Matthew, during workout 17.5 of the CrossFit Open

Matthew, during workout 17.5 of the CrossFit Open

Our May Member Spotlight is Matthew!!!! Matthew has been with us for just over two years (REALLY!!!!) and he has made quite the transformation. Matt is a tireless worker, always up for whatever workout that might be planned, and he loves Endurance work and will no doubt be a staple at our Sunday 8 am Endurance classes! Matthew signed up for the last two CrossFit Opens and he did GREAT, and it’s impressive to see how hard he works during those tough workouts. He just keeps attacking and attacking and attacking.

Matthew travels A LOT for work, but you can count on him to drop into a box in whatever city he happens to be working. His collection of CrossFit shirts must be impressive. It shows his commitment to his health and fitness that he is constantly dropping into new gyms in new cities. For some people, that would be pretty intimidating, but not with Matthew. He loves it and, personally, I appreciate it when he shows up to class and gives me a cool shirt from a gym from somewhere he traveled to. (Editors note, Matthew literally showed up to the gym this morning and gave me a nice shirt from Golden Gate CrossFit!!!! Thank you!!!)

Keep working hard Matthew….you are an inspiration to us all!

Name:  Matthew Daniel

Where are you originally from?   My family is from Dallas, Texas, but I went to grade school through high school in St. Louis, Missouri, so I consider myself a St. Louisan.   Having said that, I have lived in Brookfield longer than anywhere.

What high school and/or college did you attend?  I went to the St. Louis Priory School in St. Louis which is a small school for boys run by English Benedictine monks – and yes, my sons are not named Graham and Alec for nothing.  My undergrad days were spent at Stanford University with a major in Human Biology, of all things, and then business school at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Favorite sports teams?  Stanford football has been going great guns for a while now so I continue to follow my Stanford Cardinal.  They have been in the top 10 in wins since 2008 so it has been a good run if you are a Stanford fan.  But if you are from St. Louis, it is all about St. Louis Cardinals Baseball.   My first baseball game was the fourth game of the 1967 World Series with Bob Gibson pitching against the Red Sox, and it has been a series of great memories ever since.

What do you do for work?   I work at Wells Fargo in Foreign Exchange.  I advise corporate clients on best practices in regards to managing their foreign currency risk, accounting for derivatives, strategy and policy.  I travel a lot of the time and I am usually visiting companies around the country.  My entire career has been focused on foreign exchange.

When and why did you start CrossFit?  I started in March 2015 when I was 57, so this is the beginning of my third year.  At one time about six or more years ago, I was 60 pounds heavier and had managed to lose some weight but I was having big issues with mobility.  My joints were killing me; I felt terrible and just did not feel well.  I had recently torn my meniscus doing yard work and had had it repaired.  When I hurt my knee it felt like I had lost something fundamental to my vitality and it hit me that I needed to turn things around or I was going to be in trouble as I grew older.  The problem was that I just did not know what to do to fix it.  Motivation was a huge problem and I knew going to a gym on my own was not going to be the answer.  I had heard about CrossFit from two work colleagues and I just figured I should give it a try. A short internet search and there was CrossFit 203, and as Kirk says, there you go.

Favorite and Least Favorite Lift?

Least favorite is easy, the Overhead Squat!  I have a shoulder impingement in my right shoulder, so these just suck for me.  You can imagine how I felt when I saw those squat snatches in 17.3 this year.  I have to say, though, I really like all the other lifts.  I did not realize the complexity of the techniques required and it is not much different than the complexity of a golf swing.  I have a long way to go on technique and almost always receive some comments from the coaches during my workout.  I need all the help I can get.

What was your first workout, and what did you think after finishing?

I only started keeping a notebook a few months after starting but I remember my first foundation class really well.  I had no clue what was going on but it was right in the middle of the 2015 Open and there were people doing the workout with a ton of lifts and they looked to be in pain and everyone was yelling.  It was like…whoa.

I have to admit that I found the workouts intimidating, but at the same time I related completely to the culture and the people right from the beginning, so that was a big plus.  For a long time I was apprehensive driving to the gym but I always felt exhilarated on the drive home. My biggest memory, though, was that this shit is hard!

Greatest CrossFit Achievement so far:

Competing in the 2016 Open was huge for me, and then being able to do two Rx workouts in the 2017 Open was a big jump.  My biggest achievement for me, though, has simply been continuing to come back to the gym on a consistent basis.  I reached a point long ago where it is harder not to go to CrossFit than to sit idle at home. That is the sweet spot, or as Rich Boucher likes to say, keep moving.

CrossFit Goal for 2017:

I need to go heavier on lifts to go to the next level and improve my technique.  And I want to continue working on my conditioning.  I may not be the strongest guy around but I do not want to ever cheat on reps or working hard.  My list of weaknesses is a long one, so there is room for improvement on almost everything. And as I write this, I am realizing that I am having a mental block about even writing this word but I will try to do it now…..gymnastics.

One interesting thing about you not related to CrossFit:

This is a hard question.  I have a wonderful wife, Mary, and three great kids, all grown. My wife loves our bull mastiff, Frank, more than me, but he is the sweetest thing.  In answering this question I find it hard to be interesting compared to Dr. Kaz, who travels to far away countries and contributes his time and medical skills to people who would not necessarily receive that level of care.  That’s interesting!

Complete the sentence, “CrossFit should….”

Crossfit should be part of rehab programs.  You could reach a new level of rehabilitation success, I believe, if you could put people suffering from addiction through CrossFit workouts.  It could give a whole new meaning to the concept of the 12 Steps.

If I’m not at the box, you can probably find me….:

Traveling for business, pleasure or both; and at home working or relaxing.  I have a work desk in New York City but am able to work from home most days when I am not traveling on business.  That has been great for my schedule and increases my chances of getting to the gym.  In addition, we own a home in Tucson, Arizona, although we have not really spent much time there, but that could change next year.   My wife, Mary, has a highly functioning family so we are lucky to have that as part of our lives.  The only downside is they live far away from everyone.

Other comments?:

This is going to sound like an exaggeration but I keep waiting to meet someone at CrossFit 203 whom I do not like.  It has not happened yet and I am guessing it will not.  Kirk and Melissa and their coaches have done a wonderful job with keeping the attitude at the right pitch of intensity, fun, and community.  I drop in at different places when I am traveling and although I have not had a bad experience yet, none have compared with being home.  I try to explain this experience to other people… walk in, see this stupidly insane and crazy workout that you would never do on your own, then everyone goes all out and you feel great at the end.  If you throw in the dogs, the children running around, the amusing chatter and the chaos that often ensues when the classes are full – you really cannot beat it.  I continue to be inspired by everyone, so you all have my thanks.

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Damon pushing out some bench press during Wednesday’s workout

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Mike looking strong with those deadlifts

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Great Saturday workout! Lia getting cheered to the finish here

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Carlos ripping through those 315-pound deadlifts

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Shaun working through those DB Snatches

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Jackie finishing a DB snatch

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The Sunday crew chipping through those 80 calories

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Kudos to Rachael for choosing the biggest DB we have to jump over!!!!

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Jon and Alberto starting that set of 40 muscle-ups

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Kim showing us the proper way to jump those DB’s….a bunny hop!


Great endurance WOD Sunday morning! Sadly, this might have been the last endurance class for Justin and Stephanie, who will be moving this week. 🙁 Bummed. 🙁