July 20, 2013
Following in His Father's Footsteps: ZA Anderson
By Jeremy Ridgeo

ZA Anderson just wants to be like Dad ... a champion.

Zachary “ZA” Anderson was at the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games where he watched his father, Steve Anderson, become the fittest Master in the world in the 55-59 Division after only a few months of experience. 

“The pride my family and I felt that day was unmistakable, and my aim is to make them, including my father, feel that way again,” says Zach, who recently finished the South East Regional in first place.

“Obviously my father plays a substantial role in my success.”

Frequently, Steve will go into CrossFit Paragon in Atlanta, Ga., to train and will end up coaching his son through a difficult workout instead. Zach acknowledges that his father’s “passion for CrossFit has rubbed off on him.”

Growing up, Steve never chose a specific sport for his son, instead allowing him to follow his own path and supporting his desire to pursue all types of sports like cross-country, baseball, wrestling and weightlifting.

“Zach found wrestling late, but because of his drive, discipline and desire, was able to succeed and be a state finalist in high school and a two-time national qualifier in college,” the proud father says.  

All of these disciplines contributed to a strong foundation in fitness, which no doubt helped Zach in his eventual CrossFit pursuits. He started CrossFitting while wrestling at Newbury College but truly “found the sport“ while watching his father compete at the Games.

Steve says CrossFit combined two things that Zach enjoyed — Olympic lifting and conditioning. However, what separates Zach from others is his ability and willingness to “push himself to the dark places where most people do not like to or choose not to go to.” 

For his part, Zach is excited about the opportunity to go to California with his family that has been so supportive.

“I would love nothing more than to show them how much I appreciate them by earning a spot on the podium, and it would be a blessing to have my dad witness me following in his footsteps,” he says.