Member Spotlight: Mike Weiss
Who here DOESN’T know Mike Weiss? Whether he’s hosting our fabulous holiday party, or coercing some of us to do just one more workout after a long Saturday class, Mike is generous, funny, kind, and quite simply an all around great guy.
Mike played soccer growing up, then rugby for seven years – four years in college at UC Santa Cruz and then three years for San Francisco Rugby Club. “My freshman and sophomore years at Santa Cruz we were awful – lost every game freshman year and all but 1 or 2 sophomore year. Then, my junior and senior years were the school’s most successful years ever (I believe still to this day). We made the playoffs, won several tournaments and nearly beat the #1 team in the county on their field. The other team was so peeved that, rather than serve and drink beer and food with us as the traveling team which is a rugby tradition, they handed us a 12 pack of beer and cancelled the party. We thought it was hilarious.
Also in my junior year we won the Santa Barbara International Tournament. The night before the final, the entire team went out in Isla Vista in Santa Barbara, got in trouble with the police and almost did not get to play in the final. The next year the UC Santa Barbara president kicked us out of the tournament. I was chosen to try to sweet talk the president. I called him and when he still said no, I reminded him that we beat Santa Barbara twice the year before and if he let us defend our title it was his chance to even out the score. He laughed and said he would think about it, but then called me back to still kick us out. I have a feeling the police report did us in. But it was a different time when people in power would take calls and actually talk to you.
After college I moved to San Francisco to do economic modeling with the Federal Reserve Bank (my first job). In San Francisco, we practiced on a field next to the Oakland projects. Every practice we first would have to clear the field of glass and other stuff. The guys from the projects would watch us drive in, sit on the benches, and watch and comment on practice. They would say we were crazy, and would hoop and holler during tackling or if we scrimmage. They were a bigger crowd than at some of our games. None of them ever said or did anything cross – although one day they told us to leave quickly because another gang was coming for a shootout. Thereafter, I picked up running, did a bunch of 10ks, the LA Marathon, etc. and did Billy Blanks and various different 1 hour classes over the next 25 years or so until I found Cross-Fit.”
Mike initially started out at Golden State CrossFit where he met the other Mike – Devaney – who was coaching there. When Mike D. bought Dark Horse, Mike followed him over. His favorite movements are back squats, dead lifts, and box jumps. “Moving from jumping the lower box to now the higher box with all the ‘young guys’ has been a nice accomplishment.“
He’s noticed big changes since starting CrossFit. “I’m much healthier and my fitness is more well-rounded. Also, each class gets a little easier because I know I can finish, for the most part.” His biggest challenge has been getting comfortable with the bar. “I had never lifted weights before. Everyone had a ton more weight and experience it seemed, and I was struggling just to be coordinated with moving it from floor to chest, overhead, etc. One day I asked Vince for a little help. He said let’s do it at the end of that class for a few minutes. After that, Vince, Jameson and Brad kept giving tips in classes, and the weight and comfort level went up.”
One goal he’d like to accomplish this year is to improve his pull ups and to continue to improve in the CrossFit Open. However, in spite of all the physical benefits, his favorite part of CFDH is the people.
“I love the family-friendship atmosphere, with people of all ages and backgrounds interacting, light heartedly competing with each other (maybe more than light-heartedly), and striving for a common goal. I love seeing the younger people starting their lives, having babies, buying houses, etc. I know I sound old, but I’ve always liked that. And I really enjoy getting Brad, Miki, Matt and others to add 10 or 15 more minutes to the end of Saturday workouts. I call those last minutes ‘the workout’ and everything before it ‘the warmup’. I also really enjoy getting coffee with Gary after Saturday’s class.”
When he’s not kicking ass in class or in his day job as Office Managing Partner for the law firm Akerman LLP, you can find Mike cooking, baking, driving his son to soccer games all over SoCal, playing poker with his buddies, or harassing his wife.
Mike, we love you and are so glad you’re part of the DH family!
2020 05 01