Clare Maxwell is music label and marketing manager at Rise Records and BMG. She’s also a coach at CrossFit City Road in London. She’s all about bout “My family. My friends. My job. Fitness. And Tea” and she’s pretty much walking proof that you really can have it all…
TC: The music biz and CrossFit – that’s a pretty sweet deal. What have been the highlights of your day job so far?
CM: Oh wow… There are so so many.
I am INCREDIBLY lucky to have the job I do and I try to remember this daily. I get to work with artists I love and people I respect, some of which I get to call my best friends.
I help release and share music for a living. I get to travel, go to gigs, festivals, visit recording studios, go on photo and video shoots and it’s “work.”
I used to work in artist management and seeing a band you have worked with for years sell out a venue like Shepherds Bush Empire in London or play to a packed out tent at a festival you can’t help but feel pretty proud. I still get those same feelings now I’m on the record label side. We released the second PVRIS album last summer and it reached the top 5 in the UK charts. That was a pretty great moment.
TC: You get to travel a whole bunch with your job. Coolest place – or places – you’ve visited?
CM: I went to Japan for a festival with Kids In Glass Houses and Gallows a while back and it was the most insane four days ever. It’s the most foreign place I’ve ever been. If we didn’t have someone showing us around I think we’d still be lost there.
I just got back from Portland in Oregon [where Rise US is based] and that is fast becoming one of my favourite cities. The people are great, the scenery is stunning and they do great coffee – all winning elements for me. Oh and Nike HQ is based there!
TC: So far so busy, but how did you get into CrossFit?
CM: It was just over three years ago now. I had been a member of Gymbox in London for a while and took part in a lot of their classes. One of the instructors mentioned to me that CrossFit City Road had just launched within Gymbox Old Street and were doing a free trial afternoon. I did one session, met the City Road Coaches and was hooked! I signed up straight away.
I’d never really lifted before, I was a full on cardio bunny, I barely even squatted so it was a massive challenge for me but after three months I had signed up to unlimited sessions per week and bought my first pair of Nanos. I was IN…
“If I can lift over 100kg off the floor and put more than my body weight over my head then I can do anything”
TC: Fast forward 3 years and you’re now a CrossFit Level 1 Coach. What made you take the step into coaching?
CM: CrossFit and its community changed my life. More than I think I could ever explain. Not just in the search for better health and fitness but true happiness and empowerment. I have made friends for life and am surrounded daily by people I now call family.
It has made me not only physically stronger than I could have ever imagined (although, the search for more gainz is forever continuous!) but mentally stronger and resilient. If I can lift over 100kg off the floor and put more than my body weight over my head then I can do anything.
That’s why I’m now so grateful that I can call myself a CrossFit City Road Coach and can start to give back even just a tiny bit of what I have gotten from this amazing sport and community.
Side note: If you don’t think you’re strong enough or fit enough to do CrossFit then I can guarantee you you’re wrong. I still feel like that on a daily basis, if I’m honest. But then [I] walk into the gym and see my family and feel an instant wave of contentment and “you got this.”
TC: And there’s nothing like a grueling WOD to heighten that feeling of family. What’s your favourite benchmark workout?
CM: Helen or Murph.
I’m still a cardio bunny at heart, any engine type workouts, especially with running I am IN!
TC: When you’re not crushing the cardio, what’s your favourite CrossFit movement?
CM: Cleans are the most satisfying movement, and I’ve seen so much progress in mine since I started so I’m always into a good clean complex when they come up.
Rope Climbs were the first really *cool* movement I learnt, you feel like a total ninja!
TC: How about your least favourite CrossFit movement?
CM: The Snatch! I just can’t get the hang of those suckers!
And rowing. My little legs just don’t get me very far!
But both movements have got better, just very, very slowly…!
TC: It’s been one helluva ride. What memorable milestones/achievements/funny stories stand out from your journey so far?CM: I cried when I passed my [CrossFit] Level 1. Happy tears! It meant so much to me to get that qualification and was such a relief I could finally start my coaching journey.
“Don’t be hard on yourself if it’s not your best workout session… it’s just about keeping things flowing.”
TC: You get to travel a bunch with work. Going from hardcore WODs to sitting on planes, trains and automobiles must be a killer for DOMs – any top tips to minimize this? Or any plain old travel hacks?
CM: Maaaaan, flying reaaaally messes you up. It can take me a day or so to recover if I’m honest.
The key I’ve found is to hydrate. Pre/mid and post travels. Walk around as much as possible too, to keep that blood flowing. Even if that means you’re wandering up and down duty free aisles, it’ll help.
I try and get a ROMWOD session in my hotel room once I’ve landed to just get things moving again. Or I’ll hit the hotel gym for some sprints. Heading out into the city you’re in for some run-sploring is also a great way to sight see!
Don’t be hard on yourself if it’s not your best workout session though, it’s just about keeping things flowing.
Try and keep your nutrition on track as much as you can. I don’t drink on flights, and stick to the water. Especially flying internationally, the time zone change messes you up enough as it is. I stock up on healthy snacks as well and end up spending A LOT of money in Pret to keep myself fed throughout the journey!
“Don’t be THAT GUY that says no to a glass of champagne because of macros!”
BUT I also am not crazy strict on myself when I travel. If I want to have a drink with my colleagues, I will, or celebrate a special moment with our artists. Don’t be THAT GUY that says no to a glass of champagne because of macros!
TC: You stay active while you’re on the road. Have you hit up any other CrossFit Boxes on your travels?
CM: YES! And it’s so much fun to go to other boxes and meet local people in each city. Getting stuck into their workouts and community is awesome. I’ve made so many friends that way, too!
I’ve been to some amazing spaces. Ohio Strength in Columbus is HUGE! Columbus is the home of Rogue so you know their gear was the best as well.
Crossfit Central in Austin was great, too. I did the Open workout 17.4 there and they were so welcoming and supportive, it felt great!
I’m always excited to get back to my CFCR crew, though!
TC: So when you’re not picking up barbells or bands, what do you do in your spare time?
CM: Spare time?! What’s that?!
I joke. Both my jobs are super sociable so they tend to merge into work and pleasure, which is great. And again, I am SO SO lucky.
I love a brunch or coffee hang. Me and my friends are always looking for new experiences, too. London has so much to offer like Escape Rooms, or themed bars. We went to a VR Dream Immersive event the other week, which was trippy!
In London and looking to take on a WOD? You can catch Clare at CrossFit City Road. http://crossfitcityroad.com