"My intentions from the get go were to win (the Open). But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't stoked about it!"
Mark Cassibo is having his day in the sun.
A long-haul trucker with an unpredictable eating, sleeping and working schedule, Cassibo trains where he can, when he can.
Sitting in first place in Canada West after three events with a 14-point lead, Cassibo is no longer in the shadow of teammates Nate Beveridge and Rob Perovich.
“My intentions from the get go were to win (the Open),” he says. “But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t stoked about it!”
Cassibo has called CrossFit Fraser Valley home for the last two years. He claims to have found two irreplaceable training partners and a community like no other.
Using Beverage and Perovich to as his rabbits, Cassibo benefits from their friendly rivalry during training sessions. He credits his performance improvements to his training partners.
“Nate will yell at me from across the gym saying, “No rep!”… I just tell him to shut up and worry about himself,” he says. “It’s great! I love it.”
“Training with those two is fucking awesome,” he adds. “Their strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa. So we all push each other because we hate to lose.”
Cassibo had an opportunity to compete at the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games with the Fraser Valley Centaurs after the team finished in second.
“The Games were amazing. Seeing so many badass athletes and spectators definitely inspired me to get better,” Cassibo says. “One thing that really stood out was seeing (Dan) Bailey hit the clean ladder. I realized that I just needed to get better.”
Following the Games, he stuck to his gym’s programming, which is written by Beveridge and Perovich. Cassibo feels confident that he is the most balanced he’s ever been. And while he is a strongman at heart, he admits his form is “garbage, so working on technique and keeping his heart rate up has been his key to success leading up to the Open.
It is easier said than done.
With no strict training or rest schedule, Cassibo hits the gym whenever he can, in whatever physical condition he finds himself.
Working irregular hours and shifts as a heavy haul trucker, he finds himself driving down the West Coast and across Canada — sometimes with only a few hours of sleep and a hotel gym to work with.
“My job is the trickiest thing to balance along with my training. But I basically do what I can do when I am on the road,” he says.
For now, he’s deciding whether or not he’ll stick to Team competition or go it alone.
“I thought about going individual for a while, but we had too much fun as a team, so I am going team,” he says.
With the Centaurs sitting in first in Canada West, Cassibo hopes to win Regionals and represent Canada at the Games.