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blog Rory McKernan - The Cult of Rec Podcast, Episode 15

Rory McKernan - The Cult of Rec Podcast, Episode 15

Kolby Seemann

22 days ago

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In the latest episode of the Cult of Recreationalism podcast, hosts Sean Lake and Nathan Morris welcome Rory McKernan, a dynamic personality from the CrossFit world. Rory, who is renowned for his role as the head of business development at Mayhem Nation and his storied history in CrossFit, shared fascinating insights into his life, career, and the lessons he's learned along the way.

The Whiteboard Clean Process

The episode kicks off with a casual conversation about managing busy schedules and the significance of clearing the whiteboard—both literally and metaphorically. Sean shares an intriguing article he read about sleep patterns and to-do lists, suggesting the practice of jotting down tasks before bed to ease the mind. Rory resonated with this, highlighting his own method of using a journal to plan and reflect on his days.

"Whoever brought these things back, you know? Not just old school pen and paper, like old, old school, but this was like cutting-edge technology once upon a time," Rory commented, emphasizing the timeless value of tangible tools in our digital age.

CrossFit and its Impact

Rory McKernan's journey into CrossFit began with his discovery of the sport through the movie "300" and the associated workout program, Jim Jones. He talked about his early days of trying to emulate CrossFit workouts in remote Alaska with limited equipment, underscoring his passion and dedication to fitness.

"My intention was always to play football, but when I got to USC... I saw that they had a ski and snowboard team. From my freshman year onwards, I joined up," Rory recounted, illustrating his pivot from traditional sports to more adventurous pursuits.

Life in the Mountains

A significant portion of the conversation revolved around Rory's love for the mountains, a passion that began during childhood family trips to Colorado. He shared stories of his time in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and his adventures in Alaska, painting vivid pictures of his early career as a ski bum and fishing guide.

"If you go to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, I don't even know what to compare it to. I've been to mountains all around the world now, but Jackson Hole, you know, it'll take the Pepsi challenge with anything on earth," Rory said, expressing his deep connection to these rugged landscapes.

Working with CrossFit Legends

Rory's transition from being a CrossFit enthusiast to working with some of the sport's biggest names, including Rich Froning and Dave Castro, provided a unique behind-the-scenes look at the CrossFit community. His stories highlighted the camaraderie and intense dedication that define the sport.

Reflecting on his time with Rich Froning, Rory shared, "He's like, 'We're going to do a triathlon,' and I'm like, 'Yeah, I just kind of want to survive this one.' He'll just kind of turn his head sideways, you know, like a confused dog. Like, 'I don't, it doesn't compute what you're saying. It's competition, bro. Like, what do you mean you're not gonna win?'"

Honoring Glen Doherty

The conversation took an emotional turn as Rory and Sean discussed their mutual friend, Glen Doherty, a Navy SEAL and CrossFit coach who was killed in the 2012 Benghazi attack. They reminisced about Glen's impact on their lives and the CrossFit community, particularly through the creation of the "Glen" hero workout, designed to honor his memory.

"CrossFit definitely enhanced me as a person... It showed me like, wow, you can always level up. And there is this code," Rory reflected, emphasizing the profound influence Glen and CrossFit have had on his life.

Rapid-Fire Questions

To wrap up the episode, Nathan and Sean posed a series of rapid-fire questions to Rory, revealing fun and personal tidbits about his life. From his favorite places visited—like Corsica and the Amazon rainforest—to his Chipotle order, the segment added a light-hearted end to a deeply engaging conversation.

This episode of Cult of Recreationalism with Rory McKernan is a rich tapestry of adventure, personal growth, and profound life lessons. Rory's stories and insights provide not only entertainment but also inspiration for anyone looking to pursue their passions and push their limits.

Be sure to check out the full episode for an unforgettable journey through the eyes of one of CrossFit's most engaging personalities.