They say luck is in the cards, but Greg Walker will tell you in his case, luck is in the workouts.
The reigning Masters champion is gearing up for another run at the 2012 CrossFit Games after doing very well in The Open, coming in 5th. If the stars align, he may very well take the podium much like he did in Los Angeles last season. That is, if the workouts for this year’s Games play to his abilities.
"In CrossFit, everybody has their strengths and their weaknesses," he says.
The 62-year-old CrossFit NorthWest Tucson owner had an incredible Masters-winning experience last season. "The exercises were things that I could do and so it just worked out for me."
Truth be told, Walker, a self-proclaimed coach at heart, says he would get much more satisfaction out of coaching a Games-level athlete than being one. There was even a time when he was not sure if he would compete in last year's competition. However, Walker did compete and dominated the competition.
"I just really felt confident and when you're confident, it's huge,” he says. "I'm a big believer in vibes that you send out [to your opponents], and I think my competition kind of knew I was doing well - you know, 'Catch me if you can' was kind of the idea."
Despite his unwavering confidence, Walker will be the first to tell you his success last year had as much to do with the workouts that were picked as it did with his physical and mental preparations. For a man who touts himself as an athlete for life – Walker was a member of football and swimming teams throughout high school and college – there are still many areas of the CrossFit world with which he struggles.
But that revelation isn't exactly slowing him down.
"It's crazy, it's the joke of the gym. I'm a pretty good athlete," Walker says.
He does however, have one particular weakness that haunts him. "I dream about double-unders ... and they're great in my dreams, but I just can’t do them. And you know what? I accept it."
It is that particular credence that affords Walker the ability to take the good with the bad. He has the mindset to shake off one poor workout and put his best foot forward in the next because at the end of the day, the Open, just like the upcoming 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games, is nothing short of unpredictable.
"I don't worry about it, it is what it is," Walker says. "If there's double-unders, I'll do my best. It's just like any other workout. I'll do my best."
Walker was, once again, at his best during the latest round of the Open competition, placing in the top 10 worldwide a total of three times and finishing no worse than 17th overall in each of the five selected workouts. Besides little tweaks here and there designed to boost muscle endurance, he has not changed much with his training as he approached the 2012 season. As he heads to Carson, Calif., for the 2012 CrossFit Games, it is clear nothing has changed with his mindset.
"The goal was to qualify, just like last year, but my goal for the Games is getting up on that podium," says Walker.
If history repeats itself and if the workouts favor his strong suits, there is a good chance he will find himself atop the podium, just like last year.