Stephen Gray

Age: 52

Hometown:  Cookstown, Northern Ireland but Cayman for past 20+ years

How long have you been CrossFitting?  Almost 6 years

What is your favorite WOD/Exercise? Cindy – but anything body-weight

What is your least favorite WOD/Exercise? I have a love-hate relationship with Fran.

What is your previous workout/athletic background? A lot in my teens – mostly field hockey, football (soccer), cross-country, swimming and golf but never any strength training. In my 20’s – nothing….at all!; 30’s – triathlon, swimming and started playing golf again; 40’s – with work/travel/family etc. the time commitment for those sports became less of a priority and I had no consistency. About six years ago I got the CF Cayman Foundation course as a Christmas present from my wife after a health issue –  best present ever!

What was your first experience at CrossFit Cayman like? I had no idea what I was getting into but right from the start it was clear that CF Cayman had a focus on safely building and maintaining fitness for the long term and not just for short term results.  That said, I think the WOD in my first class outside of the Foundation gave me pause – Karen -150 wall balls. I wasn’t even half-way by the time the class was over and could barely move my legs for the next few days but I was hooked.

What results have you seen since CrossFitting? I dropped about 20 lbs within a year with the workouts and more or less a paleo diet but put back a much stronger 25. My overall level of fitness is higher than it has ever been and I am still posting occasional PRs and hitting my own small targets for improvement with technical movements and weights. A good gauge for me was recently entering a Triathlon and a 5K sea swim at the last minute and getting through them just on my CrossFit training. I certainly have more awareness of the importance of being consistent, keeping up with mobility, a healthy diet and sleep – not always the easiest to keep to given that I travel regularly. Unfortunately, early on, Tarasa gave me a list of travel WODs so I haven’t been able to use that as an excuse.

What do you do to get yourself through a tough workout (mental thoughts, tips and tricks, etc.)? Mental math at 5:30am is not what I thought I would be doing each day but I try setting small targets for sets 10s/5s/3s, counting backwards/counting down distances etc. and trying not to glance over to see how far ahead Shelly is.  Most importantly, the workout is posted on the web-site the night before so the mental side usually starts about 8:30-9pm each night and is often the deciding factor on another glass of wine or not!

What’s your favorite aspect about working out at CrossFit Cayman? CF Cayman has a formula that works for me – expert, technical and patient coaches with a genuine concern for your well-being, a friendly atmosphere, regular workout and diet challenges to keep you in check, a social side and a location and time slot I can get to and back from before my kids wake up.

What advice do you have for someone thinking about joining CrossFit Cayman?Don’t put it off – I wish I had joined sooner and I already have my teenage son coming to the Teens class to give him that foundation no matter what other sports he may try. Set some personal goals of your own, get the fundamental movements right and scale as you need to.