“It only took me about 5 rounds of a painful yet awesome WOD to get addicted to CrossFit. Don’t remember the name, but I’m pretty sure it was a Hero WOD. What a nice welcome to CrossFit … a Hero,” recalls Luis Giraldo of his first CrossFit experience more than a year ago.
He had been passionately practicing Muay Thai before he ran into CrossFit. Instead of giving up one for the other, he blends the two and makes room for both sports in his life. “I loved not only the physical aspect of [Muay Thai], but the mental aspect, the challenge of having someone as skilled as you or even more skilled trying to take your will by kicking and punching you,” he says.
Giraldo is a 27 year old with a degree in music production and business administration, but exercise has always been his passion. He decided to turn his passion into his profession and now owns Fuerza CrossFit in Medellin, Colombia. “My objective has become to improve the lives of many people and help them the way CrossFit has helped me,” he says. “CrossFit is my passion and I don’t ever get tired of it.”
The membership at Fuerza has grown to about 100 members. “These people are not only my clients, they are my family, my support to keep moving forward. These 100 members have given a new meaning to my life.”
CrossFit has been able to improve Giraldo’s physique, but has also shaped the way he sees exercise and general well-being. “I have lifted weight I thought I would be incapable of, and I’ve finished workouts that I first thought were inhuman. Example Murph; what kind of craziness is that?” he laughs.
After finishing the Open, he says he’s enjoyed the experience, having accomplished his goal of being in the top 10 in Latin America. He landed in 7th place in the region after five grueling workouts. Giraldo did well on 12.1 with 124 burpees and notched 345 reps on 12.3's triplet. On 12.2, however, he couldn't quite make a snatch at 165-lbs.
His next goal: stand on the podium at the Latin America Regional, and then tackle the CrossFit Games. “I am a great believer in the law of attraction,” he explains. “I begin thinking and attracting it to me right now, I know I can accomplish it.”
Competition aside, what Giraldo admires more about CrossFit is the community. He feels the most important contribution CrossFit has brought to his life is the people around him. “I’ve been fortunate to find this sport that not only brings you health and well-being, but a family that will stick by you unconditionally for nothing in return.”