Introducing our member of the month, Chris Bowker. Chris has been a member of our Scicoh family for a little over two years. His story is relatable to most, motivational to all and completely honest. Thanks for always kicking ass Chris!
1) Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Chris Bowker. I grew up in Scituate MA which means I knew Sarah O’Shea before she was a famous CrossFit coach. I moved back to Scituate from the North End about 5 years ago when Julie and I got married. We now have 3 children under three. The kids keep us very busy to say the least but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Athletically I played football and rugby in high school and college. I also played rugby for numerous years in my adult life with the Boston Irish Wolfhounds. My rugby career was put on hiatus when I got married and moved to the burbs. Unfortunately, I didn’t replace it with any other physical activity. I saw my energy drop and my weight balloon up. It doesn’t take much effort for me to get REALLY out of shape.
2) What sparked your interest in CrossFit?
I have to give full credit to Dennis Murray. He was all over me to join SciCoh for the day one start. Dennis and I were roommates at Stonehill College. I had absolutely every reason to join and no excuse not to join. I think Dennis wanted me to go so he wouldn’t be the worst person there. At that point in my mind there was no understanding of scaling workouts. To me, CrossFit was a special place where people with abs that were fit as hell worked out together. Slobs like me weren’t let in the door. But I needed to find something that got me going again so I was happy Dennis pushed me to join. I had previously tried to join a normal gym and I was just going through the motions sleepwalking through workouts. The first couple months at SciCoh were an eye opening experience. They made me feel like an athlete again. Not that I was ever a good athlete.
3) What would the title of your autobiography be?
“Extra Chris B – The life and times of Chris Bowker”
4) Favorite WOD/ Least favorite WOD –
I’m not sure if I have a favorite or least favorite yet, they are all kind of great and awful in their own unique way. The Hero WODS are always a humbling experience. I love how Scott shares the story of the hero. It feels as if you miss out when you do not participate in one even if you have to scale everything.
5) What is the last book you read?
Harold and the Purple Crayon. It is one of my son’s favorites. Highly recommended if you haven’t read it. I pretty much have it memorized at this point if you would like me to recite it to you.
6) If you could give your past self-advice what would it be?
Don’t stop moving. It is easier to stay in shape, than get into shape. I would have told my past self to find CrossFit. But my past self was stubborn so I might just go with the classic Dean Wormer advice “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life”
7) Greatest accomplishment at SciCoh so far.
Probably getting my wife Julie to join. She was very hesitant about joining at first but boy is she hooked now. I’ll catch her practicing power cleans in the kitchen when she thinks she is alone. She is always asking me questions about improving her movements. I may have used one of our kids to show her how to do a kettle bell swing. At 7:59pm she is on her phone fanatically refreshing the WOD page to find out what tomorrow will bring. Granted I am refreshing my phone as well. It is a sickness. My fellow 5:15ers know the struggle.
8) What is one goal you would like to accomplish in the next year? I have a bunch of goals in mind but the big one is to just to keep at it. I still have a lot of work to do on everything. When I think of CrossFit now I am reminded of the quote “One person’s mile is another person’s marathon”. Somethings come easy to some people, then they struggle with something else. That is life. It is great to encounter that with each movement & WOD. So there are a ton of movements I would like to get better at but I figure if I keep banging out classes they will eventually happen. Or I will just keep squatting and dead lifting.
9) What keeps you motivated? My offensive line coach in college would scream at us during drills to “BE AN ATHLETE!!!” I want to be able to consider myself as an athlete for as long as possible. Having a family and wanting to live up to that expectation keeps me going.
The other SciCoh members keep me motivated as well. I love the 5:15 crew. I love the attitude that each member brings to each class. Everyone that goes to that class comes to do work no matter how tired and grumpy they are. I don’t want to let any of them down. The weekend WODs are always a blast. I love seeing the other members from other classes that I don’t always see. Actually being able to talk to the other 5:15ers when we are more awake is a plus. SciCoh has a great group of people & coaches that pull it all together.
I have taken away a lot of motivation reading these member profile. Everyone has a unique story and journey. I would say my message to someone who is not a current member but wants to be is to just start moving again and get your fire going. Don’t wait to get in better shape then start. Just start. Your fire is still there, it just needs to be stoked again. This will do it.