May 2020 AOTM: Mark Emery
We have so much love for our community, and love to highlight one athlete each month that exemplifies hard work. After an aggressive lobbying campaign rivaling most special interest groups in Washington DC, we are proud to announce that Mark Emery has joined the ring of honor (Disclosure no money or favors have been exchanged in this decision). Get to know Mark here, and make sure you say hello and fist bump him once we get back from quarantine!
Q: How long have you been doing CrossFit? What changes have you seen in yourself (physically or mentally) since beginning CrossFit?
First of all, I can’t believe I am AOTM. I never guessed it would happen.
I have been doing Crossfit since before many people reading this were even conceived – 2011. I had done P90X in my garage for a year and thought I was ready. Turns out, I wasn’t. My first workout was Karen and I got whipped by a drunk 87 year old.
There aren’t enough words to extoll how Crossfit has changed my entire world. I am stronger, faster and leaner at 45 than 25, and that’s saying something, since at 25 I was already a 3x Olympic curling champion. Mentally, doing Crossfit with Ben Benson means I’ve already met my daily quota of suffering by 7AM. After that, the volume on the rest of life gets turned way down. I like that.
Q: How has CrossFit helped you outside the gym?
It’s my daily reminder that lasting value, happiness, fulfillment and growth flourish through suffering. The ability to suffer gracefully and with purpose is something I really admire in people.
Q: Who inspires you at the gym, and how do they inspire you?
Though I started CrossFit before we met, there’s no way I’d be where I am now without my wife, who inspires, cajoles and annoys me into consistency. Pound for pound, she’s the strongest person I’ve ever had sex with and she will always be my favorite WOD partner. That said, if it involves thrusters, I want a divorce.
There are many others. Trent’s kind heart. Ryan Oubre’s relentless positivity. Ellie Hoover’s man burps. I also admire the quiet grinders who seem to never miss class and do all the accessory work. People like Paulino, Sara Hardy and Katie Taylor.
Q: What is something that we may not know about you?
I love doing impersonations, mostly of people I know. Some of my favorites are Shock G (Digital Underground), Scooby Doo, Hank Hill, Paulino and Ben Benson. I am working on a David Eastman, which involves standing around a lot looking at equipment.
Q: Any advice for someone considering trying CrossFit for the first time?
Most of the fear is centered around what others think. So, here is what experienced CrossFitters think about noobs – you are inspiring AF. You have elected to have your ass handed to you by a stranger, in front of a group of strangers who are all exceedingly better than you are. When I see a brand new CrossFitter, all I see is badass.
Q: What are your top 3 memories in CrossFit?
1. Getting on the board in my old gym for Diane. While it’s true someone had to die to make that happen, I’m pretty sure he’d be happy for me now.
2. First muscle up.
3. My first class at Terminus, taught by Marshall, when my barbell stopped moving vertically mid snatch and I was like “WTAF?” before sort of tumbling back to the bottom of my squat. I looked up and saw this crazy maniac behind me holding my barbell talking to me about grip width or some shit. I’d been a coach for years and in some gyms coaches are reluctant to actually coach other coaches, but this lunatic who I didn’t even know felt totally comfortable demolishing my snatch and I knew I’d found the right gym. Thanks Ben.
Q: What’s your proudest accomplishment?
TBD. Honestly I wake up every day feeling like I haven’t done shit, yet.
In the meantime, nothing really comes close to watching your children be courageous. Recently Scout had the choice between taking a medication for two weeks, or getting a shot. I watched her steel her nerves and tell the doctor she wanted the shot. I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder.
Q: Moving forward, do you have any short term or long term CrossFit goals?
I’d love to be able to handstand walk.