Your community. Your team.
There is perhaps no better embodiment of the community spirit found amongst us than in the Team Division. The athleticism is there, yes. But even more than that, teams must display cooperation, communication, camaraderie, and an unshakeable commitment to each other in order to overcome the challenges set before them. In the days leading up to the Granite Games, we’ll be featuring some of these exceptional groups of men and women to showcase the community spirit that defines us and this sport we love.
Tell us about the origins of your team. Who brings what to the table?
Alfredo Torres: We are a team of two boxes, CrossFit Beverly and CrossFit Dinami. The head coaches from the two boxes assembled our team with the aim of creating a well-rounded squad. For the most part we aren’t specialists; most of us are pretty proficient at everything. Some are better at lifting, some are better at gymnastics. And some have engines, but we pride ourselves in that we are all somewhat good at most CrossFit movements.
However, for the ladies, Jackie is the strong one, she works diligently on her Oly lifts almost daily, and she has a heart of a lion to never quit. Engine and gymnastics go to Ashley for the girls. She is a competitive runner and has tremendous gymnastic abilities. She is small in stature, but can go on and on. Her personality is that of the Energizer Bunny. Meaghan is our workhorse, a jack of all trades. All of us guys are pretty equal. I have the most experience and am the oldest of the group, but Jimmy and Sam are extremely strong. We all possess a drive to excel and push our limits to reach the goal. I think overall, we are strong and skilled athletes who are exceptionally well-rounded.
Coming from different gyms, are you able to train together on a regular basis?
We all have very different schedules as professionals. We work out when we can together, but mostly we each get in when we can and do the WOD from our box plus accessory work. We are always trying to improve somewhere and all of us have different weaknesses to work on as well as different individual goals.
At times, it’s nearly impossible. With the variety of work schedules it is difficult to assemble so many people at one time at one place. Especially in the summer months with vacations, BBQs, concerts, etc. But we can sometimes get together on Saturdays in the late afternoons to get some stuff done together.
For the whole squad, this will be our first competition together, though some of us have competed as a group before. Since we represent two different boxes, we usually are not allowed to compete together. Jackie, Ashley, Sam and I have competed together many times and Meaghan and Jimmy have partnered together also.
And that’s not to mention day jobs. What do all of you do outside the box?
We are all over the place. Ashley is an elementary school PE teacher. Jackie is an RN at a local hospital, Meaghan is an administrative assistant, Jimmy is a full time student, Sam is a trainer/coach at our box, CrossFit Beverly, and I am a stationary engineer for a hotel in downtown Chicago.
What does competing as a team do for competition stress? Is it more stressful having a group of people counting on you or less so knowing that you have your team to rely on?
It really is a combination of both. When you are on a team you feel beholden to your teammates to perform to the best of your ability. They chose you to be a part of the team because you have something to offer the group. Alternately, while we always want to perform at our peak level, there are some days that are better than others. Knowing you have a support structure behind you to fill a void should you not be at your best offers some symbol of relief.
It looks like your team has two great communities behind it. Will your communities be there at the Granite Games supporting the team?
Yes, we will have 15-20 people coming to support us. The head coaches from both boxes both qualified as Masters athletes as well. With such a large number of us competing, we have many folks taking the weekend off to support all of us. It should be very exciting.
What does it mean to you to have the backing of the community from the Qualifier all the way to the finals in St Cloud this September?
It’s been pretty special. I feel with so many members of both boxes signing up for the Qualifier, we had a lot of fun discussing and strategizing about the WODs. See, neither box is really a competition gym. We are both neighborhood boxes that accommodate regular folks who want to be healthy and fit and use CrossFit as a means to achieve that. Both boxes have a handful of athletes whom compete regularly, so the support and enrollment was a nice surprise. We did a Friday Night Lights event every Friday of the Qualifier where we all got together to cheer, judge and compete.
I think everyone enjoyed watching the leaderboard to see if we were going to qualify. Our coaches qualified the week prior and everyone was watching that. Everyone was so happy and proud they made it, and we felt we had a legitimate shot ourselves. The community felt the same. It got nerve-racking when we weren’t sure if we were gonna make it. But my coach was confident we had enough points to make it, even though none of us shared his confidence. Texts and Facebook posts were lighting up amongst the community waiting to hear. Once we finally got our letter, a bunch of people booked hotels and airfare. It’s gonna be a great weekend.