CFT’s November Athlete of the Month!


We are so excited to announce our November Athlete of the Month, David Brown! His consistency and hard work have earned him this title, and awesome parking spot! 🙂 Please learn more about Doc below:

1. Tell us about yourself.

Hi everybody.  I’m Dave Brown, or more commonly known at CFT as Doc.  I am 53 years old, am married, and have six kids, three of whom are still at home.  We just celebrated my oldest son’s marriage on October 20th.  I have lived in the Saint Joseph area for 21 of the last 23 years.  (My family and I lived in Kenya for almost two years in 2000-2001.)  I work as an ophthalmologist at Great Lakes Eye Care, with my primary job being a cataract surgeon.  I’m lucky to love what I do for work. I have had the privilege of performing over 20,000 cataract surgeries over the course of my career, and have been fortunate enough to do a fair amount of humanitarian work overseas, teaching or doing cataract surgery in over 25 countries on five different continents.


2. How long have you been with CrossFit Tides and what made you decide to start?

I started CFT when I turned 50, three and half years ago. Entering my fifties, I knew I needed a change and wanted to improve my level of  fitness.  I have had hip issues (I’ve had both hips replaced, which is partly why I now run at a turtle’s pace, I actually used to be fast!). So continuing to distance run was out as an option.  I had been a swimmer in college, so I knew I would never be as good or as fast as I was back in the glory days, and although swimming is an excellent fitness choice, I just didn’t have the heart to get back in the water.  I needed to do something to keep me moving and keep me alive.  My friend and current fellow CFT athlete Andy Williams was doing CrossFit.  He invited me to give it a try. So I did, and here I am. 

3. What were your thoughts after your first WOD?

As I started CrossFit, I remember thinking “What in the world am I doing in here with all these amazing athletes?  I’m so clueless, they must be laughing at me.”  Which of course was the farthest thing from the truth.  The other thought I had was “I am never going to learn all of these Olympic weightlifting names and movements.”  It was all brand new terminology and movements to me.  

4. What do you enjoy most about CrossFit?

The thing I most enjoy about CrossFit are the people.  I would never work as hard as I have or enjoy working as hard as we all do if it weren’t for the camaraderie and friendship that exists among the athletes and coaches.  CrossFit Tides truly is a great community. I really like my 5:30 pm cohort.  They are all awesome and  keep me going.  But I also really like Saturday morning work outs too because I get to see people from all the other classes, and team WODs are fun. The second thing I really enjoy about CrossFit is the continual opportunity to learn new movements and improve on old ones.  I appreciate the fact that CrossFit presents me not only with physical challenges, but also mental ones too: I don’t check my brain at the door.  

5. What is your proudest CrossFit moment?

I had mentioned that I really like learning and conquering new movements. I have two proudest CrossFit moments.  The first is the first time I made it to the top of the rope climb.  (It’s a long way down from way up there by the way!)  The second is the first time I flipped up on the wall and did a HSPU.   I look forward to conquering more new things.

6. How have you seen yourself change- mentally and physically since joining Tides? What impact has CFT had on you in and out of the gym?

Of course physically I am more fit and healthier now than before starting CFT.  No question, physical and mental health and intimately related.  Even a “bad” WOD at the box still helps relieve mental stress.

7. We know you are a busy guy between work, family, your son’s wedding, etc. Please share how you’re able to be so consistent at Tides. Any pointers you can share as to how you make it work?

My system for staying consistent is essentially commit to showing up at the box now matter how you feel and no matter what the WOD is. I committed early on not to cherry-pick WODs.  We all have some things that we enjoy and some things that we just don’t like.  Doesn’t matter.  Don’t skip the WOD.  Just show up and do what’s on the plan.  So every week I put the big rocks in the jar first.  I plan the days that my schedule allows me to come to the gym that week and commit to it.  Many times I don’t even check the work-out until leaving for the box: “Just show up.”  Another top priority mantra would be “No injuries.”   There is always a substitute movement or a progression that can be done.  There’s no reason for me to be a hero. There is a balance between pushing one’s self and being prudent to avoid injury. You have to listen to your body (and to your coaches) to find that right balance.

8. Your most creative Thanksgiving leftover-turkey idea: Go!

It’s not very creative, but I like taking the leftover croissant rolls and turkey, throwing a little mayo and mustard in there, and having mini leftover turkey sandwiches.  I’m usually eating that by Thanksgiving evening.

9. Is there anything else you would like to share? Or, advice to a new CrossFitter?

I would tell a new CrossFitter to not be intimidated.  All the other great athletes in the gym are all on your side and rooting for you. They don’t care that you aren’t doing Rx or need a substitute movement or whatever.  We are all in this together.  Just show up!

Congratulations Doc! We’re so proud of all your hard work and accomplishments! Thanks for being a great part of the Tides community!

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