Athletes from CrossFit Calgary and CrossFit Central did extremely well at the 2009 CrossFit Games. In Part 1 of this two-part series, Mike Warkentin talks to James (OPT) FitzGerald and Brett (AFT) Marshall about their training secrets.
James (OPT) FitzGerald won the 2007 CrossFit Games. His training partner, Brett (AFT) Marshall, was two points behind in second place. In 2008, OPT was 12th and AFT was 39th out of 196 athletes. Six other CrossFit Calgary competitors also made the trip to Aromas. At the 2009 CrossFit Games, CrossFit Calgary had four athletes in the Top 16, and their Affiliate Cup team—led by AFT—finished fourth overall.
Coincidence? Probably not.
According to OPT and AFT, the seeds of CrossFit Calgary’s success were sown in 2007, when a couple of Canadian training partners flew down to California to do a few workouts at a ranch in Aromas.
“Brett and I came back from the Games in ʼ07, and we were in love with CrossFit,” OPT recalls. “Well, I was in love with CrossFit over two years prior to those Games, and those Games were a chance for us to show everyone that we take this shit seriously, and we really love it as a sport. We basically bleed it pretty much, to the point where we’ve given up a lot of ourselves and our lives to create this so other people in our community can experience this.”
OPT continues: “When you walk into OPT and our facility, it’s a code that you have to expect to eat well and train hard. There’s no halfways about it, and I think that the expectation that Brett and I had coming back from ʼ07, we taught other people about that, about how special this sport is, and how really frickin’ hard it is, and what you’ve got to do to excel at it. I think we just surrounded ourselves with other people who really fed off that passion, and it just bleeds through when you see it in subsequent Games.”