Compete Every Day: Ronnie Coleman Competes

Clearly, very clearly, I remember the moment that changed everything for me. The CrossFit Open is not just a catalyst for the top athletes in the sport, it can be a catalyst for everyone.

I was fortunate to have been involved from (nearly) the beginning of this CrossFit Games craze. In 2009, I experienced my first Regional Qualifier. In 2010, I did so again. In 2011, I so again. But 2012 was a different story. Under stress, out of shape, and in poor frame of mind, my health struggled. I ballooned to 231 lbs.

The scene was CrossFit Temecula South in Temecula, California. My opponent was Rory Mckernan, a comeback story himself. Fresh off of a grueling heart surgery, scars visible to anyone within 50 feet, the CrossFit HQ media personality was in amazing shape for a man with his recent health struggles. At 6’3” 220 pounds, I was excited to compete with a guy that was more of my size. The workout on deck? The now-legendary “seven minutes of burpees”.

Before the eyes of the affiliate’s owner and her husband, Rory and I began with a group of able competitors. I will save you the suspense, he dusted me. I did my best to beat a man who just left post-surgery six months before. I could not. And herein lies the lesson of it all, I wasn’t at my best. Would Rory have beaten me if I was? Probably. But I knew that I wasn’t in any shape to even begin to have delusions of Regional Qualifier grandeur.

While the event reminded me that I was in poor physical condition, overweight, acidic, and exhausted – it was the most motivating experiences I have had in a long while.

Exactly one year later, I am 27 pounds lighter. At 6’1” 206 lbs., I am finally back down to my 2010 CrossFit Games weight. That year, I helped CrossFit Central to a 6th place finish. I am in even better physical shape than my 2011 Regional Qualifier condition.

I am rested, nourished, and poised to give my absolute best. I am way more active. From playing with my Nike XBOX Kinect training system (instead of lounging) to CrossFit with Lindsey Smith, every chance I got.  A vast improvement in my sullen, sedentary, and pitiful attitude from just last year. This eye opening experience is owed to that little competition against a friend of mine, in the hills of California. It was a reminder: this is what if feels like to prepare for failure.

This go-round, I prepared to exceed my potential. I am no Rich Froning, Dan Bailey, or Graham Holmberg but I have always wanted to compete in this arena for as long as I could. I prepared to compete every day. An event that I owe, not only for appealing to my competitive nature. But for helping me turn my life around as an athlete, professional, husband, and father. I am healthier because of competition. I am ready compete at my best. I am ready for the CrossFit Open.

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