Complete as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of:
10 body-weight bench presses
30 hip extensions
The CrossFit Games Regionals continue today, and I know some of the athletes on top. In the West, I’m really happy to see Brent Fikowski in the lead; though Tyson and Lucas are both nice guys, Fikowski takes “personable” to another level. When he narrowly finished third last year, I told him it was the first time I wished Canada West had three athletes going to the Games. In the new Regional format, not only is Fikowski in a good position to make the Games, but the top four males are ALL Canadian (and the fifth is married to a Canadian!)
It’s also great to see Emily Abbott on top – last year was her first year of CrossFit, and she has a great sense of humor. And although there are other Canadian women in the top 15, I’ll be watching Jolaine Undershoot-Bloom, a Masters athlete who chooses to compete with the young kids just because she CAN.
In the Central division, Elizabeth Akinwale (a personal favorite) is in second. Akinwale volunteers at several Chicago charter schools, and competed at CrossFit for Hope in D.C. She had her son with her, and walked him over to meet the policemen on horseback between heats. I also started a mountain race right behind her in Big Sky, MO in 2013 (I didn’t see her for long.)
My favorite story this weekend might be Jacob Heppner. Longtime CrossFit followers will remember the old video of CrossFit HQ in Santa Cruz packing up all their equipment and donating it to Fort Leavenworth. Jacob was introduced to CrossFit there–on the original rings and barbells from HQ. I met him while writing about his little sister, Emma Grace, who was at St. Jude Children’s Hospital. While speaking to Emma Grace’s mom on the phone, she mentioned her son “did CrossFit,” so I called him. He made Regionals that year, but didn’t mention it, instead talking about his little sister’s battle to overcome cancer. They’re a fantastic family and I’m happy to see him on the podium. Right behind him is Scott Panchik, who was also at the event in Big Sky and hit his first 325b clean and jerk on a concrete pad used for ski storage in the winter. Robin and I were a few feet away. One of us was drinking beer. It was awesome.
Finally, Julie Foucher is one of my all-time favorite athletes. I haven’t met her, but we visited her gym (Hyperfit in Ann Arbor) a little over a year ago and somewhere there’s a picture of us with her Games banner. THAT, kids, is a winner. She was injured with a technique competitive CrossFitters use at Regionals; we don’t teach it here, but those at high-level events have to balance risk against speed. That’s the nature of competition. But the nature of a CHAMPION is to handle setbacks with courage.
“You could sit and pout about it and be angry about what happened, but at the end of the day I can’t change anything. I wouldn’t have done anything different. I want to make the most of the situation and have as much fun as I can for the rest of the weekend.” —Julie Foucher
Posted by The CrossFit Games on Saturday, May 30, 2015