#736 – James Sprague & Sam Dancer | Wodapalooza Fiesta

James Sprague (00:00):

Sword caps and savan with no hat.

Sevan Matossian (00:03):

Bam. We’re live. Uh, I apologize, I’m late. I have this routine that’s like really strict down to the minute Mr. Sprague and, uh, I, I washed my butt twice this morning. Normally I only wash it once.

Brian Friend (00:16):

Are you sure? It’s that? I think you just got caught up looking in the mirror at that awesome shirt you

Sevan Matossian (00:21):

Have and that extra minute of, maybe it was 30 seconds of that too. Uh, thank you, Brian. Uh, and it was that extra minute of cleaning hygiene that caused me a,

Brian Friend (00:31):

Uh, by the way, I’m throwing it back to the, uh, 2019 waza attire today.

Sevan Matossian (00:36):

James, did you have your eyebrows done,

James Sprague (00:38):

Dude? No. Uh, haven’t done them in a while. I mean, I, I don’t even think I’ve gotten ’em done. I’ve just plucked them.

Sevan Matossian (00:45):

Um, can I, can I see what’s under the lid?

James Sprague (00:47):

Sure. Dude. Yeah. It’s just a flow.

Sevan Matossian (00:49):

Yeah. Wow. Okay. Yeah. I’ll

James Sprague (00:51):

Keep it off if you prefer.

Sevan Matossian (00:52):

No, no. Either way. Your face is looking strong. It’s looking strong. I was like, why? What, what is going on? Did you eyebrows done, or is it just, I mean, you look very chiseled,

James Sprague (01:00):

Dude. Thank you very much. Um,

Sevan Matossian (01:02):

Angular. Angular.

James Sprague (01:03):

Yeah. I don’t, I don’t know how that happened, but I’ll take that. That’s a

Sevan Matossian (01:06):

Compliment. Yeah, take it. Take it.

Brian Friend (01:08):

He’s been benching. That’s why

James Sprague (01:10):

Been the bench.

Sevan Matossian (01:13):

Speaking of taking it, uh, uh, to talk to my wife. No, no. I’m just joking. She’s great at that. She’s great at that. Shouldn’t, uh, Caleb? Hi. Good morning, Mr. Friend. Good morning.

Brian Friend (01:24):

Good morning.

Sevan Matossian (01:25):

Morning. Uh, I, I send my, uh, uh, most sincere apologies to the crew. Um, that’s always here every morning for being, uh, one minute late. Um, what’s in your mouth, James?

James Sprague (01:37):

Oh, dude, I just threw it together a little, uh, peanut butter bagel. It’s a Pat Sprague classic. He’s been eating him for years. I, I learned from the best.

Sevan Matossian (01:45):

Oh, your dad’s been looking good too.

James Sprague (01:47):

Dude. He’s looking sexy. He’s got like eight abs now.

Sevan Matossian (01:50):

Yeah. Crazy.

James Sprague (01:51):

It’s nuts.

Sevan Matossian (01:52):

I, I saw, I saw the video.

James Sprague (01:56):

I’m proud of him. Yeah, he’s competing next weekend too. He is like, uh, the only American in his age group

Sevan Matossian (02:01):

At Waap. Polozi. Your dad’s

James Sprague (02:03):

Competing. Yeah. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (02:04):

Wow. Crazy. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. You think when you’re, you’re a couple years away from being all big and buff like him.

James Sprague (02:10):

Dude, I literally just talked to the lady who was dry needling, um, about this, that like, my frame is not his at all, but I think he was skinnier when he was my age, too. So like I have potential to hopefully grow into that.

Sevan Matossian (02:25):

Um, you are looking, I I I love the the young guys like you because we get to watch the whole, you know, body transformation as you go from boy to man. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And there’s, there are a couple photos you posted recently. There’s, uh, one with you with the dumbbells overhead and you look, you’re, you’re turning into a host. Dude. Thank you. You’re gonna make, you’re gonna make Dolan Pepper look like the small guy soon.

James Sprague (02:47):

<laugh>. Yes. He’s trying to be the small guy. He’s, uh, he, that’s his goal. My goal is to be the big guy. So hopefully we do make that swap.

Sevan Matossian (02:55):

This is crazy.

Brian Friend (02:56):

Maybe you guys just meet somewhere in the middle.

James Sprague (02:58):

For real.

Sevan Matossian (02:59):

What are you weighing?

James Sprague (03:01):

Uh, I’m right. I’m like around 2 10, 2 15 usually.

Sevan Matossian (03:05):

Yeah. You, you’re, you’re looking. Yeah. You’re looking, uh, giant. Um, how, how’s the body? How’s the knee?

James Sprague (03:11):

Dude? Body’s great. Knee’s great. I, uh, I got some p r p done about eight weeks ago and never felt this good in my life. It’s, it’s pretty awesome.

Sevan Matossian (03:20):

Are, are you g you have a, like a, um, like a spur in in one of your knees are right? Did, are you getting that thing removed?

James Sprague (03:26):

No, dude. No spur, no nothing. Just, uh oh. Just, just some beat up, beat up tendons from, uh, poor moving as a teenager. Um, and, uh, and I’m moving a lot better now and got a big, got a good plan with it, so, um, don’t really have to look back at that much too much anymore, which is good.

Sevan Matossian (03:44):

Oh, bitching. Congratulations. Wow. Thank you. Yeah. It’s bitching. Yeah. Competing healthy is huge.

James Sprague (03:48):

It is. It helps a lot for sure.

Sevan Matossian (03:52):

Greg Glassman’s in the comments. Oh no. Craig Glassman. <laugh>. Hi. Be my days are pretty free since I saw you, asshole.

James Sprague (04:02):


Sevan Matossian (04:03):

Uh, where are you right now? What, um, is your dad visiting you in Florida? Are you in Florida?

James Sprague (04:08):

I just got back to Florida. I was, uh, back in the Pacific Northwest, uh, Washington slash Idaho for three weeks over the holidays. And, and now I’m back here and getting geared up for whatever comes next week.

Sevan Matossian (04:21):

And, and you brought your dad with you since he’s competing?

James Sprague (04:23):

No. No. He’ll be, he’ll be on his way. Uh, next, next Wednesday we got a little Airbnb together and my brother’s coming out to be our pit crew and should be a fun time.

Sevan Matossian (04:33):

Oh, he’s not there in the room with you right now. I thought the way when you said his name and you looked around like he was in the room.

James Sprague (04:38):

No, no, not at all. He is, uh, he’s back. Uh, he is, he’s traveling all the time. He was just in Hawaii. He was in Idaho with me. He, the guy lives the dream. It’s awesome.

Sevan Matossian (04:49):

I I saw that, um, video. Your dad’s, uh, has a, um, sell insurance. He has an insurance company. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And when you say he is living the dream, it was apparent because one of the offices, instead of having like a secretary or an associate in there, he’s turned it into a gym. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you do your studies. That’s, that video is crazy. I’m like, is this

James Sprague (05:10):

Real? It’s, it’s real. We, uh, so his Allstate office, he started this, it’s like near our house, um, whatever. He started this place had like five people working out of it. Eventually he moved all the people working in that one to another office. We turned it into a huge gym because we moved out of the house. Um, and so our garage gym went into this gym and now we call it the House of Payne.

Sevan Matossian (05:35):

And you’re doing stuff like Prowler pushes in the Allstate parking lot. Yes.

James Sprague (05:39):


Sevan Matossian (05:40):

How, how, how are the, how are the neighbors, um, taking that?

James Sprague (05:43):

It’s actually great cuz the neighbors are a CrossFit gym. They’re called Snow Ridge CrossFit. So we we’re their competitors, but not really.

Sevan Matossian (05:51):

Wow. What a trip. Mm-hmm.

Brian Friend (05:53):

<affirmative>. It’s always wild when you see athletes do, you know, doing some kind of training. Training like this outdoors. And then you just see regular people around. I think. I think actually Waap Paoo reposted a video of Ricky Garra testing out the swim workout and he’s just at like, some beach. There’s just kids playing and he’s doing 30 pound wall balls. And I’m just wondering like, what do the families think when they see this guy <laugh>?

James Sprague (06:12):

Yeah, a

Sevan Matossian (06:13):

Hundred percent. That he’s crazy. That you’re crazy.

James Sprague (06:15):

It’s the new norm.

Sevan Matossian (06:17):

Hey, I don’t know if your dad tells you this, um, but on, on behalf of him, he probably, it probably can’t even be expressed in words how excited he is that his life has turned out this way. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> like that. He gets, like, for you, you’re going to Waap Palooza, but for him, he, he could give two shits. Like if you pivoted to underwater basket weaving, he’d pivot too. Like on behalf of all dads out there, he cannot believe that he’s getting to do something with you. I mean, it really is the dream for dads to mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, get to, uh, hang with their kids the way he is. It’s nuts. Totally. Yes. Totally. Because you’re just like an ex, um, even though we’re, it’s probably not supposed to be like this, uh, for us dads, you’re just extensions of us. Yep. You know what I mean? You’re just like a finger or something that’s doing something fun.

James Sprague (07:02):

<laugh> could, could see that. Sure.

Sevan Matossian (07:04):

Yeah. Yeah. You see that?

James Sprague (07:05):

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I think, uh, I think it goes vice versa too. I’m blessed I get to do it with him, which is, which is awesome cuz it’s like, you know, like I, I wouldn’t be in this sport without him. I would’ve never found out about it. I’d probably still be playing baseball or swimming or whatever. I don’t know.

Sevan Matossian (07:20):

Um, you were, you were trying to get on a crew team.

James Sprague (07:23):


Sevan Matossian (07:25):

And because that didn’t work out. That’s why you pivoted to, that’s how your path just kind of slid over to CrossFit.

James Sprague (07:31):

Yeah, so I mean I did did CrossFit well before that I went to the games twice as a teen before the crew thing even was an option. Okay. Um, but then I was like, Hey, like you probably have a long time till you make the games as an individual. Like why not just go take these next four years, um, lift some weights, do some crew, whatever. Um, but doing crew, you also, like, you can’t get really strong. Um, you can’t like, like just put all your emphasis into getting strong. Cause you have to stay aerobic. You’re on the machine all day, you’re on the water all day. Like, so like your energy’s put elsewhere. So I was like, you know what, like you’re not gonna, you’re not gonna make making the games any faster by doing crew or make this time go by any quicker. So like why not? Like, like once it, once it ended, I was like, just go all in. If it takes two, three years, whatever. Cuz like, like let’s just make it happen now.

Sevan Matossian (08:21):

What, what did they say when, when they let you go from the crew team? What did they, did they, did they give you an issue like, Hey, you don’t have the endurance or you’re too big or you’re too small? Or did they, did they say anything to you?

James Sprague (08:31):

I was never technically on it. Okay. Because I never showed up for an official practice because I was like, they basically cut 18 freshmen down into like four or five. And those four or five were all like Olympic like boat rowers, like insane dudes. Cuz I was on this team that’s like notorious for like breeding the best rowers in college. Um, university of Washington. There’s like a book about the rowers there. It’s called, um, boys in the Boat. If you ever get to read it, you should.

Brian Friend (08:59):

I’ve heard I showed you this picture and they said this guy has a better two K row than you. Ah, no thanks

Sevan Matossian (09:05):

<laugh>. Yep.

James Sprague (09:06):


Sevan Matossian (09:07):

I I’ve heard about the, the man in the boat, but I’ve never heard about the boys in the boat. So you gotta

James Sprague (09:12):

Read the Boys in the boat. That book is, it’s about how, um, they sent like the team to um, um, what was it? The Berlin Olympics. So, so when Hitler was in rule there,

Sevan Matossian (09:22):

Hitler Oh yeah, I remember that. I remember that. Mm-hmm.

James Sprague (09:25):

<affirmative> Hitler disadvantaged the America’s rowboat and Lane, they put ’em in the outside lane, which was the worst lane because you get hit by the waves and the wind affected you most and whatever. And they still won. And um, and then Hitler got mad.

Sevan Matossian (09:41):

Don’t, don’t, don’t get Hitler pissed. Mm-hmm. Don’t get Hitler pissed. And then, uh, last year you were on the, uh, demo team.

James Sprague (09:52):


Sevan Matossian (09:53):

Frank can talk, if you have a mouthful, he can tell us about your game.

James Sprague (09:55):

No, I can, I can talk. Don’t

Sevan Matossian (09:57):

Worry about it. Okay. Okay. I won’t demo. How, how is that, how

Brian Friend (10:01):

Is that on the demo

Sevan Matossian (10:01):

Team? How is that experience?

James Sprague (10:03):

Oh man, it was great. It was great. A lot of learning. Um, definitely like experience, like what the games is like from the other side and it can definitely help you be a better competitor overall. Like going into the games the next year is just understanding like what goes into it and the amount of time that goes into making each test super specific. And, um, I think we got on a call, um, while I was there demoing and you were asking me all these questions. I couldn’t answer ya. So, uh, but it was, it was a lot of fun. Like I, I had a great time and all those people I, what

Brian Friend (10:35):

Do you, what is the demo team usually do while the elite individuals are competing? Are you guys in the

James Sprague (10:40):

We’re briefings? Just briefings all day? That’s mainly what it was. It was,

Brian Friend (10:44):

No, I mean like, when they’re on actually on the floor doing the events, are you guys in the arena watching or out there at North Park watching or do you guys have other stuff to do?

James Sprague (10:51):

Half the time we’d be in briefings, uh, or doing little tests, um, that are like fixing the next workouts or we would sometimes get to watch, which was really cool.

Brian Friend (11:02):

When you were watching, would you guys talk amongst each other and say thee, I’m pretty sure you could have taken this one.

James Sprague (11:08):

There was a few, there was a few of those moments for sure where I was like, oh, like we’d be doing well right now, but different conditions, you know, like some of the workouts we didn’t even do the same versions of cuz they changed it so much. So it wasn’t even comparable.

Sevan Matossian (11:22):

And I also recall, um, although it was, uh, it was Dave, but I’m guessing maybe Adrian did the same thing. There’s a lot of time, even if you do have down downtime, you’re on red alert. Yes. Meaning you’re sitting, you’re, you’re sitting in a room that has all the equipment and you’re waiting for Adrian to show up at any minute to give you something that you guys don’t expect to test out.

James Sprague (11:44):

It could. Yeah, definitely. It was just be ready for anything. That was kind of the motto, like, be ready for anything. Just be, be a good sport, good spirit. Like I, I, I got really sick after day one cuz of how hard I went. Like I, I think I did what that day of training or like testing was the hardest day, uh, probably of training I’ve ever had in my life. Just wow. Wise. And my body was not ready for it. I didn’t have enough sleep, I didn’t have good food and oh man, I got so sick.

Brian Friend (12:13):

That’s actually an interesting thought. You know, we often talk about how critical everything outside of the competition is if you wanna do great at the games, you know, in terms of having meal prep, sleep recovery and for the, and I haven’t really thought about it for, for the demo team. Like that could hold true as well. Yes.

James Sprague (12:29):

Yeah. Like they, they said their whole goal was to keep us healthy so we could give the best results and give them an accurate read. And then I was like, dude, we’re trashed after day one, like

Brian Friend (12:40):

<laugh>. Well, and you guys have sometimes have to do the team events as well.

James Sprague (12:44):

Yeah, there was a

Brian Friend (12:45):

Testing potentially for multiple different competitions. Mm-hmm.

James Sprague (12:49):

<affirmative>, there was a, a synchro tota bar me and Fee were doing, uh, for one of the team things. And uh, one of the head judges, Todd came over and was like, looking at my reps and I, I had to poop really bad and I kept farting every to bar rep and I felt terrible. But it was, it was, that was a moment.

Sevan Matossian (13:06):

Did he say anything to you? Like you stink?

James Sprague (13:08):

No. No. Everyone was just quiet. I was just laughing while doing these synchro tota bar like <laugh>. Come

Brian Friend (13:13):

On man. You’re foot, you’re a foot taller than her. Yeah. That’s, that’s challenging.

James Sprague (13:17):


Sevan Matossian (13:18):

Yeah. It’s different. Hey, she’s on your, she’s on your uh, uh, brute team too, right? She’s on you train with her?

James Sprague (13:23):

Oh yeah, we’re doing a, me and her are doing a workout together later today. I’ll be a good time.

Sevan Matossian (13:27):

Awesome. Um, and and when is that when you, when you said you got sick at, or when you got fatigued at the games? I think we started on the Sev podcast, started spreading rumors that you had covid or something.

James Sprague (13:39):

Yeah, yeah, that was true.

Sevan Matossian (13:40):

Oh, that was true too. I

James Sprague (13:42):

Just tried to keep it low key cuz I didn’t want people freaking out.

Sevan Matossian (13:45):

Yeah. And then who did they, they brought in someone and we started spreading the rumor that they brought that person in because they could do a, uh, lsit to press. Who was that? Was that like James Newberry or who was that?

James Sprague (13:57):

That street.

Sevan Matossian (13:58):

Street. That’s right. Street. And then, and then both of you just ended up on the team?

James Sprague (14:02):

Yeah, it was, it was a good time. He’s, everyone there was just awesome. Like, just great people. So much fun.

Sevan Matossian (14:09):

Um, when, uh, do you talk to your coach about doing, uh, demo team or by that and how it would affect your training or by that point the season’s over, it’s like, yeah, do what you want.

James Sprague (14:18):

It was over. It was like, you know, like I just did like the L C Q I did the the Can West games and um, I really was like, man, I’m taking a big rest after the games anyway. Like why not just go end with a bang? And that was the opportunity to do it. So, um, he was all on board.

Sevan Matossian (14:36):

Awesome. Uh, is this your girlfriend Taylor Cenko? Czo? No. No, no. Uh, I just saw B blonde hair. I know your girlfriend has blonde hair. Happy Friday. Love

Brian Friend (14:44):

You guys. Who is his girlfriend? Who would’ve said love you James.

James Sprague (14:47):

Uh, and she doesn’t have blonde hair anymore. She’s actually a brunette now.

Sevan Matossian (14:51):

Oh wow.

James Sprague (14:51):

Yeah, she made the change.

Sevan Matossian (14:53):

Wow. Let’s see where, oh, there we go. Are you sure that’s not Taylor?

James Sprague (14:59):

That is not Taylor

Sevan Matossian (15:00):

Czo, uh, James Sprague with his girlfriend. My better half. Oh, you hadn’t seen her in months since she showed up at the, um, ZELOS games.

James Sprague (15:10):

Yes. Yes, that’s right. You guys were on a live stream and you came up in front of her parents and said, uh, how’d you sleep last night? James? In

Sevan Matossian (15:17):

Front of her. Yes. Dad

James Sprague (15:18):

<laugh> and she did not like it.

Sevan Matossian (15:20):

<laugh>. Yeah, <laugh>. Hey. And you’ve only met her parents like three or three or four times, right? We’ve

James Sprague (15:26):

We’ve had a good amount of time now. Um, especially mom, she, they’re both awesome.

Sevan Matossian (15:30):

Yeah. And, and have they, have her parents met your parents?

James Sprague (15:33):

Hmm. Yes. Briefly. Very, very briefly.

Sevan Matossian (15:36):

Oh, well that’s cool. Okay, let’s get, it’s getting serious

James Sprague (15:40):

For real.

Sevan Matossian (15:41):

Is she gonna move down to Florida?

James Sprague (15:43):

Um, she still has got lots of time in pharmacy school, so, um, it’s looking like she’s got like a year and a half to two years left of like rotations and then we’re gonna see what happens from

Sevan Matossian (15:54):

There. What state is that?

James Sprague (15:56):

Uh, she’s in Washington, in Spokane, Washington. And

Sevan Matossian (15:59):

That’s why, oh, she got the only good city left in Washington. Good honor.

James Sprague (16:03):

Spo you like Spokane?

Sevan Matossian (16:04):

I mean it’s better than Seattle.

James Sprague (16:06):

It is better. Why better than Seattle? Yeah.

Brian Friend (16:08):

Those are the only two cities sub on those

Sevan Matossian (16:10):

There. That’s true. That’s true. Also

James Sprague (16:13):

Spokane is great. Um, the part season is definitely great. There’s parts of the city that are like, like you’re like, ugh, kind of like Seattle. But, um, it’s better overall I would say

Sevan Matossian (16:22):

It, it’s got a po dunk country feel to it still, like pickup trucks and like, it feel, it feels like country to me when

James Sprague (16:29):

I’m there. When was the last time you were there?

Sevan Matossian (16:32):

Oh, 10 years ago.

James Sprague (16:34):

Oh, okay. Yeah. Much different.

Sevan Matossian (16:36):

Oh. Oh right. I

Brian Friend (16:37):

Think everywhere is

James Sprague (16:38):

Much different. Yeah, everyone is different now. Coeur d’Alene. So next time you come to uh, Spokane, just drive 40 minutes over to Coeur d’Alene and that’s where I’m usually hanging out. My dad’s there, uh, which

Brian Friend (16:47):

Is in Idaho, is that right? Mm-hmm <affirmative>.

Sevan Matossian (16:50):

Does your dad have a place there?

James Sprague (16:51):

He does.

Sevan Matossian (16:52):

Oh shit. Life is good for your dad,

James Sprague (16:54):

Dude. He’s killing it. It’s awesome.

Sevan Matossian (16:56):

Wow. Uh, you ever see Katherine down there? I think she, she, her and her Hu and her and her boyfriend are posted up somewhere on the lake.

James Sprague (17:04):

So she comes to the same gym I go to sometimes, but we’ve never ran into each other. Um, cause I’ll usually go train with Cole at one of his gyms over in Spokane when I’m there. Um, and Cole doesn’t come to Cour d’Alene very often, but um, I know that Catherine’s there pretty full-time now. He said she travels a lot. Um, but I’d love to run into her sometime there. It’d be cool.

Sevan Matossian (17:26):

What about James Fitzgerald? Have you run into him? No. Do you know, do you know who that is? No. Uh, O P t, that’s the 2007 Crossing Games Champ. He lives up there also half year.

James Sprague (17:35):

Oh, I didn’t

Sevan Matossian (17:36):

Know that. Yep, yep, yep. Oh,

James Sprague (17:37):

Cool. Good to know.

Sevan Matossian (17:39):

Greg Glassman.

James Sprague (17:40):

Greg Glassman lives there. I’ve never ran into him, but he’s been at the same gym I train at too.

Sevan Matossian (17:45):

Oh, Glassman. Yeah. Craig Glassman, uh, does his, his wife. I know his wife goes to a CrossFit gym there. Does have you, is that the gym?

James Sprague (17:53):

If it’s CrossFit cour d’Alene, then that’s the one, but I’m not, I’m not sure I’ve ever, I don’t know a lot of the people that go to the box there. I’ve met, met a few of ’em, but everyone’s

Sevan Matossian (18:01):

Really nice. Kim Kardashian, you seen her?

James Sprague (18:03):

She is a place there, right?

Sevan Matossian (18:05):

Yep. Justin Bieber? Yeah.

James Sprague (18:07):

Oh, what, uh, you hear Hedon uh, the guy who owns the entire place, he just like passed away. He like owns the huge tower there, the Hedon Tower, um,

Sevan Matossian (18:17):

Whatever. We’re just all just name dropping now. You just one up. Me. I don’t even know who that is.

James Sprague (18:21):

The, the guy who owns the Dallas Cowboys, he lives there.

Sevan Matossian (18:25):

Uh, John Elway? Yeah.

James Sprague (18:28):

Yeah, that guy.

Sevan Matossian (18:30):

No, but I do know it’s, I do know John El Elway has a place there too. Cuz Greg told me he ran into him.

James Sprague (18:34):

We saw him, we were boating and we waved him and he waved back to us.

Sevan Matossian (18:38):

To Elway? Yeah. <laugh>. W do do you recall what kind of boat he was in?

James Sprague (18:42):

No, we were in a boat and we went by his house, his big mansion looking thing. And my dad’s like John and he goes,

Sevan Matossian (18:48):

Wow. Yeah. Hey, you gotta go by there with

Brian Friend (18:51):

Elway. Just had massive hands. <laugh> definitely, definitely couldn’t miss his hand when he waved at you.

James Sprague (18:56):

Oh yeah. My dad Annie’s got a really loud clap. That’s just distinct. You can hear it anywhere,

Sevan Matossian (19:01):

Dude. John Elway must be up there. <laugh>. Hey, you should go by there with the football and throw one at him. That’d

James Sprague (19:07):

Be sick.

Sevan Matossian (19:09):

It hope it would help your YouTube channel.

James Sprague (19:11):


Sevan Matossian (19:12):

Oh, look at this. Oh my goodness. Do you know who this is? Yes.

James Sprague (19:17):

This is Justin’s

Sevan Matossian (19:18):

Mom. This is the champ sister. This is the champ. Sister. Sister.

Brian Friend (19:22):


James Sprague (19:22):

Will. Oh sister.

Sevan Matossian (19:23):

No, I’m just joking. It’s his mom. No. What if you, if this is mom, if you ever feel like taking a drive, go see Justin in Boise. Just inviting and Justin’s like, mom, don’t do that. I don’t like that dude.

James Sprague (19:34):

<laugh>. Oh my gosh. I would love

Sevan Matossian (19:37):

That. Are you friends with Justin to Champ Justin?

James Sprague (19:40):

I totally consider him a friend. Uh, I mean, we haven’t talked much. I don’t have his phone number yet. I’m not cool enough, but, uh, but I’d love to chat more with him. I’d love his vibes and energy.

Sevan Matossian (19:49):

Yeah, he’s a good dude. And he’s training with his girlfriend now. What do you think of that?

James Sprague (19:53):

That’s awesome. Yeah, pursuing the dream together is very cool.

Sevan Matossian (19:56):

All right. If you say, if you say so, um, you, you just moved from, I mean you’re in Naples, but you moved to another place in Naples a few months ago. Yes. Is that correct?

James Sprague (20:06):


Sevan Matossian (20:07):

And who was your housemate?

James Sprague (20:09):

Uh, it was, his name was, is still Ethan? Uh, Ethan. Ethan Tate. And now it’s Nate Ackerman, which he’ll be competing, uh, here at Waza next weekend

Sevan Matossian (20:19):

And watch Brian’s face. Brian might fall out of his chair here. And Nate Ackerman is a two times team champion, is that correct? Ooh,

James Sprague (20:26):

Uh, one time, right? Oh shit. Is he two days? One?

Brian Friend (20:30):

That’s I think one I think only in his last year.

James Sprague (20:32):


Sevan Matossian (20:33):


Brian Friend (20:34):

Nate Ackerman is actually, um, uh, from very close to where I live, like less than 30 minutes from where I live.

James Sprague (20:40):

Dude, everyone’s from there. Like,

Brian Friend (20:42):

Like we have no one stays here cause they’re not as dumb as me.

James Sprague (20:45):

Yeah. Um, everyone every because fee’s from there. Nate’s from there. I think this girl who’s moving down here, uh, she said this on the last podcast, this is really funny. My future son-in-law. Um,

Sevan Matossian (20:56):

Is he with, is he with Kat’s daughter?

James Sprague (21:00):

I don’t know. I don’t have a story behind that. She might have to tell us more.

Brian Friend (21:02):

She’s, he either is or she’s trying to manifest it.

Sevan Matossian (21:06):


James Sprague (21:06):

Cute. Um, but yeah, everyone’s from Ohio. We have this girl moving here, I think she’s from Ohio. Her name’s Jessica. Um, and yeah. Who else? The Harper.

Sevan Matossian (21:15):

One of some girl named Jessica.

James Sprague (21:17):

She’s awesome. She’s, she’s gonna do well

Brian Friend (21:19):

Here. That’s what James and I talked about. He would say some girl named Jessica so that no one, his girlfriend doesn’t think that he knows who she is. And I would say it’s Santros and I’m supposed to know who

Sevan Matossian (21:28):

She’s Oh, nice. Well done. We

Brian Friend (21:30):

Planned it.

James Sprague (21:31):

We did that. Brian

Sevan Matossian (21:33):

<laugh>, well, well played. Sorry I screwed that up. Uh, she is wishing Clydesdale Media, um, dLAN Pepper vouching for, uh, Nate Ackerman. Nate’s a good dude. There’s a different,

Brian Friend (21:44):

I’ll tell you this about Nate Ackerman please, by the way, please. Last year he was only 18 years old. It was his first year out of the teenage division. And when I was working at the morning Chalkup, we would do these, these young guns picks to watch, I think that way back in one of the early iterations, Tommy actually chose down Pepper as one of his picks. I think we actually picked James last year as one of our guys to watch. And I reached out to Nate and I asked him, I said, I’m considering picking you for this. And at 18 years old, I was impressed with his response. He said, I think like realistically I’m two to three years away from even having a chance. Which was kind of like, I think that that’s a pretty mature perspective for someone, the 18. I think that, you know, it’s James, you can maybe speak to this like, you know, coming out of the teenage division, if you’ve won it or done well, you can feel like you’re king of the world. You feel really good, very fit young, but it’s a long way. It’s a long road to get to that same level in the elite division,

James Sprague (22:35):

Dude, he was literally just sitting in the kitchen yesterday and he was like, I don’t like signing up for a competition, knowing I’m gonna lose. And I was like, <laugh>? I was like, yeah man, get used to it. <laugh>

Sevan Matossian (22:45):


Brian Friend (22:45):

Debbie, you got, he I love it that he’s, that he did the qualifier and he’ll be out there. I mean, this is a good, this is a good opportunity for him and for men in general, they have to just understand that it’s like a two to four year delay relative to the women of a similar caliber. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But this, he is in that kind of, uh, gray area right now. But he’s gotta go out there and see, I mean, he’ll do well on some events. He’ll learn from some events and he’ll go back and have a lot of stuff to, to build upon having done this

James Sprague (23:12):

Competition. Yes. I’m very excited to watch him and Emma most just, just them two of like Nate, this is his first time being on the big floor and Emma, it’s her comeback. Like, like everyone, everyone here gets to compete, which is awesome in some way, shape, or form. Um, but

Sevan Matossian (23:25):

It’s like, oh shit, this is Emma’s comeback. Mm. Yeah.

James Sprague (23:27):

It’s pretty cool.

Sevan Matossian (23:29):

Wow. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Is she going to individual or team?

James Sprague (23:31):

Oh, she’s going Andy.

Sevan Matossian (23:33):

Wow. Wow, wow, wow. I, we should reach out to her and try to get her on. Wow. That’s fucking awesome. For sure. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> James on this subject, um, if you were talking to the 15, 16 year old version of yourself mm-hmm.

James Sprague (23:47):


Sevan Matossian (23:48):

Do, do, do you have words for him? What, what do you say to the, uh, 15, 16 year old, um, guys who are hyper-competitive that’s maybe you wish someone would’ve said to you?

James Sprague (23:58):

Enjoy the moment. Um, oh, always caught up in what’s next and um, what’s, what’s coming up and, and how you can do better in the next thing. Like, hey, like just enjoy what, what you’re doing now. Like, like take one day at a time. Cause I think as a, as a young kid, you look forward to all the things you can do when you’re older and CrossFit and all the opportunities that come with that. Um, and, and also not rushing your development cuz uh, I tried to rush my development and do too much too fast and then I blew up and that’s like why I started coaching is I wanna help younger kids like do it the right way. So that’s like my favorite group to work with is like young teenage boys who like, are exactly like me where they’re super ambitious and I can help them kind of harness that in the right way.

Sevan Matossian (24:39):

What do you mean blew up? Basically avoid injury at all costs you have all the time. Yes, yes.

James Sprague (24:43):

Like there’s a right way and a wrong way to train at that age. And it’s definitely different than how I train now.

Brian Friend (24:49):

What do you think about this? If I thought you might go this direction, learn to move, well then learn to move fast.

James Sprague (24:55):

Yeah, a hundred percent. That’s CrossFit summed up.

Sevan Matossian (24:59):

Um, but, but the thing is, and and tell me if I’m mischaracterizing this, you’re young, you wanna go hard, you have the energy, you’re willing to push through fucked up positions. Is it enough just to, I mean it’s like, it’s like just don’t do drugs and it’s like why? You know what I mean? Is that enough? Can, is there, how, how, how can, how can we emphasize that more that hey, don’t lose your work ethic. Like is there some sort of movements or something that, hey, if you have extra energy, you should put them here. If you wanna do the extra training, do it over here. Do not, do not every day be out there trying to set a deadlift pr.

James Sprague (25:36):

Totally. Yeah. I, I think that body work, you can always do more of that. Um, like stretching, rolling out, um, you know, all the good stuff. Sleeping,

Sevan Matossian (25:44):


James Sprague (25:45):

If people, if, if you get a teenager to see sleep as helping their career, they’re, they’re winning. Like Dolan was great at that. He was great about at a young age getting good sleep and I was like, ah, freak that I’m going to bed at 3:00 AM I love, I love the late nights. Um, and that’s why maybe why I’m not as strong as I could be today, who knows? But, um, the extra stuff teens can be doing is, um, like body work and, and sleeping more and putting more into their diet. Most teens have the problem of just not getting strong quick enough cuz their bodies aren’t ready to do that. So eat more support, support growth, like simple stuff. There’s not a really complex answers there.

Sevan Matossian (26:24):

Uh, diet, sleep, uh, body work. Yeah. And if there is, is there, is there any movement you can’t do too much of? What about just, um, what about just run?

James Sprague (26:34):

Uh, you can, you can definitely run too much. You

Sevan Matossian (26:37):

Can, yes.

James Sprague (26:38):

Okay. Definitely. My brother’s a runner. He, when they add mileage, I think they add maybe a mile to two miles a week when they’re trying to really peak. Like say they are on a 40 mile week, the next week they’ll do 41 to 42. The next week they’ll do 43 to 44. Like, it’s not like they take crazy jumps. Um, and they’re professionals, like he’s a college runner. It’s all he does.

Sevan Matossian (27:00):

Uh, so so you had, so you had, so you, you’re getting a new uh, housemate. Why, why did you switch housemates?

James Sprague (27:05):

Um, why I switched housemates. My other one wanted to move home.

Sevan Matossian (27:08):

Oh, okay. And, and so, but you will be going back. Um, well I guess going back, uh, Florida is home for you. That’s where you’re gonna start training. That’s where you’re gonna be doing uh, at brute the open quarterfinals semi-finals. Yes. Preparing for the games, the whole story.

James Sprague (27:23):

Oh yeah, babe, I, uh, yeah, I’ve been, I’ve been here the last almost a year now. I moved last year during Waap. I moved over here, um, right after it was done. And now it’s all weird cause I’m like going through it again. But I live here this time.

Brian Friend (27:37):

I’ve been trying to ask athletes this, they almost always just kind of shrug it off. But when you, when the new system or the new structure for the season was outlined and you saw, okay, there’s gonna be an east and a west, did you sit down and say like, well these are the guys I know are on the east and these are the ones I know are on the west. I mean, you have a home in the West coast if you want it, so you could kind of make that pick.

James Sprague (27:56):

Yes. Uh, I think that whether the field’s stronger in the east or west, how the system is sounding, um, that the spots are gonna be allotted based on that. So like, I’m not worried about it. I’m, I’m gonna show up. I don’t care who’s competing there. Like I’m gonna show up better than I’ve ever been and be ready for that.

Brian Friend (28:15):

Yeah. I think, I think that is kind of the, uh, the, the way that the athletes have to think about it is, well, where’s, I can’t worry about the field, where’s the place that I can excel the best? And if you think that’s in Naples with Matt every day mm-hmm. <affirmative>, then that’s an easy choice regardless of what the distribution of athletes looks like.

James Sprague (28:31):

Correct. Correct.

Sevan Matossian (28:33):

Uh, do you train with down at all? Every time I hear Dolan’s name, it, it, it only comes outta Danielle Brandon’s mouth. Like, she’s like got the monopoly on him as, uh, training partner.

James Sprague (28:41):

They definitely got to do a lot together during the, the game season cuz they were the only two ones going to the games out of all of us. Um, but no, it’s me, Dolan fee and Danielle every day. We usually start around 11 ish. Um, we’ll go from like 11 to 2, 11 30 to three, whatever. Um, so yeah, I’m in there every day with him, my

Sevan Matossian (29:02):

Boy. And how new is fee to the group? Is she the most recent edition?

James Sprague (29:06):

Yeah, she got here about two months ago.

Sevan Matossian (29:09):

And when you watch someone like fi uh, it, it looks like from Danielle’s Instagram that her and fi are hitting it off. But when someone like fi comes in, do you endow stand back and it’s like dropping like a, a Pepto Bimo and a Coke? Like you’re like, okay, let’s see how this works out.

James Sprague (29:24):

No, no, no. We love the, she’s awesome. I think that,

Sevan Matossian (29:27):

I just mean, well I know you might love her, but she gotta deal with fucking the, the, the, the person that is, uh, Danielle, Brandon,

James Sprague (29:34):

Dude, I, I think that everyone puts Danielle on this pedestal, which yes, she’s done amazing things, but she’s just, she’s just a person person at the end of the day, which is like, she’s just an awesome person. So it’s like, you know, what we’re, I, I think that all of us see each other as equals and like, we don’t, we don’t try and like have this hierarchy like ever, which is awesome. Um, and I think that it is just like we all bring something to the table and like we all have laughs and, um, there’s times to focus. There’s.

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