Since Christmas, when I took over the Regional Media Director title for Canada East, I've had the good luck to speak with dozens of our Region's top athletes. They graciously spare a half hour for 'the Press,' and I ask them all kinds of intimate questions about training. Sometimes, I win the lottery, and their philosophies are so simple - or profound - that they stay with me for months.
Matthieu Dubreucq was the best of the best. A former competitive racing sailor, Dubreucq has seen high-level international competition, and worked as part of a team to train, compete, and win. He knows what it takes; he's been there. He finished third at Regionals last year, and had a fantastic 2012 Open. His team did exceptionally well this year; he personally won the terrifying Event Six, and celebrated with a ten-second L-sit on top of the rings after the last muscle-up.
Dubreucq's team sported Day-Glo Orange shirts...and mustaches. Take a few minutes to watch the video, "Stache Strategy" here. Clearly, Dubreucq knows something about building community at CrossFit Laval. He's also concerned himself with building the Regional community.
To paraphrase Dubreucq: "We want to win. But if we can't win, we want to make sure the Games winner comes from Canada East." To that end, Dubreucq is creating opportunities for top athletes from the Region to train together, share strategies, and compare notes. He helped promote the FireBreather Trail, and is the 'force' behind Force 5, a series to help prepare high-level athletes. Reebok came on board with the former, and many top athletes from the Region are interested in the latter.
As we witnessed at the Canada East Regional last weekend, the power of local fans can help lift an athlete into the top spot. I'll do my part to help keep that wave of Regional pride going through the Games site, and I'm hoping to extend that support into year-round content on athletes from our Region.
Four years ago, Dhani Oks from Academy of Lions pulled the Affiliate owners of that era together on a series of conference calls to talk about the future of CrossFit, growing our Regional brand, and the trials of the early Box owner. We still maintain a Google group, and our Region is the fastest-growing in the world (by new Affiliates.)
As the Games grow, and the worldwide audience increases, it may be a good idea to consider our Region's reputation beyond our own gyms. Are we the smiling, excited, and friendly Region? Are we the hard-edge, black-flag, win-at-all-costs Region? Are we the 'smart' Region?
It may not seem important yet. But when you think about the cache carried by the Soviet Olympic weightlifting program, even fifty years after its peak......how will we be remembered at CrossFit Games 2062? What will be our legacy, our contribution? Where will we make our little niche in the expanding world, and how will it help each individual CrossFitter? How will it help the not-yet-CrossFitter?