Some say CrossFit is extreme. For professional stuntman Neil Amonson, it’s a similar adrenaline rush to base jumping.
“I have to do physical things to be able to go home and pay my bills and write emails and make phone calls and do everything else that’s just part of life,” he explains. “I’ve got to do these other things to stay sane. And CrossFit’s kind of my way when I can’t.”
Many know Amonson as the man doing muscle-ups beneath a hot-air balloon thousands of feet in the air. The video of his stunt aired at the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games.
Amonson says he didn’t enjoy his entire first year of base jumping.
“It wasn’t fun. I don’t even know why I kept doing it,” he says. “I think I kept doing it because of the intensity, because I couldn’t get the intensity anywhere else.”
He jokes that it’s self-medication.
“For me it’s like the reset button,” Amonson adds. “I have a couple of different things I can do. Base jumping is one of them, but CrossFit is another one.”
When he starts his day with a CrossFit workout, he says, “I know pretty much whatever happens in the rest of the day it’s all good.”
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Additional reading: The Muscle-up by Greg Glassman, published Nov. 1, 2002.