“As an athlete, I always want to see myself on the top of the Leaderboard … but I have to try to remind myself that the season literally...

“As an athlete, I always want to see myself on the top of the Leaderboard … but I have to try to remind myself that the season literally just started.”


Joey Altobelli was predicted to do well in the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games Open, and be a top contender at the Southern California Regional.

At the close of 13.2, however, Altobelli sits tied in 55th place overall in Southern California, and 777th worldwide. Needless to say, he is disappointed.

When 13.2 was released, Altobelli felt nervous.

“It was not a great workout for me,” Altobelli says. “I like short and heavy or long and light.”

His initial score on 13.2 illustrated that.

Altobelli did step-ups instead of box jumps and scored 297 the first time he attempted the workout, far lower than his goal of 335.

“I was mad,” he says. “It was not good, and I knew I had to do it again.”

On Sunday, he did the workout again, this time committing to box jumps.

“That is one of the pitfalls of not having a coach,” he says. “You do not have that external voice to tell you that you are strong enough and fast enough at a movement to do them.”

Altobelli increased his score to 301, but it was still far from his goal, and only good enough for 149th place in SoCal.

“My back was bad, my hamstrings were tight and my knees were hurting, all from doing the workout on Friday,” Altobelli says. “I should have just jumped (on the box jumps) the first time.”

As owner and head coach at CrossFit Intersect, Altobelli relishes living CrossFit and spreading the brand. He feels a sense of obligation and duty toward his members to be an exceptional athlete.

“It is my duty to set an example as an owner and head coach of a competitive gym to be a true competitor,” he says.

This year, he has re-established his goals as a competitor, and is fighting hard for them.

“I want to qualify for Regionals and place in the top 10,” Altobelli says.

However, with two workouts down, it looks like his goal is going to be difficult to fulfill.

His other goal is to qualify for Regionals. Altobelli is aware of the challenge, and he’s trying to put things into perspective.

“As an athlete, I always want to see myself on the top of the Leaderboard … but I have to try to remind myself that the season literally just started.”

Despite his placement at the moment, Altobelli wants to persevere and prove his fitness in the remainder of the Open.

“There are three more workouts in the Open, and … more events in Regionals until we can crown the fittest of SoCal.”

Altobelli’s 13.1 score is a strong testament to his perseverance.

He attempted the workout for the first time at NorCal CrossFit with top athletes Pat Barber, Neal Maddox and Jason Khalipa. Despite going head-to-head with these heavy hitters, Altobelli was not pleased with his score of 166 reps.

"You don't realize what's possible until you see someone do it,” Altobelli says. “After watching Neal Maddox do the Open Workout, I realized I did not give what he gave."

Altobelli was anxious to give the workout a second try back at CrossFit Intersect.

"There is something about doing a workout on your home turf, with everyone you know cheering for you,” he says. “It was a big eye opener."

He improved by 20 reps on his second attempt, giving credence to the concept of home field advantage, and landing him in 11th place in the region.

Now, he’s moving on to 13.3 with a positive attitude, hoping for a workout that includes heavy weight and gymnastics.

“I would love something heavy, especially overhead. I know that’s where I can really beat some of those top guys. Look, they will throw in these caveats that sound appetizing and tempting, like box step-ups, but nothing will really beat those true CrossFit movements we have been doing over and over in our workouts.”

He adds: “When you know you have what it takes to get to Regionals, you have to look forward and remember it is across broad time and modal domains, not just who is the best at box jumps.”