Though Brent Fikowski isn’t a familiar face in Canada West, this isn’t the 23-year-old’s first trip to the rodeo.
Ranked second in the region after the 2014 Open, Fikowski competed in Australia in 2012 and 2013. Last year, he placed sixth at the Australia Regional. Now, Fikowski is ready to build on that competitive experience in an attempt to punch his ticket to the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games.
Originally from Lethbridge, Canada, Fikowski moved to Australia to study accounting at Griffith University. He returned to take a job in Kelowna, Canada in 2013, and now trains at CrossFit Okanagan. He is self-coached, training in the early morning before his workday begins.
A bout with patellar tendinitis in the summer of 2013 had Fikowski worried about his performance this year, but he started strong with 443 reps on Open Workout 14.1—good enough for fifth worldwide. After a score of 333 on 14.2, he found himself between Scott Panchik and Dan Bailey on the worldwide Leaderboard.
Though his lower score on 14.3 (151 reps) cost him his place among the top 10 in the world, Fikowski said that event was his proudest moment in the Open.
“Of all the Open events, even though it was my least competitive, I was most proud of my score on 14.3,” Fikowski said. “Most workouts, you leave thinking you could have got one more rep, or gone a few seconds faster. But I strategized it perfectly, and executed it to the best of my ability on that day.”
After another pair of impressive performances on Open Workouts 14.4 and 14.5, Fikowski finished the Open ranked 38th worldwide and second in Canada West.
Fikowski said being successful in CrossFit is no different than in any other sport, like volleyball, which he played competitively throughout college.
“You need to be a competitive athlete. Being fit is not enough,” he said. “If you tell me you have an amazing Fran time, or a massive one-rep-max snatch, quite frankly I don’t think that counts for much. You need to be able to perform when your name is called.”
Now, Fikowski is looking ahead to the Canada West Regional May 9-11.
“This year at regionals, I want to go into the weekend feeling ready to tear heads, kick teeth and have some fun,” he said. “How I place won’t dictate if the weekend was a success or not. If I place 30th, but I do my best, I will be happier than if I place first and don’t perform to my potential.”
“That being said,” Fikowski continued, “I’m not training to get 30th, I’m training to finish on the podium.”
“For as long as I can remember, all I have ever done is prepare for weekend sporting competitions. Over the years, I have become very good at creating success regardless of the odds,” Fikowski said. “And that is all that regionals are—three-day weekend sporting competitions. If you want to do well, you need to be ready to compete. And I will be very, very ready to compete in Vancouver.”