April 1, 2013
Individual, Masters or Team?
By Rob Cameron

Chris Dozois is at the top of the Leaderboard in both the Individual and Masters 40-44 Division. The Front Range CrossFit athlete now has to decide to go Individual, Team or Masters.



Landscape photo by: Eric Chin

Floater photos by: Jodi Miller

Chris Dozois is a man on a mission.

The man known at Front Range CrossFit as Dozer, Dozois, is currently sitting in first place in both the Men’s Individual and Masters 40-44 Divisions in the South West Region of the CrossFit Games Open after four weeks of competition.

Additionally, Dozer is a member of the Front Range CrossFit team that is currently in first place in the South West.

Dozer has a tough decision ahead of him about where and how he will compete in the remainder of the Games season. Will he return to team competition with the Front Range CrossFit team, face the younger athletes in the Individual events or vie for a podium shot in the Masters competition?

I went to Front Range CrossFit to ask Dozer that very question.

When I arrived at FRCF, I was immediately greeted at the door by owner and coach Skip Miller, as well as fellow athletes Becky Conzelman and Jasmine Dever. All of them were excited about the work Dozer has accomplished and his current placement on the South West Regional Leaderboard. 

Dozer came over to introduce himself to me and apologize that I would have to wait until he had completed the workout. I had the opportunity to watch a room full of Games-level athletes workout.

When Dozer and I sat down to talk, I got right to the point. Which competition will he choose?

“After the Games last year, we sat down as a team and came up with a plan to improve on our placement and started training as a team in September,” Dozer says, “but when CrossFit announced the Masters 40-44 Division, things changed. I sat down with Skip to decide how I was going to approach this. We decided then that I would start training as an Individual.”

He continued: “I will not be competing in the Men’s Individual division. As a Masters athlete, the Open is my Regionals, so I am peaking now. The younger guys are not peaking yet. They will be peaking at Regionals, and by day three of Regionals, I can’t keep up with the recovery time needed.”

To stay in top condition, he’ll continue training with the Front Range team.

“After the Open, I will go back to training with the team through Regionals. After Regionals, I will return to individual training. I have to wait and see how I end up in the Open. I could fall on my face in the next two workouts.”

Dozer started CrossFit in 2009 as a way to get fitter for lacrosse and immediately started competing. 

“The first competition I did was a practice run for the 2009 Regionals,” he recalls. “I didn’t even know how to do some of the lifts so I was watching videos in the parking lot to learn the lifts, then going out to do them in competition.”

He is a lifelong athlete. His father was a collegiate athlete and had Dozer and his four brothers doing push-ups and running hills at a young age. Along with hockey, Dozer went on to play college football at Colorado State University until a neck injury ended his football career.

He credits part of his success as a competitor in the Masters Division to two-time Games competitor, Conzelman. 

“When Becky came to Front Range CrossFit, I was beating her in many of the workouts and being completely worn out, taking longer to recover than her,” he says. “Becky told me that I am not acknowledging my age, that I need to realize that I am not young and I take longer to recover. I now take more rest periods and more rest days and have fewer injuries.”

Since changing his training focus from the team to the Masters competition, Dozer says he has been performing “tons of AMRAPS this year.” He worked on burpees for eight, 10 and 12 minutes at a time to keep his mental focus. So, when he did 13.1, he was ready.

“I had been doing so many burpees that when they came up again in 13.1, they were actually my rest period.”

He also says he performed 12.4 four times over the past year, and was happy to see it come up again this year as 13.3 since he already had a game plan for the workout.

“My score in 13.3 was actually less than the last time I did it as a practice (workout),” he says.

As we were talking, the announcement of 13.4 was made and Dozer said to one of his fellow athletes, “I feel like we wrote the Open.”

After the announcement, Miller gathered his team and individual competitors for the twice-weekly team training. Watching the teams pushing the weighted sleds around the building for the third time, it was obvious how focused Miller is to regain the Front Range CrossFit team placement at the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games and to keep his Individual athletes on the podium.

What was very clear is that Dozois is focused and determined to be successful in 2013.