"There is motivation to pull for every single member, whether it's the 67-year-old grandmother ... or the 14-year-old girl."Photos by...

"There is motivation to pull for every single member, whether it's the 67-year-old grandmother ... or the 14-year-old girl."

Photos by Chris Nolan

Brian ‘BQ’ Quinlan, owner of CrossFit Explode has competed in Regionals as an individual for the past two years. This year, he has once again qualified to compete in the Mid Atlantic Region. Unlike many of the athletes who are going to Regionals, Quinlan’s main focus isn’t his own performance. 

As an individual competitor, Quinlan says he looks forward to being around “some of the best athletes in the world.”

Quinlan’s true hopes have little to do with himself. What he wants more than anything is to see his athletes – individual competitor Emily Pale and Team CrossFit Explode, excel.  

Pale, a coach at CrossFit Explode says Quinlan is the big brother she never had.  She follows Quinlan’s “great programming” and benefits from the “friendly competition” he has helped create in the gym’s culture.    

Pale who is a former collegiate volleyball player started training at CrossFit Explode in June of 2010. Not even a year after that she came in 4th place at the 2011 Mid Atlantic Regionals, just missing a ticket to the games. “Emily is fired up,” Quinlan says. “She is determined as ever to break into the top three and head out to Carson.”

Pale is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to strength with a 200-pound clean and jerk, 165-pound snatch and a 335-pound deadlift. Her determination has included focusing on her weaker areas, which include long slow distance and endurance.

However, Pale and Quinlan have been careful to keep her training balanced so she would maintain her strength as she improves her deficits. Pale suffered from a back injury this fall that forced her to limit workouts and scale back to body weight movements for a couple months, but she says she is now back where she wants to be.

Her goal is clear qualify for the Games. “I want to have a blast and enjoy every second and opportunity that comes my way,” she says. 

One thing Pale and Quinlan both are going to enjoy is watching Explode athletes compete. Team CrossFit Explode finished the Open with a 3rd place Regional ranking, as well as being 19th in the world. “The team’s performance is the greatest source of pride for me.”

Last year, CrossFit Explode just moved to a new location and wasn’t organized in time to form a team. “We have grown tight as a community of dedicated athletes,” Quinlan says. “The attitude and intensity has been infectious … we’ve put together an atmosphere of inspiration and motivation using CrossFit’s principles and methodology.”

Quinlan attributes this attitude and atmosphere to the team’s success. “There is motivation to pull for every single member, whether it’s the 67-year-old grandmother with psoriatic arthritis, the working mom who refused to be 100 pounds overweight or the 14-year-old girl who walked into the gym nine months ago with head down low and shoulders slumped forward, who beat out all but two other women to make our regional’s team roster”

Pale agrees. “It is incredible the talent and heart that is Explode.”