Last week, Beam, a CBD oil product producer, released a short documentary titled Pursuit for Better about Mat Fraser, the 4-time and current CrossFit Games champion, on their YouTube channel. In the documentary, Fraser delves into difficulties he encountered during his childhood and teenage years that led him to fitness and his current life.
If you have not yet seen the video, you can check it out for yourself here (it is just shy of 16 minutes in length):
The documentary opens briefly on Fraser competing in Week 3 of the 2020 CrossFit Open. It quickly cuts to Fraser sitting for an interview where he is asked, “What’s your first memory when you knew you had a competitive spirit?” Fraser is hit by this and exhales replying,
Jumping in with both feet.
Fraser shares his experience as a “heavier kid”, around the age of 12, when he was picked on by his classmates at school. One day at recess when they were playing soccer, Fraser kicked the ball off the field and was jeered by another student: “get the ball, fat ass.”
I remember getting home from school that day and I said, “No.”
This ridicule gave Fraser his conscious sense of drive.
Put on the hoodie, put the hood up－ I’d go in the dirty basement, running on this old treadmill that was kicking around down there－ I’d run six, eight miles.
When Fraser was asked what he would say to kids that age now, Fraser responds,
The general population doesn’t realize how powerful they are. If you want to do something, start working towards it. It’s not going to happen overnight, but my pursuit of it is going to be relentless, I’m not stopping until I get there.
The documentary takes a turn to discuss Fraser’s struggle with addiction.
I don’t know how many people know I’m sober.
At 17 years of age, Fraser was offered a spot at the Olympic training center for weightlifting to pursue his Olympic dreams but “kept f*cking up.” One night, Fraser came home to his father and showed him the paperwork of fines he had accrued from trouble he had gotten into. His father “wasn’t mad.”
He didn’t even interrupt his phone call. He didn’t care. That broke my heart. That was the last night I drank.
Fraser recounts the day he broke down “right in the middle of the gym” after his friend Nate asked him how he was. Nate pulled Fraser into the stairwell and learned that Fraser was struggling through the first couple weeks of sobriety. Nate implored Fraser to “start coming to meetings with us.” They continued to attend meetings together until Fraser graduated high school.
When Fraser attempted to reconnect with Nate after having moved away from home, Fraser was struck by the unfortunate news that Nate had relapsed and ultimately committed suicide.
Something like that happens and it makes you realize, nope not taking that chance.
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Arriving in present day, the documentary takes a look at Fraser’s home life and his relationship with his fiance, Sammy.
Sammy is everything. She just loves me. That’s a very big security blanket for me－to push me to gamble on myself, to take a chance on this very risky career, because I know if I fail, nothing changes. Nothing with her at least.
Fraser expresses that he never expected to have the life he has now. In the future, he wishes to do whatever it is he is “head over heels passionate for”.
The documentary closes on Fraser performing the workout for Week 3 of the CrossFit Open. He would finish workout 20.3 in third and finish second overall in the Open.
Fraser is the current CrossFit Games champion and will go for his fifth consecutive title in the 2020.
Feature image from Mat Fraser’s Instagram page: @mathewfras
Who is Mat Fraser?
Mat Fraser is a CrossFit Games competitor and champion.
How long is "Pursuit for Better"?
Pursuit for Better is 15:50 long. It is on Beam’s YouTube Channel.