We hooked up with the inspirational big man for a little photoshoot and some cheeky questions…a true example of facing adversity and overcoming what some would see as impossible – Stage 3 Oesophagus Cancer. Read on to find out more about Vearn, one of our longest standing members here at Saxon.
1. Tell us something about yourself that may surprise your fellow members at the box.
I did my BPA grade 5 free fall parachuting qualification, which is 15seconds free fall, while in the Army in 1985. Knowing I am scared senseless of heights.
2. How did your CrossFit journey start? How did you discover it?
I have always been a gym member of one sort or another from commercial gyms to training with Saxon members Andy and Sheila Herbert in their garage nightly long before CrossFit. While living in America in 2014, I came across Novus CrossFit New Jersey and joined them.
3. What were your first thoughts about the Saxon CrossFit box? Were you instantly hooked?
I used to come home to visit and Andy and Sheila would always book me in as a visitor at Saxon. I talked Lisa, my daughter, into joining and when we came home in 2016, Sharon, my wife, & I joined Saxon as full members.
4. You come from a fairly sporty family, what other sports interest you and why?
Covering my time at school, the Army and since, I have played and competed in: swimming, football, cross country running, Orienteering, Rugby, hockey, downhill & cross country skiing, windsurfing, canoeing, Parachuting and latterly becoming a Shodan Ho in Ishin Ryu Jujitsu, PADI MSDT scuba diver Instructor and now my level 1 coach in CrossFit.
5. Favourite WOD?
One with heavy lifting and a endurance element.
6. Least favourite movement or workout?
Anything with thrusters and squats
7. How has the box helped you personally?
All the workouts teach you to push through when the going gets hard. I have managed to use that in my life skills.
8. What keeps you going back to the box?
The training, the coaching and the members. All are important elements of a great atmosphere. The banter is a good stress relief.
9. What really winds you up? Lateness? Bad driving etc 🙂
I hate being late and lateness in general.
10. Your favourite CrossFit moment so far?
I have a few CrossFit moments that stand out. Watching Lisa compete, competing in the Suffolk games with Sharon as my partner & watching Saxon compete at the Tribal Clash meetings.
11. You’ve just achieved your Level One, how did you find that? What prompted you to do it?
Having just completed my level 1, I found that what I knew was just a snippet of what’s involved. I took on the course for my own knowledge but also to be able to help the box and others if needed.
12. You’ve been quite an inspiration recently, pushing on through adversity. Do you have any advice for those who may suffer from illness/injury?
Listen to your body. My illness could have turned out much differently if I hadn’t (I also had Sharon and Lisa nagging me).
13. Favourite tipple?
My favourite tipple at the moment is my home brew.
14. Favourite meal?
My favourite meal is a good Rib eye or T bone steak
15. Favourite movie?
My favourite movie is between the Blues Brothers and Heartbreak Ridge
16. Xmas burpees – love or hate?
I just approach the Xmas burpees as a necessary evil. I don’t like them but have done them every year since I was talked into doing them by Andy & Sheila. I first did them in our basement, in America, with Lisa.
17. How do you see the future of CrossFit in general?
I can only see it growing at the moment. There seems to be a big demand for this type of training. A sense of personal training but in a group setting.
18. How would you describe the box/CrossFit to a first timer on the fence about coming along for a taster session?
A friendly atmosphere to train in where the training programs are written for us and able to be scaled back to suit all levels of fitness.
19. Who inspires you?
Every one from the box inspires me. From the very fit to the not so fit. All the members that turn up & train make me want to be better and do more.
20. What, in your opinion makes Saxon such a strong, supportive community?
The people! Saxon has a vast mix of people who all contribute to the atmosphere. Their willingness to turn up and get stuck in during the workouts, their willingness to contribute to good causes and generally being very sociable away from the box too. This all makes a brilliant community.