Ladies and gentlemen the 2019 Athlete of the Year is Ricky Brown. Hard to sum up in words what an interesting, funny, hard working and great friend Ricky Brown is to me personally. None of that has anything to do with why our coaching staff chose him as Athlete of the Year. That was all him. He shows up consistently driving in from Cat Springs, TX in the wee hours of the morning dodging deer and hogs, traffic and floods to be here. Ricky sets the bar for staying functionally fit as we grow old. Congrats Ricky you exemplify what it means to us to be truly Humble-Hungry and Happy. Ladies and Gents… Downtown Ricky Brown. Keep Up the great work!

1.TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.

I moved to Texas almost 23 years ago from Canada I came down on a contract with an engineering company and planned to stay a year or so. I met my wife Deana and the rest is History.  I am now 58 years old, a US citizen and have assimilated into Texas life with cowboy boots and a small ranch west of Houston, I drive 60 miles to CrossFit every morning before going to work a short drive from CrossFit Hippo. I have a daughter who lives in Canada, a son who lives in Japan, a stepson who works with me and 2 grandchildren in Canada.

2. WHAT IS ONE THING WE MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU OR BE SURPRISED TO FIND OUT?

In my 20s I worked a second job for a short time as a fashion model for a department store in Canada.

3. WHAT MADE YOU START CROSSFIT?

 I started CrossFit with George and other people working away from home. It was a good way to keep fit and socialize without being in the bars lol

4. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT CROSSFIT?

I like the intensity and level of effort I put in when there are coaches and other athletes pushing me. I like the way we track and record all exercises so you can challenge yourself to improve over time.  I like to see new people start and how much they change over time and how everyone gets excited about reaching goals and milestones. I like the coaches I don’t know how George does it but we have always had great coaches they are enthusiastic and caring and always have some way to help an athlete. Whatever trouble you may have with a movement they have a way to scale or modify.

6. WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?

 There have been a couple. The first was when I learned to climb the rope. Second was our recent Squat program when I got to 17 reps at 225 lbs I had no idea I could push myself that far.

7. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVEMENT/LIFT? LEAST FAVORITE?

I feel I am good at pull ups, my least favorite would be overhead squat and snatch as it hurts my shoulder

 8. WHAT ARE YOUR CROSSFIT GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?

My goals are simple and may be a little different than some of the younger athletes. I want to maintain this level of fitness and health into my old age.  I don’t want to be held back from doing any activities due to being out of shape. My current goal is to be in the commitment club every month by working out 5 days a week.

 9. WHAT IMPACT HAS CROSSFIT HIPPO HAD ON YOUR LIFE IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?

I was surprised at how my flexibility and range of motion has improved.  I had terrible shoulder pain and very limited range before coming to CrossFit, over a few months my range of motion was vastly improved. I still have the impingement in my shoulder but I have learned to work around it and keep doing the exercises.

Outside the gym it means I am fit enough to take on lots of activities and tasks without the injuries or soreness that I hear a lot of people complain about. Last year I was under anesthesia for a procedure I woke up and heard someone say with concern his heart rate is down to 41 then the Dr. said that’s ok he is an athlete!

10. WHAT MAKES CROSSFIT DIFFERENT FROM OTHER FITNESS PROGRAMS THAT YOU’VE TRIED IN THE PAST

It is easily the level of effort and intensity along with the variety of exercises, at a regular gym it is too easy to fall into boring routine without gains or improvement.   The community and coaches make a huge difference. We are lucky to have great coaches who keep us safe and push us through the WODs. I also like the culture of community and support.

 11. IF YOU COULD CREATE A WOD, WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE?

I do best at strength exercises but recently have improved on my running which has surprised me.

So My WOD would be:

3 rounds for time 10 pull ups, 20 push ups, 30 box jumps, 400 m run

 12. WHEN YOU’RE NOT AT CROSSFIT, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO?

I spend most of my weekends outdoors on my property I love building things and working outside. My wife and I like to go to the Hill country so I have my RV parked at Canyon Lake Full time and we go up every couple of weeks. When I am inside the house, I like making beer, playing the guitar (although I am not very good) and singing

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