Joseph Gilliam - September - AOM

September AOM - Joseph Gilliam.jpg

What do you do for work?

(for those that don't know) I have a clinical massage practice.  I focus on pain management, injury rehab, surgical recovery, and movement assistance for people with long term debilitating conditions such as cerebral palsy or fibromyalgia.

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What brought you into CF?

I debated open heartfelt answer vs humorous response to this question. We’ll see what happens as I start typing… ;-) In my 20’s and early 30’s, I had zero interest in having kids. Like, none at all!! Zilch, Nada, Niet, Nein! Then this strange thing happened. As I finally started unpacking all my personal childhood baggage, this heart space opened up which held an evolving desire to be a dad. Then I realized I was about to hit 40! Holy Crap, Universe willing, I was going to be a middle aged dad to an infant - and then a toddler! How the heck was I going to keep up?! My own parents were older when I was born. Let’s just say physical activity, health, vitality, and connecting with my parents with playtime were not parts of my childhood, and leave it at that. I knew the lifestyle habits and patterns I was living with weren’t going to be all that conducive to the kind of childhood and the relationship with my kid(s) that I wanted to cultivate. It was time to make some serious changes if I was serious about family. I did the obligatory “join a gym and work out for 2 months before letting the membership lapse” thing. Tried various yoga classes. Nothing resonated or interested me in a way that made me stick with it. Then my friend Christen Parker’s FB posts about her amazing experiences at CFP started crossing my feed with increasing regularity. I was intrigued. Stopped by to observe a class. Met Eamon (somehow that didn’t scare me off…hehe). Registered for the foundations class. And the rest is Crossfit history! LOL

After a long day of massaging, how do you find the energy to crush it everyday?

It’s the magic of Crossfit! Gather a group of like-minded people committed to throwing some weights around together; blast some tunes; and just get the work done! Ok, ok…. and the coffee from Press Bay cafe as I dash out my office might help a little bit.

What do you do for self care?

I have some massage trades set up with fellow LMT’s. And of course the Amazing Sarah Gardner D.C.!!

What do you like to do outside of work and CF?

It’s all about the downtime with my two pups, Rufus and Ruby. We hit the trails and hike, hike, hike.

What's your favorite CF movement?

Anything gymnastics based. I don’t have them yet, but when I finally get ring muscle ups, that will be my favorite CF movement! :)

If you could eliminate one thing from CF, what would it be?

Pistols. Seriously! What do they really contribute to functional fitness? Back squats? They’ll make sure I can get off a toilet in my 80’s. Front racked lunges… those will help me tackle stairs into my old age. Push press… lifting that not-yet-existent kid into the air. Just what the h*ll are pistols supposed to contribute as I enter the years of my dotage?! LOL Yeah, I hate pistols. Give me burpees any day!! :-)

Where are you from?

I no longer consider myself from one place. I was born in NY, raised near Boston, spent my college years in Seattle; from there moved to Canada for the first part of my dance career. And I’ve had a few side trips in between.

What's your favorite band?

Female vocalists. Adele, Amy Winehouse, Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson… the list goes on.

What's your favorite thing to do on a rest day?

Did I mention hiking with Rufus and Ruby? :-)

What's your favorite thing to eat?

Chocolate! D’uh.

What's your favorite season and why?

Autumn!! Grew up a New England boy. The change of colors; the earthy scents that start to permeate the air; fires in the wood stove. It’s the perfect season for road trips in my mind!

What would you say to someone that's on the fence about trying CF?

Do your due diligence. Don’t just take someone’s word re: Crossfit, whether pro or con. There are some fantastic CF boxes out there. We are blessed to have an extraordinary one here at CFP!! That is as much a professional opinion as a personal one. Sadly, there’s also a lot of crap Crossfit out there too. But if you find a place that feels right - the community support; the shared struggles and shared celebration of achievements; Crossfit can be a phenomenal experience that goes way beyond just getting in your daily workout. You’ll be challenged to do things that you didn’t think you’d be capable of - and then you’re going to crush it! If not immediately then in a week, or a month, or a year. But you will, and it’ll be awesome! And you’ll be surrounded by people that “get it.” who helped you get there. :-)

Eamon Coyne