California Via Europe?

By Blair Morrison

In Athletes, CrossFit Games

May 06, 2010

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Blair Morrison finished seventh at the 2009 CrossFit Games and is working to get back to the competition while studying in Europe. Living abroad has brought its share of challenges—and rewards.

The European Regional Qualifier in Halmstad, Sweden, is an event I have essentially been preparing for since last summer’s final WOD in Aromas. Aside from the 20 or so minutes immediately following the sandbag sprint, when I swore I had retired from CrossFit, it has been my fullest intention to return to the Games. Finishing seventh in 2009, I hoped to improve my weaknesses and come back for another shot at the top five this July. To say I’ve taken a road less traveled in preparation for that shot would be a mild understatement.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with my situation, I am currently cutting a path across the Old Continent, where I stand at the three-quarter point in my pursuit of a master’s degree in European history. My program has required me to live very light as I dwell and study in the Netherlands, France and now England. When afforded the time, I have pushed further out, traveling to Germany, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and Italy.

During the course of these experiences I’ve never had what you might call a “home gym.” My preparation for the Games has had to be flexible, creative, portable and cheap. The past eight months I’ve ran, climbed, swam, lifted, pushed, pulled, dragged and carried my way into top shape in spite of any and all infrastructural shortcomings. It hasn’t been ideal and it hasn’t been easy, but here I am, ready to compete.

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9 Comments on “California Via Europe? ”

1

wrote …

Awesome article, Blair. Have caught your previous ones in the journal and I look forward to seeing how you do at the games this year. I say with a preparation like that you must be ready for anything!

In a way, your experience is almost the perfect test of the "functional fitness" idea.

All the best at the regionals (I know you're gonna smoke it!), aromas and with the rest of your studies.

2

Adam Kayce wrote …

Brilliantly written, with lessons to match.

There's gold in there about striking a balance between "measurable, observable, repeatable" workouts and "the unknown and the unknowable", to borrow a couple phrases. I dare say most people who think their routines are stretching the boundaries of those two principles could learn a few things from Blair's approach.

I know this will be a PDF to read and re-read on a regular basis, to remind me of the value of shaking things up, and to get outdoors and get wild from time to time.

And good luck at the qualifiers.

3

wrote …

Beautifully written Blair! And a true lesson to us all.

I've been following your blog ever since your first post in the CFJ. And it is my belief that many home crossfitters in Europe have been doing so. Almost everyone I know that has drunk the kool aid here in the Old Continent knows who you are and is a regular visitor to anywherefit. And your writings have inspired each and every one of those i've spoken (mailed, chattet, ...) to. Whenever you write another of your "Fitness is ..."- essays you make us think. Every time you come up with another crazy improvised WOD you change the way we look at our environment, and encourage us to interact with it more in ways never before imagined.

I'll be rooting for you, wherever and whenever you compete. And please, keep writing. It becomes you.

Respect!

4

Richard Meurk wrote …

Nicely written! See this weekend in Halmstad!

5

wrote …

Very inspiring article!
Have long thought about subscribing to CFJ and the preface of this article made me take the step.

6

wrote …

brilliant article, again superbly written blair, really enjoy your articles, will be routing for you at the regionals along with shacks from crossfit bath!

7

wrote …

I agree with the above posters: Great article. Thanks for sharing. Working out in random places is fun and exciting. And, you must have a kickass photo album!

8

wrote …

This takes away all excuses! Thank you for helping me realize that I don't need the perfect garage gym to develop world class fitness. This is what CrossFit is all about and what got me started in the first place. Keep training hard and I anxiously await to see the of training in the real world.

9

wrote …

Really nice piece.

I've been hammering the hill sprints up London's Primrose hill recently, and there's nowhere better for getting some fresh air and a beautiful look at the big smoke's skyline. Shame it rains so much in the UK...

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