The man who currently sits in fifth place in the South West Region—affectionately called Pete—was arrested multiple times for weapons, stolen cars and possession of drugs.
Intuitive, intelligent, charismatic and stubborn, Peter Egyed Jr. was always into some kind of trouble as a kid. With few outlets for his intense drive and willful passion, he eventually found himself amongst the wrong kind of people.
“I wasn’t pushed into it,” Peter Jr. said. “I made the choice.”
The man who currently sits in fifth place in the South West Region—affectionately called Pete—was arrested multiple times for weapons, stolen cars and possession of drugs. Pete got county time and probation at the age of 18.
“It is nasty, dirty and there is little hope,” he recalled of his 10 months in jail.
Peter Egyed Sr. recalled often knocking on random doors and stopping people on the street to ask if they had seen his son. Once Pete was put in jail, he visited his son regularly.
“I visited him once a week and brought him books to read—mostly science-related books and the Bible,” Peter Sr. said.
The elder Peter was hoping to channel his son’s drive and focus his mind on something other than the bleak, hopeless environment that was now the young Peter’s reality.
But after only a month of freedom, Pete started using again. When he hit rock bottom, he picked up the phone and called his dad.
“Can you come get me?” Peter Sr. remembered hearing from his son. “And off I go. I prayed the whole way that he would still be there when I got there—and he was.”
Down about 15 lb. and emotionally beat up, the father took his son home.
“We were so thankful to have him home. We were optimistic, but guarded,” said Peter Sr., who still gets choked up when he retells this story.
After about a week of being isolated on the outskirts of town, Pete started to get stir crazy. He needed a distraction. He enrolled in community college and took the maximum number of classes he could to keep himself busy. His father would drop him off at 7 a.m. and return at 5 p.m. every day.
A self-proclaimed “math nerd,” Pete studied physics, specifically kinematics—the study of classical mechanics—the kind of math that explains how the human skeleton moves.
Peter Jr. was soon introduced to Joe Marsti, who was programming CrossFit workouts at the community college gym. Pete said it was a better methodology and empirical data than he had ever seen before. At the same time, he met another young athlete with a similar past.
“We were both kind of getting our acts back together when we met,” said Marcus Neal, one of Pete’s first training partners.
In 2007, when CrossFit announced the first-ever CrossFit Games to be held in Aromas, Calif., the two headed north.
With just about six months of CrossFit, they made the trek from Phoenix to Aromas in an old Nissan Frontier. The two packed snacks of no-bake cookies, brownies and Gatorade. When they arrived at the Ranch, they popped a tent and camped out.
“It was Pete’s idea. We had no idea what we were doing,” Neal laughed at their inaugural Games appearance.
Despite sleeping in a tent for four nights, Pete took 10th place that first year.
These days, his training and diet look a lot different.
In 2008, he opened the doors to CrossFit Fury in Goodyear, Ariz.—the same year he placed 21st at the Games. In 2009 and 2010, he finished the CrossFit Games in sixth and 10th, respectively.
The following year brought more change for Pete. With a fifth-place finish at the 2011 South West Regional, he didn't qualify for the Games. His affiliate’s team—the Bomb Squad—earned a post and he competed with them, earning 17th place in Carson, Calif.
Now he is focused on training with Will Trujillo and Kyle Taylor, both coaches at CrossFit Fury.
“They push me to a new level,” he said of duo. “They are great athletes and their dedication keeps me motivated.”
“I know where my carrots are and where the challenging parts are,” Pete added. “I know where I need the most improvement.”
When Open Workout 14.3 was released, he knew it was a combination of strengths, but felt anxious because he knew he would have to perform.
“Box jumps both for max height and multiples have been a challenge for me so it is something I put into training regularly,” he said. “In 2011, I got beat up on box jumps and deadlifts and it really made an impact on me.”
He completed 180 reps on 14.3 and is headed into Week 4 in fifth overall.
“I like to compete but this is a lifelong fitness thing for me,” he said. “It’s more than a competition.”
And Peter Sr.—a fixture at CrossFit Fury—couldn’t be more proud.
“I’m most impressed with how he has branched out,” he said, “and the community aspect of the gym.”