Ep 54 – Neal Maddox: From Football to Forty

Ep 54 – Neal Maddox: From Football to Forty

“Everyone says I’m a lock for whatever. I’m not a lock for anything. I have to put my head down and I have to work. I know how hard I am working and I know there are people out there working harder. But I know I have to earn every single opportunity to be able to be on that stage. Then, once I am on that stage, I have to earn every opportunity to be able to make that podium. Nothing is a lock in life. Nothing is guaranteed. I am not guaranteed tomorrow. All I know is I have to execute what I can today, execute what I can tomorrow, and make sure I am a better version of myself each and every day that I go out.” – Neal Maddox

Neal Maddox has an extensive background in health and fitness as both an athlete and a coach. He played multiple sports growing up and played Division II football at Linfield College where he graduated with a degree in Exercise Science. He had a stint with the San Jose Sabercats and worked as a personal trainer before finding CrossFit in 2009. He was quickly drawn to the sport and the community, and today he is the owner and head coach at CrossFit X-treme Athletics and has competed in the CrossFit Games six times. After a year away from competition in 2016 due to injury, 2017 marks his return in the newly formed 35-39 year-old Master’s category. With his 40th birthday quickly approaching, he’s one of the oldest in this competitive group, yet has already made a statement early in the season by finishing 4th in the category in the Open.

I sat down with Neal earlier this year at the Reebok Athlete Summit in the Bahamas to discuss everything from the evolution of his CrossFit Games career and his approach this season to his little-known passions for training clients with disabilities and animal rights.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Growing up with motivation and inspiration to pursue a professional football career
  • Football and its related injuries
  • How he built a foundation of body weight movements at a young age
  • Working as a personal trainer and training clients with disabilities
  • His introduction to CrossFit with Linda, “The Three Bars of Death”
  • Volunteering at the 2009 CrossFit Games and his promise to Dave Castro to compete in 2010
  • The evolution of his competitive career from 2010-2015
  • A game-changing injury he sustained while competing in 2015
  • His decision to take a year away from competition in 2016
  • Competing as a Master’s athlete and how his goals and approach have evolved
  • Balancing gym ownership with his own training
  • Three things Neal does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on Neal’s health
  • What a healthy life looks like to him

You can follow Neal at his website, and on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter


Related Episodes:

05 – Men of the 2015 CrossFit Games Demo Team – Matt Chan, Paul Tremblay, and Zach Forrest

18 – Scott Panchik and his father on running an affiliate, competition, and recovering from injury

28 – James Hobart on Teaching, Competing, and the Real Purpose of CrossFit

21 – Pat Sherwood on CrossFit, the Games and quality of life and longevity

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

This post was originally published on April 18, 2017.

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