The wait is finally over; the CrossFit Games Open has begun. Throughout the first week of competition, the excitement only intensified as the global CrossFit community watched the scores slowly trickle in. By Sunday, more than 34,000 scores had been posted. All eyes were on the big names, but past success does not guarantee anything. For seven minutes, everyone was on a level playing field.
Tim Blackstone of CrossFit Minnesota had a final score of 148 burpees. This score secured him an early lead in the North Central Region, and a tie for 5th in the world. "If there was ever a workout tailor made for me, this was it," Blackstone laughs.
He is not surprised that he did well, just surprised how few people beat him. "I didn't even know I had the top score until someone told me," he admits.
Blackstone is an active competitor as a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu purple belt. His training can last up to six hours per day and focuses on events lasting less than 10 minutes with movements that necessitate speed and agility. Open Workout 12.1 was well aligned to his particular skill set, and he admits that he is much less confident in a workout that contains Olympic weightlifting.
Blackstone has been practicing Jiu Jitsu for years, and started CrossFit in 2007 after getting out of the Army during a time when the Military was starting to use CrossFit methods in training. Blackstone began CrossFitting with his Jiu Jitsu teammates to "break it up" and enjoy working out with friends. He received his CrossFit Level 1 this past year.
Blackstone has not competed before because he claims, "It just never crossed my mind. I would look at those guys and think, ‘They are monsters.’" His primary motivation in competing in the Open this year is to lead by example and motivate his athletes to participate.
Blackstone is not a big name CrossFitter, and he hasn't let his early success deter him from having a good time. Hey says his includes the basics – making sure to get plenty of rest and having fun. "At the end of the day, if you aren't having fun doing it, you need to ask why you are doing it in the first place." A genuine and refreshing declaration from a coach and athlete who is still amazed at the attention he is receiving.
"I fully believe in the CrossFit methodology,” Blackstone says. “There is not one type of person CrossFit isn’t good for."
CrossFit is clearly good for Blackstone.