Member Spotlight: Thomas Smith

Tell us about yourself!

Hi I’m Tom. I grew up on a farm in Onondaga and if asked, I may still claim to be a farmer. My dad was an original founder of the Onondaga fire department, so I grew up in fire trucks as well. I was a volunteer in Onondaga before I became a full time fire fighter with the Brantford fire department, after brief auto mechanic and millwright careers. I live in town with my partner Cindy and her two boys. One of which is pursuing fire fighting. I have two children. some of you may know Abby who is an Alchemy member as well.

What got you into CrossFit?

I was introduced to Crossfit by my friend George. He would come to work captivated by the new fitness program. George then introduced it to the fire station, and became a co-owner of Crossfit Brantford, and I became a member.

What do you like about Alchemy?

The Coaches, they are knowledgeable and attentive to an individual member’s needs. This is important for me. I like that I can just show up and do the work. The programming, education, and safety are all provided for me. The Coaches maintain an awareness to each individual’s scaling requirements, or movement limitations, and they can easily assist in tweaking the movement. They support the community atmosphere – keeping it fun and friendly.

What is your best memory at alchemy?

I always enjoy seeing a subtle fist pump or some sort of quiet celebration when someone has killed a WOD. Most notable was Coach Broder’s reaction when he completed the WOD “Chad” on September 11th, he promptly wanted out of my spare gear, it wasn’t a fist pump moment.

What are your CrossFit goals?

· Improving Endurance, long WODs help with my overall long term health, I’m also a member of the Brant Cycle Club.

· Maintaining strength, I tell the probationary recruits our career comes with public expectations that you will be able to complete physical tasks when you arrive on scene. I don’t expect them to do something I can’t.

· Short term, currently I’m trying to get my @#$%^& double unders.

What is your favourite movement?

I like simple lifting movements like squats, cleans, and push press, I struggle with gymnastics, or movements that require more finesse.

If you could make an ideal workout, what would it include?

A longer WOD that includes the above with row/run/bike mixed in.

What is your ideal weekend routine?

Ideal time off is spent at the cottage, any season. Coffee, exercise, walk dogs, followed by water-sports or sledding, depending on the season. Horseplay, games, and beverages with family and friends.

Any advice for CrossFitters who are trying to get into the fire department?

Getting into the fire department is like a Class and a chipper WOD. The buy-ins are the equivalent of getting all the certifications required and improving them. The chipper is the application process and completing the many steps involved by every department. Pace yourself, improve, and stay diligent it’s worth it.

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