Member Spotlight: Chris Mann
Chris Mann is most notably known as a recording artist and actor from Wichita, Kansas, but to us, he’s the coffee drinking sleep deprived dad that’s always cracking jokes with the 9 am crew.
When Chris was young, he played sports every season growing up, but he particularly excelled at tennis. “I represented the state of Kansas from age 10-18 on the National Junior Circuit. In high school, my doubles partner and I got second at state after easily winning the first set, then becoming cocky and generally obnoxious, and then eventually losing the championship match. This is my life’s biggest failure, to date.”
Chris originally found CrossFit through music. “I was playing The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera and one of my cast mates introduced me to CrossFit. Traveling as much as I do for work, it’s always fun to try new ways to stay fit on the road. Once I committed to CrossFit, finding a local box became something I really looked forward to.
“My first class was in Tampa, FL and it was a dingy, old box. I remember feeling overwhelmed by the lifting moves and somewhat wussy compared to my friend, who was a strong CrossFit veteran. But I loved the concept and competitive nature and quickly adopted CrossFit as my go to workout.”
But as much as he loved it, his biggest challenge was something affectionately known as Fran Lung. “She’s a sneaky witch and I hate her. I would cough for days on end after workouts, and found myself calling out of my shows because I couldn’t take deep, supportive breaths. So I stopped CrossFit for a while.”
Once he came off tour, he joined Dark Horse and loved the community. But Fran Lung came back quickly… “This is a problem when you sing for a living.” At first he thought he would have to quit CrossFit entirely, but Coach Mike helped him find a solution. “He told me to dial back my effort a bit and see what happens. So I kept with it and when I felt that competitive push come over me, I dialed it back. And what do you know? My symptoms improved and I didn’t have to quit.”
“Lesson: Leave your ego at the door. This attitude shift has helped me become the quasi-aggressive, occasionally RX-ing, coffee drinking chatterbox of a member that I am. You’re welcome.”
His first ‘big win’ was getting a muscle up. “I did my first muscle up in the 2017 Open. It was so awesome and I think I broke a rib. But then I didn’t successfully do another one for an entire year! This was sad and confusing. But then, with Coach Vince and Coach Jameson’s help, I began stringing them together like a bad ass. Today, I’ve done 7 in a workout at my best, which is really awesome to me.”
His favorite thing about CrossFit Dark Horse is the incredible friends he’s made. “I couldn’t have predicted Dark Horse would be such a central part of my social life and mental well being. The support I’ve felt in my workouts and even personal and professional life from this community is overwhelming. My strict press is better…and I’m also a better man. Too far? Ok, fine, whatever. But I’m very thankful to Dark Horse for this.”
His goals for this year are not ALL related to CrossFit. “Since joining Dark Horse, my wife and I have welcomed our son, Hugo. This changed everything with my physical well being. My goal this year is to keep coming to the gym regularly so I don’t have a massive drop in my health and endurance. I’m also really trying to win the lottery and retire from all stress and responsibility.”
“My life consists first of being a dad and husband. That takes most of my time and sanity. So, it’s really important for me to come to CrossFit as often as I can to stay balanced and healthy. And also, so I don’t get too fat. We love traveling, especially to wine country and love to see friends as often as possible. As self employed people, we’re always reinventing the wheel and working towards the next goal. It’s been pretty awesome to connect with other like minded members who have become a real support system for us.”
Good luck with that lottery ticket, Chris! We love you back, and are so glad you’re part of the Dark Horse family.
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