside of Hanoi. Holly & Emily have inspired me from their full length of Vietnam cycle, and got me thinking about a long adventure for myself. So I'm planning some ideas for that at the moment.
Favorite Hanoi restaurant?
We are really lucky in Hanoi I think for lots of great food options. I'm biased for Tannin Wine Bar! We have one on Hang Vai in the Old Quarter, and one on Dao Tan street near Lotte. I love Korean BBQ - Gojumong in Lotte is a regular Sunday lunch spot.
What is a fun fact that would surprise us about you?
I once cycled naked around central London… it wasn't just me - there were about 3,000 other people on a protest ride. I was just on a stag party though :) Maybe that's why I like cycling now!