“One more rep. That’s what gets me through every workout. I set a pace, find a rhythm for myself, and then just try to keep to that. Every single rep counts, especially if you are an athlete right on the bubble."
The last week of the Open brings as much tension as triumph. It all depends on where your name appears on the Leaderboard.
Ben Moore is surviving in the Central East. After scoring 265 reps on 13.3, he entered the fourth week of the Open in 49th place. There are only 48 Regional spots available. Heading into the final week after logging 102 reps on 13.4, Moore was in 55th place and feeling the pressure to perform and show what he’s worked all year for in the gym.
Over the past five weeks, he’s checked the Leaderboard daily to know where he stands — right on the cusp, sometimes in and sometimes out of the top 48.
“It’s nerve wracking,” he says. “The Central East region is tough. I mean you have several of the top-10 guys from the Games competing in there, and everyone’s numbers have definitely improved across the board. Last year, my 13.3 score would have put me in the teens or 20s, but this year, I am barely hanging in there.”
Now, he has three days to prove whether he has what it takes or not to earn his ticket to the Central East Regional in Columbus, Ohio. This week, he meets his match with a version of one of his least favorite workouts.
“Fran was my first-ever CrossFit workout and it sucked,” he says. “I was your typical CrossFit globo gym skeptic when a guy in the gym challenged me to beat his Fran time. I went all out, and ended up beating his time with 4:25. But that still doesn’t make it my favorite.”
Moore had a sneaking suspicion something Fran-ish would come up over the past five weeks, and has been working on his chest to bar pull-ups, a self-proclaimed weakness, in preparation. Moore knows he needs to step up this week if he wants a top 48-spot, and he’s up for the challenge.
“I will do 13.5 everyday if I have to in order to get there,” he says.
The 25-year-old CrossFit coach, and soon-to-be physical therapy grad student, is especially hungry for a Regional rematch. Last year, Moore took 37th at Regionals and admits he felt a little unsure during the big event. He says his nerves interfered with his ability to compete at his peak.
“I felt a lot of pressure to perform really well,” he says. “I also felt like lots of people were skeptical of me, asking, ‘Who is this guy that beat out so-in-so on that online competition? Is he for real?’ It was a lot of pressure to prove myself, and I definitely wasn’t as confident.”
This year, Moore has based his training on what he learned during the 2012 Regionals, and says he is more confident in his abilities.
Leading up to the Open, he has been training five to six days per week, working on everything from bar muscle-ups and Olympic lifts, to double-unders. He has also used his preseason to get more comfortable with competing. He placed within the top four in three local competitions.
During the Open, Moore has been keeping up with the competition, typically first completing a practice run of each workout on Thursday afternoons, followed by the real deal on Saturday and typically one more go on Sunday if he thinks he has anything left to give.
“One more rep,” he says. “That’s what gets me through every workout. I set a pace, find a rhythm for myself, and then just try to keep to that. Every single rep counts, especially if you are an athlete right on the bubble. You can’t afford to have an off workout. If you get one less burpee, one less muscle-up, it could cost you several spots.”
Moore, along with the rest of the world, has until Sunday to celebrate a season of preparation by throwing down against a CrossFit classic. After that, it’s on to Regionals, or back to the box.
”No matter how I do, I know I need to finish the workout with nothing left in the tank, knowing I gave my all. Otherwise, I’ll beat myself up.”