Why do we fall down? So we can get back up. Dr.Thomas Wayne, Batman’s father.
After last years sectional and my disappointing 44thplace finish I swore I would make Regionals no matter what. I worked on my weaknesses and started daily training sessions with Jeff Brennan. I brought in specialty coaches to work on gymnastics and Olympic lifting. I traveled to every competition I could find and placed respectably in the top# 10 at all of them including winning Friday Night Lights. I started traveling to Goodyear once a week to train with Peter Egyed and the CrossFit Fury Team that is now going to the CrossFit Games. I sacrificed family time and slept in a tent away from my wife for a month. So when I got sick in bed for 6 days and lost 10 pounds a few weeks prior from the most important competition of my life I fell apart, started doubting myself and almost gave up. Had it not been for my amazing support system especially my wife (Najla), training partner (Jeff), coaches (Tiffany) mentors (Don Wong) and students (Carl Perone) I would have jumped off a cliff. It was actually Carl who said to me at dinner one night after feeling sorry for myself “Who you are is more than just one weekend Luke” So I made the trip to Colorado and got smashed, finishing slightly ahead of the guy with a broken foot. All kidding aside I set a few personal records, represented my “School of Elite Fitness” and most importantly I had a truly amazing time with great people. Next years goal is set a little higher “Top 25 in the 2012 Southwest Region”.
Respectfully Coach Luke Kayyem
Matt Blanton should not have been at Regional’s. He finished 61stin the CrossFit open and did not make the top 60 besides if he did make it he would get smashed… Right? Dead wrong! Mr. Professional was so close to the edge of making it that he did 11.6 a few more times just to make sure he would not miss the cut, each time getting a few more reps and ripping his hands a few more times. He never complained or made excuses he just showed up and kept working. Matt’s positive mental outlook worked to his advantage. Chris Spealler the winner of the open and last year’s 4thoverall finish at the 2010 CrossFit Game’s has an automatic entry and just like that Matt got the golden ticket to Regional’s.
As a father, husband and business owner of Printing Solution’s Matt trains 3-4x a week always taking class and always training hard but by no means is he doing 2x a days, strength training or getting deep tissue massages on a Monday afternoon. “He is the most natural athlete I have ever trained with, and he makes it look easy”
So Matt made the trip to Colorado without fancy equipment, new shoes or magic powder. Just his genuine smile and family by his side. He was last on the run in wod#1 knocked out 21x straight hand stands and finished in 25thplace with a time of 10:29. In wod#2 he successfully completed a #205 thruster. In #3 he unleashed a 6:47 and wod#4 he completed 35x reps of the overhead squat. Matt finished the Southwest Regional’s in 35thplace overall and never once changed personalities, attitudes or aggressions. He is one of the most outstanding students in the game and I am proud to call him my friend. Congratulations Matt Blanton you are an amazing athlete and I look forward to watching you compete next year.
Jeff Brennan does not like to lose. At CrossFit, hockey or just about anything. So when he finished at the bottom of Regionals last year he swore he would fix any holes he has and continue to get better by working his weaknesses. Jeff trains with a relentless attitude that knobody can beat him, ever. Faster, stronger and more commited than anyone at CrossFit Scottsdale this past year “The Competitor” swore by strength training and when the workouts were announced he laughed at the fear #315 deadlifts sent into the eyes of us little guys. “He is the toughest Mutha I know”. As a full time Scottsdale police officer Jeff picked up CrossFit 18 months ago to prepare for S.W.A.T little did any of us know he would become “Sarge” a nickname my son gave him and we continued to call him because of his level 5 leadership. Only taking credit when it is due Jeff asked us to stop calling him that until he actually became a Sargeant and thus Brennan and J.B was born.
J.B finished in 15th place after wod #1 crushed the Thruster ladder with a #235 and barely missed #245 and was now sitting in 12th place after day 1. As the only athlete not staying in our house and celebrating his 33rd birthday in a hotel room “The competitor” made the trip to Colorado for one reason and one reason only, to WIN. Wod #3 was J.Bs time to shine he pulled 21x straight #315 deadlifts off the floor finished 2nd in his heat and 10th overall and was now 1 wod away from making the cut. The 400x reps of wod #4 destroyed everyone and his 67x overhead squats were not enough to make it to day #3. He shook my hand and was back in Scottsdale before sundown. I am positive he has already trained twice since Sunday and is working on what he needs for 2012.