Photos by: Dan Bergson
Two-time individual Games competitor Ashleigh Moe sits on the ergometer waiting for the ‘Three, Two, One Go’ before the first event at a competition in Lynnwood, Washington last weekend.
The 5-foot-2-inch Moe looks calm and focused, a veteran of the sport.
The same cannot be said of her husband, Matt Moe, who is pacing nervously in the corner of the gym.
Matt admits he becomes a nervous wreck when his wife competes. “It’s pretty hard on me. I can’t really explain it,” Matt says. “I get pretty nervous for her, probably almost more nervous than she does when she’s competing at these events.”
Despite her husband’s nerves, Ashleigh says Matt settles her down during the Games season. “He’s kind of the calm in the storm. When I get really stressed and nervous, he’s there, telling me to take a deep breath, to have fun, and to remember why I’m doing this,” she says.
Although Matt spent much of the weekend in Lynnwood biting his nails, looking painfully nervous in the stands, he knows the stress is about to escalate when the Open begins next month.
“The Games season is extremely, extremely stressful. Ashleigh becomes a monster online,” laughs Matt. “She’s online 24 hours a day checking scores.”
“You check scores as much as I do,” says Ashleigh, reaching over and hitting her husband playfully.
“I do because I want to see how other people are doing,” says Matt. “But yeah, she becomes a nightmare for about five weeks.”
Ashleigh frowns. “I promise I’m not a bitch,” she says.
But behind the endearing way Matt mocks Ashleigh, he says quite seriously that CrossFit has made both their lives better.
“The stress is definitely worth it,” says Matt, who also CrossFits. “CrossFit has definitely improved our marriage in every way. I know it’s her passion and she loves it more than anything. She gives it everything she has day in day out,” he says.
Noah Pester is another individual Games athletes who spends much of his time thinking about CrossFit during the Games season.
“Sometimes Shawna (Noah’s wife) gets sick of it. She’s like, ‘You know what? Just give it a rest. It’s 9 o’clock at night, we don’t need to talk about it anymore.’ But it is constantly on my mind. And I talk about it all the time,” says Noah.
Shawna adds: “He’s definitely on his phone all the time checking everything. I have to drive everywhere so he can be on his phone.”
Although CrossFit is never far from his mind, Shawna says Noah is a pretty calm person, so it doesn’t stress her out. “Noah doesn’t stress ever. So I don’t really have to change during the Games season to help him out, other than maybe to help cook more so he has healthy food around the house,” she says.
“She is so supportive of the whole thing. I spend a lot of time at the gym, and she keeps everything running at the house,” Noah says.
Another element that takes the stress off is the fact that Shawna, too, is a committed CrossFitter. “It definitely helps that I love CrossFit as much as he does, for what it has done for both our family and our friends.”
And it’s not just Noah and Shawna who are into CrossFit. Their two little kids are also drinking to CrossFit Kool-Aid. “One night they wouldn’t stop doing burpees,” says Shawna. “I put them in bed and they were doing them in bed. They’re two and five years old and can’t get enough because they want to be like their dad,” she says.