The 2013 CrossFit Games saw the return of some of our beloved veterans athletes, along with some fresh blood. After taking 1st place in two events and 2nd place in one event at the 2013 NorthWest Regional, Ryan Swobody secured a 3rd place podium spot and his first trip to compete at the 2013 Games.
As a father, husband, gym owner, firefighter and competitor, Ryan wears many hats throughout the day, all while maintaining his passion to be the best person that he can be – both inside and outside of the gym. I caught up with Ryan this week to see how the offseason has been treating him after his first ever Games experience.
Jaimie – How would you describe your first CrossFit Games experience? Is it something you’ll pursue again next season?
Ryan – My first Games experience was unforgettable. It was a lifetime goal of mine, and I’m still in disbelief that I made it there. I had a few setbacks the week of the Games that influenced my ability to perform. It was difficult for me to not be angry about what was happening. It has literally taken me this long to process all of the lessons learned from the experience. I believe that things happened for a reason and they helped me to grow into a better athlete and person in general.
I will be pursuing the Games again this year. However, not as an individual. We’ve got a stellar group of athletes at CrossFit Marysville and we believe that we can put together an Affiliate Team that will compete with the best!! I’m stoked to take on the challenges of team competition with a group of amazing athletes!
Jaimie – You said in a CrossFit Games article that last year was the first year you allowed yourself to believe that you can make it. How did the community at CF Marysville help you believe in yourself?
Ryan – The community at CF Marysville has always been incredibly supportive. I know how humbling this sport can be. Your weaknesses and shortcomings could be exposed at any minute. Which, is why having humility and staying humble is an attitude that I have kept from the beginning. With the encouragement of my wife and friends at CFM, I made the decision to believe that I could end up on the podium. For the first time in my CrossFit career I focused only on myself and what I needed to perform. I rested on my Faith and prayed for Strength and Courage often. I also tried very hard to remain Thankful for every opportunity that weekend. The support and encouragement from the CFM crowd was incredible! They literally kept me going during every event. I am overwhelmed by the amazing community we have here!
Jaimie – You also said that you credit your training partner (Noah Pester) for getting you to the next level; how does competing with and against Pester help you prepare for competition?
Ryan – Noah and I are best friends. But we are also fierce competitors. And we both understand that about each other. I have an enormous respect for Noah and the man that he is inside the gym and out. Noah has been in this game for a while now and is becoming one of the best coaches in the sport. Having him as a friend and coach has been invaluable and he will always be credited with any success that I gain. Noah, D.J. Neyens and myself are great friends, which will make this team even stronger!
Jaimie – Your life inside and outside of the gym is pretty high-pressured; in addition to being a Games athlete, you are also a firefighter. How do you deal with the pressures of both jobs?
Ryan – Tough question…. and one I typically try to avoid! Haha. I simply take every moment for what it is. Whether it’s training, competing, working a fire or playing with my daughter. If I think too much about what’s next, or setting goals, I begin to realize how many obstacles there are in front of me. This may be contrary to what the “experts” tell you to do, but I feel like I’m in a bit of a different situation. I never really think about Regionals, The Games, the next fire, etc. I really enjoy the ride. I enjoy training and ‘Competing Every Day’. If I can go all out and give everything that I have in every situation possible, there should be nothing to worry about on the other side. God has Blessed me with an ability to remain calm and perform in the moment. I don’t get too worked up or stressed out while engaged in any activity. It’s the anticipation and over planning that will get me worked up and distracted.
Jaimie – What fuels your desire to compete?
Ryan – CrossFit has changed my life; it has improved my life in nearly every way imaginable. I go into the gym every day to improve and to help others improve. My desire to compete is simply to do what I enjoy doing every day of my life. I enter competitions because it’s fun. Once I hear 3…2…1… GO!, I have absolutely no idea what it is that drives me. I wish I could answer this question…. But I can’t. It’s natural, it’s instinctive, it’s unconscious. Thank goodness my wife understands this. If she didn’t, it would be much more difficult to continue doing it. God has blessed me with the ability and opportunity to compete. I compete to Glorify His name.