Member spotlight – Kuzi M

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If you ever need to pick Kuzi out of a crowded gym you only need to look for three things: a backward hat, football gloves, and the color red.  His gear choices have been as consistent as his work ethic ever since Copperhead opened up back in 2013.  Whether he’s welcoming new members, getting his game face on before a workout, or cheering on the last person to finish the WOD, we’re very happy to have Kuzi as one of the founding members of Copperhead.


Where are you from, Originally?
I was born in Zimbabwe, Africa.

In regards to the last question: If not Phoenix, what brought you here?
My mother is from Abilene Texas and my father is from Zimbabwe. They met in college here in the U.S and then my mom moved to Zimbabwe. I lived in Zimbabwe until I was 17. My mom had always planned on me attending university in the States so we moved here a year early so I could assimilate. It wasn’t Phoenix, we moved to Tucson…but after college I moved to Phoenix following a stint in Austin, so I could be closer to my college buddies.

What’s something that most people don’t know about you?
Tennis is my strongest sport. I’ve played since I was 3 years old and competed from about 6 years old until I was 20.

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Kuzi back in March, 2013.

How long have you been at Copperhead?
Since day 1…I think that means just over 3 years (editors note: three years and two months at the time of publishing).

What was your motivation for starting?
I’d tried CrossFit before at some random free Saturday things at other gyms, but I really got into it as a way to spend time with a girl I liked. She was going to CrossFit 3 times a week at a gym 45 minutes from my house. I would go too and pretend I was just going for the CrossFit, but the truth was I passed like 6 gyms on the way there..but it was a way to get to know her without coming across like I only had one agenda. It ended up working out and I’ve been dating Silv for nearly 4 years…..the surprise is that I wound up falling for CrossFit too. I’d seen Mitch at another gym I was at and when he told me he was part of a new gym that was opening, I decided I’d follow him over.

What fitness-related accomplishment are you most proud of?
When I was 16 I played on a rugby team for my school. My school was very big on rugby.  It was referred to as U16-A, and that division across the country was considered to be the better young kids, pre 1st team (18 year olds).  I played right wing and did pretty well, but it’s a fitness related accomplishment because I’ve never been in better conditioning than I was on that team. The semester before the season was spent conditioning with our coach, and how you did in conditioning was directly related to making the team.  It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. All the normal hill sprints etc..but also just the mental toughness drills..running and diving into grass full of thorns to get used to pain so that normal field tackles and falls wouldn’t hurt…5 mile runs carry logs with a partner..etc…almost like a boot camp that lasted a semester. I remember pretending to be sick to miss school school some days just so I could not have to go to practice that afternoon. It was intense. However, when the season came I remember consciously noticing when the other teams were getting tired and thinking to myself I felt like we were cheating because a normal game to us was much easier than practice.

Now when I think back on that time, I remember it as one of the experiences that really exposed me to the relationship between the mind and body and the fact that if you really want to do something, you can.  Which is why I think I like CrossFit so much, half of the time I’m doing it I’m fighting my mind from telling me to stop and just lay down.

Do you have any advice for new members?
Try to be perfect in building your foundation, and ignore your ego. I didn’t do this, and wish I had. Weight, time and reps really shouldn’t matter when you’re just starting out. It should all be about technique, the better technique you have the easier everything comes. The truth is ones ego can push them to want to do well right away, or at least not stick out in the class…but that doesn’t matter. It’s a way better idea to take an extra 3 months dialing in your squat and basic techniques because I promise you’ll make up for that extra time once you feel solid in your technique and you let yourself start building in weight and going faster. It’s easy to be strong and throw weight around awkwardly, it’s way harder to move perfectly.

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Comments

  1. Dang. I loved reading this! Great job, Kuzi!!

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