Marcus Filly is not afraid to think outside of the [CrossFit] box. Since leaving medical school in 2009, the six-time CrossFit Games competitor (who has a degree in Molecular and Cell Biology with an emphasis in Nutrition and Physiology) has helped athletes all over the world achieve their fitness goals.
Filly, who created his own Revive-RX when he couldn’t find a post-workout protein up to his standards is also the founder of Revival Strength, which offers remote and in-person training programs. A former CrossFit box owner Filly –who also runs the super-informative Functional Bodybuilding Instagram page– isn’t afraid to do things a little differently, to chase movement quality, body composition and health over constant high-intensity.
But what’s he REALLY like? And how did he get here? Filly opens up as the first in our new series spotlighting high-level athletes beyond their training videos.
The secret talent/party trick I can do….Play the Didgeridoo. “That is a wind instrument developed by Indigenous Australians. I was fascinated by the instrument when I traveled to the country 10 years ago. So I spent a week making my own with the help of a local, learned how to play it a little bit, got down the circular breathing, and have one in the closet to bust out and make sounds to my daughter with now.”
The last time I cried was…Yesterday. “I’m serious. I’m not afraid at all to let my emotions express themselves through tears. It is a terrific release and reminds me that I’m still connecting to my core emotions. I don’t ever want to stop doing that.”
My last meal on death row would be…. “Funny enough we just talked about this in a staff meeting three weeks ago. It was our ice breaker question. I would have stuffed pasta shells. Mom made these when I was younger and I haven’t had them since I was a kid.
They are super simple. A blend of ricotta cheese and Italian seasoning stuffed inside a large pasta shell with store bought marinara sauce on it, sprinkled with mozzarella cheese on top and baked in the oven. Cheesy, gooey, and a reminder of my childhood and my family.”
Of of the best jobs I ever had was…Barista at Peet’s Coffee. “I loved this job and it scratched my itch to be in the food-service industry. I contemplated becoming a cook/chef because I love the process of making something that people will consume right away and experience joy and satisfaction from. Teaching myself the process of making espresso drinks perfectly, the timing of making them in a busy rush, and the smell of coffee stuck to my clothes for the whole day, that was GREAT!”
I love the smell of…Revive-Rx Strawberry Recovery. “This is my product but I truly find the smell amazing. Whenever a bag opens in the gym I can immediately tell and it smells like a box of Captain Crunch Cereal from my childhood.”
If I could have one superpower it would be…To slow down time. “I often feel like there isn’t enough time and I’d love to be able to slow it down to gain a little extra. I also wish I could slow down the special moments in life to experience them for longer.
(See my favorite song below and know that Despacito by [Justin] Bieber is one of my favorites. It translates to slowly.)”
I can’t live without my….Coffee. “I know this is what most people likely say and if they don’t they are lying or not addicted to caffeine. But the reason it is so important to me is that coffee first thing in the morning represents a quiet time to reflect and center myself for the day.”
My go-to story to tell people about my early twenties…Was a night I spent in Cambodia and I had a little too much fun. “The real punch-line of the story was that I went to bed at 1:00am on Tuesday and didn’t wake up until 1:00pm……ON WEDNESDAY!!!! I slept 36 hours and needless to say the people at the guesthouse were worried.”
My favorite workout song is…Bieber!!!! “All of it. I’m a Belieber as we like to call ourselves. He has been a favorite for a long time. Talented beyond his years and makes me feel good.”
The one thing I’d tell my younger self is…Keep listening to your heart and one day you are going to become all the things that you admire the most. “Today I’m a version of myself that I know when I was 13 years old I would have admired and wanted to be just like. That is success. Become your own role model!”
My favorite fitness competition memory is…Climbing Snail – Soccer Stadium CrossFit Games 2016, Saturday morning.
“I was in 21st place going into the event. My brother said to me, “Marcus, all you have to do in order to move up is just go win your heat.” To which I responded, ‘Tony, do you know how hard it is to win a heat of 20 people? I mean, you can’t just say I’m gonna win a heat.’ Moments later I proceeded to win my heat, take 4th in the event, climb to 15th place on my way to my best finish of my life, 12th overall.”
My role model is…See above. My role model is myself 5, 10, 20 years from now.
“I picked this one up from [actor] Matthew McConaughey in a sense. He gave an acceptance speech after his Oscar that made me think about this and how today I stand as a role model to my 15 year-old self who wanted to be stronger and bigger. To my 20 year-old self who wanted to do what he loves and impact the health of others.”