Name: Stuart Wallbridge
Age: 41 or….20 with 21 years experience.
Hometown: Guernsey, Channel Islands. Probably one of only a handful of people who can say moving to Cayman meant upsizing!
How long have you been CrossFitting? 11 months
What is your favorite WOD/Exercise? Anything with a cardio element like running or rowing. But more recently following one-on-one coaching with Matt I have really enjoyed learning the Olympic lifts.
What is your least favorite WOD/Exercise? Anything with wall balls…
What is your previous workout/athletic background? A bit of a mixture really, I was a Professional Golfer for 10 years, during that time most of what I did was flexibility based with strength and conditioning specific to golf. Prior to moving to Cayman, I was a competitive cyclist for 11 years, this meant a lot of endurance and CV fitness but minimal strength work as carrying any extra weight (muscle) cost you when climbing hills or mountains. Aside from that lots of sports like cricket, football (soccer) and surfing.
What was your first experience at CrossFit Cayman like? It was not that long ago so I recall it very well. I did my Foundation with Bernadette, who is still going regularly to classes so there is a 100% retention from that group. I did not really have any knowledge of CrossFit before moving here, working in Camana Bay I was more than a little intrigued at seeing groups of people bursting out the gym doors and running off down the street. Then walking to and from the car park each day I would take a sneaky peak through the window and see all manner of things going on....handstand press-ups, kipping pull-ups and clattering of bars being dropped certainly peaked my interest. Although it did take me a number of months before I took the plunge and joined. I was immediately impressed with the attentiveness of all the coaches and their desire for you to learn to do all the exercises and movements in a correct and safe way. Stopping a competitively minded person in the middle of an AMRAP to work on their lifting technique is an example I think, of the level of commitment the coaches have in wanting everyone to not only improve their fitness but learn to develop and understand as an athlete too.
What results have you seen since CrossFitting? I have definitely become stronger in my upper body and thanks also to the daily mobilisation, some old injuries that would flare up in my neck and shoulder seem to have to gone.
What do you do to get yourself through a tough workout (mental thoughts, tips and tricks, etc.)? I am not sure I have that anywhere near mastered as of yet! When competing in other sports, it was the “competition” that really kept me on track, I’m not a good loser and even worse if I feel I could have done better. Currently with CrossFit, my focus is really more on doing it correctly and curbing my competitive side so I don’t get sloppy in what I am doing. I guess though, I do draw a lot on my competitive cycling, which really came down to how much you were willing to push yourself and endure pain for hour after hour.
There is a great saying in the cycling world whether training or competing, which is, “it never gets any easier…..you just get faster / better”.
So I accept its going to be unpleasant, but worth it, focus on pacing and not projecting forwards too much. It’s easy to get beaten up in your own head by imagining how much things will be hurting in the next 5 minutes or that you are only ¼ of the way through and already in bits.
What's your favorite aspect about working out at CrossFit Cayman? Probably the collective sense of suffering (during) and relief when the WOD is done. For the first time that I can remember I am no longer actively competitive in any sport whether individually or as a team, so CrossFit helps fill that gap as there is an objective or goal to every WOD.
What advice do you have for someone thinking about joining CrossFit Cayman? I would 100% encourage people to come and give it a try, the variety every week and planning of each day means that you will work on every part of the body and attain a balance of strength, power and fitness. Which if you are self trained in a gym, I am not sure you would always achieve that. People tend to do what they are best at or enjoy the most by choice. The structured nature of the WOD’s encourages you to work on both your strengths and weaknesses.
Don’t be put off by some of the more technically difficult aspects but embrace the challenge of learning something new. Everybody in class will at some point have been in your position and the scalable nature of each WOD means that everyone is being pushed progressing and participating.