“Commando Steve” Willis owns CrossFit FX in Sydney and placed fourth in the 2009 CrossFit Games. Along with Matt Swift of CrossFit Brisbane, he tells the story of how CrossFit is changing lives down under in part two of our series “Meet the Aussies” from CrossFit by Overload. Tony Budding interviewed Steve and Matt when they visited CrossFit One World in Union City, California on January 17, 2009.
Matt said that Australian CrossFitters started off in an isolated wilderness, disconnected from the larger CrossFit World. “There is a bit of disbelief that there are other CrossFitters,” he said. But when Commando Steve showed up at his gym to offer help, everything clicked. CrossFitters everywhere share a common set of values. Matt said he felt right at home in CrossFit gyms during his visit to the United States.
Commando Steve recalls being humbled by his Level 1 cert in the US in 2007 and being unable to walk for a week. “I got my ass handed to me on a frigging plate,” he recalls. Pure love of CrossFit, rather than business savvy, fueled the success of his affiliate. He was also helped by his appearance on the Australian version of the television program “Biggest Loser.” Commando Steve said CrossFit has changed his life. He has seen similar changes in clients. They gain confidence and their entire worldview is transformed.
Matt agreed. He has seen the transformation in de-conditioned housewives who have never played a sport. They can become the subject of “I want to be like her” comments within six months of starting CrossFit. The scalability of CrossFit makes it all possible. It made believers out of Matt and Steve, out of their clients, and now they are sharing their knowledge with other Australians.