The CrossFit Games have come and gone. After a year of hard work, heavy lifting, intense metcons, skill improvement, swimming, running and the like, many Games athletes are already looking forward to another year of training intensity in order to compete again next year. For one top athlete in particular the question of whether or not he will continue to show up at the CrossFit Games arena still remains. The “Legend” Chris Spealler is in contemplation-mode.

“It was another great year. I’ve been doing this for the past six years, and I think this year was by far the most competitive I think that it’s ever been,” Spealler says.

The six-time Games competitor, and only name to grace the field for each and every CrossFit Games competition to date, reflects back on his performance at the 2012 CrossFit Games with mixed emotions.

“I am not really disappointed with my performance this year because I know I gave it my all,” the 22nd place finisher says.

“I am more frustrated and disappointed about the circumstances and challenges that happened outside of my control,” he continues. “From losing my wedding band and goggles during the tri, to cramping up in my legs, it was difficult to move past tough things like that and it’s really easy to think you did something wrong. All I could do though was fight through those challenges and overcome those obstacles. I think on balance I did a good job of separating things that were out of my control throughout the weekend from my own performance,” Spealler says.

His favorite event throughout the remainder of the weekend?

“I really liked the track-triplet, it was a lot of fun” Chris Spealler says, placing 2nd in the event with his quick speed to power through the metcon.

And his least favorite event, post-tri?

“The clean-ladder was tough. Not because I don’t like that stuff—lifting heavy, but knowing I was going to be one of the first ones out, up against guys who are much bigger than me,” Spealler says.

Despite finishing higher than he would have liked in the overall competition (“I really wanted to be in those final WODs,” he says), Spealler is continuing to do what he does best—keeping his eyes forward and focusing on the areas of his own “game” that he wants to improve, all the while taking each day one day at a time.

“I definitely want to get stronger. While I put on some weight and definitely improved my strength this past year, I still want to put on about 10 more pounds over the next few months and I am focusing on a combination of strength work—power lifting and body-building, hitting the gym hard four days a week with heavy squats, deadlifts, and upper body—back rows, arms with some bicep and tricep work. As well as eating 4,500 to 5,000 calories a day,” Spealler says.

So, the big question…Does this mean Spealler is working and training for next year’s Games?

Spealler laughs, “People have been asking me that a lot—Really? This is your last year, really? You should compete again…Right now I am just unwinding and focusing on the here-and-now. It’s good to be back in the routine of things. I hit the ground running with work and just spending time with the family when I got back from California, and I am just enjoying this season of life,” Spealler says.

One day at a time, Spealler says he hasn’t completely ruled out the possibility of making another run at the Games in the coming years.

“Like I said, I am going to get stronger and gain that weight, then in a few months, I’ll re-evaluate and if I decide to compete, I will,” he says assuredly.

He definitely has the support from the CrossFit community and family backing him up if he decides to take another stab at the Games again.

“It’s so amazing to have the support of the CrossFit community as a whole—just pure support. It is still surreal for me. I am so humbled and also have such a great appreciation—trying to balance both of these things,” Spealler says.

“Sometimes I feel a pressure I put on myself that I need to win the Games in order to get a stamp of approval from everyone…but also, as I continue to be more and more active in the community, I’ve felt this less. The people in the stands don’t necessarily care as much who wins—sure they want to see who wins, but I think more than anything, the people in the stands are more inspired by the effort and battle through the trials all the athletes out there go through and overcome. Any athlete that works that hard is inspiring,” Spealler says.

As for his family and beautiful bride, Sarah, “They are supportive of me no matter what I decide and respect me not knowing right now—but Sarah is all for me competing again if that’s what I decide. More than anything so our kids can remember it,” Spealler says.

“I love family time,” the 33-year-old father of two says.

Roark, 2-years-old, and baby Myla, only eight-months, are Spealler’s pride and joy.

“Since I travel most weekends to Level 1 Certs with CrossFit HQ, the weeks are really important for just doing family stuff—going for walks or a bike ride together, working at the house, grilling out, you know, regular stuff. I just want to be with them.”

Work does keep Spealler busy—but it is also something he loves.

“Teaching Level-1 cert’s are a lot of fun. The people are so new to CrossFit and it’s really great to inspire them, and teach them how to coach. It’s also really rewarding to help improve the CrossFit community and get to know everybody,” Spealler says.

From Boston to Miami to Utah and everywhere in between, Spealler goes wherever he is called to go with the HQ Level 2 team.

Reflecting back on life and the workforce before CrossFit, Spealler says CrossFit has been one of the biggest blessings in his life.

“When I was little, I wanted to be either a telephone man or the guy riding on the back of the trash truck because it looked like fun,” Spealler says laughing. “I had high hopes for sure. But, really, when I was in college, I had no idea really what I wanted to do. I majored in Commercial Recreation—primarily because it was the easiest major you could pick.

But when college ended, since I didn’t really have much direction, I started working in a ski shop in the winters, and a bike mechanic shop in the summers. This went on for 4 or 5 years…then God threw me into CrossFit—and I haven’t looked back since,” Spealler says on his CrossFit discovery back in 2006.

With the rapid explosion of CrossFit throughout the country today, one may assume that CrossFit may just be “another fad” or run the risk of being “watered down” by a saturated market.

The Legend Spealler begs to differ.

“Yes, there are a ton of affiliates out there now—which is pretty cool, since my gym in Park City, Utah was the first in Utah and one of the first 200 or so boxes, but there are so many great affiliates out there. Just as any organization grows, CrossFit has definitely grown, but I think in a good way. Simply because CrossFit works so dang well—and people are recognizing that. And while it has become quite a business, there is no getting around the core value of community within CrossFit—it’s like a big family. I don’t think it’s a fad at all,” Spealler says.

Whether he competes in the Games again or not, there is one thing for sure, Spealler, the Legend, is not going anywhere away from the CrossFit community.

“If nothing else, my goal in CrossFit and life—from competing, to coaching, to training, to spending time with my family, or spending time with God—is to inspire others…and when I do that, it’s a really good reminder of why I continue to do what I do,” Spealler says.

And so the Legend continues. 

About Metcon

Metcon Media is headquartered in Southern California and is a media company dedicated to promoting a healthy and active lifestyle through functional training and proper nutrition.
Metcon Media’s functional fitness lifestyle specific agenda gives our readers a variety of training and nutrition related articles, podcasts and video from experts in the field on fitness and nutrition as well as other interviews including breaking fitness and nutritional news, product reviews and advice from certified coaches.

View All Posts