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February Meet The Members

Meet Duncan & Manni!


We are pleased to bring you our Members of the Month for the month of February!

Our next two members will be very familiar if you were with us during the lockdowns and the subsequent Torianland online community we built. Both Duncan Sheil and Emanuel Giuliani (Manni) were very active members in their posts, super encouraging to others and dogmatic in their dedication to the workouts and the community.

If you have every trained in the early morning at Torian you will most likely have seen Duncan working away at his rehab or skills down the back before jumping in on the workout. Duncan has overcome a lot of personal challenges in his journey, particularly with injuries. He is a shining example of persistence and why it’s so important to focus on health for your own reasons and not get caught up in comparisons. He has stayed the course through some very discouraging setbacks and never wavered. His dedication and patience have paid off and in recent times he has been progressing nicely and staying healthy. Duncan is one of the most humble people you’ll ever meet and an inspiration to us all.

Big Manni. If you haven’t met him yet you’re missing out. Our resident Italian master chef, Manni is famous (amongst the coaches) for the treats he regularly brings in for us and for others, for no other reason than to put a smile on their face. Speaking of smiles, you’ll have to be quick to ever catch Manni without one permanently on his face. It seems the harder and more intimidating the workout, the happier and more positive Manni is. He is one of the most encouraging people in the gym and an absolute giver. Always thinking of others first and ready with razor sharp wit to lift the mood of the room, and his accent is great value too!

As with last month below is Duncan and Manni’s answers to the MOM questions, giving a little insight into their attitudes around training and Torian - especially impressive for Manni as English is not his first language. Enjoy!

Name & Age

D. Duncan Sheil, Age: 46yrs old I live at Samford and I am Civil / Demolition Manager for Mainland Civil. Basically I break stuff and dig big holes!

M. Emanuele (Manni) 45. Head Master Chef at Tartufo.

How long have you been CrossFitting for?

D. Around 5-6 yrs now, but a large number of those early years were almost a rehab modified program.

M. Since November 2018

What made you start?

D. A Mate who I went to school with told me to go. After the issues with my back, I wanted to get back into group training and get fit again. I tried a few boxes but it didn’t really work, then one opened up in Samford and they really started my CrossFit journey.

M. I faced a hard time going through a divorce.

When did you join Torian?

D. November 2018

M. Feb 2020

What is your favourite thing about Torian?

D. Ok few too many items but:

  • Community – Torian has a fantastic vibe and great people. Inside and outside the gym it’s like second family. Oh and the 5am crew!

  • The Silverbacks – Great group of guys keeping you grounded, encouraged, supported and plenty of advice on just about anything - even if you didn’t ask sometimes!

  • Trainers, programs and so much guidance from everyone. Can’t say enough about the assistance from coaches.

  • Everyone in the gym, be it helping with form, scaling workouts, writing specific programs for injuries, too what type of gear or ways to help rehab. All these actions by others have made such a massive difference to me in a number of ways and I am so grateful to be part of such a fantastic group!

M. The place’s vibes since I stepped in!

What has been your proudest achievement in CrossFit?

D. I don’t think there is a single thing I could put down - its rather a consistent change for the better that has been brought about through CrossFit and the community. I think hopefully what I am most proud of is setting an example for my family, my wife joined CrossFit around 3yrs ago and both of our kids love being involved and trying new things. I love when they jump in on a work out or practice handstands against the wall in lounge room! I think seeing us putting in the work and enjoying hard work sets the right path that I hope they will follow.


What is something that you couldn’t do before CrossFit that has changed your life?

D. I couldn’t go more than possibly 3mths without getting cortisone injections to my lower back about 2-3 mm off spinal cord under CT scan, checking where the needle was! It’s now been over two years without an injection! That’s been Massive. I would also say an understanding of nutrition and what to eat! Diet is so important to being healthy and getting pointed to where to get good advice has been life changing for me. As I now know, you can’t out train a bad diet!

M. Made my mindset focused on what I want.

What do you look forward to the most every day about Torian?

D. I think the satisfaction you get after putting in the work, that sense of achievement and purpose is a great way to start the day. The Torian crew! And a coffee every now and then after class!

M. Sweatshirt and big smiles

What would you say to someone who is thinking about starting CrossFit?

D. I would say there is a place for everyone in CrossFit, it’s not about having to be fit to start it's just about starting and going from there. Find your tribe even if this takes trying a few different boxes, the enjoyment and reason people stick with CrossFit is the community. Everyone that has stepped into a box has had their own first day of not really being confident so we understand. The work outs can be intimidating but everything can be scaled and progression will come with effort and consistency. But most of all make sure you have fun and enjoy it!

Below are two quotes that I was sent by my mate who got me started in CrossFit - one profound, the other is how I feel some days when I see the board!

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” — Joseph Campbell

“Courage is being scared to death ……. and saddling up anyway!” – John Wayne

M. Come and try all you are worried about will disappear and you’ll feel better! Much sweat much love. Absolutely awesome community here at TORIAN!


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