On Tuesday, we shared with you the words from our Push Up Woman of the Year, Leah Alter. Today, we’d like to introduce and give you the pleasure of getting know our 2016 Push Up Man of the Year, Michael Page!
“The Push-up Man and Woman of the Year exemplify everything that we love about our athletes, our community, and the human spirit. Not only do these people walk through the doors of CFA day in and day out, and work hard to improve themselves; they go out of their way to lift up everyone around them. They make their friends and families a priority over themselves. They lead and encourage by words, actions, and example. They represent the burning spirit of what makes our little South Austin gym unique and special. We at CrossFit Austin can humbly bestow no greater honor and we give our utmost heartfelt thanks that you both have chosen to make our gym, business, family, and lives a better place!”
When did you join the CFA community?
I started CFA 6 years ago.
What is one of your most memorable moments from your early days at CFA?
At the old CFA building they had the best WOD times and lifts on the wall. The Great Wall of Records was intimidating, but also inspiring. As one of the “old guys” in the gym, I knew it would be challenge, but I was determined to get on that wall amongst the young whipper snappers. One day “Karen” was the WOD, and if you don’t know Karen she’s mean, ugly and known to make men cry. But that morning I somehow fought back the tears and pain and scored a time worthy of the wall.
Any ‘newbie’ stories you’d like to share?
I bent a barbell while doing box squats. Pretty sure that’s never been done before.
What is it about CFA that you love or that is different from other sports/programs you’ve tried?
What I love about CFA is how it’s an individual sport that’s achieved by a group effort. Everyone shows up to work on their own fitness goals, but we motivate and encourage one another to accomplish the challenge.
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time to when you first started CrossFit?
I would say, “Hey, focus more on correct form than throwing up big weight.” But then my pride would probably say, “Whatever. I’m going for two PRs.” Then we would exchange countless insults.
How did you create long term fitness/CrossFit success for yourself?
I had to be consistent with my workouts. Coming in 4 times one week then once the next week doesn’t work for me. I realized staying fit was not easy. It’s a job. And I was ready to put in the work.
What keeps you motivated?
Being healthy for my wife and daughter keeps me motivated. My family has a history of heart disease and strokes at an early age. My brother, who’s an avid Crossfitter and only 40 years old, recently had a stroke. I’m pushing 39 and hell bent on beating the genetic card I’ve been dealt.
What makes you come in and train on days when you don’t want to?
Mornings I don’t want to come in usually involve a workout I hate. But I make myself do it anyway, because you can’t get better at something while sleeping in.
Fran. I owe it all to my coaches. They convinced me to change up my strategy and just like that – my time dropped dramatically.
Current training goals?
There are two movements I have yet to achieve: Butterfly pull-ups and muscle ups. Those are my goals this year.
Tell us about an obstacle you have had to work through in your training. How did you work through it?
I’ve battled a low back injury for the last 2 years. I had it worked on at Airrosti, picked up a few stretching movements from my coaches and corrected a few lifting movements that might have caused it over the years.
What is your cheat meal go to?
Cheat meal or meals? To be honest, I’m really good at eating healthy during the week, but the weekends are brutal. It’s so hard to ignore queso when it’s staring you in the face. But since we’re talking about one meal, I would say a Mighty Fine cheeseburger and fries.
What does the Push Up Man title mean to you?
It’s a great honor. I see so many people killing it in the gym. Making great improvements. To be recognized amongst them is quite the achievement.
Thoughts upon winning the title?
Honestly, I was completely shocked. Especially since I couldn’t make the party. So when my wife put me on FaceTime to accept the award over the phone I was stunned. Speechless. And needed a drink.
How will you use your new found Push Up Man glory?
I’ve tried to use it at home with my wife. I get as far as saying, “Hey, I’m the freaking Push Up Man! I’m kind of a big deal! So there’s no reason I should clean the dishes!” It has yet to work.
Leave the fine folks of CFA with some parting wisdom.
When life shuts a door… open it again. That’s how doors work.