Interview: Favorite 2020 Moments and Why Fraser Decided to Move
A few weeks ago, we asked five CrossFit Games athletes about their favorite moment from the 2020 CrossFit season. We were able to catch up with the five-time “Fittest Man on Earth” Mathew Fraser soon after we published that story to ask him the same question. Similarly to the previous five athletes we interviewed, the champ will remember the connections he made during this crazy season.
The Games finish: A man like Fraser obviously couldn’t pinpoint one moment but rather he categorized them. Ultimately those moments went back to the bonds and connections he formed and attributed those to how special they were for him. First he discussed his favorite moment on the competition floor, which to no one’s surprise was he and Tia-Clair Toomey crossing the finish line hand-in-hand to conclude the 2020 Reebok CrossFit Games.
- “Crossing the finish line with Tia, that was special. That was a memory I’ll have forever. That’s a story I’ll tell my kids, my grandkids. That was a very powerful moment for Tia and I,” said Fraser.
- That moment was a culmination of a season that provided many struggles and obstacles for him with Toomey and her husband and shared coach Shane Orr.
- “This whole year for Tia and I was pretty special.” added Fraser. “We went through a lot of things together. This is the first season I ever trained with someone full time. I had a coach full time. I was the first time I had a coach and not a programmer. It was just super special, dealing with problems together. I wasn’t going through it alone.”
A month of training: During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in April, Fraser and Toomey were left without a gym when CrossFit Mayhem shuttered its doors due to statewide shutdowns. With the uncertainty of the 2020 Games, Fraser and team decided to move their training camp to BedRock Lodge in Kentucky. Fraser, Toomey and Orr were joined by Fraser’s partner Sammy Moniz and country music artist Kip Moore at the lodge which is popular amongst rock climbing enthusiasts.
- “We were planning on going for two nights, and we ended up staying about a month,” said Fraser. “That was an incredible trip for all of us.”
- Fraser was able to unplug from CrossFit while still training for the possibility of the season continuing. During this time he also got to know people outside the sport like Moore and the owners of the lodge whose life philosophies have developed differently from his own. This was invaluable to the champion as he was able to put in perspective his level of success and how to navigate it from those outside of CrossFit.
- “We spend so much time with people that are in the CrossFit bubble,” said Fraser. “So it just consumes you. That’s all anyone talks about. That’s all that matters to anyone. That’s all anyone’s focus is on.”
- “So I’m picking Kip and the lodge owners’ brains, asking them ‘how do you come up with your values? How do you come up with how to spend your time?’” said Fraser. “I gained just as much from talking to them.”
- These conversations and his time away from his usual routine led Fraser to start making some changes.
- “Immediately after that trip, Sammy and I decided we can’t live in Cookeville anymore, we need to move,” added Fraser. “After that trip we bought the house in Vermont and we started taking steps to live a happier life.”
- “I made some very drastic life changes after that trip because I had a different point of view on the value of life after that,” said Fraser.