July 19, 2013
The Difference a Year Can Make: Team CDR Redlands
By Julia Papworth

"We just want to have a good time. Last year, we did anything but have a good time."


After placing 24th at the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games, Team CDR Redlands went to the 2013 SoCal Regional aiming for a podium spot and another shot to go to Carson, Calif.

Finishing the Regional in second place, winning three out of seven events and never placing lower than sixth, the team looked ready to take on this year’s Games. But under the surface, the weekend was anything but smooth.

“We battled some serious obstacles from the word ‘go,’” says Calvin Davis, head coach and team member.

A third-place finish in Event 1, Jackie, started the weekend off right for CDR, but then things got complicated.

In Event 2 — burpee muscle-ups and overhead squats — Davis and the men completed the burpee muscle-ups with ease. However, as they transitioned to the overhead squats, the game quickly changed.

“One of our guys (Jonathan Heighes) failed on his first attempt, which should have been no problem,” Davis says. “We opened at 245 lbs. and he failed. He had been hitting 275 lbs. easy in the warm-up. We had no idea what happened.”

The team had to improvise.

“We had Jonathan lift again at the three-minute mark. He failed. We rested again until the six-minute mark, had him lift again and he failed. I pulled him aside and had a talk with him, and he pulled off the lift on the fourth attempt. It was tough to deal with because our other two guys didn’t get to go as high as they wanted to.”

This was tough for Davis, whose goal this year was to be a kinder, gentler team leader.

“Last year, I would have been yelling at him, not supporting him. I would have been getting frustrated and angry. This year, I kept my cool. I was praying for him, thankful he was open to doing his best.”

On the last day of Regional competition, Davis competed in Event 6 with his wife, Rachel.

“When the workouts were released and we began to strategize, we were not originally going to do that workout together,” Rachel Davis says. “But then we tested partners and we were the best combination for it. The whole time Calvin was so positive. When we decided to do that workout, he just kept saying we were going to win and then make out on the finish mat. I laughed it off, but then we came from behind and won the event!”

True to his word, Calvin Davis grabbed his wife and planted several huge kisses on her smiling face.

With just a few weeks until the Games, members of Team CDR Redlands are more confident in their planning.

“Last year, we trained for Regionals and we paid the price. This year, we trained to peak at the Games,” Calvin Davis says.

The makeup of the team has forced thoughtful scheduling. With a team including a box owner, a mother of two, a doctor and a lawyer, finding time to train as a team was a challenge. Instead of stressing about coordinating irregular schedules, the team programmed more individual workouts and rest time.

“This time last year I felt so sore,” Rachel Davis says. “This year, it’s almost too good to be true. We have gotten better at listening to our bodies and taking time off to heal.”

She adds: “When it comes to the Games, we have no goal set. We just want to have a good time. Last year, we did anything but have a good time. We are preparing as best as we can and then we’ll see what our training allows us to do. If we finish 24th again like last year, it is still a better experience. And if we finish better than that, it is just icing on the cake.”