I met Chris a few years back now, through a couple of mutual friends, and whenever I was visiting Sydney (back in the days when I lived in WA) he always extended the invitation to train at the gym. Now I always thought he was a good guy, that he was fit and strong, but I was constantly surrounded by guys like this so I wasn’t blown away by anything…apart from his size of course.
A few months back I started back into our FYFs at 98 and as always they made me suffer, hurt, rethink everything about my training and then fall into a heap when I got home. The one thing that will stick with me (its the no. reason I respect this guy so much) is how he thinks and acts when the pressure, pain and suffering is being applied. Some people when put to the test set into a cruise mode, take care of themselves and never push themselves. Chris shows a trait that is rare, one that Ive found in few people over the years…when things are tough he turns it on and takes more than his fare share of the load, he actively looks for more work, looks for ways to help, he has an ability to think about team, not self. He never skips a rep, takes a short cut and understands that its not about being first or winning, its about how you get there, its about doing YOUR best. Im very proud to call this guy a mate. Enjoy the read!
Name: Chris Feather
Profession/Job: PT & Gym Manager at 98 Riley St Gym.
I was born and bred in a small village in Yorkshire called Haworth. I have a very supportive family who have always supported and encouraged me to follow my passions. From an early age my spare time was taken up by working with my Dad at the family business (HGV Mechanics and Hire) and in many different competitive sports. Living in a quiet part of the country this meant a lot of driving and standing watching at various athletic tracks, swimming pools, Karate studios, mountain bike races and footy fields, union and league, for my parents and grandparents. I see now what an impact that has had on my life.
I eventually found my calling as a Rugby League player and in 2000 when on a break between College and University, I was offered a full time professional rugby league contract for Wakefield Wildcats. At that time I was pretty locked in to going to University. One thing that will always stick in my mind was my Mum saying ‘University will always be there. How many people get the chance to play their sport professionally?’ She was a teacher when I was growing up, so this held even more weight than you would expect. With that I signed a 3 year deal and the career started! I played 11 years professionally in the UK and France. (Teams: Wakefield Wildcats, Leeds Rhinos, Bradford Bulls, Castleford Tigers and Villeneuve-Sur-Lot Leopards.) I had some of the best times of my life and met some of my best mates across those 11 years. Unfortunately I also suffered some fairly serious injuries, including two back surgeries, shoulder surgery and an elbow in the neck leading to a split carotid artery. This resulted in a number of transient ischemic attacks (mini strokes) which eventually left me in a coma. Again trying times for the parents! These were low parts of an awesome 11 years but I feel these are important experiences that shaped me. 2010 came, I played my last professional game then moved to Australia.
- I am very proud of my 11 year career in professional sport. I didn’t represent my country but I was part of the 2004 Leeds Rhinos squad to win the Grand Final.
- I’m proud of where I am at in life right now. I’m proud of the family and friends I have, the business I have founded (98 Riley St Gym) and the life I have in Australia.
- I am unbelievably proud to say I will be a Dad at the end of August.
I think if you had asked me this question 10 years ago, it would’ve been a very different answer. I would’ve probably have included more sporting achievements, a decent property portfolio and the places I have travelled.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that the people and the relationships I have built in my life are far more important than any material gains I have acquired.
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Chris Feather Training
Q1. What does a normal day look like for you?
4:30am – get up
5:00am – grab a coffee at the local Darlinghurst coffee shop
5:30am – 12:00pm Train PT clients 9grab brekkie somewhere in there)
12:00pm – Train at 98. I train fairly heavily for about 60 mins per day, mainly focused on breathing and bodyweight work.
1:00pm – eat lunch
1:30pm – 4:00pm Work on the gym management stuff, my training website, My Vitamin Packs and jobs at home.
5:00pm – 7:00pm Train another couple of PT clients
7:00pm – I head home, cook dinner and spend some time with my wife. Usually head to bed around 9:00pm. My Monday to Friday life doesn’t change too much to be honest until its holiday time. I like routine though.
Q2. Who or what has had the biggest impact on you career/life?
- As I have already said, my Mum and Dad have been the biggest influences on my life by far. They have been behind me from the day I was born until now. They have guided me well and supported me through all the important (and not so important) decisions in my life. Some of these decisions i.e. emigrating to Australia, was hard on them. They knew it was the best move for me so put their needs to the side and encouraged, facilitated and fully supported my move here. Above all they have taught me good character.
Q3. What drives you to keep on pushing the limits in your physical and mental/emotional game?
Physically, I have been pushed every weekend on a professional level for 11 years. I need to fill that gap now I am retired. I push myself physically and mentally in the gym every day. It gives me an enormous sense of self worth, achievement and confidence. I am also aware that by doing this, it impacts upon my emotional wellbeing, which is important. It’s important also for me to see that I ‘still have it.’ I want to set a good example to the people around me including family, friends, work colleagues and clients.
Q4. What in your words makes a good person/human?
These are 5 traits I feel make a good person:
Q5.What in your mind are two or three things you would do consistently to keep your conditioning (strength, endurance, lifting etc) up…things you think are important?
- I find it really important to lift heavy twice a week. I keep it very simple and have found massive benefit from the squat, deadlift and bench press.
- I try and hit failure in a breathing session at least once a week. i.e max calories in 10 mins on an Airbike. This not only has a massive positive impact on my physical fitness but also my mental game.
- I am 117kg. I make sure I work with my bodyweight on a regular basis. I use a lot of burpees & pull-ups. It is imperative to be able to move your engine.
Q6. Favourite quote?
‘Seek respect not attention. It lasts longer.’
Q7.How and why is physical preparation important to you? How has and does it impact you has a person? What are the benefits do you see?
It is important to me as I want to feel proud of myself. I want to use what I have (mind & body) to its full potential and be able to get to the end of my life and feel satisfied. I feel anyone who has not felt close to the full potential of what their body and mind can do is missing out. For me a lot of this stuff is gym based but it comes in a whole lot of other forms, climbing, hiking, competitive sport, military, endurance runners, strongmen… I could go on and on. Knowing yourself is key.
My physical preparedness allows me to walk in a room with my head held high. I may not be the smartest, richest or most loved person but am physically prepared. This holds a lot of value to me. It breeds confidence, being happy with yourself allows you to give a lot more to everyone else.
Q8. Best advice you have been given?
Better to regret the things you have done rather than the things you haven’t.