Were excited to roll out the first AOM of the new year! Peter has been a standout 6am athlete for some time now, consistently biking to our doors in all kinds of weather to humbly crush lifts and WODs in our earliest class of the day. Read on a bit to learn more about this great all around guy.
Fox - How and when did you find CrossFit and CFSBK?
Peter - I’d been training over at Slope Fitness, working with a trainer that had started doing some CF style workouts with me and introduced me to crossfit.com. I was doing a lot of running at the time but would mix in some workouts off the mainsite into my routine. I remember being utterly crushed by CIndy, probably the first one I did solo. One day I showed up to a padlocked Slope Fitness and quickly realized that I had to join another gym. They’d apparently gone out of business with no warning to the members. I looked at some other local gyms but was keen on trying out CFSBK. I did a test out in the summer of 2011 and started with a punch card. At the time the class schedule just didn’t work out for my family. I soon negotiated with Kat, my wife, and was able to start coming regularly to the 6am class.
Fox - I remember your test out and you asking if we would ever have a 5am class...I think I replied that I didn’t see that happening anytime soon. Not sure we’re any closer to it! You were running at the time. Did you race?
Peter - Yeah, I trained for and ran marathons but was frustrated by the long training runs and eventually suffered a stress fracture in my lower leg. I came across CF Endurance and Brian Mackenzie and was really intrigued. I’m kind of over the long distance bug now though.
Fox - What did the “negotiation” process look like with Kat, to allow you to CrossFit?
Peter - Well we have three kids (Finn - 6, Alice - 4, and Eve - 2) and it was really a matter of how do we juggle and balance out the mornings with them. Kat graciously realized that I need the gym in my life, it’s not really just a luxury for me. I’m nuts if I don’t workout. So we make it work.
Fox - It takes a lot of commitment to keep showing up at the crack of dawn, and it’s really something to realize the give and take that people and families make to come in. What keeps you coming in?
Peter - Well I right away enjoyed the competitive aspect of the gym and with the guys I used as yardsticks. Dan Betz, Kevin Rooney, Isaac Green, and Chris Paschke were all guys I tried to beat or come close to early on. And obviously the coaching, especially on the technical lifts and gymnastics stuff is huge. The cool toys we have, being able to bail, these are all things that you don’t get in a lot of gyms. I was unaware though how important the social aspect of the gym would be to me. It’s really rewarding to have relationships in the gym instead of walking around with headphones in all the time. As our youngest gets a bit older, the larger SBK community is something I look forward to being even more a part of. I recently renegotiated with my wife to be able to come in on Sundays as well, instead of the M-F that I’d been doing for a long time.
Fox - Great stuff! Love the Betz and Rooney mentions, too. Those were some solid guys we had around. I have to mention that one of the names I look for on the board is yours, to see where I should wind up on a WOD. Let’s hear about Peter outside of the gym.
Peter - Well I’m a California guy from Silicon Valley, and went to the same high school as Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. I’m not sure if it was the area or what, but I gravitated towards programming from the point that I was introduced to computers in high school. It seemed relatively easy to me when compared to classes like English...that stuff was hard! I eventually went to Berkeley and was what I guess you would consider a solid nerd. I’d played tennis and soccer in high school but not in college. I focused on my computer science classes and pretty much neglected other stuff. When I graduated I worked for a few start ups before starting my own, then I worked for Google for 10 years. That’s how I wound up in New York. in 2004 they asked me to move here when they were opening the NY office. My best friend Spencer was also moving to NYC so it was a no-brainer.
Fox - Seems like it worked out, as you’re still here 10 years later. You still best friends with Spencer? Still work for Google?
Peter - Actually Spencer is now my brother-in-law, and my business partner! Spencer is Kat’s brother, and a few years ago he and I started our own software company called Viewfinder. We were recently acquired by Square so all is going well on that front too.
Fox - Acquisition always sounds like a nefarious term. I’m glad it’s actually a good thing for you! Any hobbies outside of CF?
Peter - It’s pretty much family, work, and CrossFit, in that order. If I had more time that would mean more CrossFit. I’d like to be able to do more competitions and come to more gym events. Other than that I guess cooking is a hobby I enjoy. I do mostly simple stuff. Salmon, chicken, rice, stuff like that.
Fox - You strike me as a guy who eats pretty clean most of the time. Am I right?
Peter - Yeah pretty much but it wasn’t always that way. When I started college I was a was a 6 foot tall, 150 pound twig. A few years after college and after a few years of partying I was a “soft” 180 pounds or bone and belly. I spent a lot of money at clubs and a lot of time hungover. Now I’m a differently distributed 195 pounds and generally hang around there. I’ll indulge in burgers and bourbon every now and then but mostly keep it in check.
Fox - I can’t see you as a 150 pound guy, or a pudgy 180 pounder. Alright, last question. What should we look for in a future AOM?
Peter - Someone who trains consistently over a long period, maybe at least a year. I think regular attendance is important. Also someone who trains with positivity vs being frustrated. Even if you have a bad training day, helping out with someone else’s equipment and stuff can go a long way, both for the person you’re helping out and yourself.
Still want to compete in Sunday's TTD Meet?
We have had several slots open up for this weekend's ladies powerlifting meet. If you are interested in snagging one, please contact Margie (margielempert AT gmail.com) as soon as possible to find out all the details! Register here!
New post on Inside the Affiliate
Coach DO has a new blog entry on Inside the Affiliate about a test Fox created for our coaching staff. Check it out to learn more about cleans (and which superhero Fox would be). ITA is a free, open source blog for the CrossFit community dedicated to sharing what we've learned running an affiliate for six years. If you like it, please share it with your CrossFit friends on Facebook and help spread the word!