Name: Matt Ellis
Where are you from? grew up in Maryland, went to college at the University of Florida, and have lived in Washington DC, Philadelphia, and now Chicago for the past 18 months.
Occupation? Investment advisory services
Favorite movie: Karate Kid (Mr. Miyagi 1980’s version, Sweep the Leg)
Favorite music or artist: Any Live Dave Matthews Band show, Linkin Park, House music.
Favorite or current book: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Favorite food: I used to call a good NY style pizza my favorite food but in the past 9 months since joining LPCF I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve eaten pizza. Working out like we do really caused me to evaluate my diet and change a lot of things, especially after finding Pukie in the alley a bunch of times early on. Once I changed my diet I started to see real gains. Basically a high protein diet where I look to control carbs, no sugar, a lot of fruit and green vegetables. I learned quickly with Crossfit that you simply can’t outwork a poor diet, it’s been transformative in that aspect.
Favorite quote: my high school yearbook quote still stands and will always be the way I try to live my life, in all aspects: “If you follow the crowd you will never be followed by a crowd”. To me it says be different, think different, lead the way forward, if you do what you’ve always done you’ll keep getting the same results. Kind of like the definition of insanity and we know what that is.
What is your fitness background? I was always an athlete growing up as a kid, baseball was my primary passion as a kid, I also played football and have always loved being active and fit. In college in Florida we used to hit the gym 2x a day sometimes and really push each other. Life happens after college trying to build a career, family, and everything else, and I found myself at 33 in a physical rut, in a place where I was uninspired by anything to do with sport or fitness. 9 months later after joining LPCF I can confidently say I’m in the best shape since I was 21 years old and that feels really good. I am also inspired by the people I see everyday at the Box, they push me beyond anything I could do on my own. The coaches, the friends I’ve made, it all just works together.
Sport or activity that you are training for, if any? We formed a team for ToughMudder Chicago in May, we’ve been pushing ourselves to achieve a level of peak fitness beyond what we could do as individuals on our own. It’s been very satisfying to see the team come together and push each other, we have fun, and can’t wait for May 18 at Seneca Hunt Club, it’s going to be blast .
How long have you been CrossFitting? Started in Aug ’12, so about 9 months.
How have you seen yourself change – mentally or physically – since being a part of LPCF? Physically I’m at a level of fitness I haven’t seen since I was in school, it feels good to feel strong. Mentally I’m more confident and secure than I think I have ever been. CrossFit has impacted every aspect of my life, without question. I talk about it all the time and I think people think I am crazy, and that’s totally fine by me.
What is your least favorite CrossFit Move? Burpees, Snatch, OHS
What is your most favorite CrossFit move? C2B, KB work, Deadlifts, C&J
Is there any particular WOD that you can remember is your favorite? No I hate them all and that’s the point! Once I learned to embrace the pain and struggle and push to new personal levels mentally in the middle of a WOD, I learned that personally I can push through anything and come out stronger on the other side. That’s what I love and am addicted to. Addicted to the pain, the brutality of the wod in the middle of it when you feel like you can’t go on. That’s the power of CrossFit in the communal environment that I feel lucky to have found out how to tap into on a personal introspective level.
What are some of your goals that you have for yourself in the next year? Achievements: In the next year I should be able to backsquat 315, a friend at DogTown CrossFit in LA said once you hit the 300 club things get interesting strength wise, so that’s my goal, my PR now is 275 so it’s not that far off. Aside from that I don’t have any benchmark WOD targets, I just want to keep progressing and learning more theory and science into what we do. The more I learn the more interesting this thing gets, there’s a lot to it the casual observer won’t understand and I get that, and that’s fine. I really want to take it up a notch though and start to compete with the best athletes in the gym. Competition drives me, in a healthy and fun way. We have fun pushing each other.
I am passionate about: My family, I have a beautiful wife and 2 year old daughter who I can’t be more impressed with. She is the reason why I push myself so hard, I want to be her inspiration as she grows up.
What is something that others may not know about you? I’m terrified of snakes, no joke, phobia style.