Phil Strickler: Into The Fray


He has several nicknames: Mule. Theo's Dad. Philsy. Doesn't matter what you call him: you know him. He was our first "Fran" recordholder, and one of the Original Eight along with Whit, Kube, and other future stars. This is his story, in his own words:

Six years ago I had the greatest day in my life, I became a dad. When I was at the park with Theo I started to notice how parents just watched their kids play and didn’t join in. I wasn’t going to be a sideline parent; I wanted to be in the mix. A friend was telling me about Catalyst and how they were starting up a new program and was looking for volunteers, so I made the call and signed up. I don’t remember my first WOD but I do remember how much I hated running up those stairs. So when the Park opened its doors I remember thinking this place has the potential to be something epic, hated or loved, it would be talked about. Saturday morning was the highlight of my week, the group was small and quiet but in time we became known as the Mules. The perfect name for a group that were too stubborn to quit and a force you would have to compete with. This would be my new extended family. It’s what Catalyst is known for, and it’s why I keep going back. The support and encouragement is like no other gym.

If Coop would have said that in just a few years I would be competing in the Ontario Regionals I would have laughed it off saying” it’s not for me”, which I was still saying this year even up to the last event. At thirty-eight years old I’m not Philsy2
getting any younger but I do feel that I’m getting closer to my potential. Working out for me at the beginning was hard, but once I saw my progress it became addictive. It also helps when you have a training partner with the same goals and motivation, someone who won’t let you get away with a half ass effort or an easy way out, and I thank Eddie for that. 

This past year has been my bright spot with my personal accomplishments 2nd in defiance, 2nd (again) in Fran fest, PR’s in my 5k run, and Murph (thanks due to chasing Cam),and of course making the regional team on my own accord. I guess I’m doing something right. 

Asked what I want by summers end? I would love to get my 415 lbs. deadlift back. I know my real weakness to overcome is my shoulder flexibility having that would bring my game to the next level. 

Friday May 11th Canada East regionals in Toronto will be my pinnacle of 4 years of Crossfit, “Once more into the fray, into last good fight I’ll ever know”.

Philsy, 2009.