Next up in our member profile series we are going to talk with Tom Fugiel. Tom is a master's athlete with his eyes set on making it to the Crossfit Games in 2018. As the Crossfit Games Open starts next week, let's get a little bit more insight into Tom's journey with OPEX Gold Coast and how individual design has impacted his fitness and life.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Thanks for the opportunity to talk about my journey with OPEX Gold Coast thus far. I'm really excited about the upcoming Crossfit Games Open and sharing little bit about my story. I'm 40 yrs old, married, with a 3 year old daughter and a 1 1/2 year old little guy. I'm originally from Springfield, MA, but I have lived in Connecticut since graduating Fairfield University in 2000. I currently live in Derby, and work in Stamford and spend most of my time, when not in the gym of course, sitting behind a desk as a Risk Analyst for a Norwegian oil and gas company.
- Tell us a little bit about your fitness background.
My fitness journey really started back in high school as a member of the school hockey team. We were required to be in the weight room training at least three times a week to help build strength. It took me until my senior year to really realize the impact of weight training and the potential to remove me from being classified as the "chubby kid". That label is something that had stuck with me for years and is still something that motivates me to keep training even today.
From that point forward, for about 20 years, I spent my hours in a globo gym working on back, bi's and tri's. You know, the standard globo gym workout where form, function, and olympic lifting do not exist. To keep myself motivated, I trained for a handful of marathons, half marathons, and a Spartan Beast. After years in the globo gym, my shoulders had finally had enough. Lack of constantly varied movement lead me to two shoulder surgeries and long stints in rehab. I was over training and doing exercises that just led me to hurting myself. It was time for a change.
I was always drawn to Crossfit but never really understood the programming. I was a member at a box in the area, but all I was getting was a strength piece, and a 15 minute conditioning workout (metcon). Sometimes, actually more often than not, an AMRAP (as many reps as possible) or EMOM (each minute on the minute) style workouts were added. I wasn't getting enough out of these workouts as they seemed entirely insufficient to me. Fortunately, I eventually found OPEX and individual design.
- How did you find out about OPEX GC?
The events that led me to OPEX GC came together like a perfect storm. I was somewhat familiar with the OPEX philosophies from experiences at previous boxes and always thought very highly of the approach to fitness. As luck would have it, I noticed a listing for an OPEX gym location that was soon opening in the area and immediately requested more information. As I started to learn more about the gym, I found out that some of my other friends and coaches were also looking to make a similar change. We all decided to join the movement together and it is one of the best decisions I have made.
- Why OPEX GC?
Trying OPEX GC was probably the easiest decision I've ever made as it relates to fitness. It offered me the opportunity to be in an environment with like minded people who all want to better their health and fitness, regardless of level or goals. More importantly, it also meant having the guidance of an expert who was aligned to my specific goals and built a program specifically for me. I wasn't made to change who I was to fit the model of what someone wanted or expected me to be. I have been able to build and grow within the program.
- Who is your OPEX GC coach?
My coach is the one and only Abi Hammond.
- Thinking back, tell us a little bit about your first week participating in the OPEX GC program? What did you think? Anything unexpected? What was the toughest thing? What did you enjoy the most?
My first week at OPEX GC was literally exactly what I hoped for. Everyone at OPEX GC was extremely welcoming. It took no time to feel at home. It was a little tough initially moving away from the group training environment, but that was gone almost immediately as you quickly realize it's an incredibly supportive atmosphere. For me the best part was simply diving into my workouts. Knowing there was a process behind it made it instantly motivating.
Thank you very much for all of the time Tom! We love having you as a part of our OPEX GC family and we are pumped to see you crush the upcoming Crossfit Games Open. Many clients like Tom come to our community with a very clear outcome and goal in mind....they just aren't quite sure how to put together all the pieces of the puzzle. Through some hard work and experimentation with his coach, Tom discovered how to match the right lifestyle changes with intelligently programed fitness to keep moving forward towards his desired outcome.