Congratulations to Fynesy on earning this month’s title as member of the month! Mark was kind enough to answer a few questions we sent him – some personal and some fitness related. We are constantly in awe of your progress and transformation, Mark. Keep up the amazing work and consitency!!

How did you find Firewall and when did you start?

My wife Katrine joined last June. At the time I was nursing a shoulder injury. I remember looking into the gym as she was wrapping up a class and saw what looked like a barbell tossing contest 🙂 .. Yeah, not for me… especially with my shoulder bursitis. About 9 months later, with the shoulder feeling better I signed up, taking my first class 4/1/19 (after 3 ‘introduction’ sessions). I jumped into the “deep end of the pool” with Paleo challenge on day one.

How did your first experience line up with your initial expectations of CrossFit?

I remember using a few ‘colorful-metaphors’ to describe the post-workout aches with Bucky after those initial classes! I was finding muscle aches in places I was sure there was no muscle. I’ve run 8 marathons in the past but nothing prepared me for the “depth” of workout a WOD gives… At the same time it’s totally addictive!

What do you love most about CrossFit?

The variety keeps your muscles confused. The movements work your entire body. The mix of cardio and resistance. The ‘natural’ movements that build ‘usable’ strength. The scaling options to make the WODs accessible to us mortals!

What do you love most about Firewall?

The instructors! (You’re welcome guys 😉 ) But seriously the instructors create an atmosphere where you’re able to ‘bring it’ at your own level. Great technical instruction in each class, constant participant supervision and feedback. There’s also an awesome ‘vibe’ in the gym – where we are motivating each other.

What advice would you give to someone interested in learning more about CrossFit?

Don’t judge the book by it’s cover.. CrossFit is so different when you’re actually doing it (compared to observing a class). Jump in and give it a try! 

Why did you finally decide to join Firewall?

I used to distance-run but that wasn’t really feasible with young children and so the fitness level dropped and the body weight increased over the last 5 years. I’d seen the effect it had on my wife Katrine over this past year and frankly was a little jealous. We chatted about ‘fixing’ the diet earlier this year and the Paleo challenge was coming up. I told Katrine if I’m going to do the diet, I’m going to try CrossFit and so I jumped in with some intro-classes in late March.

What is your proudest accomplishment in the gym thus far and what do you hope to accomplish in the near future?

Looking in the mirror every week and seeing yet another improvement… That’s magical… but in the gym I think seeing my upperbody and core strength increasing. Cranking out 100 pushups in a class. Getting in a rope-climb (without sacrificing any leg hair!). Surviving a modified Murph. I’m coming for you RX Murph next year…

How much weight have you lost since starting? Body fat percentage?  Is nutrition attributed to the weight loss? What changes did you make?

Combined with Paleo, I experienced a ski-slope weight drop that was almost instant. Down about 20lbs from early this year, almost all of which lost during the challenge (approx 25% to 21% body fat) But weight loss doesn’t tell the whole story, body composition and shape improvement was even better. I have to say that the Paleo challenge was an amazing eye-opener – diet is the other half of the equation. We joke that I’ve eaten more spinach since April than I have in the last 20 years. My body truly rewarded me for taking a break from dairy, bread and alcohol. With this lesson learned we’re taking an 80/20 rule on Paleo for the long-haul.

Do you find working out alongside your wife has made you two closer? If so, how?

Of course! It’s an awesome activity to share. We’re in it together, there’s mutual encouragement and support. She’s reminding me now that my empathy for her muscle-soreness has sharply increased since April!

If you could go to any one point in time, when and where would it be and why?

I’m a total geek so going back to see Armstrong step foot on the moon, or forward to when we set foot on Mars.

What would you do if you won $10,000,000?

Work-life balance, family and health would come first but thereafter it would likely be some sort of green-tech startup.