Athlete Profile: Phil Nowak

Phil Nowak

Philly Phil…if you’re around in the mornings, you definitely know and love Phil. He’s relentless, he works hard, he doesn’t let anything stop him…and he even stays after class to do his own cooldown. If you haven’t met him yet, go introduce yourself. You’ll be glad you did.

What’s your athletic background?
I always have played sports. In high school, I played football and baseball, and I swam. I played football for a year in college and then swam. After school, I did a lot of running, completing four marathons, which I am now beginning to regret as my knees suffer from the wear and tear. I also participated in masters swimming as my two oldest children pursued swimming careers. I always have worked out on an almost daily basis, with my children whenever available.

What was your first CrossFit workout and what did you think of it?
I went with my daughter to my first CrossFit workout at Avalon Crossfit in Charlestown, MA. My son-in-law gave my daughter a gift membership for Christmas several years ago, and she got hooked, eventually becoming certified as a coach. I thought the workout was great. My daughter now leads us all (her husband, my son and daughter-in-law, and me) in WODs when we do not have a box nearby.

What’s been the biggest change for you since starting CrossFit?
The changes have been many. I used to workout daily by myself. At DCF I have met and have many great new friends who I look forward to seeing each day. It is much more fun to work out together. I can get a good aerobic workout without running. I was not made for and really do not like to run. (I feel sorry for all of those people I see running as I drive home from workout) I really enjoy the weight training, which I had not done before. I look forward to the challenge and fun of achieving PRs.

What’s been your favorite DCF moment up to now?
My favorite moments occur every morning when I walk through the door and see all my friends. As I told both Andrew and Amon, DCF made my year (and my wife’s as well).

What’s your least favorite CrossFit movement/WOD?
I don’t really have a least favorite CrossFit movement/WOD. Some are just more difficult than others, but I always enjoy the challenge. I have done my first chin-ups and hand stands, my kipping is getting better, and I can’t wait to do my first pull-up without a rubber band.

What’s your favorite CrossFit movement/WOD?
Again, I don’t really have a favorite CrossFit movement/WOD. I appreciate the fact that the workouts vary each day, and I enjoy them all. The more challenging the better.

When did you know you were hooked?
I knew I was hooked after attending several workouts with my daughter. I just needed to find the right box in D.C. I asked Andrew, Teresa, and Noah of I could take a class at DCF to see what it was like. They said no. I had to take the foundation course first. I knew I should have dyed some of my grey hairs before stopping by. I think they wanted to make sure I would survive. However, they were right, and I enjoyed learning from Evan how to do things correctly from the start. I can attest, as I am sure my DCF colleagues can as well, that the instruction and individual attention each member is given at DCF is special.

Advice for other people starting out?
Don’t be intimidated by all of the members walking around sweating, with bulging muscles, and looking fit. They all really are friendly and very encouraging. Each of them will be just as excited as you are when they see you achieve a PR regardless of how heavy the weight or the number of your repetitions. As we are always told, and as is always the case, “you are here to have fun.”