CrossFitters know a thing or two about competition. We strive on it for our daily WODs, and these five weeks of the 2012 Open will be ridden with an anxious desire to come out on top amongst those in every region. Everybody wants to be a winner by the end of the five weeks. Well, almost everybody. For some people like Ricky Fletcher, they have already won.
Fletcher was introduced to CrossFit less than three months ago, but his lack of experience in CrossFit as a sport did not stop him from registering in the Open. “I was surprised that it was so accessible to compete. There weren’t any segmenting requirements, so I thought, ‘What the hell, even if I’m last, I’ll keep the experience.’ I got 50 burpees in the first workout. It motivates me to know I did better than a lot of others.”
Another reason he registered for the CrossFit Games Open is that he feels “these activities are what make the community come together. If you don’t get involved in the community, then the community won’t involve you. This example also motivates others to begin their path to health.”
Although he never really watched what he ate, he was active in sports during his childhood and as a teenager. Then, as is often the case, college plus work and children happen, fast food becomes the norm, exercising takes the backseat, and, as result, there is weight gain. Fletcher was trapped in a sedentary lifestyle.
Fletcher, 27, describes himself as a “father, husband, electric engineer, geek, environmental activist and a little political as well.” One year ago he started a little research to change his eating habits and began eliminating processed foods. He ran into a friend from school who used to be chubby and now looked fit. He attributed his success to CrossFit.
It took Fletcher three to four more months before he walked into a CrossFit gym. “I made CrossFit the most important activity of my day. I learned that to perform well, I had to eat well,” he says. “I started the paleo diet [and] soon after I stopped snoring. I sleep better and feel more energized during the day. I am gaining strength little by little and I feel it in my WODs as the weeks go by.”
In the less than three months he has been CrossFitting, he has already lost 30 pounds.
Fortunately, Fletcher’s family caught on to this new way of life. “We do everything together, we even work together, and CrossFit was not going to be any different,” he says.
Fletcher and his wife workout together now and they feel it has improved their relationship. Their 3-year-old child is watching them workout every day and learning healthy habits from early on. Fletcher has been able to bring his 60-year-old mother and 67-year-old father to his box to at least get them to start moving again. He hopes to get his sisters involved as well since he believes that “a family that CrossFits together, stays together.”
Fletcher says he plans to compete in the Open every year from now on and, and someday qualify for the the Latin America Regional. He feels good being part of the CrossFit community and hopes he can someday be an example and help spread the word.