Ep 72 – Finding Balance with Two-time Third Fittest Man Patrick Vellner

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“I’ve always kind of thought that you really make time for things you care about, and so if you love to do something, and if you really want to do it, you’ll find a way.  So, it’s not easy, but it’s not supposed to be.  If it was easy, everybody would do it, right?” – Patrick Vellner

In this episode of Pursuing Health, I chat with three-time CrossFit Games athlete and chiropractic medical student Patrick Vellner.  In 2016, Pat made a big entrance to the Games individual competition scene, placing third and earning the title Rookie of the Year.  In 2017, he returned to prove his podium finish was no fluke, and turned in a solid performance that had him walking away in fourth place.  However, after the Games, it was discovered that the initial third place finisher, Ricky Gerard, had tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.  Following Gerard’s disqualification, Pat Vellner was awarded his rightful place on the podium, in a bittersweet turn of events.

Pat comes from a broad athletic background, including competing on a national level in gymnastics, and playing lacrosse and rugby. He’s currently studying to become a doctor of chiropractic in his home country of Canada, and balancing his course load with training for the 2018 CrossFit Games.

I caught up with Pat to talk about receiving his Games medal at the CrossFit Invitational, the controversy of performance enhancing drugs in CrossFit, how he balances medical school and training for the Games, and what plans he has for the future.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What’s keeping Patrick busy these days
  • His experience at the 2017 CrossFit Invitational, and how it compared to 2016
  • What it felt like to be recognized, again, as the Third Fittest Man
  • How he found out he had moved up to third place in the 2017 CrossFit Games standings
  • How Patrick responds to skeptics regarding the use of performance enhancing drugs
  • How his approach to the 2017 Games differed from 2016
  • What stands in his way from winning the CrossFit Games
  • Patrick’s athletic background and how that has helped him as a CrossFit athlete
  • Why he thinks there are not more men with gymnastics backgrounds competing at a high level within CrossFit
  • How Patrick got into CrossFit in the first place
  • What made him consider competing and whether he’s considered taking time off from school to focus on competing
  • How Patrick’s first Games experience on a team differed from his individual appearances
  • What made him pursue chiropractic school
  • How Patrick balances school and training
  • The timeline and structure for chiropractic school in Canada
  • What a typical day looks like for him
  • Patrick’s hobbies outside of CrossFit
  • His preference for training solo versus training in a group
  • How Patrick structures and gets help with his training, nutrition and recovery
  • Three things Patrick 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 Patrick

You can follow Patrick on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Related Episodes:

Ep 01 – Rich Froning on Competition, Shifting Priorities, and Discovering his Purpose

Ep 14 – Camille Leblanc-Bazinet on moving forward, engineering, and body image

Ep 18 – Scott Panchik and his father on running an affiliate, competition, and recovering from injury

Ep 21 – Pat Sherwood on CrossFit, the Games and quality of life and longevity

Ep 24 – Airrosti Drs. Nickleberry and Garrett on treating soft tissue injury, partnering with CrossFit, and creating a new paradigm

Ep 52A – Tia-Clair Toomey on Realizing her CrossFit and Olympic Dreams and Finding Confidence

Ep 52B – Tia-Clair Toomey on Realizing her CrossFit and Olympic Dreams and Finding Confidence

Ep 60 – Chris Spealler on training for longevity and becoming a Master

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

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Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

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