Athlete Profile February 2018 - Ben Martin
This month, the first blog of 2018, we are going to meet Thiago, the quiet achieving, Brazillian born, husband, father and all round great guy.
My name is Thiago Faria Oliveira, but Thiago is my name. Faria is the surname from my mother and Oliveira the surname from my father. In Brazil the kids get 2 surnames one from the mother and one from the father. The English pronunciation would be something like CHI-AGO, but I don't really care if people can't get it right. [Tiago-Diego-Thiiago]
I am 35 years old and I was born in Sao Paulo the biggest city in Brazil. Quite insane when you have 23 million of people living in a space the size of Brisbane, also known as a 'concrete jungle' and the 'drizzle city'.
I enjoy music, leaning about and finding new bands and rhythms, gardening, which I find very therapeutic and I have started home brewing for around 2 years now
(not very healthy, i know).
I came to Australia in 2010 on a mission to learn English and then go back to Brazil. The idea was to stay for 6 months, however you can't learn much with only 6 months, so I extended a few times my visa. After 2 years I got a job working in the Quality Department of a compounding pharmacy which offered the opportunity for permanence, so I decided to migrate.
It is hard being away from home and the hardest thing is being away is family and friends who I miss. Globalisation has made things easier with culture and food, there's always a Brazilian party happening from time to time with Brazilian music and food to get me a fix. I use to say that I am an atypical Brazilian, I don't know how to Samba (pretty much i have 2 left feet) and I am not a very good soccer player. However, I do love a very long, all day BBQ. The Brazilian BBQ is a social event that lasts all day.....all day..... of many kinds of meat eaten very slowly. So whenever we have the chance the house was full of people and the BBQ is very busy.
I met my now partner, Trudi, 5.5 years ago. I was out to see a TECHNO DJ from Germany and we met at the gig. From then we have been together and everything has been very easy right from the start. Trudi is a Clinical Psychologist that likes techno and lets me DJ with my records at home loudly, so a perfect partner!!:)
Trudi is also my ground here, a person that has been by my side through all the moments and a very supportive friend. She is very interested in the Brazilian culture, also loves the BBQ and has been learning Portuguese to communicate with my family. The first time we went to Brazil she got the approval of my Mother and Grandma, so we settled after that :)
We were living together for 4 years in West End and having a very city life. We decided we wanted to move somewhere we could call our own and add some nails to the wall, so we moved to Gaythorne in May 2016. Next it was time to grown our family and in November 2017, Tomas Rafael Oliveira was born and although it has been a roller coaster of emotions for us, some days easy and some days not, we have been enjoying the journey. Tomas is our pride and joy a absolute great boy and week by week we enjoy parenthood even more.
Sport has always been present in my life, I have done inline skating and down hill long boarding in the past and so after moving to Australia, I started missing the feeling of practicing a sport. After trying running (which I loved, but my knee hated), I did a bit of boxing. The boxing trainer was a CrossFitter and he invited me to try a class. I started going only once a week, but I absolutely loved it.
Two things that attracted me to CrossFit as a sport were, firstly the diversity of the movements and the range of classes. Doing a different workout everyday of the year is very exciting and most mornings WODIFY is the first phone app I open in the morning to check out what the work out is!!!
Secondly I like how the classes are organised. I am not very good at making new friends and I feel a bit anxious in social interactions. Since I didn't grow up here it has been a hard part of the new life. CrossFit has help me to get out of my comfort zone, helping me not only with the physical part of my body but also with the mental part.
So when we moved to Gaythorne, I checked out CrossFit Mitchelton and the class times suited me so I could attend more frequently, so I became a Mitchy member and nowadays I try to go as much as I can.
What I like about CrossFit Mitchelton is the feeling of 'friendship' that is around.
CrossFit has helped me address a back problem I had for a long time. As long as I keep training I have no issues with the upper back anymore. Pull-ups would be my favourite thing to do also it helps lots with my back pain and I am also very happy to have finally achieved some muscle ups on the bar and rings. It was very hard but I got there. I mostly enjoy everything we do in CrossFit but I do HATE the ROWER and the AIRDYNE.
(I think i am not alone here:)
Most significantly CrossFit has helped me to be able to walk into a room full of people that I don't know with more confidence, more then I have ever had before. Whilst this is still hard to do, I have gained the courage to at least give things that once challenged me a go.
My name is Luke Allen, I am 18 Year’s old and am currently working as a designer and digital printer at Crystal Media in Stafford. I was born and bred in Brisbane and have grown up in the local suburb of Ashgrove. I attended St Peters Lutheran College Indooroopilly where I graduated at the end of 2016. I am the first born child of 4, with two younger brothers and one sister; Josh (16), Kaitlyn (14) and Jake (12).
CrossFit has been a huge part of my life for the past 4-5 Years and first became of interest to me when I was playing rugby league at West Mitchelton RLFC. During the off season it was usually pretty quiet so 2-3 times per week I would do boxing.
Phil and Lily had just moved into CrossFit Mitchelton and we decided to go down and have a look to see what it was all about. At first we did a few classes of boxing with Phil when he had a boxing ring set up in the gym, then slowly we transitioned into CrossFit.
About a year later, with some training at the gym on and off, CrossFit Teens was introduced with Phil as the coach. My initial thoughts of CrossFit was that it was a lot to take in, especially being the quiet and nervous person I was. But the more consistently I trained and pushed myself at the gym, the more I began to open up and become a more confident person.
Since starting CrossFit, I have seen several improvements in my way of life. With the largest being my health and fitness. CrossFit has also helped me become mentally stronger as I am now more confident and determined to give new things a go. The community here at CrossFit Mitchelton and the Coaches are what have kept me going the past 4-5 Year’s especially during the transition from CrossFit Teens to adult classes in mid 2015.
What keeps me motivated and coming back are the feelings after each and every workout that although I feel like I want to drop to floor and pass out, something inside pushes me to come back still, each and every day.
Some advice I would give to someone thinking of starting CrossFit is to just give it ago. Not for just one session, but at least a month or so. That is when you will really start to feel a change in not only your physical health but your mental health.
Hi my name is Tyler Hastie, a.k.a TASTIE, I’m 15 and I’m in year 9 at Marist College Ashgrove. I’m the 3rd child in a family of 4 kids, with an older brother and sister and a younger sister Alyssa who is part of CrossFit Teens classes. I have a bit of a rep at school as “The Kid who does CrossFit”, which is pretty funny considering where I came from as a child. As a kid (younger then I am now) I suffered hearing problems and asthma which caused me to develop anxiety and as a consequence I became very shy.
A few years ago my mum heard about the kids program at CrossFit Mitchelton and was looking for something different for me because I wasn’t enjoying the swimming I was doing. So I started the CrossFit Kids/Teens classes when I was 12years old, although I was pretty nervous about it, Mum made me go so I had to do it.
Everyone at Mitchelton was friendly and I found it to be fun and the more I came, the more I started to feel stronger and fitter, plus I lost a fair bit of weight which was a great motivator. I saw a huge change in my shyness and anxiousness and I now feel much more confident in who I am, although people still think of me as shy.
CrossFit kids made me feel strong and confident and I made a whole lot of new friends! It was fun and there was no pressure, no-one to let down. It was just about me doing the best I could do.
In 2015 I was asked to transition from the CrossFit Kids classes to the adult classes which was a huge step for me. But I gave it a try and I have never looked back. The other members in the adult classes were awesome so it was a smooth transition.One of my proudest moments at Mitchy was last year at the xmas comp, my team dressed up in an ABBA theme and we took out 3rd place.
These days I am a regular at the gym and I do extra training with my fellow teenage member Chris. I like what CrossFit has bought out in me and I look forward to seeing even more changes. I would recommend others my age give it a go, you might just like it.
Hi I’m Lynda McCarthy, I am 28 years old and from Ireland. I came to Australia 8 years ago for a year on a holiday visa and I never left. I am now officially an Aussie! I am the retail manager in DDS Newmarket and have been there for the whole time I've been in Australia
(besides a brief farm stint).
I have been with my partner Jim for just over 10 years and I think it’s safe to say he is stuck with me now :-)
We used to live on Osborne Rd (behind the field) and would often wonder who those crazy people were training outside or over by “that shed”. After some investigation James finally gave it a go (unfortunately due to working 1000 hrs a week he could not commit). He would come home excited and full of energy and kept telling me how much “I would love it!” I didn’t believe him and was happy out plodding along at Fernwood, spinning and body pumping my little heart out.
I finally gave in around March 2015, right in the middle of the CrossFit Open!
The coaches did an intro with me and from then on, gym owner Lily became my "goals!" Strong, kind just instant inspiration!
My first Saturday class was an CrossFit Open work out and to say I was terrified was an understatement! But everyone was so encouraging and although the loud encouragement did take a little getting used to, that community is the reason I kept coming back.
Since starting CrossFit I can honestly say I am a much happier and more confident person. Not only has it changed my appearance (I was just over 80kg at my heaviest with very little muscle), but it has changed the way I choose to look at exercise.
"I am no longer on a constant diet just trying to be skinny, I am more interested in consistency in my eating and challenging my body to do things I never knew or thought it could do. It has also grown my confidence as I have realised that the only person I need to compete with is myself."
I love Crossfit because I am never bored. I’m never going to be the best at everything and there is always something new to learn or improve on. This keeps me driven and I work really hard everyday to improve in any way I can.
It’s the best hour (or so) of the day! Setting little goals and achieving them feels like such a win. I will never forget the excitement of getting my first pull up. I still get excited with every one I add on or anytime I can push that pretty little RX button :-) (doing the workout without scaling)
I recently did my CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Course and CrossFit Weightlifting Course and I am interning at the gym. [Interning under the watchful, slightly scary but encouraging and helpful eye of gym owner Phil Cosgrove]. It’s an amazing opportunity to learn from someone who has the passion and knowledge Phil has.
I am planning on heading back to Ireland next year and the dream is to open my own CrossFit box! Yes that is an open invite to anyone who ever comes to Ireland!
My Advice to anyone who is interested in giving CrossFit a go - "I say DO IT!" It will be the best decision you make. Whilst it is tough both physically and mentally, if you commit to showing up and getting the work done at whatever your fitness level is you will not regret the strong person you will become.
It’s pretty hard at times living so far from home but Mitchy and it’s awesome community has made me feel so welcome and given me friends for life :-)
My name is Kev Adsett (AKA: KEVY) I am 47 years young. Born and bred in Brisbane (QUEENSLANDER!). I’ve been a carpenter/builder operating in the industry for the last 29 years (Renos/new builds). I’m a meek and mild and quite a shy type of person... NOT!!!!! I’ve been married to my lovely wife, Tan, for 22 years (you get less for life) and we have beautiful twin 14 year old girls Jessie and Ellie (they’re killing me).
I originally tried CrossFit after a check-up with my cardiologist. She found that I was ‘obese’ 91kg, had a hole in my heart and an enlarged aorta. Due to the enlarged aorta, she said I would have to be on medication (beta blockers) for the rest of my life and if that didn’t work, it was surgery. This was my wake up call! I would have to adjust my life significantly even though I was advised that diet and exercise would not stop my aorta enlarging further (a condition which runs in my family). But I was determined not to go on medication or face a risky surgery. Also it might be a surprise but I am partial to a cold ale occasionally, so this would have to be curbed... much to my disappointment.
Jimmy Wilkins suggested I give CrossFit a go. I did my intro with the nice guy of the gym ‘Rimu’. After my session Jimmy asked if it was for me….. I said “give me til next week to recover and I might get back to you”. I didn’t want to do another high impact sport at my age, so I decided I’d give it a go. That was March (I think) 2013. The following Tuesday it was game on, starting 2 to 3 days a week and building up to 5 to 6 days a week. Bloody addictive s#!t.
The diversity of movements and techniques were the main attraction for me, because it put me out of my comfort zone. I probably think I’ve improved more than what Phil and Lil think! But my gymnasty and Olympic weight lifting techniques overall, since starting, are looking a lot more what they’re supposed to, rather than looking like an old gumby.
The biggest change in my life since starting CrossFit would be that I’m stronger in general, much less aches and pains ( I mustn’t be working out hard enough) and overall more energy.
After my check up with the cardiologist (12 months after starting CrossFit) , my results were in her words ‘unbelievable’. I lost 14 kg, my aorta hadn’t enlarged any further and all other blood counts were perfect. All my Doctors were amazed at how I had turned things around in such a short time, thanks mainly to CrossFit.
I find the biggest challenge in CrossFit for me is to not turn up, especially when you’re surrounded with such amazing coaches and athletes. Sorry was that too much. LOL. Hitting PB’s are definitely a highlight but feeling healthier and stronger keeps me motivated to keep CrossFitting, especially now I’ve learnt to scale ( sort of ).
When I first started, the coaches said if you are here for 3 months you’ll do it for the rest of your life……… ‘CROSSFIT’ is an amazing tool in life, whether it be to make you a better sportsperson or to just keep a level of individual fitness. I know I’ll be around this community due to its people and challenges for a long time. Sorry guys for that news. HA HA
For anyone thinking of starting Crossfit I would say give it a go. You’ll be amazed at not only how quickly you see results, but also how addictive it becomes. The community spirit and new friendships really help in motivating you to take on the challenges that Crossfit throw at you daily.
One last thing, I’d like to thank Phil, Lily and all the coaches for putting up with this old rough head for all the past years. Hopefully you can still teach this old dog some new tricks.
My name is Natalie Sefton I am 41years old I am originally from Sydney but have lived in QLD since I was 10. I work part time at Kelvin Grove Junior School in learning support as a Teacher Aid. I am married to Richard and have 3 active kids Ellie, Alice and Archie. My kids love all sports netball, nippers, rugby union and league and all three of them are mad about CrossFit kids.
I have been doing CrossFit for 2 years now I live on the same street as CrossFit Mitchelton and would drive past numerous times a day thinking how easy and convenient it would to ride my bike to the classes. Why not give it a go! Renee a fellow kindy mum and CrossFitter gave me the final push to give it a go. I thought she looked so fit and strong. After having my kids so close together I had neglected myself whilst in the zombie no sleep zone and was up to my ears in nappies.
I grew up playing competitive sports as a kid and I wanted to regain my fitness and do something for myself again. I came along and watched a 9.15am session in action before I signed up. Luckily it was full of mums like me and they looked like they were having fun at the same time. The first month was the hardest, I was so confused with the different weightlifting movements and just running 400m was a real struggle. I really thought it wasn't for me and if things didn't get easier by a month I would give up. Luckily there are supportive and patient coaches especially Nick Logan in those early days and familiar friendly faces in the classes, so I kept on coming back. The coaches helped scale my workouts to suit my fitness level and I started to feel more confident each week and eventually I was hooked.
Originally, I wanted to loose a few dress sizes, tone up and regain some fitness, but now it's all about getting stronger, working on my technique and turning my weaknesses into strengths. After a year of doing CrossFit I was desperate to get kipping pull ups, so i would get advice and annoy anyone who was willing to show me how it was done. Lily, the gym owner, gave me a great program which I would practice while the kids were doing CrossFit. Eventually I got 1 PULL-UP at the start of this 2017 and this has been my biggest CrossFit highlight so far. I have a long way to go and I am now working on stringing pull-ups together and doing them in a WOD.
My favourite workouts are probably the strength sessions. I love all the heavy lifting bro sessions, but I also enjoy a good metcon and that feeling afterwards. My biggest weakness, apart from the dreaded wall balls is doubting myself before a workout and thinking I couldn't possibly lift that weight. I think the coaches (especially Phil) and my workout buddy's have worked me out now and know when I need that extra push.
Since starting CrossFit I definitely feel more energised, confident in myself, my clothes do fit me better and I have that competitive spark back. I am always surprising myself of what I achieve in a WOD. My motivation in CrossFit is to keep on improving, master those difficult techniques, get stronger and believe in my ability!
My husband and I are setting a good example for our kids by being active and getting them involved in all sports especially CrossFit kids. My kids are constantly trying to recruit their friends to CrossFit and they encourage me in my workouts too. CrossFit Mitchelton is a great little community with amazing coaches and friendly faces and we always feel welcome, what more could you want!
My name is Nanda Surendran, and I'm 33 years old. I was born in India, lived in 7 countries, been through 13 schools by the time I finished high school and finally settled in Brisbane. After high school, I started off my career/life as a part time chef apprentice for a year while doing full time engineering degree in Auckland, worked as an engineer to design medical devices for the heart in California and then decided to pursue the path of medicine. I am currently less than a month away from finishing my Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree and to ultimately embark on a career in neurosurgery, and I still love cooking.
I have been a "global citizen" all my life, trotting around from one country to another because of the nature of my dad's job. Finally, when my parents decided to settle in Brisbane because its idyllic tropical beauty that reminded them of our roots in South India, I joined them from California to start studying medicine at Griffith University.
I was sick and tired of traditional gyms, sticking to the same routine of alternating between chest, back, legs and shoulders with a sprinkle of cardio on the treadmill. It was boring. There was no guidance or motivation from anyone. I liked the variety of workouts/movements in CrossFit where no two days are the same, and fuelled by the desire to get fit and strong drew me to CrossFit . My first intro session was on 3rd May 2016, so its been just over 15 months.
I had read about the benefits of high intensity metabolic conditioning coupled with strength training as the best way to lose weight and attain higher levels of fitness within the shortest period of time, with evidence for reducing insulin resistance. Yes...I know this is all too medical but then I am a nerd! The real and honest reason that I gave it a try is because I wanted to challenge myself. This was a personal goal that I had set to commit myself to CrossFit for 6 months no matter what, not just a physical challenge but also a test of mental toughness. It was 'one day at a time' and now 15 months later I am still here...
I will never forget my first intro class with Phil and Lily and my first WOD with Scotty. I was sore to the bone after my first class but I came back only because of the great coaches at CrossFit Mitchy, as they encouraged me and scaled the workouts to suit my fitness level - a level where squatting my own body weight for 10 reps was a challenge! It is important to mention that given the rumours and stories about CrossFit injuries from friends and media, I felt safe after my first class. The coaching quality is top-class with a lot of emphasis on safety, technique and correct form.
From barely being able to do air squats to personal best of 116kg for 1 rep on back squats in 15 months! Yes, I can lift more weights, run faster, row more efficiently and bike harder without feeling short of breath in the first 10 calories.. but the biggest improvement is how I feel from within, so much more healthy, rejuvenated and younger. The biggest change in my life since starting my CrossFit journey has been my overall health, both physical and mental. I feel more active, energetic and happy in life. For me, it is about realising that I can now do things and challenge myself further in a way that I would never have been able to.
My biggest challenges in CrossFit is technique, technique...technique. I am always learning from coaches, other members and from watching YouTube videos on how to be better and more efficient in my techniques and correct form to lift weights. It only comes with practice, a lot of patience and learning from mistakes. When I have improved on a technique, I can find myself lifting heavier with minimal effort and it is so satisfying when you get it right.
Just as life is a journey and not a destination. Crossfit is a big part of this journey in pursuit of getting fitter and stronger. My motivation comes from challenging myself, learning and improving with every WOD. The other big part of this motivation is to do the workouts with your peers, motivate them to do better. There is an honest spirit of camaraderie and sense of community that I enjoy at CrossFit Mitchelton.
The advice I would give to someone thinking of starting CrossFit would be: If you never try, you will never know what you are capable of. Take one day at a time, learning each day, listen to the advice from your coaches, and look back in a month's time on the progress you have made. The results speak for themselves.
CrossFit Kids had been running at the gym for a little while, but in June of 2015 we thought it was time for a revamp. We noticed that there were more and more kids wanting to get into something different, get fit for their team sport and do something fun. Term 3 and 4 of 2015 CrossFit Kids Mitchelton has been developing a structure and a program that will challenge,
grow and bring FUN into CrossFit Kids. We want more than anything to see kids enjoy moving and being healthy and to realise their individual potential as athletes. Children and young people are always ready to have fun and to learn so, we break traditional CrossFit movements into bite sized lessons and add in some fun.
Our Juniors age group 4-9 years old start by learning larger movement patterns like squatting, push ups, running, jumping, skipping, climbing and moving their body in space. After Juniors have mastered these skills enough we move into adding complexity and adding small weights. Every Juniors session or WOD (Workout of the Day) is made up of a warm up game or activity, skill practise and a strength movement, followed by the metabolic conditioning (metcon), topped off with a game to finish. We incorporate traditional games into the CrossFit Kids like Red Rover, What's the time Mr Wolf?, Musical Chairs and Dodge Ball, but they are all done CrossFit Kids style.
Our next two groups PreTeens (9-12years) and Teens (12+ years), these are kids who can take more direction and are more keen to be challenged with tough metcons and movements. Similar in WOD structure as the younger age groups, the PreTeens and Teens are challenged with higher reps, more complicated movement patterns, barbells and heavier weights are slowly introduced. Our PreTeens and Teens age group start Olympic weightlifting drills and exercises and advanced gymnastics such as pull-ups and handstands.
We have seen some amazing changes in our children as they have consistently come to CrossFit Kids, 1-3 times per week. Children grow in confidence, self belief and approach other parts of their life with the tenacity they learn from a CrossFit workout. We have had countless reports of children proclaiming confidently to friends that they do CrossFit, breaking out in squats at the local supermarket, designing their own workouts at home and 5 year old girls empowered with confidence in their own strength and ability.
In a culture of convenience, leisure, junk food and couch bound children, CrossFit Kids Mitchelton has been able to light the fire of the little champion, the strong girl, the awkward teenager and the lanky boy who never thought they could be an athlete. We love what we do and we look forward to growing even more in coming years.
In light of one of our hardest working girls at the gym conquering her very first muscle up, I thought it would be a great opportunity to re-visit the path(s) to get a muscle up.
A little while ago we had members work through the Outlaw Way muscle up progressions with some great results. Here's a refresher on the progressions!
Now it's your turn to get your Muscle Up - GO GET 'EM!!!