#782 – CrossFit Affiliate Series | Ray Fleser of Ocean State CrossFit

Sevan Matossian (00:01):

Oh goodness. Bam. We’re live. Brian Ray. Hi Ray. Nice to meet you.

Ray Fleser (00:06):

Nice to meet you too. Good morning.

Sevan Matossian (00:08):

Ocean State CrossFit. Ray Flexer.

Ray Fleser (00:11):

Yes. Flee sir, but

Sevan Matossian (00:13):

Says Flee

Brian Friend (00:14):

Ray. Make sure he gets it right. There’s nothing sub Unlikes more than name pronunciations.

Sevan Matossian (00:19):

Yeah. Ray flee, sir. But a lot of people just throw an H in there cuz because they wanna call you Ray Fletcher.

Ray Fleser (00:25):


Sevan Matossian (00:26):


Ray Fleser (00:27):

Fletcher. Tons of variations,

Sevan Matossian (00:29):

But it’s Ray Fl. Sir. Dude, thanks for coming on.

Ray Fleser (00:34):

Thanks for having me.

Sevan Matossian (00:36):

Are you, that’s a pretty narrow room. It looks like a jail cell that’s been, uh, dressed up.

Ray Fleser (00:41):

No, this is, uh, my office at my house.

Sevan Matossian (00:44):

Oh, nice. Nice. And and what state are you in?

Ray Fleser (00:47):

Rhode Island

Sevan Matossian (00:49):

In two CrossFit gyms.

Ray Fleser (00:52):


Sevan Matossian (00:53):

And, and, um, uh, it’s, uh, two. And and how close are these gyms?

Ray Fleser (00:59):

Uh, depending on traffic, about 15 to 20 minutes. Door. Door,

Sevan Matossian (01:03):

Okay. Ocean State, CrossFit and Ocean. Uh, state CrossFit north. And then this other facility, this iron clad is within one of the CrossFit gyms or vice versa. The CrossFit gyms within that facility.

Ray Fleser (01:15):

Correct? Correct. Because we, um, we offer a lot more than just CrossFit classes and the branding sometimes confuses people. So Ironclad Fitness Center is the name of the whole company and we ironclad Bootcamp, ironclad Sports Performance, ironclad Bargo Club. There is a Sanction usa weightlifting Bargo Club there. Um, and personal training people come for some of those services solely. So there’s sports teams that come for ironclad sports performance. There are, uh, weightlifters that come for Ironclad Bargo Club, but, but another service who our first CrossFit. And at the end of the day, most of the people come for CrossFit and instead of calling ironclad CrossFit, the reason for that, it probably would’ve been simpler. Um, it’s kind of two separate things. When I was, uh, in my early twenties and I knew this sort of what I was going to do for a living, uh, I had a friend and we were actually kind discussing opening a gym and I had come up with the ironclad concept, um, basically named after the first battleships, the, uh, the wooden ships that got wrapped in iron, uh, in the Civil War. And kind of just that, that story of wrapping your body and iron, so to speak. That’s where ironclad came from. So I knew that back in the day, but then I started working for Ocean State, eventually ended up buying Ocean State and wanted to keep that name, but go with the original idea that I had had back in my twenties. So the whole thing is ironclad fitness center. Ocean State CrossFit is one of the services. It, it, it offers.

Sevan Matossian (02:34):

I wish Kayla was here to pull this up. Uh, is is that really true? They took a wooden boats and wrapped them in.

Ray Fleser (02:39):

Oh yeah. And can you imagine that Rolling up <laugh> on a bunch of homies with muskets

Brian Friend (02:44):

Something? I put it in the chat for you.

Sevan Matossian (02:46):

Oh, you did a Oh yeah, lemme see a picture.

Ray Fleser (02:50):

I think there were like two that made the kinda debut just change naval warfare. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (02:55):

Yeah. That’s crazy. It looks, it looks more like a, um, the one that I’m gonna pull it up now that Brian shared with me looks more like a submarine.

Ray Fleser (03:01):

Yeah, yeah. That was it. So imagine you’ve got your, your muscle loaded musket and you’ve got that thing rolling up on you and your bullets is bouncing off it.

Sevan Matossian (03:10):

So, right. So that was the, that’s like what, that’s like one of those Dixie steamboats now covered in steel look. It even has like the little steam towers like sticking out still crazy. All right, cool. So you’re, are you a history buff Ray?

Ray Fleser (03:25):

Um, not until like my, my early twenties, not in high school, not in college. Didn’t do well in history or, uh, or or classes in high school growing up. But yes, definitely as an adult, uh, especially like military history, stuff like

Sevan Matossian (03:42):

That. Yeah. That shit’s not supposed to happen to, to like 50 or 60. Like, you get into bird watching and like reading about the original presidents, like my mom does that stuff, like all of a sudden she’s like, did you know George Washington? You gotta be like, start early.

Ray Fleser (03:55):

It might also have to do with like somebody who can make you care about, about content. So I had one particular teacher, um, this guy, Mr. Elli, that did his studies award class. And that was kind of when all of a sudden, like I was interested in the history as opposed to having to learn it just so I could pass a test.

Sevan Matossian (04:14):

Um, right.

Ray Fleser (04:15):

That definitely changed the perspective.

Sevan Matossian (04:18):

It, I, I was actually just, uh, chatting with a friend about this yesterday. In my sophomore year in high school, this teacher had us read a story out of the Bible and I went to a public school and the story was job. And like, I would’ve never cared about it if we just had to read it. And I remember him saying, Hey, like, I don’t give a shit if your parent, if you report me to your parents or the school, this is an important story. You have to know the story. But afterwards, we acted the story out. So first he made us read it, and then we all had to play like a character in it and acted out in front of the class. And that changed everything for me. Like as a class clown, I loved that shit getting up in front of the class and playing out and, and, and you’re right. It, it, it’s a huge difference. Uh, when you add value to something you’re learning. It’s more than just passing the test. Like you start getting vested in it. Yes. Brian,

Brian Friend (05:00):

Do you remember what character you were? Probably job’s. Wife. Wife.

Sevan Matossian (05:05):

I hope I was something cool like that. <laugh>. God, I hope I was something cool like that. I don’t, I honestly don’t remember. I just remember tripping on how fucked up that dude’s situation is and I would’ve, it would’ve never, uh, it would’ve never hit home. Uh,

Brian Friend (05:19):

He had like three friends that come by and tried to, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a good story if you can, if you, like you said, if you can get it into a context that’s relatable. It’s a, it’s a, there’s a lot to be learned there.

Sevan Matossian (05:29):

Yeah. If you’re in a class and you’re in a part where you get to kiss a girl, all the, all the, uh, all the acting’s Good. Do you know that story Job Ray? Do you know that story? I

Ray Fleser (05:37):

Was about to say, whenever you guys start talking, I’m embarrassed, but No, I actually don’t know

Sevan Matossian (05:40):

That story. That’s okay. It’s the only story I know. I know that one. And the dude who built the boat and put the animals on it, those are only two items. Oh. And I know the one with the garden where the chick bitt, the apple

Brian Friend (05:49):


Sevan Matossian (05:51):

But basically this dude, this dude, this dude is like loyal to God. And then him and the devil, the devil says, I betcha I can break this, this dude’s loyalty to you. And so they start doing bad shit to him. It’s, it’s a, it’s, it’s savage to see if this guy will break his loyalty to God and him and the devil are making deal. I know someone’s gonna correct me in the comments. Go ahead. I I I I’m open to You’re

Brian Friend (06:10):

Doing well. No, it’s pretty good. Lay a person explanation is more valuable than, uh, just reciting scripture.

Sevan Matossian (06:16):

I think. Hey. Yeah. This is the only part you need to know, right. Sean Christ is king. Right. Okay,

Ray Fleser (06:19):

Fine. I think I know of that. I think it might’ve been, it might’ve been like South Park. Cause

Sevan Matossian (06:26):

<laugh> the South Park version of Job. I love it. Yes. Tell us, tell

Ray Fleser (06:30):

Us, right. The story of like, just everything getting stripped away, s shipped away like, yes, yes, but I still have my faith. Oh, what the fuck? Yeah. I think it might have been

Sevan Matossian (06:38):

<laugh>. Uh, Ray, do you have kids?

Ray Fleser (06:43):

I do. Uh, I have two corgis. I have two dogs.

Sevan Matossian (06:45):

Wow. And you’re a Corgi guy. These are some weird things. 35 and into history and corgis.

Ray Fleser (06:50):


Sevan Matossian (06:52):

Old person’s dog person who wants a German Shepherd but can’t keep up. No, no. <laugh>

Ray Fleser (06:57):

When the wife wants a dog.

Sevan Matossian (06:59):


Ray Fleser (07:00):

And, and then you end up like really, really, really loving the dogs. So, you know, like she’s definitely the facilitator of getting these dogs. Um, but they’re, they’re awesome little critters. And they like big dog personalities. They just don’t make big dog messes. Actually, that’s not even true. They shed so bad.

Sevan Matossian (07:17):

But <laugh>, they’re basically German shepherds with wiener dog bodies, right? Yes.

Ray Fleser (07:21):


Sevan Matossian (07:22):

Yeah. Um, they are, they’re weird. They’re weird looking, but they are cool. I’ve never met a Corgi. I didn’t like

Ray Fleser (07:28):

<laugh>. They, they’re, they’re, they have dwarfism. A lot of people think they’re small dogs, but I, I don’t know, like, people like realize that. Like if you look at their, like, quantum, what makes them interesting looking, the thick bodies, the thick head, the thick paws. But they’re stumpy legs. It’s actually dwarfism. Um,

Sevan Matossian (07:44):

So that’s just bred into ’em. Could you accidentally get a big quirky, like one, like a, a deformed corky would be like a, a tall one.

Ray Fleser (07:52):


Sevan Matossian (07:53):

Oh, you have a tall one. You have a deformed one. You got a cheap one. And he got tall.

Ray Fleser (07:56):

This guy’s 40 pounds.

Sevan Matossian (07:58):

Oh my God. Look at him.

Ray Fleser (08:03):

He’s a loaf. An absolute loaf. But in his mind, like playing catch running with other dogs, he thinks he’s a full size dog.

Sevan Matossian (08:11):

Uh, yeah. It’s a dog eat world out here. Um, that mean it’s, the dog is sort of a precursor. How long have you been married?

Ray Fleser (08:19):

Uh, five years.

Sevan Matossian (08:20):

The dog is kind of the precursor to kids.

Ray Fleser (08:24):

Um, a lot of people say that maybe, but

Sevan Matossian (08:28):

Not yet. It, it can happen. Trust me. Accidents happen. Look, he’s going to take a deuce under. Oh no, he came out of there.

Ray Fleser (08:37):

Oh my God. If he did that live, that would be like legendary. He’s so well behaved. That would be outta character. But I wouldn’t even get mad. That’d be, that’d be legendary.

Sevan Matossian (08:45):

<laugh> just he knew Take a deuce on camera. Uh, CrossFits been around for let’s say 20 years. 20 years. And you’re 35. So it was probably like 15 when, um, you were 15 when it like was like, and when I say first get hit, getting off the ground, I mean that’s, there wasn’t first affiliate there, there maybe wasn’t even one affiliate.

Ray Fleser (09:09):

Rhode Island was behind the curve. I was, um, I was involved in, from the very beginning in Rhode Island, um, because I played rugby at the University of Rhode Island and one of my rugby coaches, uh, Nate Godfrey, he was following some of the workouts on crossfit.com.

Sevan Matossian (09:27):

What year, what year Ray is this?

Ray Fleser (09:29):

This shows 2000. This is probably 2008.

Sevan Matossian (09:33):

Okay. Oh, that’s early. Yeah, that’s, I, that’s, I’m late 2006 when I came on. So that’s about the same time.

Ray Fleser (09:40):

My freshman year we had, we were Captain Run and then my sophomore year, that’s when Nate came on as a coach. So summer going into sophomore year, so summer of 2007, summer of 2008, we would, um, we would pull workouts from crossfit.com and the first place that they were actually happening in Rhode Island was the rugby field, ATRI. There were no affiliates. And then several of the first CrossFits in Rhode Island started, uh, at the, pretty much the same time by people that were involved with rugby. So this guy Mike liberatory with CrossFit Province and Julee with CrossFit, no risk. And they got through with Cross at 4 0 1 and then Mike Burling and Aaron Meredith, uh, of Ocean State CrossFit. And Mike Burling was also a rugby player, uh, unaffiliated with these other three. But, um, pretty much all like the first four in Rhode Island, um, all kind of started with guys who were involved with rugby.

Sevan Matossian (10:32):

And so that 2008, what is that? That’s, uh, 15 years. You’re 20 years old?

Ray Fleser (10:38):


Sevan Matossian (10:38):

And is that, that was collegiate Reg rugby?

Ray Fleser (10:41):

Yes. So I was playing there. Um, and at, so I was in college and then I took a little break, joined the International Guard, then back to college. And when I went back to college and the time I was gone, Nate had raised a few funds. I think they might’ve gotten a little grant from u I I’m not sure how it all happened, but when I came back, uh, CrossFit 4 0 1 was there, so it was like truly a box. It was in a storage unit and like a, you know, like a U-Haul self storage place. And there was like a one or two, you know, with, uh, jungle Gym and a couple gds and airbags and rowers. And it was, it was grungy and everything. And that’s where the rugby guys worked out. And um, it was Nick. It was directly next door to this place, Schneider Electric, which is now like APS Power conversion, something like that. Um, very, very, very big building that employed thousands of people. So a bunch of those employees would go over before or after work on their lunch break. So there was like three waves of those employees that kept it open. And then the rugby team. Uh, and that’s kinda how 4 0 1 started and that’s how I really got going with CrossFit.

Sevan Matossian (11:45):

Did you, did you think about it much at that time? Like, you like it or didn’t like it? Or was it like, Hey, this is just what we do to get ready for rugby. Like, did you have any strong thoughts about it as a, as a fitness methodology, as a way to move your body?

Ray Fleser (11:58):

Definitely. So I, um, I was into fitness forever, uh, my whole life. So I was playing high school football, ended up being <inaudible> high school football team was working out during that time. Did the bigger, faster, stronger program, all that kind of generic, you know, golds Gym, YMCAs where I learned to lift weights, but Golds Gym type, bodybuilding, you know, bench and, uh, chest and tries back and by his leg day, things like that for cardio, you’re running, um, you know, just very, very, very bread and butter, kind of old school fitness and get to college. I was starting in kinesiology. Um, I was in a physical education teacher education program thinking I was gonna be a phy ed teacher, maybe a trainer, not sure exactly, you know, what realm I’m going. But definitely knowing, working and teaching, uh, fitness and sports. And I’d been working out, you know, all my life at that point in time, I didn’t know any of the technicalities of it.


I didn’t know, you know, what a hang or a s squatting, but I knew how to do a clean and jump the bar on my chest. I didn’t know what the difference between a push jerk, split jerk, any of that, but jumped the bar over my head and I could do that with 260 pounds. So I was like strong. And my buddy, the first crosser workout I did was with my rugby guys. He said, all right, we’re gonna do this thing called Grace. We’re gonna do 30 clean jerks for time with 135 pounds. Like, well, I can do that with 260 pounds. He goes, no, you’re not looking. Do it once. You’re gonna do it 30 times as fast as you can. And I’m like, all right. And I did it in two and a half minutes, which wow.

Sevan Matossian (13:18):

How old were you? That’s at 20. That’s at 20.

Ray Fleser (13:21):

Uh, say again.

Sevan Matossian (13:22):

That’s at 20 years old. You did that.

Ray Fleser (13:24):

It was so, yes. Yes.

Sevan Matossian (13:28):

That’s crazy, dude. Hey, was anyone even close to you in your, in your group? Yeah,

Ray Fleser (13:32):

The captain of the rugby team at the time. Nick, Mario Ro uh, he, he, he was somewhere around

Sevan Matossian (13:37):

Like, maybe like, what was Nick’s last name?

Ray Fleser (13:38):

Marty Erosion.

Sevan Matossian (13:40):

Nice. Armenian name.

Ray Fleser (13:42):

<laugh>. I, I, I, I pronounce it differently every time I say it. He’s been one of my close friends for like

Sevan Matossian (13:47):

15. He is Armenian. He is Armenian though, right?

Ray Fleser (13:50):

Yes, yes,

Sevan Matossian (13:51):

Yes. Good. Uh, yeah. Every good man needs a good Armenian man friend. So there you go. You’re set for life. It’s a key to success. Have an Armenian next to you. We’re like, we’re like the real lucky charms.

Ray Fleser (14:01):

Nick would go to battle for any of his buddies. So he is definitely, he lives up to that big time. But, um, that it took me two and a half minutes and then I was on the ground for like, probably like 45. Like, what the fuck just happened to me? I thought I knew how to work out, you know what I mean? I thought I could run a mile in six minutes. Like what the fuck just happened to two and a half minutes? That’s leaving me feeling like this, I, I, I, I, I gotta sort this out. I gotta see, I gotta see what this is about. And um, that, that was kind of what hooked it. And I know that was an, an old school way of hooking. People was like, alright, let’s, let’s give ’em a taste and really fuck ’em up on their first, on their first go.


Um, I think that’s kind of evolved. I think when people come in the door, we kind of ease them in. Now we don’t want people, cause sure, for every one person that had the experience I had and was like, wow, I need to, I need, I need to keep going with this. This was, this was fucking awesome. I think maybe, maybe four or five people are, oh my God, that’s horrible. People are gonna get killed. So I think that kind of trial by fire, um, maybe switched, but that was definitely my inau, uh, integration inauguration.

Sevan Matossian (15:00):

Integration. Hey Ray here, here’s the thing too. I’m sure you and Brian appreciate this, but a lot of people don’t get this. I have a, I had a friend, I’ve had ’em on the show, Travis Bian, who could snatch 135 pounds with one hand, no problem. Like slow and slow motion like this. But one, the first time I asked him to do Grace, he tapped, he fucking tapped. He got fucking 15 reps in. He’s done. He’s a arm fucking arm wrestler. He, he felt horrible. I remember we were in a basketball gym. I tried to film it for crossfit.com. I’m like, what are you doing dude? He’s like, I can’t do this. Same with like, I mean, you see some of these big guys do burpees. It, it is a, to ha be able to do 260 pound clean and jerk, but also to transfer it to 30 reps at 1 35 and two and a half. These aren’t even in the same world.

Ray Fleser (15:44):

Nope. Nope. Totally.

Sevan Matossian (15:46):

It, it’s fu it’s fucking crazy what that does to people. What do you think about this though? Way off subject here. I really want to talk about your gyms, but let’s stop. M m I I think my mom likes CrossFit and she’s, she’s, she’s gonna be 80, 80 next year B because when she wears her CrossFit shit, shit CrossFit shirt to her book club, it freaks the other ladies out. And I know that that’s why the rest of us like wearing CrossFit shirts too, because we like the brand value. Because when we walk into Starbucks, everyone knows we’re the fittest person in there. Just like, I wouldn’t wear a UFC shirt cuz if I did, I’m basically telling everyone around me, Hey, I’ll beat, I could beat your a, everyone in this Walmart, I could beat your ass. There is that brand value that we still want to keep though, right? Like, hey, if you do CrossFit, that shit is fucking hard. So we’re different. So you’re welcome to come join us. But this shit is hard.

Ray Fleser (16:38):

Absolutely. And I think, uh, it’s like a couple of different points here. So on the one hand, don’t want to scare the shit outta somebody or hurt somebody on their first day. I want word, I want to safely kind of get them involved and get them to fall in love with because I set up, like I said, I fell in love with getting my absolute as kicked in two and a half minutes. But then when I started kind of like diving into the, the, the, the CrossFit world and seeing so much of the philosophy, um, of wellness, you know, one of my favorite things that Glassman said was the, the needs of Olympians and the elderly differ by intensity, not tight. That was like, you know, so that’s kind of a different perspective than than going in as a college athlete and getting your ass kicked with like sling a heavy barbell really fast.


So, okay, so that relate to your ground. Okay, let’s take a different kind mindset is, alright, well now we’re looking at squats for wellness and for health and for longevity, not for getting your assets in two and a half minutes. And I think that’s a really, really, really important part. Um, listening to some of your stuff recently where you’re talking about, you know, taking health and wellness into your own hands. Um, you know, so much of the, the problems with people’s health could be helped with fitness and CrossFit made fitness fun. Instead of going to the gym and doing the same thing all the time, all of a sudden now there’s like 300 new things I want to try to learn. I wanna try and do that muscle, but I’m wanna try and do that handstand, try and figure out that that snatcher I wanna make that heavier.


And it kind of gave like a whole, it kind of like ignited a whole new spark in fitness for an already enthusiastic guy. Um, right, right. So, so again, there’s the intense aspect of it. There’s the, the, the life aspect of it. You know, why should, why should, again, a six year old, 70 year old do this? It might be a little bit different than the reason the college athlete got hooked on it. But I think those reasons are extremely important. And then to echo what you’re saying, there is that little part of you that’s proud that, that you’re doing something a lot of people aren’t willing to do. They’re too scared to do it. Maybe they have too much pride to do it. They’re a guy who’s jacked up and thinks he’s tough and goes to the CrossFit gym and gets his shit pushed in and the first workout and never shows up again because you just, you know, you, you can’t holster the pride, um, one way or another if you’re willing to come and you’re willing to stick it out day after day, the frustrations cuz it hurts. It’s frustrating. It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s sometimes demoralizing. It’s like, it’s painful. Um, it’s, it’s emotional, but if you can keep fighting through that, there is this like sense of pride when, you know, like most people aren’t willing to kind of like, there’s a line by Arnold for somebody says like, oh, well yeah, but I don’t, I don’t wanna be big like you. And he’s like, don’t worry, you know, will. And it’s like, like most people don’t even have the guts to, to do that. And there’s definitely a sense of pride in that motivation that

Sevan Matossian (19:30):

Yeah, I, I love, I love the um, I love the brand value it has, I love how hard it is. I also love the fact that every, every, anyone and anyone can do it. And that really, it, it’s just people themselves holding themselves back. Especially if you find a, a good what sounds like a great affiliate like yours. Like, hey, it doesn’t even matter if you can barely walk from your car into the door, just give six months. We’ll have you jogging from your car to your, uh, from your car to the front door. That’s the whole goal, right? To move the needle.

Ray Fleser (19:59):

I mean, the goal is just, I make people do burping shuttles. That’s, um, that’s like definitely a, a favorite of mine. Um,

Sevan Matossian (20:06):

What’s a burpee shuttle? You, you shuttle around with a burpee on each end?

Ray Fleser (20:09):

Yeah, so it could be 20 feet, 10 feet. The, the parameters that could, could vary, but um, might throw in a backpedal. So run forward to that line, do a burpee backpedal back

Sevan Matossian (20:18):

To this side. Oh, I like it.

Ray Fleser (20:20):

But some variation of burger shells. And I always say like, you know, this is the most important workout you can possibly do. The snatches that cleans the muscle up. That’s cool. But think about what you’re doing right now. You’re getting on the ground and you’re moving from point A to point B. The speed of that will vary based on fitness, age, ability. But, but the day you can’t do this workout, you’re fucked the day. You can’t do burpy shuttles, just check into the nursing home. You can’t move. Hey,

Sevan Matossian (20:45):

<laugh>. Hey, I, I wonder what do you think the ratio is of how, how many, if there’s 300 million Americans in the United States, how many of ’em do you think that, um, can’t lay down and stand up 10 times in a minute? I’m not even saying a burpy, I’m just saying lay on their stomach. Yeah,

Ray Fleser (21:02):

No. So, so I, I mean

Sevan Matossian (21:03):

I bet you it’s a hundred million Dude, I bet you a third of the public can’t do that. Isn’t that crazy?

Ray Fleser (21:11):

So I had this, I had this client, um, I was, I didn’t own her at the time. I was the head coach at Ocean State. And this woman walks in with her husband and she was about, she wasn’t five feet, so she was like four 11 and she was little over 300 pounds and she was like 60 something years old. I think she was 64 at the time. And her daughter had lost like a hundred pounds at a gym out on Cape Cod. So she kind of referred, she looked up some gyms,

Sevan Matossian (21:38):

A CrossFit gym her daughter did at a CrossFit gym, badass.

Ray Fleser (21:42):

So she told her mom to come to Ocean City. She kinda looked up what was going on in Rhode Island for gyms and she goes, go to Ocean City. And our staff was on our website. She said, go find this guy ready. So she walked in and the owner comes up to me and he’s like, Hey Ray, there’s somebody here to see you. You’re gonna have, you’re gonna have your hands full with this one. And cause he had talked to her for a minute and I walked up and I’m talking to this lady and I’m like, Ugh, this is, um, all right, well this is why we’re here, but this is gonna be tough. So she was on every

Sevan Matossian (22:09):

Why did you think that, why did you think it was gonna be tough fi 4 11, 300 pounds? Why, why would, why would it be tough?

Ray Fleser (22:15):

So she’s 64 years old

Sevan Matossian (22:17):

And okay,

Ray Fleser (22:18):

She’s on an inhaler. She’s on like multiple different, she’s like the, she’s the definition of what’s wrong with, with healthcare in this country over a lifetime of red flags. The answer was always a diagnosis and a medication, never nutrition and exercise, never once nutrition and exercise. So she was on

Sevan Matossian (22:40):

Never once, never once since 64 years.

Ray Fleser (22:44):

So she’s on every diabetes medication that is, uh, she’s got blood thinners, she’s got, uh, inhalers for her. The lady is just an absolute mess. Um, she’s got blood pressure medication and she’s got like ridiculously high cholesterol. And, and, and she’s saying that, you know, she has all these arteries and her, she, her most recent kind of doctor’s appointment was, uh, doctor said, Hey, your blood sugar’s at a certain point where it’s gonna start eating at your nerves and you’re gonna wind up getting some things amputated and you’re gonna die. So you need to make a change and I can’t put you on any meds. All the meds you can possibly do. So she’s like, well what are my, have to do some exercise. That was like, so I’m either, I’m like, alright, we gotta, we gotta fill out a, a specific waiver for you.


You understand like how, like you’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t. We’ve got an a e d, I’m CPR certified, I’ve got an asthma inhaler. I’ll have my phone on me with a full charge at all time if we gotta to call 9 1 1. But, but if we knock a piece of that plaque off of one of your arteries, I don’t know where it’s gonna go. Like, you’re like, you’re like, so right there, but it’s, we have to try. So I made a custom waiver and her and her husband signed it, um, kind of like admitting that like we’re, we’re going into some dangerous territory, but it’s worth it. And the first, the first couple sessions would be her sitting down into a box that was basically just a matter of her flexing her knees because she basically lived with her knees in lockout.


Cause if she bent her knees, she, she would pretty much collapse. And I had to set up a safety net under the rig around her with bands. And over the course of time, got ’em a little lower and lower and lower. But I have to set it up because if she fell number one, I might not be able to pick her up. Number two, she might break something. She was so frail and it had been 10 years since she had been in conversated. How long has it been since you’ve been able to get on the ground and get back up? And she said, I haven’t been on the ground number 10 years. So that’s like, but but everything in her house, you know what I mean? Let’s install the railing by the toilet. Let’s install the lift at the stairs. Let’s not, let’s not fix the issue. Let’s, let’s get another bandaid. And throughout the course of assistance and, and, and, and, and various, um, you know, methods of getting to lunge. And it took us six months to be able to get her to get on the ground without assistance.

Sevan Matossian (25:04):

Wow. You did

Ray Fleser (25:05):

It Well, halfway it took another six to be able to get her off the ground without assistance. Okay. So I set stuff up for her to kind of crawl her way up. But a year in, we got her first burpee, and that was like the first time something kind of like viral, if you will, happened on my Facebook. But up until that time, Facebook got like, you know, 20 lakes, 30 lakes maybe. How

Sevan Matossian (25:26):

Old were you when you did that?

Ray Fleser (25:31):

Probably 28.

Sevan Matossian (25:32):

That’s also like a, like you’re kind of like your most selfish years right too, like,

Ray Fleser (25:38):


Sevan Matossian (25:38):

I was, you know, zero. Like what should you give a fuck at 28 about a fucking 62 year old woman who should lay down and get up? I mean,

Ray Fleser (25:45):

What that, that was cool because it took, it took a year to do that. And then, you know, within about a year we, we had gotten to the point where we could do 10 in a minute. So like the thing you had just said, what do you think the percentage is like that actually, that actually happened. We actually got Barbara to do it 10 in a minute. I worked with Barbara for half hour a week, three times a week for up until Covid. And, um, and by the time like that kind of air that timeframe was there, around 2000, 19,000, she had gotten off all of her diabetic diabetes medication. She had gotten off all her blood thinners, all of her heart meds and her inhaler. Like that woman is like, just an example, like the, the absolute perfect example of everything that’s fucked up with our healthcare system, but also the amazing, amazing, amazing just benefits of exercise. Like the

Sevan Matossian (26:38):

True power of CrossFit.

Ray Fleser (26:39):

It’s unbelievable,

Sevan Matossian (26:40):

You know, Hey, what did, uh, what did the people in the gym think about her? Did a, after all those years of her being there, would people say hi to her? Did she become part of the community?

Ray Fleser (26:46):

Everybody loved Barbara? You kidding me? Yeah. Like, cause everybody’s got those people in their family, right? Right. I have those people in my family, like, and, and you know, what are you gonna do? Just like ruin every family dinner and every, every, every event. Just kind of like playing the self righteous game and hating on like, people that, that aren’t taking care of themselves. It, it is what it is. You know what I mean? Like, I kinda can’t, can’t make the horse drink the water. I can bring it, you know what I mean? So I have the gym and the doors open, but I can’t make people come, um, show them, show them that it’s there, bringing the horse floor. I can’t make a drink, so kind of let it be. But ev I I think like seeing this woman, um, reminded everybody of somebody that they know it could help. You know

Sevan Matossian (27:28):

What I mean? Dude, we’re that lady in my mind’s a hero. There’s never been a time more important for overweight people to like all these people who are overweight, who are going to the gym and talking about their diet and posting their pictures on their Instagram. Those are my favorite. Like, do it be the example. Show that shit off. Put the incredible pressure on yourself to change. We need you now. Soci civilization needs you. You, I mean, the truth is you just have to look at yourself. You, you are the burden that’s on society right now. You and, and like show off as you, as you reduce your burden on society. It’s so easy to help society if you’re one of those people and yourself at the same time. It’s awesome. It’s truly awesome.

Ray Fleser (28:08):

Like I said, you know, for her to get off the heart meds and for her to get off the blood damage, very cholesterol have gone down by just doing, you know,

Sevan Matossian (28:17):

Ke Is she still alive now? She made it through Covid.

Ray Fleser (28:19):

Yes. Yep, yep. Gosh,

Sevan Matossian (28:22):

She must have been so happy she started two years before. Imagine going into Covid not being able to get on the ground and get up.

Ray Fleser (28:32):

I, I fathom living like that, but um, but, but she fixed it. And you know, when, when Covid was happening and people were talking about all these, you know, how scared they were of dying. And I’m like, at one point, <laugh> at one point it was like, oh, COVID has killed more people than Vietnam. And I’m like, that’s not that many people. That’s 50,000 people. Don’t get me wrong, Vietnam was a tragedy. Vietnam was an absolute, absolute tragedy. Um, but, but that was 50,000 people, 500,000 people a year die in the United States from the number one killer cardiac disease. And of that said that 90% of those are preventable through lifestyle changes and habits.

Sevan Matossian (29:14):

So I think that’s being generous for saying 90. It’s probably 90,

Ray Fleser (29:17):

It might be more, but that’s just like the number that they put out. So it’s like, ok, you guys are worried about, about something that, that has killed 50,000 people. But you’re not worried about a lifestyle habit that, that you can see coming from, from a 10 years out, 20 years out. You can see it coming and it is gonna kill, you know, 450. What are you worried about? Like, like, like don’t worry about covid. Don’t worry about covid. It’s tragic. It’s tragic. But take care of yourself. That’s the bigger, that’s, that’s, that’s the bigger priority

Sevan Matossian (29:50):

If your average age. So also if the average age of death of Covid is 80 and the average age of death in general in the United States is 78, then you didn’t die from Covid.

The above transcript is generated using AI technology and therefore may contain errors.

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