May 6, 2012
Top Open Competitor Struggles in Regionals
By Jen Wielgus, Jeremy Brown and Sarah Clagett

"If you live in the past or the moment too much, it stops you from moving on in the future."

Sean Thomson finished 2nd in the world in the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Open. The only better performance came from Rich Froning Jr., a.k.a. the Fittest Man on Earth.

Thomson ranked 16th in the Mid Atlantic Regional heading into the third and final day of competition, trailing defending champ Ben Smith by 63 points.

He might not be living up to the great expectations folks back in Northeast Philadelphia had for him. Rumor has it, members of Thomson’s CrossFit Go Hard were talking after the Open about buying tickets to the CrossFit Games. But Thomson sees no reason to feel down.

“I don’t dwell on workouts,” says Thomson, 25. “If you live in the past or the moment too much, it stops you from moving on in the future.”

Thomson is excited about the future of his gym, which he calls a “baby gym,” even though three of its 95 members (he, Sean Glanzmann and Blair Carson) made it to Regionals as individuals. 

Part of Thomson’s mission as a gym owner and trainer is to spread positivity. He said some folks in his neighborhood tend to take a negative view of life, just muddling through until they can drink their troubles away on the weekend.

A group of 25 Go Hard members made the trip down to Landover, Md., to watch Thomson, Glanzmann and Carson compete, and Thomson hopes the experience at Regionals will inspire them.

“We’re trying to do the community right and gear toward the positive,” Thomson says. “Hopefully, this atmosphere here woke a lot of people up, seeing how positive people are.”

Heading into Sunday’s events, Thomson also was excited about his future in the Regionals, even though his chances of making it to the podium were pretty slim. He was one of only 12 men to finish the grueling Event 3 (back, front and overhead squats, pull-ups and shoulder to overhead), which he said got him back feeling like himself.

Dealing with the high judging standards at Regionals has been an eye-opening experience for Thomson, who said he was no-repped about 20 times in Event 4 and several times in the dumbbell snatch event. He’s not satisfied with his performance here, but he’s not throwing in the towel.

“After the first day, I was kind of beating myself up after not finishing the workout [row, pistols, 225lb hang cleans] by three reps, but if I thought about it all day today, man, I would have been screwed,” he said Saturday. “This is a mental game. If you can’t keep your head in the right spot, you’re screwed before 3-2-1 Go. “