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Heavy Lifts the Team Who Wears the Crown

Published on Wed, 2012-01-04 16:55

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Some would raise the cup, have a drink, take a load off, and party like it’s 1999 after winning the CrossFit Games. Team CrossFit New Englanddid just that, but only for a few days. It was time to get back to business like the “Warren Buffets” of fitness, and prepare for their continued world domination in 2012. 

The team didn’t have many weaknesses – at least that were exposed in 2011 – evidenced by their dominant performance in the final event of the team competition at the Home Depot Center. But this is CrossFit – resting on your strengths isn’t the path to continued success – punishing your weaknesses is (even if that’s only in relative terms).

Team CFNE set out to buttress their “weakness,” which, according to Ben Bergeron, is absolute strength. Upon return from the CrossFit Games, the team who carried the Cup back east didn’t bathe in the dopamine of met con-induced post-WOD bliss … they picked up a barbell and started crushing food like brontosauri. Known for his Jedi-master programming, Bergeron set out to make the team even stronger, almost forsaking met cons completely for a time in order to maximize strength gains. 

During this period, the team has loosened up their nutrition a little and packed on some beef with which to crush the heavy barbells. Like everything else they do, they’ve done it with intensity that would make a world championship chess match look like a game of Connect Four. These are some seriously strong athletes and they will be a force to be reckoned with in the coming season.

I caught up with some of the members of Team CFNE, who have been getting back to a “normal” life during the months since the Games – at least as normal as it gets for CrossFit athletes. Spending time at the gym, hanging out with friends and family who had barely seen them for months, and just getting back to basics. Of course the world champions are doing what they’ve always done - taking things as serious as a heart attack.

When she’s not coaching athletes at CFNE with her unique, high-energy flair, or making dudes look foolish at – insert WOD here – Mel is relaxing with friends and baking (things that she mostly gives away to non-CrossFitters, of course). The “Ockerbabe” is training hard to be even stronger and faster next season. Watch out world. She rounds out the day between coaching sessions with Peter Pan impressions on the rings at CFNE, which must be seen to be believed.

Two-time CrossFit Games individual competitor and boy wonder, James Hobart, says after winning Games gold with the team, he’d like to focus more on team competitions. In the off-season, James has been working on his already stellar game. When asked what he was doing with the prize money, Hobart said, “I thought about buying a reverse hyper for my apartment. I went to Barcelona recently and I guess the prize money helped pay for that. I also really wanted to buy a Louis Vuitton beanie, but I couldn't justify that.” The best part about winning the Affiliate Cup according to James, “Looking back and seeing how all the small steps worked together to lead us to the larger goal of winning. It's just a neat thing to see.”  He’ll be spending the rest of the offseason fulfilling his dream of seeing a blue whale, and completing treatment to remove the tattoo from his face which he received in Las Vegas following the Games.

Bergeron, resident Yoda of Team CrossFit New England, celebrated hard after the big win in “Vegas baby! Frozen drinks by day, digging friends out of jail by night.” There was no comment on who needed to be bailed out. He’ll be using his share of the Games prize to start a “CFNE Charitable Foundation;” a noble effort to say the least. Ben says the games have changed his life in a number of ways, adding “I get more ass than a toilet seat now.” His wife, Heather, nodded approvingly. When asked what the best part about winning the gold was Ben replied, “It actually made my johnson grow about four inches.” That statistic couldn’t be verified at the time of publication. According to the proud coach, the team will spend the off-season, “The same way we spend every off-season … trying to take over the world.”

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