“If we are going to make it to the Games, this year’s team is the team that is going to do it,” said Lindsay Hassel, head coach and owner of CrossFit The Club.
Each year, Hassel and his team have watched as their goal of finishing in the top three at the South West Regional has floated just slightly out of reach. The team finished the 2011 Regional in fourth place, 2012 in sixth place and earned another fourth place in 2013.
“Every year we make mistakes,” Hassel said, “not because the workouts are too hard or what we’re doing is wrong. We just make mistakes that result in no reps.”
The only thing the team has changed in its training from last year is that they are training more together. Hassel said the team is stronger than it has ever been.
“We started training and working together so we can better understand each other, more so than in the past,” he said.
So far, CrossFit The Club is sitting in fourth place, regionally. Hassel said he has mixed feelings regarding the Open workouts.
“It’s hard, I’m sure, to program the workouts for the masses of people to do, but I don’t like them. I don’t think they match well with what you’re going to do at regionals, but they are what they are,” he said. “They always have an emphasis on certain movements, so we know what to expect, but I do like how they creatively program the movements. I’ve just never been a big fan of the Open. It just seems like it drags on forever.”
Hassel said they had been adding a lot of pull-ups in training, which really paid off in 14.2, where they finished in first in the region. This victory was much needed after a disappointing 19th-place finish in 14.1.
“I think we did the worst we’ve ever done for any Open workout,” Hassel said. “It was such a light weight so I don’t know why it was so bad. I think you have to be able to recover while you’re doing doubles and we need to work on that. We train really heavy all the time and these lighter workouts come and we can’t recover. It was definitely an eye-opener.”
The competition will be tough this year, like it always is, he said.
“Every year you think you’re going to be better than everybody, but every year every team gets better,” he said. “I think Ute’s team this year is even better than last year, so they are definitely going to be the team to beat. And of course Front Range CrossFit is always a frontrunner, and then there always seems to be a dark horse right on your heels.”
This year, Hassel will be coaching from the sidelines, instead of in the ring. One of the new male competitors on his team will take his place.
Each year, the team has felt ready to qualify for the Games and then fell slightly short, but Hassel said this year is one where they must accomplish their goal because the team may be disbanding next year.
“Our team is getting older, and the other teams are getting younger,” he said. “This just causes a lot of pressure that we put on ourselves. … We have to come out like this is going to be our last year and this is our only year to do it. We are gearing up like this is our last run.”