We recently chatted it up with Stuart Trees at the inov-8 retreat in Big Sur. Not only does he have one of the coolest names (and accents) around, but he also happens to be a firefighter and owner of CrossFit West Yorkshire. (And if the name of that box sounds familiar, it’s probably because you just read a great post from one of his fellow owners, Rakesh Patel, aimed at CrossFit beginners.)
What’s one thing you should know about Stuart?
More importantly, long before becoming a competitive CrossFitter in these past few seasons, Stuart was swimming competitively as far back as age 9 — eventually swimming for Great Britain’s junior national teams as a teenager. He eventually stopped at age 22, deciding to retire once he found himself racing against the likes of Ian Thorpe (aka the Thorpedo).
Why inov-8? Within a few months of trying CrossFit, it became apparent that regular running shoes were not going to cut it, so Stuart bought himself some 195s, and the rest is history. “Luckily,” he says, “I’ve got the gold standard-sized feet.” In case you were wondering, that’s a size 8. As a result, he regularly gets to try out different models and prototypes of inov-8 shoes, which sometimes means wearing a new left shoe with his old right one for comparison’s sake. (Let us know if you have ever tried this yourself, please!) Keep your eyes peeled down the road for F-lite 190s and maybe even a different laces style — a suggestion he made for better tightness and fit.
After qualifying for the European Regionals in 2013, Stuart has maintained a focus on general improvement and trying to enjoy his training. After the 2014 Open, he finished 93rd overall in the European Region.
And when asked what he would eat if the zombie apocalypse was coming, he responded: “Can I have English breakfast? With good bacon and good sausages — not this American stuff — proper middle bacon.” Duly noted.