photo credit: CrossFit Games
The CrossFit Games season has officially come to a close for another year. From the Open to the final event at the Stub Hub Center, 2015 has been an absolutely unforgettable year from start to finish. One day after returning from the sunny skies of Southern California, it’s nearly impossible to put it all in perspective. A few words on a screen really cannot fully express the emotion of this season, but here’s a start.
Three words come to mind when I look back at our team at the 2015 CrossFit Games: proud, humbled, and grateful.
I could not be more proud of our team and what we accomplished this year. Of the six individual athletes that made up the 2015 CrossFit Fort Vancouver team, not a single one of us qualified through the Open to compete at the West Regional individually. As a result, none of us would have had the opportunity to compete at Regionals or beyond without each other.
The 2015 CFV Team embraced the idea of being “Stronger Together” from the start. Since none of us even had the option to be an individual competitor at Regionals this year and we were a relatively new and young team, we knew our strength came not from individual talent, but from what we could accomplish together.
We finished the Open in 10th place out of 30 teams in the West Region. With just five Games-qualifying spots up for grabs at Regionals, earning a trip to the CrossFit Games was an uphill battle from the start.
Team training following the Open went well. We improved as individuals and as a unit and to our surprise, won the first two Regional competition events. When the dust settled at the end of the weekend, we found ourselves in fourth place, securing our team’s seventh consecutive trip to the CrossFit Games.
After achieving our team goal of going to the CrossFit Games with a top five finish at Regionals, no one had the highest of expectations for placing at the Games. Quite honestly, we were all extremely excited just to have the opportunity to compete with the top 40 teams in the world. As a result, we didn’t place any unnecessary pressure on ourselves leading up to or at the Games. Instead, we took things one workout, one day, one event at a time, and focused on having fun doing CrossFit while trying to get better every day.
This year’s CrossFit Games started with another Rescue Sled swim around the Hermosa Beach Pier. Following our first team experience with it in 2014, I remember saying that if I could choose one CrossFit Games workout to never, ever repeat, that would be it. It’s funny how time changes things though. Leading up to this year’s Games and after spending much more time in the water this year, a rescue sled event was the one test that I was hoping to see more than anything else.
We didn’t finish first in the swim event this year, but we were also a lot further from last. And since no team members puked or got puked on, it was a fantastic start to our Games.
Later that day, we ran a 6-mile team relay faster than anyone else at the Games. Winning a couple events at Regionals was cool. Finishing first in an event at the CrossFit Games is something we’ll never forget. Six people that all failed to qualify individually for Regionals came together and won the second event at this year’s CrossFit Games in the most competitive field ever.
After a Thursday off, we had three additional days of competition. Most events went as perfectly as they possibly could have for us; a couple did not. Through it all, we enjoyed every second of it.
Highlights all weekend continued to be events that required teams to work together: a 6th place finish on Earth Worm and 7th on the chipper. While Big Bob got the best of us at times in past Games, we were able to claw our way to a 7th place finish in that event this year.
On the final day of competition, we finished in 16th place, 6 spots away from making the cut to advance to the final event. I could not be more proud of the effort that this team put forth and am honored to have been a part of something very special.
I speak for the team when I say we are humbled by the CrossFit community that has given us the opportunity to compete together at the highest level and we are grateful from the bottom of our hearts for so many that make it possible. The number of people that have contributed to making it happen is so great, I will undoubtedly fall short of thanking you all, but just know that everyone who has supported us along the way is appreciated.
First, Thank You Mathew, Bryan, Andrea, Eva, and Kristina for being five amazing teammates. There were 270,000 Open participants this year, about 2,000 Regional competitors, and 240 team athletes at the CrossFit Games. I’m just thankful that I got to be on a team with the five of you this year. The hard work and sacrifice that you all put into this season made the 2015 CrossFit Games one of the best experiences of my life, so thank you.
Thank you to Robbie and Andrea P. for being the final two members of our 2015 team. Being the alternate is the toughest role on the team: you both put in the work all year but did not get to enjoy the thrill of the competition arena. Thank you for your selflessness in taking on that role and giving your all every day.
Thank you to Nate for your coaching and guidance throughout the Open, Regionals, and the Games. I can say with confidence that without your help, our season would have ended a couple months earlier this year and once at the Games, we would have been much closer to the bottom of the field than the top.
Thank you to all of the coaches here at the gym that lead by example and give so much of themselves to help others: Ken, Andrea P, Andrea R, Nate, Jason, Cheryl, Brad, Austin, Nigel, Robbie, Chris, and Colin. You are the best of the best and we are all thankful for how many of us you have helped in so many ways. You all stepped up extra last week to make sure that no classes were canceled and no one’s workout missed on account of the Games. Thank you Nancy as well for all of the things you do behind the scenes at the gym help make this community awesome.
Thank you to Ike, Jo, Anita, Christina, and the team at 360 Physical Therapy who generously donated their time and services all season to help us perform at our best. You all are fantastic and we’re grateful for you.
Thank you to Paul Reed and the team at Bridge Chiropractic for your generosity and your contribution to this year’s team. Not even a rope swing gone bad stopped this team thanks to you guys.
Thank you to Robbie, Destiny, Scott, and Lori at Recharge NW for not only all you do here at home to help this community, but for going mobile and helping our team recover at both Regionals and the Games this year. You are amazing people and we appreciate all you’ve done for us.
Thank you to everyone who supported us and our trip through the silent auction fundraiser this year. Thank you to everyone who believed in us even more than we believed in ourselves at times.
Thank you to everyone that volunteered and judged through the Open, Regionals, and at the Games. It truly takes an army to make our sport happen, and it’s the generosity of so many people sharing their time and effort that make it possible.
Thank you to the families of all of the team members for understanding and allowing us to do what we love to do. We know that your sacrifice is greater than ours much of the time, and we appreciate all that you do to support us.
Thank you everyone that came to the gym during the Open, to the Tacoma Dome in May, to the Games at the Stub Hub Center to cheer and scream and show your support, to everyone here at the gym and at home yelling at the live feed, and those of you that even came to the airport when we arrived back home! It helps way more than you can imagine to have your support.
Most importantly, thank you to my amazing wife Lauren for all that you do and all that you put up with so that we can strive to be the best competitive exercisers we can be. The CrossFit Games may be only one week out of the year, but Lauren puts up with the planning, programming, evaluating, adjusting, and obsessing every day. You’ve been there through it all supporting this crazy ride for seven years, and you are the best teammate I could ever ask for.
We have so much to be thankful for and so many to of you to say thank you to, there is no way we can ever give you as much in return as what you have given us. It is our hope this year though that in some small part or in some small way, our journey together might inspire others to be a little better or do a little more than even you think might be possible.
Stay tuned for a recap on Jess’ 2015 individual and Dawn’s masters season.
See you in the gym!