“I did well at the weird shit.” ~ Lucas Parker
Looking back at his 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games experience, 15th-place finisher Lucas Parker realizes his best finishes were in events that featured obscure movements: the Broad Jump, Ball Toss, Double Banger and Sprint.
“Last year, the plan was to finish 25th, and I came in 26th,” Parker says. “This year, I fell a little short of my goal, which was to be in the top 12, but next year, I would like to place in the top 10.”
The plan culminates in 2014, which is the year he expects to be able to win the Games.
Although Parker didn’t place as high as he would have liked this year, he did make an impression on many spectators. In a field of shaved, tan competitors, Parker stands out with his reddish, mountain-man beard and abundant body hair, a look that’s earned him the nickname, “Teen Wolf.”
Parker admits his beard does hold a lot of sweat, but he said it didn’t bother him during the competition. He plans to keep the beard until August. Then he’ll auction off the privilege to shave his beard as part of the Nutts Cup fundraiser, a yearly event held to honor a Canadian soldier killed fighting in Afghanistan.
However, it wasn’t Parker’s beard that had people talking during the Games weekend. There was the small instance of Parker’s unorthodox transition between the swim and the bike ride during the triathlon at Camp Pendleton.
After he came out of the ocean, Parker prepared to transition to the bike ride. Mindful that he had three days of competition ahead, Parker said he “didn’t want to get some weird rash,” by biking and running in his sand and salt-water-covered bathing suit.
He shouted to all within earshot, “Watch out, I’m getting naked!”
Parker headed off for the bike ride, his favorite part of the triathlon. Then he started on the 11k run. At one point a Marine stationed along the route told Parker he was on the last three miles of the run.
“I’m used to kilometers, so in my mind, three didn’t seem that hard,” Parker says. “That last leg was tough.”
Parker’s best finish was in the Sprint. “I loved that they tested raw human output,” he said.
Parker placed third in the Sprint, although like Gretchen Kittelberger, he thinks it’s time for the CrossFit Games to switch to a more precise method of timing. “In an event that comes down to split seconds, it doesn’t seem right to still be relying on the fast or slow thumbs of the judges,” Parker says.
The Double Banger was Parker’s favorite event of the weekend. “It was a very novel event, and fun for the spectators and the competitors,” he says. “Nobody had done this particular movement before, and so it was a good test of who could adapt and hammer out a strategy,” Parker said, laughing at his unintentional pun.
Although this was his second year at the Games, Parker was still in awe of many of his fellow competitors. “I still sort of have a fan perspective. They are celebrity icons,” he says of athletes like Rich Froning and Matt Chan. “It’s so cool to shoot the shit with them and feel like I’m a part of it, not just a fan.”
Parker already has his sights set on 2013. He plans to focus on endurance and Olympic lifting until January, at which point he’ll work on more traditional CrossFit workouts.
He acknowledges there is work to be done. “I can still see I have some holes,” he says. “I’ve got lots of room to grow.”
No word on Parker’s plans for his facial hair in 2013.