"It's a great atmosphere and really brings out the best in everyone, and it is what makes CrossFit such a unique sport."
CrossFit Games veteran Trey Kubacak finished 8th in the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games Open in the South Central Region. But for the second year running, the Texan has chosen to compete on his affiliate team.
The 25-year-old competitor trains at CrossFit Dallas Central, which has two teams heading to Regionals this year.
Kubacak says he actually made his decision long before the Open. “After the experiences I had last year, and the friendships I gained through those experiences, there wasn’t a question in my mind of how much I enjoyed the team atmosphere,” he says. “There is just something about going into a workout and laying it all out on the line for a group of people that are doing the same for you. I think a team atmosphere really brings out the best in everyone.”
Though many athletes this year approached the Open in a relaxed fashion, integrating the workouts into their regular training, Kubacak chose to view it as a true competition.
“I don’t treat the Open like any other workout, because it’s not any other workout, it’s a competition,” he says. “It’s a great time to see how you and your gym stack up and how your training has prepared you for the ‘unknown.’ The only way to give it a fair evaluation is to give it your best shot.”
A competitive atmosphere also inspired his best shot. Every weekend of the Open, athletes from neighboring CrossFit 214 and CrossFit Deep Ellum joined athletes from CrossFit Dallas Central to do the workouts.
“It didn’t matter what gym you were from, or how great of an athlete you were, everyone was pushing everyone to go above and beyond what they think they’re capable of,” Kubacak says. “It’s a great atmosphere and really brings out the best in everyone, and [it] is what makes CrossFit such a unique sport.”
That competitive atmosphere propelled CrossFit Dallas Central’s teams to finishes of 4th and 24th in the Open. Last year, the affiliate team finished 3rd at Regionals and 13th at the Games. With those experiences under his belt, Kubacak says he can’t help but think about getting back to the Home Depot Center. And if you’ve made it to that level, according to Kubacak, you dream of taking it a step further and earning a place on the podium.
To that end, he and his teammates are training hard under the guidance of “mad scientists” Spencer and Sam Nix. Ahead of Regionals, conditioning and volume have become priorities, and on weekends the two teams have performed workouts designed to build team chemistry.
“We have also added a bunch of skill practice to our weekly routines,” Kubacak says. “We are lucky as athletes of CFDC to have many great coaches that can really help us with skilled movements and clean up our technique to make us more efficient during workouts.”
With the South Central Regional just a few days away, Kubacak believes the weekend should prove an intense affair, full of excellent and comparable athletes. As such, the margins of victory could be small. He stresses, however, that as a CrossFit athlete, you can’t worry about the abilities of your competition.
“I think the level of the athletes competing at Regionals will definitely add to the intensity of every workout,” he says. “The winning margins are going to be very slim, truly defining the phrase, ‘every second counts,’ which should make for a very exciting event. That said, I think competing is still about doing the best you can regardless of whether you win or lose. You can’t control how other people do. All you can do is put forth your best effort and hope to land in the top three spots by the end of the competition.”
Competition has always been in his blood. Kubacak played baseball and football in high school before an ankle injury forced him to the sidelines. He picked up handball while a student at Texas A&M University where, in 2008, he competed against Dutch Lowy, a well-known name in the CrossFit community. Lowy was featured prominently in the 2009 CrossFit documentary “Every Second Counts,” and he invited Kubacak to his garage gym to try a CrossFit workout.
“I gave it a shot and naturally, as a competitive person, fell in love with the idea/methodology of CrossFit,” Kubacak says. “When the winter break came and I was headed home to Dallas, Dutch led me to a new box then, CrossFit Dallas Central, where I fell in love with community and call home today.”
It’s this love of community that will motivate him at Regionals. For the second year in a row, he’s proven that competition is about more than winning individual glory. It’s about celebrating the people and places that changed your life.
“This gym and community have done so much for me and been such a positive thing in my life that I’m blessed to have the chance to give something back,” Kubacak says. “I truly consider the community at CFDC family. I am honored to have the opportunity to return the love by representing them to the best of my ability at Regionals. Going in to next weekend knowing I have everyone’s support really makes this an even more amazing experience for me.”