In December 2009, Chris Spealler traveled from Utah to India to visit Sri Ram Ashram. Rashmi Cole talks about the trip and explains how Speal traded CrossFit coaching for cricket instruction and inspired many young athletes along the way.
After spending one year training with Jim Baker at Crossfit Santa Cruz Central, I returned to India full of Crossfit gusto only to face the realities of training alone with less than optimal equipment. In what I now call “a moment of selfish inspiration,” I offered the oldest boys a bribe: CrossFit with me and skip morning group exercise. They took the bait and we have never looked back.
While I am happy with completion of workouts, young men eventually want to see where they stand against others, and I could see the demeanor of the boys changing upon discovering CrossFit monsters lifting impossibly huge weights. On average, the boys are 5’7” and weigh 130 lb. When they saw what a 180-lb. person can lift they immediately hatched plans to bulk up. It was sad to watch them suddenly wish they were something other than what they are, so I began a quest for positive smaller male role models and quickly happened upon Chris Spealler.
Last summer I met Chris at the CrossFit Games, when he sent a note of encouragement to the children. A few months later, he e-mailed with a proposal to visit. In spite of the great distances between Utah and India, a date was soon set and I could finally tell the kids that Coach Spealler was on his way.