Coach Spotlight: Duncan McNeill

When did you start CrossFit and why did it appeal to you?

I found CrossFit in 2012 looking for bodyweight workouts to train for obstacle course racing. I fell into a YouTube rabbit hole of CrossFit games videos and loved the idea of competing in fitness as a sport. A few weeks after I finished my last race for the year I found Alchemy and never looked back.

Did you do any sports or recreation before or during CrossFit? 

I was always playing something growing up but by the time I was an adult it was exclusively basketball. My hoop dreams ended shortly after high school but I still find a summer league team or pick-up game every now and then.

What are your current health and fitness goals?

I love the idea of balance. My goal is to find 3 hours of fitness activity a week between CrossFit, Pilates and yoga.

Why did you want to be a coach and what drives you to continue? 

I love having relationships with people and being able to offer advice and little nuances. Every single person is their own little mystery and I like the idea of trying to unlock the next thing to make them healthier, stronger, faster, happier etc. The pursuit of those solutions makes every day engaging even after 10 years.

How did you know you wanted to own your own business?

I have almost never been an employee in my lifetime. It doesn’t suit my personality very well. I love the idea of what I put in I can get out and the possibility that my efforts can ripple beyond myself to impact others.

What’s your favourite CrossFit workout?

Karen has a soft spot in my heart. It is such a simple beatdown. People are getting too good at it now though, so maybe Fight Gone Bad has overtaken it.

Outside of CrossFit, what are we likely to find you doing? 

Parenting. I have two boys (4 and 2) and I spend most of my spare time with them.

Best coaching moment?

Let me set the scene: Summer night, hot, sun is setting on the 8:15pm class. The workout is Fight Gone Bad. There are 18 people in class (too many for our old building.)

The way the workout runs and flows it is easy to roll a large group through in lanes. Everything worked out so perfectly. The music was loud. People knew what they were doing, excited and working hard. The vibe was electric in an indescribable way and it felt like the perfect class. I had two separate people who told me it was the best class they had ever been to and I think it may have been the best class I have ever run (or just the ignorant bliss of the memory of a young coach…)

 If you were a superhero, what powers would you want to have?

Might be a lame answer but a perfect memory. Anything I see, hear, or read is retained and never forgotten. Like A.I. Basically, I want to be a robot.

 If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Ice cream because it’s delicious and I am going to jump in the loophole of having infinite varieties. Don’t quote me on this but you also may be able to survive on ice cream forever. I have never seen a study where that was proved false.

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