January Athlete of the Month: Peter Mattis
Were excited to roll out the first AOM of the new year! Peter has been a standout 6am athlete for some time now, consistently biking to our doors in all kinds of weather to humbly crush lifts and WODs in our earliest class of the day. Read on a bit to learn more about this great all around guy.
Fox – How and when did you find CrossFit and CFSBK?
Peter – I’d been training over at Slope Fitness, working with a trainer that had started doing some CF style workouts with me and introduced me to crossfit.com. I was doing a lot of running at the time but would mix in some workouts off the mainsite into my routine. I remember being utterly crushed by CIndy, probably the first one I did solo. One day I showed up to a padlocked Slope Fitness and quickly realized that I had to join another gym. They’d apparently gone out of business with no warning to the members. I looked at some other local gyms but was keen on trying out CFSBK. I did a test out in the summer of 2011 and started with a punch card. At the time the class schedule just didn’t work out for my family. I soon negotiated with Kat, my wife, and was able to start coming regularly to the 6am class.
Fox – I remember your test out and you asking if we would ever have a 5am class…I think I replied that I didn’t see that happening anytime soon. Not sure we’re any closer to it! You were running at the time. Did you race?
Peter – Yeah, I trained for and ran marathons but was frustrated by the long training runs and eventually suffered a stress fracture in my lower leg. I came across CF Endurance and Brian Mackenzie and was really intrigued. I’m kind of over the long distance bug now though.
Fox – What did the “negotiation” process look like with Kat, to allow you to CrossFit?
Peter – Well we have three kids (Finn – 6, Alice – 4, and Eve – 2) and it was really a matter of how do we juggle and balance out the mornings with them. Kat graciously realized that I need the gym in my life, it’s not really just a luxury for me. I’m nuts if I don’t workout. So we make it work.
Fox – It takes a lot of commitment to keep showing up at the crack of dawn, and it’s really something to realize the give and take that people and families make to come in. What keeps you coming in?
Peter – Well I right away enjoyed the competitive aspect of the gym and with the guys I used as yardsticks. Dan Betz, Kevin Rooney, Isaac Green, and Chris Paschke were all guys I tried to beat or come close to early on. And obviously the coaching, especially on the technical lifts and gymnastics stuff is huge. The cool toys we have, being able to bail, these are all things that you don’t get in a lot of gyms. I was unaware though how important the social aspect of the gym would be to me. It’s really rewarding to have relationships in the gym instead of walking around with headphones in all the time. As our youngest gets a bit older, the larger SBK community is something I look forward to being even more a part of. I recently renegotiated with my wife to be able to come in on Sundays as well, instead of the M-F that I’d been doing for a long time.
Fox – Great stuff! Love the Betz and Rooney mentions, too. Those were some solid guys we had around. I have to mention that one of the names I look for on the board is yours, to see where I should wind up on a WOD. Let’s hear about Peter outside of the gym.
Peter – Well I’m a California guy from Silicon Valley, and went to the same high school as Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. I’m not sure if it was the area or what, but I gravitated towards programming from the point that I was introduced to computers in high school. It seemed relatively easy to me when compared to classes like English…that stuff was hard! I eventually went to Berkeley and was what I guess you would consider a solid nerd. I’d played tennis and soccer in high school but not in college. I focused on my computer science classes and pretty much neglected other stuff. When I graduated I worked for a few start ups before starting my own, then I worked for Google for 10 years. That’s how I wound up in New York. in 2004 they asked me to move here when they were opening the NY office. My best friend Spencer was also moving to NYC so it was a no-brainer.
Fox – Seems like it worked out, as you’re still here 10 years later. You still best friends with Spencer? Still work for Google?
Peter – Actually Spencer is now my brother-in-law, and my business partner! Spencer is Kat’s brother, and a few years ago he and I started our own software company called Viewfinder. We were recently acquired by Square so all is going well on that front too.
Fox – Acquisition always sounds like a nefarious term. I’m glad it’s actually a good thing for you! Any hobbies outside of CF?
Peter – It’s pretty much family, work, and CrossFit, in that order. If I had more time that would mean more CrossFit. I’d like to be able to do more competitions and come to more gym events. Other than that I guess cooking is a hobby I enjoy. I do mostly simple stuff. Salmon, chicken, rice, stuff like that.
Fox – You strike me as a guy who eats pretty clean most of the time. Am I right?
Peter – Yeah pretty much but it wasn’t always that way. When I started college I was a was a 6 foot tall, 150 pound twig. A few years after college and after a few years of partying I was a “soft” 180 pounds or bone and belly. I spent a lot of money at clubs and a lot of time hungover. Now I’m a differently distributed 195 pounds and generally hang around there. I’ll indulge in burgers and bourbon every now and then but mostly keep it in check.
Fox – I can’t see you as a 150 pound guy, or a pudgy 180 pounder. Alright, last question. What should we look for in a future AOM?
Peter – Someone who trains consistently over a long period, maybe at least a year. I think regular attendance is important. Also someone who trains with positivity vs being frustrated. Even if you have a bad training day, helping out with someone else’s equipment and stuff can go a long way, both for the person you’re helping out and yourself.
Still want to compete in Sunday’s TTD Meet?
We have had several slots open up for this weekend’s ladies powerlifting meet. If you are interested in snagging one, please contact Margie (margielempert AT gmail.com) as soon as possible to find out all the details! Register here!
New post on Inside the Affiliate
Coach DO has a new blog entry on Inside the Affiliate about a test Fox created for our coaching staff. Check it out to learn more about cleans (and which superhero Fox would be). ITA is a free, open source blog for the CrossFit community dedicated to sharing what we’ve learned running an affiliate for six years. If you like it, please share it with your CrossFit friends on Facebook and help spread the word!
Free The Animal
New Rules in the 2014 CrossFit Games Season
Top Tips for First Two Years of CrossFit Tabata Times
excellent choice! here's the 6am crew! congrats peter.
Congrats Peter! You are a true TFBA..
Congrats Peter! Always impressed by your numbers and the few times we've been in the same class, I've seen why. (Like this past Sunday!).
Consistency, thy name is Peter Mattis. Or is it Peter Mattis, thy name is consistency? Either way, dude is consistent. Great choice for aotm! In addition to being consistent, he's a great guy, he trains hard, and he trains smart which is why I'd be chasing him these days. Great to see another 6am hero get his propers!
Excellent choice for AOTM. (He's also an absolute beast on the erg!)
Rebecca C says
Yay Peter!!!!!! Congrats! Peter's dedication is inspirational. To me, he embodies the idea of virtuosity — always striving to do the common uncommonly well. And he's a great cheerleader for his fellow classmates!
I have had the privilege of working out with Peter in the mornings pretty consistently since I started at CFSBK. A great motivator, and a crazy-strong athlete. A perfect choice for AOTM. Congrats Peter!
6am with McDowell and Jess
Bench Press – Hit 195# 5X2 with a rep out at 6 which sounds like exactly where I should be at the 5th exposure. Excited to 200# next week.
WOD – Great programming on this one! Completely exhausting but fun to do. Partnered with Brad and we finished up at 10:41. Everything was unbroken except for the last set of 30 KB swings which fell apart into 10s and then 5s.
WTF….you created GIMP and GTK!!!
I was training with a real life celebrity
I'm itching to come back to the box. My knee injury was major and either rest or the knife, I chose rest.
Yes you and Rooney were always pushing me at 6AM
I miss and appreciate that
I'll be back
See you there Peter
Great choice as a AOM. I always look up Peter's number to see how I did. When I was able to do the 6am class it was a great drive to try to keep up with him.
wow haven't looked at free the animal in a while. Still up to his old tricks! Who the hell linked to that? LOL.
Literally last night I was thinking, "They should make Peter Mattis athlete of the month, he is so consistent and cheerful and fun to work out with." Nice! Peter's a great piece of the 6am crew (of which I have become a sadly inconsistent member)–yes he's a TFBA but he is humble and fun and never acts like he's too good to train with anyone else. Something I love about Crossfit: These workouts are hard for all of us!
Congrats Peter, well-deserved.
Peter is someone I really appreciate at SBK. Hard worker, always trying to get better, helps those around him to be better, very reachable, super nice, and super consistent. Also for selfish reasons since I look at his numbers to see what I should do, and also because he's a 6am "guinea pig" and his performance is a good measuring stick that will inform on whether a novel WOD needs any tweaking before the rest of the day gets it 😉
Probably my favorite time around Peter was at last year's Spartan Race when I got to see him loosen up a bit and have a burger and a beer. Up until that point I figured that only ate fire and drank gasoline. Happy to have him as part of the gym.
Great choice for AOTM! Great athlete. Great person.
Wow. It's so nice to have a face with the name, Peter. Congrats! Your workouts and cool downs have inspired me from afar.
Couldn't agree more with the AOTM selection! Congrats Peter!
6am with McDowell and Jess. Tomorrow's fitness snatch complex was frusssstrating. 63#, 68#, 73#Fail. Kept getting the bar over my head, but not dropping under it and just pressing it out at the top. Jess gave me some good advice on thinking about extension and acceleration as the bar hits the mid hang position. I also need to keep doing the barbell drill where you just drop down.
LBBS – worked up to a heavy triple for TTD. 185×3 (new PR!). Excited to see where I'll end up on Sunday!
I remember during Crash B's last year I would see Peter post 8 250s or something that were all within a half second and he didn't think they were consistent enough. Impressive dedication. I thought he was a robot for a while, but now that I know he's had a beer, I'm less suspicious.
Peter is a good man. He was quick to grab me his rope from the coat room during Sunday's WOD when I realized I was doing DUs with two split halves of a rope. Of course I pretended not to notice until I finished the set. Congrats Peter. Good choice.
Pete!!!!! Congrats man! Another prime example of a great athlete and a great guy all around!! Yesterday I finally got to get back on an erg after 2 weeks. Felt like mud. Got through some 2Ks though and will now be doing Coach Nick's hell workouts.
Tonight heading over to the club here for CrossFit Naija for a surprise work out….
Hope you all stay warm over there!!
Congrats to Peter, whom I haven't met at CFSBK and likely never will (at 6am anyway), but whom I overlapped with at Google NY many years ago.
First big lesson of LFPB Challenge 2014: I wasn't doing enough A/R, and I was already doing lots. I shouldn't feel this good for working out as much as I have…. Or maybe it's the fish oil. 🙂
Thanks to Coach Ro for the extra attention on bench last night. It's scary to add bench weight to a sore shoulder, but his advice to do a lot of extra lacrosse ball work, and to re-focus on organization between each rep had me feeling much better about the first half of class. 175# 2×5 + 11 rep-out, thanks to Ryan H mis-counting my reps. 😛
WOD: disaster. Me and Boyd. Big guys + burpees = sllllooowwwww.
I lived to tell the tale, though.
Congrats, Peter! Well deserved indeed! I definitely miss the old 6am crew and everyone else at SBK. Peter, your commitment and consistency always helped convince me to get up and come in when I didn't really feel like it, and you've gotten the results to show for it. Very awesome.
Finally had surgery on my wrist about 7 weeks ago (my prize for the charity boxing event in April). Not that awesome to have a cast on, but I just started an intense squat program out here at Crossfit Lodi and I'm hoping to compete in the Open if possible.
Happy New Year, folks. Hope 2014 brings us back to NYC for a visit.
Dave Fung says
Congrats Peter!! I always look for your numbers and think how much of a beast you are.
Finally back to the gym after being sick for a week.
Bench: 185 x 5, 195 x 5, 195 x 4 (rep out)
WOD – Partnered with Mario.
30 WB: 1:06 (unbroken)
15 WB: 0:27 (unbroken)
30 Burpees: 2:16 (slow)
15 WB: 0:37 (unbroken)
30 WB: 2:14 (all sorts of broken – reps, sets, and spirit)
Total time: 6:40
My lungs and quads were on fire afterwards.
Glad to be back.
Wow, I love all the love. Thanks for all the kind words. Woke up this morning very sore (two hard workouts on Sunday and Monday after a week of beach laziness). Combined with the polar vortex I decided to take a rest day!
@McGrath, @Betz: love seeing that ex-CFSBK'ers are still lurking around. You guys are missed. Come back and visit.
I met Peter about 2.5 years ago. 6am class was much different back then. There we only a handful of us (Peter, Issac, Joy, Allen Gorin, Dan Betz, Kevin R, McGrath). He was and still is the model of consistency. If the sun rises, you can be sure Peter will be at 6am group class. I have been lucky to get to know Peter outside of CFSBK. Peter is just an all around great person. Great choice for AOM. Congrats Peter!!
@KevinRooney and @Peter
You guys welcomed my fat butt and knew I could do it.
I'll be back.
But you two were two very welcome forces when I would come in, encouraging me
I've missed that
Yes, Kevin, tell us when you visit, so I can come say Hi
Natalie H says
Re tomorrow's meat CSA pick-up – I have a conflict and can't get in tomorrow night. Would anyone be able to pick up for me…I will owe you an LFPB-friendly snack or drink 🙂
Great to see KRoon on the blog! Good luck in the open!
PM is an AM all star. Always friendly, coachable and supporting his fellow CFSBKers.
Snuck in today
Then did the WOD Solo chipper style
45 Wall Ball Shots, 20lb/10'
45 Wall Ball Shots, 20lb/10'
Finished with some handstand practice on the parallettes. Working without a wall for the first time, a little scary at first then easy peasy to dismount from. Exciting!
Congrats Peter! All this chatter makes me want to try a 6AM class with the morning crew some day…but not in the winter. 🙁
10am with Lady Fox and McDowell.
Snatch Complex- worked up to 68#- still trying to focus on technique and not adding weight.
Since I started thinking about really catching the bar lower, it seems I have started skipping a pretty important part of the lift and have not been extending my hips fully. Next week, I'll get it right!
Got some excellent advice from Jess (sit back, chest forward ) and I feel like I am on my way to fixing my overhead squat now.
HBBS- 150 x 5 x 3 with belt. Really happy to be almost back where I was before I hurt my knee! Feels good!!
Then I did the rowing workout which Nick named 'Hell'- 6 x 500m with 1min rest. Average split was 2.02.2/500m. I would like to get that down to 2 mins if we do it again.
Joel W. says
I think you'd be surprised how much it's the fish oil if the thing you're noticing is the decided lack of inflammation you're feeling.
Peter was an easy choice for AOM. Congrats! A great athlete and all-around nice guy it's no surprise he's getting shoutouts from Ireland, CA and NJ!
Had a some time to kill today while waiting for Fox to be done with clients so I got my 15+ minutes of A/R on my ridiculously sore shoulders/traps. Then saw McD and Fox doing Wendler deadlifts so figured I'd do it as well:
(115×5, 145×5, 175×3) 190×5, 220×5, 245×5
-based this off of my old 1RM from the meet in August. I'm clearly not anywhere near that now because I struggled to get 5. It's easy to see that I haven't deadlifted heavy in awhile.
Yay Peter! I remember when I found out he was going to be on my FGB team this year and I was, like, "Crap, I have to up my game! Mr. Muscle-Up is on my team!"
(Because it seems like every time I come in for 7 AM class, I see Peter doing muscle-ups…)
On my way home from an all too brief trip to San Francisco. I must really love benching if I'm gonna come do it in this weather, and paired with burpees and wall balls to boot 😛
Whit H says
Good times at noon w/ Jeremy.
3 rds of warm-up 1, with a bit of orb ball work on back and shoulders.
Bench: worked up to heavy triple in prep for TTD
45×5, 75×4, 95×3, 100×3, 105×3. all three reps at 105 were done with pause.
WOD: worked solo. did 12# to 9' target, since I didn't want to overdo it on the legs before trying a heavy triple in LBBS tmw before TTD!
30 WB: 1:10 (20, 10)
15 WB: :28 unbroken
30 Burpees: 2:14 (10, 7, 5, 4, 4)
14 WB: :28 unbroken
30 WB: 1:19 (17, 13)
Total time: 5:39
maybe could've slowed down my pace on burpees and would've gotten thru them faster. I kind of gassed myself and took A LOT of rest on those.
big orb ball on IT band and hamstrings to cool down.
Brad D says
Congrats Peter! Well deserved!
Congrats Peter! I don't think we've had a chance to meet yet but I see you all the time finishing up at 7 am. Always strong… & to echo Frank, I remember compiling perl-gtk bindings like 12, 15 years ago! Good times…(?) Great athlete and rockstar programmer.
6:30 class today. Benched 160x5x2, x8. Pretty heavy but finished pretty strong. Then did the WOD with 16# WB aiming at the 10' target… finished in 4:59 total work, but caught a few breaths after and gave myself 5 penalty wall balls. I'm pretty uncoordinated, and I couldn't keep up hitting the 10' target. Wasn't particularly consistent about cycling them, either. Bleh.
Psyched to snatch tomorrow morning!
6:30 class with Madame Fox. Fun to lift with Jenna BW. 110×8 on the rep out. 5:32 on the WOD — burpees were horrible. Stuck around for some AR afterward. Desperately needed it after all that airplane time.
Another office workout
45×5 95×5 135×4 165×3 180×5,5,10
Cool that these are still moving.
135×5 185×5 225×4 275xF
Was going to try to pull a couple mid-heavy singles today since my back has been fine pulling heavy on olympic days, but as soon as it broke the floor things got crackly. I need to figure out what I'm doing differently with my deadlift setup.
45×5 75×5 95×5 115×5,5,9
One more on the repout than 112.5, which was one more than 110… can I keep this up?
Jon Shea says
I can’t believe I’ve gone to the same gym as one of the coauthor’s of the Gimp for at least two and a half years and I had no idea this whole time. I hope I get to thank you in person some time, Peter.
@ Natalie, I can pick up your meat CSA if you're still in need! Let me know! email@example.com
Also, dropped in at CrossFit Roots in Boulder while I was out of town. I was pretty nervous to drop in somewhere for the first time, but everyone was nice and I made it out alive. The space is amazing and well organized, the class sizes are small, and the instructors were welcoming although a little… less present than our lovely coaches.
The warm-up workout was not explained (no intros, no d-roms), it was just: "1:00 of burpees, GO!" It ended up being 1:00 each of burpees, row, mountain climbers, row, air squats, row. WOD was 4 rounds for time of 400m row and 50 air squats. There was a little bit of mobility work and squat instruction before the WOD. I was the last one done (shocking), with some abysmal time like 18 minutes. Can I blame the altitude? Class ended with three sets of ten HSPUs, which I scaled to dumbbell presses. All those Boulder yoga ninjas just jumped right into their handstands. Impressive. At this point I was basically a noodle.
I think Roots is worth a drop-in if you are ever in Boulder. That being said, it's so great to be back! I love that our coaches always take the time to explain the workouts and that our classes never feel like they are jammed full of movements just for the sake of intensity. CFSBK rules!
Pierre Davidoff says
6:30 pm class with Josh and Lady Fox.
235# bench press which was a 10 # jump from last week.
Felt sluggish and heavy. I only got 6 on the rep out which is a big different from the 10 at 225# last week.
4:52 on the wod Rx
All unbroken except last 30 wall balls which ended up 15, 5, 5, 5
Burpees felt hard on the shoulders after the bench press.
Keith W. says
Congrats Peter! Very well deserved.
Hit ar with fox ready for tomorrow. Hope the snatch is kind to me.