In life and in sport, you just can’t help but root for those who display toughness, humility, and a strong work ethic. 2011 CrossFit Games competitor, Armand McCormick, is not lacking any of these qualities.
As a husband, proud new father of a 3-month-old baby boy, and owner of The Gym, CrossFit Kilo and XL Sports Acceleration Program, the 29-year-old from Waterloo, Iowa embodies everything one desires in a leader. Prior to earning his BA and MA in Exercise Science, McCormick served more than four years in the United States Marine Corps as an infantryman. For his bold and brave actions in the line of duty, McCormick received numerous honors and awards.
McCormick said he gained much from his experience as a Marine. “Quite frankly, it taught me to man the fuck up. So often, you hear people complain and whine about the most trivial things when it comes to their training or their everyday life. You can’t always overanalyze and make excuses when things don’t go your way. You need to learn to deal with adversity and take it head on.”
It wasn’t difficult at all to find out McCormick is a man who practices what he preaches. The Military Times Hall of Valor tells the story of McCormick’s citation for the Silver Star, a medal awarded for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States:
“Under heavy fire, he fearlessly drove his lightly armored vehicle directly at an enemy machine gun position and purposely crashed it into an occupied trench line. With the initial breach of the enemy defense now gained for his unit, he sprang from the vehicle and began assaulting down the berm and ambush line with two Marines. Taking direct fire, and outnumbered, he pressed forward firing his M-9 pistol at enemy forces. Moving through the trench he repeatedly came under enemy fire, each time calmly taking well-aimed shots. As the group ran low on ammunition, he collected enemy rifles and a rocket propelled grenade and continued to press the attack forward several hundred meters. As a follow on company began to make their entrance into the berm, he returned to his vehicle and backed it out of the trench. Lance Corporal McCormick's courageous and boldly aggressive actions greatly reduced the enemy's ability to inflict casualties on the rest of his battalion.”
Since the 2011 CrossFit Games in July, McCormick has kept a busy schedule of programming and coaching group workouts at CrossFit Kilo, and training many local Division 1 college athletes through his sport’s performance program. His own fitness pursuits have, at times, taken a backseat because he pours himself into the athletes he works with. Although as of late, McCormick says he has been ramping up his training volume in preparation for the 2012 CrossFit Games season.
“After this year’s CrossFit Games, I went back to a more typical strength-biased training method … just lifting heavy and cycling through the primary lifts,” he explains. “Since December, I’ve gotten into a routine of hitting an early morning lift, a midday met-con, and typically performing a more bodyweight based conditioning WOD in the evenings.”
McCormick began CrossFitting two years ago. He finished the 2011 CrossFit Games tied for 23rd in the world. Despite such success in such a relatively short time, McCormick maintains, “I try not to get too overly worked up about competing in CrossFit. I really don’t consider myself a CrossFit guru by any means and honestly, it’s rare that I check the main site. Of course, I have fun competing but the biggest reason I compete in CrossFit is for the excitement it creates for those around me.”
It would be wise to take McCormick’s relaxed and seemingly understated commentary to the rapidly approaching 2012 CrossFit Games season with a grain of salt. After only a brief conversation with McCormick, one can’t help but to draw the conclusion that not only is he tough as nails and extremely focused, but perhaps most importantly, a proven competitor.
Armand McCormick Stats:
2011 Open Finish: 73rd in the world, 8th in the North Central region
2011 North Central Regional: 3rd
2011 CrossFit Games: 23rd
About The Author: Jeremy Mhire is co-owner of CrossFit Springfield, LivXFit, and is also a three-time CrossFit Games Regional competitor.