June 6, 2012
On A Mission: Guido Trinidad
By Shelby Levy

"I believe that there is no replacement for hard work. This is a truth. However, smart work combined with hard work -- now you have a recipe for success. It's inevitable."

Guido (pronounced GEE-do) Trinidad used to have a list of movements he hoped would not be programmed into Regional competition. But after falling short of qualifying for the Games three years in a row, he decided to attack his weaknesses and enter this year’s competition stronger and more ready for everything.

And it paid off. The 31-year-old owner of Peak 360 CrossFit in Miami solidified third place and a trip to California by coming from behind with solid performances in the final three workouts at the 2012 South East Regional.

This “man on a mission” says it is his passion for the sport of CrossFit that has kept him motivated year after year.

A former collegiate and football player overseas, Trinidad’s debut at Regionals in 2009 came less than five months after he started CrossFit.

“I finished in 54th place,” he says. “It was embarrassing and was exactly what I needed to fuel me to take my fitness to the next level.”

Trinidad stepped up his training and came back in 2010 to finish in 10th place overall. Last year, he improved even more with a fifth-place finish. And this year, he’s going to California thanks to a new perspective.

“I know what my strengths and weaknesses are, and I know that those goats are not goats anymore,” he says. “The anticipation was completely opposite than what I’ve experienced in the past. I wanted to see extremely challenging things that not everyone (could) handle. I trained hard, and smart, and I could not come up with a valid reason why I didn't belong in the Games this year.”

Trinidad’s smart training was evident in his eighth-place finish at Regionals in Event 1, Diane. Last year, Trinidad fell short of reaching the podium due to a 30th-place finish in the deadlift/box jump workout. Rather than looking at that as a bitter moment in his CrossFit career, Trinidad took it as a learning experience.

By focusing this past year on strengthening the posterior muscles used in the deadlift, as opposed to just doing reps, Trinidad says he not only improved his deadlift, but also made it through Regionals without destroying his lower back.

“I believe that there is no replacement for hard work,” he says. “This is a truth. However, smart work combined with hard work – now you have a recipe for success. It’s inevitable.”

After placing 19th in the third event (dumbbell/snatch), Trinidad was disappointed, but still hopeful to get into the top three by the end of Sunday.

“Was I worried? No. Did the thought try to come inside my head? Yes. And I battled with it for some time, but I could not let it consume me,” he says. “I quickly would replace that negative thought with a positive one like, ‘We are only halfway there, and these next three WODs are strong for me.’"

Trinidad bounced back by taking first place in Event 4, the squat/pull-up chipper; an event he knew would play to his strengths. He says it was the members of his gym who helped him get through the workout so quickly. “The support from my Peak family was surreal,” he says. “I felt them every time I moved from station to station, and it made me want to finish faster – to make them proud, and so I (could) hear them roar.”

It was after that performance Trinidad began thinking he might make it on the podium after all. “I felt that hope. I walked with my head up a little higher and told myself, ‘Now I have momentum,’” he says. “I’ve been playing sports since I was 9 years old, football to be specific, and I know how much emotions and the mental aspect of competition play a role in the performance of an athlete. A momentum shift is mental and emotional, and I allowed myself to feed off of my strong performance.” 

Entering Event 5, the snatch ladder, it appeared Dominick Maurici had a lock to finish in the top three, but after a disappointing performance, the window was left open for someone to surpass him. Trinidad saw his opportunity.

“The community down here is pretty close. I’m friends with all the guys that were above me in the ranking, and I didn't want them to fail, but I wanted to succeed. So I focused on my performance and only tried to control what I (could) control,” says Trinidad, whose sixth-place finish in the snatch ladder thrust him into the third-place spot overall.

With that mindset, Trinidad entered the final event ready to lay it all on the line to maintain his position. Declaring Event 6 as the most brutal event of Regionals, he finished fifth, which kept him in third overall.

“Unofficially, when I finished my last muscle-up on WOD 6, I knew that I made it,” he says. “I was overwhelmed with joy. It didn't hit me for some time, and I still don't think it completely has. I feel grateful, blessed, accomplished.”

A Christian, Trinidad credits his spirituality and faith for getting him to this point in his life. “The core of who I am lies in my relationship with God. My mother raised me in the church from about the age of 10 and instilled in me the core values I try to practice today,” he says. “It is the center of my life, the glue that holds it all together … I strongly believe that God has given me these athletic talents for many reasons, and one is to glorify His name that others might get to know God because I compete at CrossFit.”

When others might have seen his place on the Leaderboard after Event 3, and dismissed him, Trinidad says that is where his faith came into play. As did something he describes as “empowering, like Superman with his cape.”

On the final day of Regionals, Trinidad wore a shirt with the word “Godfidence” emblazoned across the front. “It is difficult to explain, but the most challenging aspect of the entire weekend was mental and spiritual for me. I was on a roller coaster following the leaderboard, and the battle at times was brutal,” he says. “That’s why I always wear my ‘Godfidence’ shirt on my last day of competition to remind me that my confidence lies in God. My confidence is not in me, but in Him.”

Focus now has shifted to the biggest competition of his life. Trinidad says not much will change with his programming, except for perhaps a little more swimming and running. In the meantime, he will continue coaching and operating Peak 360 CrossFit while spending time with his new wife and 9-year-old stepdaughter.

“God blessed me with the woman of my dreams and the best stepchild I could've ever asked for,” he says. “Family is the most important thing in my life. If things aren't right at home, everything else is secondary.”

Trinidad also has some other plans in mind for his future. “I am totally looking forward to making some babies,” he says. “After the Games this year, we will start trying for some boys!”

As for qualifying for the Games, Trinidad says had he missed again this year, he would have come back next year and the year after that.

“I am passionate about this sport,” Trinidad says. “I am a competitor, and I love pushing myself. I live with a lofty goal in my heart at all times. It’s to maximize the abilities that God has blessed me with. Whether it be as a father, husband, business owner, athlete, etc., the fact that I can continue to improve proves to me that I have not yet maximized my talents or abilities, and I can still improve. It’s extremely motivating and one of the reasons why I fell in love with CrossFit – to be able to constantly measure improvement.”