Meet our athlete of the month for February, Todd McClure!
Todd, aka Tomato Todd, is one of Fit Crew’s most memorable athletes. You may know him as the class clown- he wakes up the 5 AM group each morning with dance moves and endless jokes. While the early morning class gets to enjoy Todd’s moves, the rest of us enjoy the boxes of tomatoes that he brings to the gym from the farm.
Todd joined us when Fit Crew was located in a barebones warehouse and stayed with us while we grew into the extensive facility that we call home today. He is extremely consistent in attending classes and always makes an effort to represent the gym wherever he goes- from Bradenton all the way to Mount Kilimanjaro. His athletic background, dedication, and light-hearted nature make him an ideal AOTM candidate. Congratulations, Todd!
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Todd Lambert McClure and I am 30 years old. I’ve been married to my wife Sally Heckethorn McClure for 7 1/2 years and we have a 3 1/2-year-old daughter named Charlotte and an 18-month old son named Grady.
I was born and raised here in Bradenton, FL and grew up making the rounds through all of the obligatory kids sports leagues and summer camps. I have always been a morning person and I credit my father with that. We used to wake up early on Saturday’s and before church on Sundays to ride our bikes to GT Bray for batting practice, hit the tennis courts for an hour or so, or even go kneeboarding in Warners Bayou behind the old family wave runner. I graduated from Bradenton Christian School in 2004 and went to Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. There, I received an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and met my beautiful wife Sally. I actually started out pre-dental (don’t ask me why) but failed freshman chemistry! I took that as a pretty good sign I needed to change directions. After graduation, I came back home to live and work with my family in the tomato business.
My great-great-grandfather was a rancher and farmer from Palmetto, FL and started the company back in the early 1900s. I proudly represent the 5th generation of our family to help run the company. Eight years ago I started out on a tractor learning the ropes. Those were much simpler times. In some respects, I wish I could go back to sitting on the tractor all day. My current day to day hands on role encompasses a broad spectrum of activities including tomato production management, farm labor issues, field policy/compliance, human resources and food safety. We all pretty much do whatever we have to do in order to get the job done and keep moving forward!
How did you get started at Fit Crew?
My wife and I were preparing for a trek to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in the summer of 2012. Earlier that spring, Brent and Robin VanEerden invited us to try Fit Crew. Sally went first one morning and told me how they all grabbed PVC pipes and went out back in this dirty and dark auto parts warehouse to start stretching. She said it was scary but exhilarating. I went the next day and distinctly remember feeling that same apprehensiveness and exhilaration. I had not lifted weights in a few years at that point and was mainly running for exercise. I could not do many of the movements including regular pull-ups. It was both humbling and inspiring.
What has been your proudest athletic moment?
I got really into endurance sports in college. A friend and I once rowed indoors on the ergometers for 3 hours straight! We rowed almost 40,000 meters in one sitting. Running, rowing, long-distance solo day hikes, long runs, it all excited me.
Of course, there’s only so much excitement one can get from a rowing machine so that summer I bought a road bike and stayed at school to take a statistics course. I would go to class every morning and ride my bike every afternoon. That’s spring we started the Furman Cycling Team and within a couple years (and with the help of a few freshman phenoms) we took a four-man team, of which I was a part of, and won the collegiate national team time trial in Fort Collins, Colorado. Individual members of that team are now racing as professionals on UCI tour teams. It was a great experience for me to be a part of.
Since marrying Sally we have been on some great expeditions together. We have climbed Mount Rainier (14,410′) in Washington state and Mount Kilimanjaro (19,341′) in Tanzania. Most recently I summited Aconcagua (22,841′) in Argentina. These strenuous climbs push your body to the limit and Fit Crews mental and physical conditioning has played a key role in our preparations for these trips.
What is your favorite and least favorite movement/lift/drill?
There are a few movements that I am just flat out unable to perform. Heavy squat snatches, pistols, and triple unders are all currently on the blacklist. I’m also vehemently opposed to anything over 30 reps. I just seem to lose interest. That being said, the variability of the workouts at Fit Crew help strengthen your body and mind as well. Being open to completing whatever is on the board helps a person push through and persevere, even if they don’t care to. Sometimes it’s simply an exercise in mind-over-matter. My favorite movements are nae-nae’s, dougie’s, whips, stanky legs and anytime I get to ju-ju on that beat. And the bench press.
What do you think makes Fit Crew different from other gyms that you’ve tried in the past?
For me personally, Fit Crew feels like equal parts sickness and antidote. Choosing to work out and suffer at 5 AM (sometimes 6 AM) for four days a week could seem like a mental imbalance to many people. More often than not I find myself getting through lunchtime on any given day and starting to get excited about the next days workout. That is the sickness element. Fit Crew is also the cure for what ails me. The rest of my days are usually stressful and completely unpredictable. Fit Crew is predictable. It’s a constant. It’s an energizing environment that helps me focus and make it through a work week. Fit Crew is made up of individuals (a lot of whom are some of my closest of friends) who are there because they want to be. They are all driven by any number of reasons but it is easy to find common ground over something with every single person in training. That 5 AM class gets me up early to get a workout in without sacrificing time with the family. By the time Sunday afternoon roll around I find myself itching to get into the gym and get the week started.
What do you like to do when you’re not training at Fit Crew?
I enjoy spending as much time as I can with my family. Running around or swinging in the backyard is one of our favorite things. We also enjoy going boating as a family and finding all of the waterfront restaurant spots. I’ve also just recently gotten the kids fishing a little bit. It’s fun to see the excitement that the kids have for being in and around the water. Everyone in this area is fortunate to live where other people dream of vacationing. Also, my wife and I both grew up tent camping and will soon try to get the kids up to the Smoky Mountains for some camping and hiking along the Appalachian Trail.
Tell us a fun fact that we might not already know about you.
I love listening to audiobooks. Theology, apologetics, Historical biographies, self-help, business management, political strategy, you name it! I don’t make much time for reading during the day so I listen to audiobooks and ESPN Radio (especially Dan Le Batard and Stugotz) while driving between farms.
I also am a licensed real estate agent and use it sparingly when the opportunity presents itself.
And finally, I’m scared to admit that I’ve never done The Murph! In the 5 years that I’ve been coming to Fit Crew, I’ve never been present for this workout. By mentioning this I am fully aware that I have jinxed myself and will be targeted by Niels and Andrew to complete The Murph in the very near future. Bring it on!