See them at practice and they’ll tell you their bodies are aching and exhausted from the extra training. Listen closely and you’ll catch the unbridled energy and excitement in their voices.
This is Team CrossFit Platinum: Captain and coach Julian Reichman, Thabiet Booley, Andre De bonis, Paul Christoforou, Beatrix Snyman, Jeanette Saul, Lisa Reichman-Israelsohn and Susan Claassen. None of who, with the exception of Booley and Reichman, have competed at this level before.
Reichman, however, does not believe the lack of competitive experience will harm the team’s chances. In fact, he says he thinks their performance will exceed the high standards they set at the Open because team members are only now exploring what they’re truly capable of.
Using 26-year-old De bonis as an example, Reichman explains, “He’s built tremendous skill, strength and speed over years of playing rugby and now we’re developing all that untapped potential,” he says. “The ladies are also finally realizing their true potential and are most definitely taking their CrossFit performance to a higher level.”
While this is pertinent to every one of Team CrossFit Platinum’s athletes, it’s particularly true of Snyman who only started CrossFit a year ago, and Lisa Reichman-Israelsohn whose training schedule had to accommodate pregnancy and motherhood last year.
Team vs. Individual
With Reichman coming 10th in the Open and Claasen and Snyman finishing 6th and 8th respectively, many asked why they chose to go team instead of competing as an individual. “CrossFit is still a very young and developing sport,” Reichman says. “People are still trying to test the waters to see where they will fit into the system. Team entries are the best and safest way to do this. As a team we can pull together and our combined strengths overcome our individual weaknesses. This allows the athletes to get a good feel for the Regional competition environment.”
Already a team
The team is already incredibly familiar with those strengths and weaknesses, even though they’ve only been an official team for a few weeks. They’ve been training in the same class for months. The team dynamic and camaraderie was established long before the team was registered.
While the intensity of their training has changed, the workouts have not. They continue, as always, to focus on making sure the athletes are conditioned to perform at their peak.
“We are going to make the most of this opportunity and the caliber of the athletes in our team so as to best secure us a place at the Games,” Reichman says.
With a resolve to do just that, the team is promising Africa a Platinum performance at Regionals.