Ever since I can remember I’ve been crazy about sports. As with most Englishmen, it started out with football which was absolutely my first love. That love was quite literally mauled out of me at secondary school where we were forced to play rugby. Despite a couple of years of fierce resistance, I ended up getting quite into it and it is still today my favourite spectator sport.
I then inexplicably developed an obssession with basketball, a sport which had almost no visbility or participation in England in the 90’s. It happened after a trip to the USA in 1990 where I fell in love with UNLV and Larry Johnson during their unstoppable drive towards the NCAA title. I was hooked immediately and even persuaded my father to ship back a basketball hoop so I could practice in the back garden.
After graduating from university I miraculously managed to parlay my passion for basketball into a job at FIBA, the International Basketball Federation.
As I got older, my love for basketball began to wane (which is the nature of the beast if your hobby becomes your job) and I turned my obsessive nature to the world of fitness. It started out with running (why, for the love of God does it always start with running?) and I even joined a gym so I could use the treadmill. I remember watching the rather intimidating guys spending all their time in the free weights section, an area which I barely dared approach let alone actually use. But eventually I felt its tractor beam like pull and I turned into a meathead.
Bodybuilding was my new love and although I never entertained the thought of stripping down and oiling up, I did want the type of physique that could grace a Marvel comic. As I learned more and more about training, I realised that bodybuilding style training was actually pretty boring and I gravitated towards more athletic pursuits. In 2007 I stumbled across CrossFit and I found it to be a great programme for what I wanted to achieve. The combination of short, intense and varied workouts was really enticing and the videos of the athletes posting almost superhuman performances wonderfully motivating.
In 2008 I completed my Level 1 certification and in 2009 became a co-founderr of Crossfit Léman.
I never, in my wildest dreams, thought that I would become a gym owner, but here’s the thing. Commercial gyms the world over are terrible places for getting fit. For flirting with the opposite sex, hanging out, flexing your biceps in the mirror and other pursuits, they are perfect. But if you have any interest at all in proper fitness, commercial gyms are an abomination.
I always figured that if I ever owned a gym that I could do a far better job than the commercial offerings on place in Geneva. I am passionate about fitness, I would give a crap about my customers, I would offer more than enough facilites to get in great shape and I think that I am reasonably knowledgeable. Those four points already put me way ahead of the game against the commercial gym scene (in my humble opinion).
The upshot is that I now have the chance to put my money where my mouth is. In July 2011 I opened CrossFit GVA which is without doubt the best fitness facility in Geneva (humble opinion alert!).