Frazier Christie is part of the mens senior Great Britain rowing squad based at Leander Club, Henley-on-Thames. A graduate of Bath University and the GB Start program he competed at the World U23 Championships in 2015 in M4x. In his debut year as part of the senior squad he has wrestled with injury, missing out on the Rowing World Cup I owing to injury during the April trials. He now has now raced twice in the M2x at European level and is heading to the World Rowing Championships in October as a reserve.
What is the one fitness activity that you hate doing the most, but yields the best results?
Anything core-related! We have a trunk circuit that we do but it is probably the best thing for what we do in the boat.
What’s one bad habit you’re trying to get rid of? And what’s your approach to seeing change in this area?
For me, it’s probably my Galaxy chocolate addiction. I’m known for putting away a sharing size bar of Galaxy every now and then
What are your favourite hacks to maximize your sleep?
One of my favourite things to do is sleep with the curtains open because I feel so much better when the light wakes me up. Also I’ve started having my phone charging on the other side of the room . . . stops you from going on it before you go to sleep. But I don’t always do that, so working on that one, as well.
What’s your favourite non-training day meal?
Frazier Christie loves a pizza! Pepperoni pizza. I mean, that might be a training day meal, as well!
If I opened up your fridge right now, what would I see?
My fridge is actually fairly empty. We are really lucky in that being part of the GB squad we get fed at Leander or Caversham. So in the evenings my housemates, also fellow squad members, and I come down to Leander to eat in the evenings after training.
What is the most important piece of advice you could give young rowers coming into the sport?
You get out what you put in. There are naturally talented people, but I don’t think there’s any substitute for the amount of time you spend training. The more you’re out in a boat, the better you get in a boat; the more you’re on an ergo, the better you get on the ergo. It’s not about killing yourself every day it’s about consistency.
I always have something that I’m working on and there might be points maybe, for a kilometre or two, where I’m daydreaming and forget but the majority of the time I’ll go out with a purpose.
What supplements can you not afford to live without?
I don’t take anything at the moment – I haven’t felt the need for it. I think the food that we’re getting at the moment, and how quickly I get it after a session means we’re well fuelled . . . I guess you could say coffee. I’m quite a coffee drinker.
What’s the favourites tool, gadget, etc. that you purchased in the last 12 months?
That would be my iPhone. I actually paid probably too much money on contract but I got the 256Gb as I love to edit video and images on it.
What person of influence is Frazier Christie closely following right now?
Gary Vaynerchuk. A lot of the stuff he says is quite over the top but I think the general message is really good – like balancing the stresses of work. I apply that to rowing and business and tutoring – I’m able to juggle all these things without worrying about it too much. My mum says if I was any more laid back, I’d be lying down.
If you could put a billboard anywhere, what would it say and where would you put it?
I would say “Find what you love to do and do more of it”. It’s so easy for me to get out of bed in the morning because I really enjoy what I do. I know I’m incredibly lucky, but I really want other people to be able to have that same feeling and I think this simple thing is the way to do it.
Don’t get stuck doing something you hate, you’ve got one life, so make the most of it!
I’d like it in the City of London. I think after my degree in Economics that’s easily where I could have ended up working my life away in the crowds. I think I’d need a billboard like that in my life!
Does Frazier Christie have a pre-race ritual?
My pre-race ritual, my warm-up is always the same kind of thing – the main thing for me is getting some music on, really!
It’s something that we talked about a lot before I raced the under 23 World Rowing Championships – exactly how the warm-up was going to be and individual people have different things that they want to do. This is a team sport so we have to kind of blend it all together.
I like to get up early on the day of the race, do a bit of a pre-paddle to get my legs moving in the morning and then a really good stretch before I go on the boat. And then actually pre-getting in the boat I don’t have a lot that I do. I think that’s a good thing for me because I think relying on a ritual, if that gets knocked out, it’s going to mess with your head.
What is your biggest challenge, and how are you managing this challenge?
I would say my biggest challenge at the moment is coming into a program where I’m at the bottom at the same time as trying to balance other things. Coming into a program which is significantly harder anyway, in terms of training, and with some really, really talented guys, and trying to not get lost out the bottom of it I suppose.
Before I started in the squad I didn’t know what it was going to be like. And you kind of imagine a group of big ego sports people but I think the atmosphere, especially at the start of this Olympiad, is that we want men’s sculling to move forward, and everybody is trying to pull everyone up at the moment. From what I’ve experienced so far it’s been phenomenal. The guys have been great – very welcoming into the squad and also helpful with advice on how to manage the training load and everything like that. So it’s been really good.
Images & text copyright Rowing Classifieds/Angus Thomas
Away from the boat Frazier Christie is also a private tutor (maths & physics) and part owner of baby sling company FreeRider, run by Scarlett Williams