Tell us a little bit about yourself – including something we may not know about you.
Although I moved to Cayman from Australia, just under 15 years ago, I wasn’t actually born there. In fact, I was born on another tropical island (just one that is a very long way from here) – Vanuatu, in the South Pacific. My dad is a doctor and he was doing a two-year stint out there to help teach medicine. He actually delivered me – something I don’t think my mum has forgiven him for 42 years later! Even though we left when I was about 2 (and I therefore have zero memories of the place), I guess there must have been something about living on desert islands that resonated!
What was the hardest part when you started out and how did you overcome that?
I guess there were probably two different things that I found hard when I started. First, I definitely did have this misconception that injuries were very common to people that did CrossFit (especially for lawyers in their 40s…). However, when it became clear that I would need to do a number of PT sessions with Coach Brett before anyone would even think about letting me loose on a class, I rapidly gained confidence that I would master the basics before being asked to do anything too crazy. Touch wood, but in the 2.5 years I have been at 7 Mile, I have not suffered a single injury! Secondly, there was getting used to the alarm clock going off at 4.45am 3 or 4 times a week to make the 5.30am class! But like anything, you get used to it – eventually…
What does a perfect day in the life of Matt look like?
Good night’s sleep, up early and hit the 5.30am class. Work out hard, but feel amazing/dead afterwards. Strong black coffee looking out over 7 Mile Beach. Hanging out with my 3 wonderful (if slightly loud and crazy) boys during the day. Maybe a walk and swim at the beach and a curry at Sunset House for lunch. Great steak from Carnivore on the BBQ at home, with a couple of decent glasses of red, with some laughs with great friends.
What is something you’re really proud of?
The focus I have had on my health and fitness over the past 6 months. During this period, I have had to deal with some difficult personal issues, but have found 7 Mile to be a real sanctuary for me. With no travel, or other excuses, I have really been able to commit to being there almost every day at 5.30am and have also focused on improving my diet. In the matter of a few months, I dropped around 17lbs and noticeably increased muscle mass. With Coach Wanda’s help, I also finally mastered kipping pull ups – they are now one of my favourite exercises! Looking forward to knocking off my first (unbanded) bar muscle up soon too!
When you see ____________ in a workout, it makes you do a happy dance!
Deadlifts, bench press or back squats.
When you see ___________ in a workout, it makes you want to cry…
Wall balls, box jumps or burpees!
What have you learned about yourself since joining our 7 Mile family?
That you can always push yourself harder than you think. That even though a particular exercise or weight may seem impossible at first, if you persevere and keep pushing yourself, then almost anything is achievable. That it can actually be fun to wake up at 4.45am and subject yourself to something approaching torture, if you’re with a bunch of friendly, equally crazy folks from the 5.30am class!
Favorite thing about living in Cayman? I’m sure it’s all the storms passing through (ha!ha!).
Probably a combination of the weather and the overall sense of community. I won’t pretend that it hasn’t been a challenge being stuck on the rock for the last 18 months (particularly for someone that used to travel virtually every month pre-COVID), but it’s always great to get home and take a walk down 7MB.
Anything crazy on your bucket list? (bungee jumping, sky diving, hiking?)
Heli skiing in Alaska is definitely right up there… Just not sure whether now, or when my boys are old enough to come too.
Scar Tissue, Red Hot Chilli Peppers or Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana (showing my age…)
If you could write your own WOD, what would it look like?
Heavy deadlifts, some running for cardio (not too far…), bench press and pull ups.
Would you recommend 7 Mile Strength & Fitness to others and if so, why?
100%. There is a real sense of community and the coaches really care about your personal fitness goals and progression. It is a very friendly place and with the Level Method system, there really is something for everyone, regardless of your personal fitness, in every class. Importantly, there is a real focus on avoiding injuries, but when they do happen there are all sorts of suggestions to remediate and do alternative workouts. I couldn’t be happier with the results I have achieved after putting in the effort with my current Coach for Life, Wanda, (but with a massive shout out to Coaches Brett and Megan for their help previously!).
Thanks Matt, we are proud to have you as our September 7 Miler.