"Our goal is to be one of the top three teams and go on to the Games. With the competitors we have, I think we have a serious chance to make that goal a reality."
Photo by: Dan Lien
With the 2012 CrossFit Games Open coming to a close, the South Central’s top 10 male finishers include some new faces this year. One is Justin Adams – a 21-year-old CrossFit rookie in his first year of CrossFit training.
Adams first came to CrossFit for a brief period at the age of 18 when introduced by Matt Napier and Erin Mouser of CrossFit ATX. The two ran a CrossFit-style boot camp at Adams’ church. With his background of high school football, gymnastics and MMA, he took to the programming right away. “After the boot camp was over, I wanted more, so I joined the box,” Adams recalls.
When Napier moved to Houston, Adams left the box and quit training CrossFit in favor of his first sport, gymnastics. He went on to compete on the University of Texas men’s gymnastics team, and his experiences carried over well when coming back to CrossFit a year ago at Woodward CrossFit. "Things like burpees and muscle-ups come easy to me,” Adams says, which explains his 3rd place finish in the South Central Region on Open Workout 12.1.
Despite his ideal sports background, Adams credits most of his accomplishments during the 2012 Open season to the coaching staff at Woodward CrossFit. “We have an incredible Olympic Lifting coach [Oleg Kecho – 1996 Olympian]. Matt Woodward, has been running my programming and I have seen huge results in my times, lifts and overall technique under his watch,” he says. “I also have an amazing group of training partners that push me everyday.”
Adams isn’t the only athlete at Woodward benefiting from this experienced staff. Sarah McClendon finished out her Open season in 27th place, and Dave Schwanke finished his in 19th. Adams, McClendon, and Schwanke will all opt out of individual competition and compete on the affiliate team for Woodward at the South Central Regional. “Our goal is to be one of the top three teams and go on to the Games,” Adams says. “With the competitors we have, I think we have a serious chance of making that goal a reality.”
For Adams, the promise of a bright future in the sport of CrossFit is apparent. At 21, he has surpassed several veterans in his first Open season, and now enters the Regional with confidence from both his teammates and his strong faith. “I believe that God gives people different abilities, and for some reason he made me good at CrossFit,” he says. "A verse that I live by is ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,' Colossians 3:23.”