02b – Dr. Michael Canales on my Achilles injury and pursuing excellence

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Dr. Michael Canales was a gymnast at Ohio State University from 1996-1999 where he was a member of the 1996 NCAA championship team and several Big 10 Championship teams. He has since mentored and coached several Olympians and continues to provide mentorship to the Ohio State Men’s gymnastics program today. He is also a practicing foot and ankle surgeon at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland, OH. I first met Mike and his wife Dominique Moceanu, member of the 1996 women’s Olympic gold-medal winning gymnastics team, over 2 years ago when I was searching for gymnastics coaches to supplement my CrossFit Games training. We have since worked together on a regular basis and developed a close friendship.

After my Achilles tendon injury at the Central Regional, Mike was one of the first people I turned to. He performed my Achilles repair surgery the week after my injury and has supported me throughout my recovery process. In Part 1 of this episode, we sat down to talk about his background, mentorship, and his impressions of Achilles injuries in CrossFit and sport. Here in Part 2 we dive into my specific injury in more detail and our experience as well has his pursuit of excellence and virtuosity in all areas of his life.

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With Dr. Canales and my fiancé Dani before my Achilles repair surgery.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Mike’s reaction to my Achilles tendon injury and performance at the 2015 CrossFit Games Central Regional
  • How he balanced his roles as my coach, mentor, friend, and surgeon in the time surrounding my injury
  • What motivates Mike to strive for excellence and virtuosity in every area of his life
  • Three things he does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to him

You can follow Dr. Michael Canales on Twitter and Instagram. To see more of our training together, check out the video profiles below:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating! I’d love to hear all of your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday!


02a – Dr. Michael Canales on gymnastics, CrossFit, and mentorship

- 1 Comment

Dr. Michael Canales was a gymnast at Ohio State University from 1996-1999 where he was a member of the 1996 NCAA championship team and several Big 10 Championship teams. He has since mentored and coached several Olympians and continues to provide mentorship to the Ohio State Men’s gymnastics program today. He is also a practicing foot and ankle surgeon at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland, OH. I first met Mike and his wife Dominique Moceanu, member of the 1996 women’s Olympic gold-medal winning gymnastics team, over 2 years ago when I was searching for gymnastics coaches to supplement my CrossFit Games training. We have since worked together on a regular basis and developed a close friendship.

With Mike and Dominique at the 2014 CrossFit Games.
With Mike and Dominique at the 2014 CrossFit Games.
With my fiancé Dani, sister Elizabeth, Dominique and Mike after the 2014 CrossFit Games.
With my fiancé Dani, sister Elizabeth, Dominique and Mike after the 2014 CrossFit Games.

After my Achilles tendon injury at the Central Regional, Mike was one of the first people I turned to. He performed my Achilles repair surgery the week after my injury and has supported me throughout my recovery process. Here we sit down to talk about his loves for gymnastics, mentorship, and foot and ankle surgery. We also talk about his impressions of CrossFit and how it has increased the attention and appreciation  of gymnastics, as well as Achilles injuries in CrossFit. In Part 2 we will dive into my specific injury and our experience in detail, as well as talking about Mike’s pursuit of excellence and virtuosity.

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My handstand walk at the 2015 CrossFit Games Central Regional. Photo: CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Mike’s fascination with gymnastics from a young age and why he continues to do it today at age 37
  • His transition from the role of an athlete to the role of a coach and mentor.
  • His motivation for and passion for mentoring in sports and medicine
  • Why he decided to become a foot and ankle surgeon
  • How CrossFit has increased the general public’s appreciation for gymnastics
  • His take on Achilles tendon injuries in CrossFit and sport
  • His reaction to my Achilles tendon injury at the CrossFit Games Central Regional

You can follow Dr. Michael Canales on Twitter and Instagram. To see more of our training together, check out the video profiles below:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating! I’d love to hear all of your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday!


01 – Rich Froning on competition, shifting priorities, and discovering his purpose

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Rich Froning is the reigning and four-time Fittest Man on Earth. He has competed at the CrossFit Games since 2010 as an individual, but this year he will appear at the Games with his team, CrossFit Mayhem Freedom. I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Rich a little bit over the past several years, as we both competed on Team USA at the CrossFit Invitational in 2012 and 2014 and on Rogue Team Black during the 2014 CrossFit Team Series.

Team USA - 2012 CrosFit Invitational.
Team USA – 2012 CrossFit Invitational. Photo: CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Team USA 2014 - Training at CrossFit Mayhem.
Team USA 2014 – Training at CrossFit Mayhem

I’ve recently spent time in Cookeville, TN training with his team and getting to know his community at CrossFit Mayhem. I’ve always been impressed by how competing in CrossFit has helped Rich to discover his purpose in life, and how he has used his platform to positively impact so many people.

Training with CrossFit Mayhem Freedom and Chris Hinshaw in Cookeville, TN
Training with CrossFit Mayhem Freedom and Chris Hinshaw in Cookeville, TN

In this episode, we talk about:

  • The workouts our dads do
  • His mental and physical transition from individual to team CrossFit Games competition
  • The biggest challenges of preparing for team competition
  • His CrossFit Games Central Regional 2015 experience
  • How his life has changed from before he found CrossFit to now
  • The impact of CrossFit on Cookeville and his local community
  • How re-prioritizing and reconnecting with his faith after adversity at the 2010 CrossFit Games led him to four consecutive CrossFit Games titles
  • His outlook on using his fitness for life rather than competition
  • His plans for the future and how he hopes to be remembered as a CrossFit Games athlete
  • Three things he does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to him

You can follow Rich on Twitter and Instagram. Look out for the world premiere of his upcoming documentary created by CrossFit: FroIVing: The Fittest Man in History on July 23, 2015.

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating! I’d love to hear all of your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday!