We, the Solace coaching staff, are very excited to award our December 2016 Member of the Month to Phillip Powers. Philip is a very consistent athlete, who has gained a ton of progress over the last few months. Even as a lawyer with a crazy busy schedule, he still makes time to show up almost every morning. He has even done a few competitions since starting at Solace and now has the bug.
Coachable, friendly, and always looking to develop his weaknesses, the coaches have nothing but great things to say about him. Coach Cindy recalls her first CrossFit WOD, Murph of all things, with Philip by her side. “He ran the first mile with me and talked about his first class. He helped me keep pace and I felt like a part of the class, instead of the odd man out who was clearly in new territory.
We want to thank Phillip for being such an important member in our community! So what are you waiting for?! Keep reading to learn more about our December Member of the Month!
Want to become part of the Solace family? Click HERE to sign up for a free introductory CrossFit class this week.
Name: Philip Powers
Hometown: Columbia, South Carolina
How long have you been doing CrossFit and how did you get into it? I started CrossFit last year and trained for about 3 months before herniating two discs in my lower back while moving from Denver. I wasn’t able to pick it back up until late February, when I joined Solace. So I’ve been doing CF for about a year in total. I got into it because I moved a few blocks from my buddy’s crossfit gym in Denver. I liked the idea of doing handstands and rope climbs since I never learned how to do those growing up. I also like change so the “constantly varied” part was appealing.
What were your thoughts after your first CF workout? I’m scarred for life from my first CrossFit workout. 50 dumbbell snatches at 70lbs (I think I scaled to 50lbs), 5 rope climbs to 15ft, 40/4, 30/3, 20/2, 10/1. I may have skipped two of the rope climbs near the end since the rope bore a hole in my right shin? I probably couldn’t hold a beer for a week. My second workout was 15.5 (28-21-15-9 rowing/thrusters), which I scaled to 65lbs. After that rough start, I’m fairly surprised I kept doing CrossFit. It’s always humbling to see almost an entire gym of girls (badass girls, no doubt) work at the same weight as you.
What were your goals when joining CrossFit? Gain 20 pounds, which I achieved fairly quickly through squatting and eating 4,000 calories a day, considering I had never squatted in my life before. Also, be awesome at everything. I think I’m at least 5% of the way there on that one 🙂
How did you find Solace and what has kept you with us for so long? When my back was OK enough to stop flailing around doing air humps (some call it pilates) on the ground of Equinox, I think I googled “bougie ass crossfit gyms.” And I stayed because of the legally binding nature of written contracts and automatic billing. (But I’ll stay aside from that because of new friends, the showers, bikram crossfit, and whatever will be the next iteration of the Vegas pool party Saturday.)
You’ve improved tremendously since starting with us. Talk to us about that and what got and kept you motivated. I mostly just show up, work hard, and take rest days when I need them. Regarding motivation, when you’re in the 7:30AM and someone leaving the 6:30/7 a.m. says “oh yeah you can totally do that” and so you try it when you hadn’t planned to. Otherwise I would never do any of the heavy workouts. Also the coaches helped me find ways to avoid doing back stuff for most of the summer which was super helpful to keep me improving in other areas while building up material deficiencies in my lower body.
What has been the most challenging part of your journey? Biggest obstacles? Waking up in the morning and putting pants on. That’s always the most difficult part of a day. Otherwise, I’m mainly just trying to ‘get old’ better at this point.
What changes have you made to your daily life, diet & workout routine that have been the most successful for you? I sleep more! And I drink less (most days). And I eat more bacon double cheeseburgers with avocado. And I stretch and roll out a LOT more. I’m pretty sure most of these things are helping me to ‘get old’ better.
How has Solace positively affected you in your personal and professional life? SO many new friends. And since I go to bed earlier, I’m probably more productive at work. But I’m also spent from 7:30AM. workouts, so maybe not.
What keeps you motivated? Life! It just keeps happening it seems every time I wake up and there is certainly no reason to half ass it.
What advice would you give someone looking to start CF? Just start already! And take lots of selfies along the way and record EVERY workout on Beyond the Whiteboard from day one. Because that shit helps you see progress and give you the warm and fuzzies, especially when you feel like you suck terribly.
Proudest CF moment? I feel like once every few weeks I do something that I previously hadn’t been able to do, so luckily I’ve had lots of these moments to build on. Most recently, this week, I finally completed my first workout RX with doubles. And the best part about that workout was that I ALSO didn’t think I was going to be able to do the heavy-for-me squat cleans.
Favorite WOD/ least favorite WOD: Favorite WOD would be anything looong with light to medium weight like “Jack” or “Morrison”. My least favorite WOD would be anything involving thrusters.
Favorite lift/ least favorite lift: My least favorite would be any barbell movement from the ground because bending over is required. Bear Complexes are pretty fun but bench is probably my favorite lift. I also really enjoy rowing, the assault bike and burpees – basically I just really like Body classes.
Something no one at the gym knows about you: I had an eating disorder on and off for around 4 years (2008-2011ish). When I got REALLY stressed from law school and in my first two years of law practice, which happened A LOT, I would eat and purge calories. I weighed maybe 30lbs less than now – I was about 175lbs as opposed to my current weight of 205lbs. I was able to overcome this and decided to become a vegetarian. I now eat like a billion calories a day and my body is very appreciate of this, which probably has something to do with why I look in shape.
What was the most awkward/embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you during a workout? This one time I took my shirt off during a workout. That was WEIRD. Sorry – I mean didn’t. One time, I DIDN’T take my shirt off for a workout. Just kidding… that never happened.
When you’re not at Solace, where are we most likely to find you? Odds based would be work or my bed. But otherwise out and about in Williamsburg, eating burgers or at a concert, or in the warm weather hanging in my hammock with a beer and some tunes.
Pre and post workout meal of choice? Pre workout – fancy poptart from my coffee shop in BK and a large cold brew. Post workout – lamb burger at the Breslin.
If you could give your past self-advice, what would it be? I don’t know,I think I’ve done OK as is. But I’d probably try to carve out 25 minutes a day for ROMWOD since birth. I guess I would even just create ROMWOD if i was time traveling back to give myself advice.
Rapid Fire Questions
If you had a theme song, what would it be? King of Spain – The Tallest Man on Earth
What is your spirit animal? Idk an awkward giraffe?
Last picture you took on your phone: My friendsgiving leftovers – the benefits of hosting!
Last book you read: Murakami — Norweigan Wood
Favorite reality show: I don’t have cable, so NA
Last concert you went to: Oh Wonder
Favorite pizza topping: An over easy egg? Spicy pepperoni maybe. I’ll take a pie with red sauce over one with just an assortment of cheeses only any day.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Handstand walking
One thing you couldn’t live without: Foam roller
Last song stuck in your head: WhoMadeWho – Heads Above
Most important item in your gym bag: Comb or underwear. But I forgot the latter recently and that was a liberating day (but would result in a much higher dry cleaning bill). So maybe comb.
First album/CD/cassette you ever bought? Greenday – Dookie
Favorite hidden gem spot/restaurant in NYC: Pause Cafe in LES (Bagel lox/acai bowl and all the suckers across the street at Clinton St. Baking Co.)
Favorite healthy snack: Double burger with avocado
Go to karaoke song: Under the Sea — Little Mermaid. The seaweed is always greener in somebody else’s lake.
Hidden talent: I can drink a beer in about 4 seconds