July Athlete of the Month!- Felipe M.

Name: Felipe Matioli                                 Age: 31                            From: Brazil

How long have you been with CrossFit Torrent and what made you decide to start?

I have been at CrossFit Torrent for around 8 months. Our family moved back to Kalamazoo and I found out Torrent had just opened, so I dropped in one day and loved it.

What do you do when you’re not at CFT?

When I’m not at CFT, I’m dreaming about the next WOD. Jk. I work and spend time with my lovely wife and our chunky little man 😊. I also love playing and watching soccer, so I try to fit that in when I can.



When did you realize that CrossFit is right for you? 


I have always loved working out but was your typical guy at the gym doing arms and chest almost every day. 

I am a cancer survivor, so when I finished my treatment I wanted to find something that incorporates cardio and would provide actual health benefits. I initially wanted to do boxing, but there wasn’t really a place for that in Kalamazoo at the time, then I looked into martial arts and had planned to go try out a class. At that time, we had a friend living in our basement who did CrossFit, and he got us to watch a few events online and invited me to go try out a class. He took me to a class and I got hooked! A few days later we were scheduling the foundations class and I stopped pursuing everything else.



What were your thoughts after your first WOD?

I remember we were doing foundations class and the coach had an easier WOD for us to try. All I remember is that it included wallballs and the rest is a blur. I chose the lightest wallball and felt like I was going to pass out. Since I had always worked out I thought CrossFit would be a piece of cake, but this WOD crushed me. Every class after that was and continues to be a humbling experience, there is always so much to learn and grow.

What is your favorite or least favorite WOD/movement?


My favorite movement is anything involving gymnastics, like MUs and handstand walking. My least favorite movement is the Thruster. I’m going to add to this question and talk about my least favorite piece of equipment – Assault Bike! 


What is the one thing you have done at CFT that you never thought you would do?

Honestly, I never thought I would be able to handstand walk, and thanks to “goat” days during the open I was able to get more comfortable with it.

What motivates you during a tough workout? 


I always think of workouts as a mountain that I am climbing, and what motivates me, in the beginning, is pushing myself to get to the halfway mark/top of the mountain and when I get there this idea of “it’s all downhill from here” motivates me to finish and try to push harder.   


What’s your favorite thing about CrossFit?


CrossFit has created an environment that drives me to push myself harder than I ever would at a regular gym. It has changed my view on working out completely, before my workouts were slow and boring, lots of wasted time sitting around, but today I’m excited to come to the gym every day, and that one hour is extremely productive 😊


What are your short term and long term goals? 


My short… goals are to increase my mobility and ability to perform a snatch. Long term goal is to improve my rate of recovery and increase my aerobic capacity. I have always struggled with long workouts that require me to keep the intensity up and sustain it, I have an incredible ability to produce crazy amounts of lactic acid and selfishly hold on to it 😊1-2


How have you seen yourself change- mentally and physically since joining Torrent? What impact has CFT had on you in and out of the gym?


  • I really appreciate the time and effort that the coaches at CFT take to explain and help us understand why we are doing what we are doing. Having a goal that we are pursuing together is extremely motivating. 
  • During these short 8 months here, I have seen tremendous improvements in my ability to perform each movement, and that is a direct result of the level of coaching provided at CFT. 
  • I have also learned a lot about my body, and how to attack each workout. The fact that we talk about the strategy and what stimulus we are trying to get from each WOD has been a game changer for me. I visited another CrossFit gym recently and after we warmed up and talked about the movements the coach just turned the clock on and let us lose. I felt so unprepared!!


Do you have any advice for people just getting started at CFT?


I understand CrossFit is not for everyone, but I wish people would get over the fear and stereotypes and at least try it, because it works and it’s such a fun rewarding experience. So, for those already starting it I would say: 

Be consistent, whether you decide to work 2 times a week or every day. Find a schedule that is sustainable long term and stick to it.

Be patient it takes time, progress is not measured by the RX button or your placement on the whiteboard, I have to frequently remind myself that. 

Take time to learn other people’s stories and get to know them it’ll make your time at the gym so much more enjoyable and you have no idea the impact you could have on their day.


Quick Questions

Favorite Cheat Meal: Brazilian style pizza and American style cheesecake for dessert.

Favorite Musician/Band: Rend Collective, Needtobreathe…

Favorite Sports Team: Arsenal (English soccer team)

Favorite Tv Show/ Movie:  Friends/Elf

Favorite CrossFit Athlete: Cole Sager

Coach’s comment: ….my favorite thing about Felipe is his ability to show up to every class without reserving a spot. :D…This is true. Felipe is the king of 5 a.m. He is consistent, supportive of everyone, and Rich really likes that he (pity) laughs at his Dad jokes.  “He has the heart of a Dad but the body of a god.”Brandon Seriously though, Felipe started at Torrent as an athlete with a lot of CrossFit experience willing to learn and it has paid off immensely. It seems like any strength, skill, or benchmark WOD we have done this year he has hit a PR! If there is a member that embodies our core values it is Felipe. Humble, it takes extraordinary humility to continue to work your weaknesses especially when most people look up to you. Felipe does that, he stays in his lane during WODs, picked his weaknesses during GOAT days, and hit the targeted stimulus. And he gets better. Driven. Felipe works at everything he does CrossFit and outside the gym Dad, Husband, Friend. People Smart, he is really great at connecting with other members and knows what they need in terms of support and encouragement. We are so lucky to have him 🙂 Plus he brought us Mo, Theo, and Cody so what more could we ask for!

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