“We just come in, work hard and throw down. We have fun. We’re literally tying on our shoes, no idea what we’re going to be doing, and Jason (Khalipa) comes up with something, and 10 seconds later, we’re going.”
Garret Fisher took seventh at the 2012 Northern California Regional, and now, he’s determined to do better in 2013.
With 14th place on 13.1 and eighth on 13.2, he sits in fifth place overall in NorCal, just behind Neal Maddox, Jason Khalipa, Buddy Hitchcock and Pat Barber.
The 6-foot, 210-pound athlete is uncommonly large for a serious CrossFit competitor, but he’s also uncommonly experienced. Although he is only 21 years old, Fisher has six years of CrossFit training under his belt.
For only one of those six years, however, has he thought of himself as a serious CrossFit athlete. Everything changed, he says, when he joined NorCal CrossFit in San Jose, Calif., one year ago.
At the sprawling box in the outskirts of San Jose, some of the best athletes in the region gather together to train. Each day, Fisher trains with Khalipa, Maddox, Barber and Miranda Oldroyd.
“In this past year, I’ve grown tremendously — the mental aspect, cardiovascular aspect. I’ve gotten stronger,” Fisher says.
“Garret has grown up a lot as an athlete, and just a person — it's been really cool to watch,” she says. “Since the first time I started training with the crew, he has been absolutely dedicated to doing whatever he needed to do to get to the level he is at today. It blows my mind to see a 21-year-old with the amount of dedication and sacrifice that he has. As far as performance goes, there isn't one place that he hasn't improved. He has gotten stronger, faster (and) more skilled.”
The super-star crew doesn’t always have a specific workout programming for the day, but they always “go hard.”
“We just come in, work hard and throw down,” Fisher says. “We have fun. We’re literally tying on our shoes, no idea what we’re going to be doing, and Jason (Khalipa) comes up with something, and 10 seconds later, we’re going.”
To prepare for 2013, Fisher hasn’t let himself cherry pick his favorite workouts. Instead, he has been swallowing his discomfort as he has faced his weakness again and again. For Fisher, that means doing workouts that demand endurance, and last longer than 15 minutes.
His strength is strength, and surprisingly, handstand push-ups. (Oldroyd calls him a handstand push-up ninja.)
“Garret really wants this, this year,” Oldroyd says.
His desire to succeed is evident in his approach to each of the Open Workouts.
“I saw the whole thing — he went hard,” Oldroyd says about Fisher’s performance of 13.2.
That afternoon at NorCal CrossFit, Fisher beat Khalipa by one rep.
“This is not the first time he has beat Jason. It's not often, but it happens,” Oldroyd says.
Beating Khalipa on 13.2 was the plan from the start, according to Barber.
“We both went into it saying we were gonna beat Jay, and we both stuck to the plan,” Barber says.
Following the lead of some of the world’s best CrossFit athletes seems to have paid off. If Fisher continues on the same trajectory for the next three workouts, he will enter the 2013 NorCal Regional as one of the top male athletes in the region.
“He is going to take a spot to the Regionals along with the rest of our training crew,” Barber says.
Oldroyd thinks he’ll go even farther.
“I don't see any reason on Earth that Garret wouldn't qualify for the 2013 Games,” she says.