Member Of The Month – Paul (Sea) Carroll

Congratulations Paul on being our male member of the month.

I wanted to give this to Paul for Christmas as I knew it would be his favourite Christmas present. Paul is such a lovely, genuine guy and this is so well deserved. I dont know anyone who loves CrossFit and M Squared more than Paul.ย ๐Ÿ˜œ

Paul has improved massively and it hasn’t gone un noticed. Paul always works on technique and mobility and I’m sure spends most of his time researching CrossFit.

Paul is a pleasure to have around and the gym just wouldn’t be the same without him.

It’s also doubly special as his lovely Girlfriend Lisa has also been awarded female Member Of The Month…..but I thought id do it separate and give Paul his time to shineย ๐Ÿ˜œ

So over to Paul to tell us about his CrossFit journey so far….are you sitting comfortably?ย ๐Ÿ˜Š

M โ€“ How long have you been doing CrossFit?

P -I joined M Squared in September 2017, that was my introduction to CrossFit, but I only did a couple of sessions then had a holiday at the end of September and started properly in October 2017. Soโ€ฆ 15 months so far.

M โ€“ What class time do you usually attend and why does that work for you?

P -During the week itโ€™s usually 6pm with the odd 5pm class. I am fortunate enough to work across the road from the gym so when I finish work I can just drive across the road in time for the following class ๐Ÿ˜Š

I usually do boot camp at 6pm on a Thursday and the CrossFit classes at 9:30am on a Saturday and 11am on a Sunday too. I love the partner / team WODโ€™s as it gives you a chance to work with others and is a good way of meeting and getting to know people, especially when you first start out. Sharing the workout with someone else isnโ€™t quite as daunting as doing it on your own.

M โ€“ What is your why? Why do you put yourself through it each day? Do you have goals you want to achieve?

P – Nowadays itโ€™s just simply because I love it and I want to keep learning and improving. I have learnt and ticked off so much already but still have a long way to go to be where I want to be. Iโ€™m a bit older now too so itโ€™s important to me to be as fit and healthy as I can be, you take your health for granted when youโ€™re younger but have to start looking after it a bit more when youโ€™re approaching 40 ๐Ÿ˜ณ

I also feel good and happy when Iโ€™m in the gym so it never feels like a chore or like something I feel I have to do, it is something I want to do. If you can find exercise that you enjoy, thatโ€™s half the battle.

Oh, and since my partner, Lise (Lisa Martin), joined I have to keep coming. I canโ€™t have her coming and getting better than me! ๐Ÿ˜œ

My main goals for 2019 are to link Bar Muscle Ups (I can only do singles at the moment), do a few more comps and another comp with Lise, hopefully go to The CrossFit Games (as a spectator ๐Ÿ˜‚) and work on increasing my lifts. I have a decent engine and am ok with the gymnastics and cardio / body weight stuff but my strength lets me down a bit and means the workouts are more exhausting now as Iโ€™m trying to lift heavier and hit as many RX (as prescribed) workouts as possible. The RX weight is usually 60kg+ and I only weigh 70kg so EVERYTHING feels heavy ๐Ÿ˜‚

Iโ€™m going to commit some more time to strength training and do some one to one sessions with our weightlifting coach, Josh, to improve my strength and technique in the Olympic lifts.

I also want to gain my CrossFit Level 1 Certificate this year as I feel this will help with my own development and coaching and helping others is something that I would like to do in future.

M โ€“ What advice would you give anyone wanting to start CrossFit but is either unsure or nervous? We get people all the time saying they need to get fit first or they could never do what we do? Any advice for those people?

P -Thereโ€™s a great quote from Zig Ziglar which fits this question – โ€œYou donโ€™t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be greatโ€. So I would just encourage them to give it a go, you donโ€™t need to be fit to start, starting will get you fit. I think anyone who starts CrossFit will be surprised at how tough it is but also surprised at how rewarding it is and at themselves and what theyโ€™re actually capable of. There is nothing better than watching new members grow in confidence, strength and fitness over the months ๐Ÿ˜€

The other thing is, everyone starts at the beginning and of course there will be people who are naturally gifted and can walk into the gym and just start throwing around heavy weights or pulling off gymnastics movements at will (well annoying! ๐Ÿ˜) but even they will struggle with some movements and workouts. There are so many different lifts and movements and no two days are the same, everybody has strengths and weaknesses and CrossFit has a funny way of levelling the field.

The main thing is to give it a try and just keep turning up. Your health and fitness will improve thanks to the great programming and coaching, but your confidence and social life will also improve as everyone is really friendly and welcoming and thereโ€™s always something going on outside of the box. If you like Nandoโ€™s youโ€™re in for a right treat ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

M โ€“ What is your biggest achievement so far in CrossFit and what are you most proud of?

Pย – This is a difficult one as there are so many things that I have achieved and am proud of so far โ€“ my performance in my first Open after only doing CrossFit for a few months, competing in my first ever competition, my first comp at RX that was massively outside of my comfort zone, first Rainhillโ€™s (minus the shoelace incident!).

Then there are things that mean the world to every CrossFitter like hitting PBโ€™s in lifts, getting my first Handstand Push Up, my first Ring Muscle Up, getting and linking Double Unders, Toes to Bar, Rope Climbs, Butterfly Pull Ups, etc. Achieving all those things within my first year makes me feel really proud and it shows that putting in the work pays off. My first Bar Muscle Up was a huge one as I was working on them for ages so when I finally got my first one I just screamed out a big โ€œYEEEEEESSSSSS!โ€ at the top of the bar and didnโ€™t stop smiling for days ๐Ÿ˜€

Iโ€™m also extremely proud of winning the CrossFit Wanker award, voted for by fellow members (most people would think thatโ€™s an insult but I actually love it, haha) and Member of the Month in the same month, along with my partner, Lisa Martin.

Most of all though, I am just proud of becoming a part of M Squared and the amazing community within it. It is so much more than just a gym and I feel happy to be part of it and of the friendships I have made so far. There are so many inspirational people, from the newbies to the most experienced, and you canโ€™t help but feel happy and motivated the minute you walk in, despite how disgusting the workouts sometimes are!!! ๐Ÿ˜œ

Iโ€™d just like to add a little more about M Squared and what makes it so special. Within about a week of joining, I was coming into the classes and the coaches would just write my name on the board without having to ask it. That may not sound like much but it just showed that the coaches actually care about their members and donโ€™t just treat you as a number or face on a screen, like they do in some commercial gyms.

You also have members from all walks of life and of all ages and abilities, all just wanting each other to do well which is a strange feeling in adulthood! At any competition that any of us enter, thereโ€™s always a massive turnout of support from the members and you canโ€™t help but give it your all when theyโ€™re all cheering your name. If you look around at any local competition you will see M Squared apparel everywhere because everyone is so supportive of the gym and its members. We were even likened to The Sovereign (the gold people) from Guardians of the Galaxy at a recent comp because of the way we all turn up looking glamorous in all the M Squared gear ๐Ÿ˜‚

Mย – Thanks so much Paul. You can now carry on being the best CrossFit Wanker M Squared has ever seen….and we wouldn’t want you any other way!