Member Of The Month – Joe Emerick


We have missed a few months due to a very busy summer, but we are back with our member of the month awards! Massive congratulations to Joe for being our August member of the month.

Joe has been with us for just over a year now, after moving up north from CrossFit Peckham at The Yard, and I am sure you will agree, has become a big part of the Team. He always has a smile on his face, is friendly, funny, positive, works hard, and chats with everyone. He also moves REALLY well and that makes us as coaches very happy! He gets involved with all the events as much as he can, and is just generally a mega person to have around. He is also VERY good at accents… so if you ask nicely he might show you 😉

So, as always, we asked him a few questions about his CrossFit journey so far…

M – How long have you been doing CrossFit?

JE– I think this is year 5. I’ve taken it a bit more seriously for the last 2 years.

M – What class time do you normally attend and why does that work for you?

JE – I just aim for 5 sessions a week, and take any other extras I can. This means I end up with a real variety, and train with lots of people. I’ll usually manage a few 5pm’s, one or two 6:30 am’s, and Saturdays. I’m (nearly) always at team training, and if I can make it, I’ll go to Olympic weightlifting too. My job has me all over the place, and I have a few other bits on, so this is a really good setup for me.

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

JE – My sporting history is varied to say the least – rugby, hiking and climbing, snowboarding, surfing, and now wrestling. So it wasn’t like I was primed and ready for CrossFit, but I’m pretty open-minded. My two best mates from uni had started a box in Peckham whilst I’d been living abroad, and I just fell into it. Because it was them running the box, I got maybe a little more banter and tough love than the other members, and that made me love it even more. It also primed me for all of Gage’s short jokes.

I come to M Squared particularly because it’s not just a gym. When I moved up to Manchester I was looking for a place to train that had a proper community too, because I only knew about 3 people up here. Fortunately one of them was Joe Russell, and he’d told me to drop Em an email and come down.
Without naming names, I walked in, and someone with his shirt off, a shaved head, and a conspicuous scouse accent bowled up to me, shook my hand, said that the WOD was minging and he liked my bag, then introduced me to Em. And now it’s a year later.

M – What advice would you give people who are unsure whether to try M Squared or not?

JE – The ‘need to get fit to start’ thing I can understand, but everyone starts somewhere.
When I started I was at least 25% Jagermeister, rollies and cheese (see picture). I was fresh off 3 ski seasons of drinking copiously, averaging 5hrs of sleep a night and eating a lot of junk. Even with hiking or snowboarding most days, I had a body like a bag of custard and the willpower of a teaspoon.

I am the worst for seeing someone do something, and then immediately trying to do it without really thinking about it. So, the best advice I could give is to ask for help, and to not worry too much about what other people are doing. Even if it looks really cool.

Roy Choi tells people to “practice the punches for now, and worry about the spinning kicks later” when he talks about learning to cook. The same is true for starting foundations of CrossFit. Take as much time as you can to absorb it all, ask loads of questions, and don’t worry if you feel like you’re behind other people, because you’re probably not.

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

JE – As a single thing, getting ring muscle-ups was huge. I hadn’t gotten close in about 2 years of on-and-off trying, so getting them this year with Gage’s help was a really big one.

I love Olympic lifts with all my heart, but tearing myself away from just working on those and improving my cardio (it’s still just a Spanish word) and gymnastics has been really satisfying too. One of the good things about MSquared is that between all the coaches and interns, you get the help you need on the areas you need to improve on.

Now, all we need to do is find a way to make my arms longer so I can do paralette handstand push-ups.

Then we’re cruising.

M – Thanks so much for your blog Joe. We love having you at M Squared, you always make us laugh and smile and are a you are a solid part of the crew.