March 28, 2013
This Year Will Be Different: Murray Howes
By Quin Siah

"I am proud to be the old guy in my age group."

Photos by: Kristine Howes

“I am proud to be the old guy in my age group,” Murray Howes says.

At 48, Howes proudly tops the Canada West Masters Men 45–49 Division by 11 points after three events. And he’s 31st worldwide.

A strength and conditioning teacher at Langley Secondary during the day, CrossFit box owner at night, and a family man full time, Howes has never been happier with life.

“I knew I would have to open my own gym when ex-students would come back to the school (Langley Secondary) and have me continue training with them,” Howes says.

A former student taught him how to deadlift in class, and told Howes he was training at a CrossFit gym. Howes went on to research more about CrossFit and found himself watching Greg Glassman’s lectures online, every night, for a full year.

“My wife thought I was crazy,” Howes recalls.

He was hooked, and Campus CrossFit blossomed.

During the 2012 Open, Howes was on vacation with his family and barely managed to get a score submitted for 12.5.

“I had to rush my family to a box in San Diego right after our ship docked,” he says.

He was ranked 16th worldwide before 12.5, and hoped to qualify for the Games. Unfortunately, Howes dropped to 24th after that workout and missed his chance.

After being so close, Howes has been preparing with a newfound zeal for the 2013 Open.

He has enlisted one of his own coaches to manage his programming.

“Tyler Thistlewhaite manages to challenge my weaknesses regularly,” he says. “Handstand push-ups are an Achilles (heel) of mine.”

Howes is feeling balanced and confident in his training. He isn’t worried that the last events will topple him again.

A self-described ‘jock for life,’ Howes is sitting at the top of his division. But that’s not enough for him.

With CrossFit as a focal point, Howes is looking to finish this year’s Open in the top 20 worldwide and earn a ticket to the CrossFit Games in July