Six months after seeing The CrossFit Games online, Khan Porter had earned himself a spot at the Australian Regional. Now, he is gearing up for his fifth Regional appearance (now the Pacific Regional), and his fourth ticket to the Reebok CrossFit Games. Though his biggest goal is making it to Madison, he is approaching the season one step at a time.
“This year I am focusing more on training for the games – lots of longer endurance work etc.,” Porter says. “I think most people shoot themselves in the foot trying to train like Games athletes when they haven’t even made Regionals. Know your goals and make your training match them.”
For Porter, mental toughness is huge. However, while mental toughness for most is a result of hours in the gym, Porter has another perspective. For him, he credits his 27 years of life for positively impacting his mental toughness abilities as a competitive athlete and it has served him well so far in his CrossFit career.
A great example is the ankle issue he’s currently facing. Despite it, Porter is keeping up the positivity we all know and love him for going into the 2017 season. “I had to get a cortisone shot in my left ankle two weeks ago after an ongoing issue with it, it flared up on New Year’s Day. It needs surgery but I’m hoping to make it through this season,” Porter says.
Regardless of his injury and how certain movements cause some aggravation, he is confident in his fitness level, feeling more fit than ever, and is excited to get the season started. For Porter, The Open is his favorite time of year not because it is the beginning of the Games’ season, but because of the vibe it brings amongst members at his gym, Play, in Sydney, Australia.
With Porter, there is never an excess of fun and that’s exactly what he wanted to bring to his gym. For that reason, he says that sometimes Play is more of a home to him than his actual home. “It’s such a positive and fun environment to be in which helps make the longer training days easier,” Porter says.
Like the name implies, a big part of Porter’s secret to success is to play. When he’s not in the gym, he spends his time surfing, traveling, going out with his friends, or binge watching TV. In fact, Porter has found the key to staying focused has been to make his training work around his active social life.
Using His Platform For Good
Beyond his successes in CrossFit, Porter is constantly sharing raw messages of encouragement and passion. You have probably seen Porter’s silly, but amazingly executed rendition of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.” If not, you should definitely watch it here.
It was entertaining and fun, but the message behind it was powerful, addressing the perception of masculinity and what society deems as acceptable. More importantly, Porter brings awareness to mental health and suicide among men. To Porter, masculinity is simple. He says, “Masculinity is simply being a man. How that man thinks, feels and acts (provided they aren’t doing anyone harm) shouldn’t have any baring on their ‘masculinity.’”
Porter credits his Dad as being the most influential man in his life and here is why: “Growing up I had incredibly caring and passionate parents. We were always encouraged to see the world from as many perspectives as possible and treat everyone as unique and special in their own ways. My dad was never afraid to show emotion and was definitely not bound by the traditional social construct of a ‘man’ which I always thought showed much more strength and ‘manliness’ than being a stoic tough guy.”
There is no question that Khan Porter is an amazing athlete, but it’s the other pieces of Porter that make him truly an inspiration to the CrossFit community. After the Games season wraps, he plans to figure out how he can give back the community more. Porter will also be heading back to school to study Psychology to accompany his degree in Journalism.