After years of playing rugby on a highly competitive levels and designing his workouts on a Westside Barbell model, Thom was looking for a new challenge. In 2009, he began working out on his own in CrossFit-style at various globo gyms. It became apparent quite quickly that the tenacity, focus and self-determination demanded by this training were at a level unlike any other he had ever encountered. He was hooked.

With Westside, putting up big numbers become routine, became mundane, become mindless. Yet, in this new approach – and what Thom believes sets CrossFit apart from other forms of fitness training – he had to be focused 100% of the time on his form, his strength, his body.

Although at the end of CrossFit workouts Thom would leave the dumbbells and jump rope at the gym, the self-confidence and perseverance that he developed and honed with each thruster and each double under followed him home.

It was only shortly after delving into the world of CrossFit that Thom found out serendipitously during a routine medical check-up that he would need open heart surgery to correct a life-threatening aneurysm in his ascending aorta. From the time the aneurysm was found to the time he was finally under the knife (about a month) the aneurysm grew from 4.7cm to 5.5cm. The doctors didn’t have to tell Thom twice how lucky he was. Throughout recovery, Thom found himself time and time again invoking lessons learned in his trials and tribulations with CrossFit. Three months later, and just as the first signs of spring were showing, Thom was back to the thrusters and double unders with a bit less intensity but exponentially more drive. Since then, Thom has recorded multiple personal records in various lifts and time trials, and developed an array of new gymnastic skills.