April 21, 2014
Prepped for Success
By Tim McIntosh

“We work hard. We work really hard.” ~John Cosby
Photo courtesy of Tim McIntosh

Heading into the Masters Qualifier, CrossFit Dragonfire athletes were prepped for success.

Four members of the Portland, Ore., box qualified to compete in the new stage of masters competition: Shelley Grandjean, 50, John Cosby, 55, Chris Flury, 53, and Michele Nguyen, 42.

The basic ingredient for success is simple, Cosby said: “We work hard. We work really hard.”

Dragonfire coaches attest to the fact that the four athletes have logged plenty of hours in the gym cleaning, squatting, sprinting and pushing.

“The coaches,” Flury said, “they might be the secret. They do a great job. We do a lot of Outlaw training. Lots of strength training. Hung and Michele train us under conditions to succeed and not suffer injuries.”

Nguyen and her husband Hung own CrossFit Dragonfire and handle the programming for their athletes.

“I was a trainer with L.A. Fitness for about 12 years,” Michele said. “My husband liked CrossFit, so I tried it. I had done ski racing and intramurals in college. But when I did CrossFit, I thought, ‘I’ve finally found my sport!’”

The athletes praised the Nguyens’ coaching.

“Hung and Michele are pretty incredible,” Cosby said. “And no ego.”

“Hung and I lead by example,” Michele added. “I can’t tell my children to train smart and hard if I am unwilling to do it myself.”

The athletes competing in the Masters Qualifier come with an impressive athletic background.

Cosby played baseball in the Toronto Blue Jays organization; Flury swam and played water polo for Southern Oregon University; and Nguyen did ski racing and taekwondo in college.

Grandjean is the exception.

“Athletic training before CrossFit? None!” Grandjean said. “Not ‘til I was 46 and my husband found CrossFit.”

Still, Grandjean is the 117th-ranked woman in her age group in the world after the Open.

Along with the hard work, great coaching and athletic backgrounds found at CrossFit Dragonfire, the athletes have a great sense of community giving the athletes a high-level, competitive edge.

“We have a really close family here,” Grandjean said. “We feed off each other and push each other and are motivated.”

“Everybody’s trying to help each other out around here,” Cosby added.

Editor's Note: At the time of publication, the CrossFit Dragonfire competitors had not submitted scores for any of the four Masters Qualifier events.