Meet Niall Madden! Niall is the fittest Irishman in our family, probably Pooler and soon to be the fittest Irishman in the entire Savannah area as well after the Open. He's new to the area and to crossfit. His answers to our feature questions this week will give you a tiny piece of his personality ; but trust me once you talk to him yourself you will quickly realize he's one of a kind.
Q: How long have you been doing CrossFit?
A: About 6 months now. 4 months at Shear Force and I had tried it in Ireland before moving.
Q: Why did you start CrossFit and originally join Shear Force?
A: I missed playing competitive sport and I was in a phase of my life where I wanted to try new things. I had actually bought my wife a membership for her birthday in Ireland even though I knew nothing about it. A year in, she convinced me to give it a try. And Shear Force specifically? #1 - the coaches! It’s like they know just what to say. The cues are quick, concise, and get the job done. #2 - nobody takes themselves too seriously. I mean, I get it, once the beep goes it’s game time. But outside of that horrible window, everybody goofs around.
Q: What was your first CrossFit workout? What was it like?
A: At Shear Force? I remember - though I wish I didn’t. It was September. We had just moved here. I came in for a trial workout on a Friday. I hadn’t yet grasped that sometimes you have to pace yourself in WODs. Crossfit seemed like such a ‘balls to the wall’ thing. And it was hot. So hot. In Ireland, we haven’t evolved to dissipate heat well because we never have to. It was one of those WODs like 100 wall balls, 90 single arm snatch, 80 box jumps, etc. all the way down to 10. I was hallucinating. I wobbled outside and sat in the shade of someones truck. I think Jared came over to introduce himself to me but I couldn’t talk. Or it could have been a mirage. Or a dog. To add insult to injury, they finished it off with a max effort 800m run. And to top it all - you called it Garlic Butter!!! As if I wasn’t nauseated enough already.
Q: What are your long term goals?
A: To find a way to stop getting a rash on my arse from sit-ups, a mild concussion from HSPUs, hairless legs from rope climbs, and shredded hands from everything else.
Q: Biggest accomplishments since joining Shear Force.
A: Somehow I got muscle-ups the second time I tried. Shout-out to Harsha and Kat for making that happen. I was so surprised and giddy. Though that was 4 months ago and I still can’t figure out how to do 2 in a row.
Q: What’s one hidden talent you have or interesting fact about you?
A: I played volleyball on our National team for 4 years. We even qualified for the European Championships which was a big deal for a country a small as ours.
Q: Favorite movie and why?
A: I’m so boring when it comes to TV and movies. I’ve hardly seen anything. Maybe one flew over the cuckoos nest with Jack Nicholson.
Q: Favorite joke?
A: What is the secret of great comedy? Timing. It doesn’t really work written down though haha. You’ve kinda got to say timing really quickly, you know, so the timing is actually awful and….. forget it.
Q: What’s one item on your bucket list?
A: I want someone to take me on a month long yoga retreat far away.
Q: If you could have 1 super power what would it be? Why?
A: I’m stealing Kristins. Flying would be awesome.
Q: Favorite cheat meal?
A: My diet is not very strict so technically I never cheat. One thing I have begun doing since moving to America is cookies and milk every night before bed. This and ‘right on red’ are probably Americas greatest contributions to modern civilization. My wife will make a homemade batch at the start of every week. I stick 3 in the toaster after the kids go to bed and get a big glass of milk. Bliss.
Q: Where is your favorite travel destination?
A: Italy. Sicily specifically. You could get there for $50 return from Ireland. Now I spend $500, fly for 5 hours, and I’m still in the same country!
Q: How does CrossFit translate to other activities you participate in?
A: Honestly, the best benefit is playing with my kids. Surely a dad that can handstand walk is better than one that can’t?!
Q: If you won the lottery what would you spend the money on and why?
A: A Gulfstream (unfortunately that’s not a paid endorsement). It’s nothing to do with status. Some weekends I just want to go see my folks back home. I could fly Savannah to Dublin direct whenever I wanted.
Q: What is something about you that might surprise most people?
A: I went to watch the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2011 for 7 weeks. Our camper got robbed the first week. Everything was stolen - passports, wallets, even our dirty underwear! The kiwis were so embarrassed they put us on the national news the next day. So yeah, I’m famous in NZ.
Q: What the heck are you going to do with that tire you took home?
A: I’m going to take one tire a week for 4 weeks and one day just show up in the most jacked up Nissan Versa S you ever saw. Manual transmission, manual windows, no central locking but some bad-ass wheels.