Lynn’s Head Cross Country and Track Coach, Chris Wood, is competing in the Open CrossFit competition this spring because he has developed a passion for CrossFit and receives many benefits from competing in CrossFit.
Chris Wood has always been involved in sports since he was a javelin thrower and swimmer in high school. However, an injury caused Wood to switch his attention to powerlifting and competed in powerlifting during his twenties. After taking a break from powerlifting, Wood missed being able to compete and searched for a new challenge when he discovered CrossFit.
“After not competing in any athletic events for three years, I got the bug to try CrossFit because I needed to have a competitive outlet that would allow me to compete and stay in shape as I get older,” said Wood. “I love participating in CrossFit because it combines a lot of the athletic activities I enjoy, such as powerlifting and running and has a good community.”
For three years, Wood has competed in the Open CrossFit completion, a Worldwide competition with CrossFit athletes performing the same workout and ranks the athletes based on their age. This year, Wood has been performing better than he ever has before.
“So far, I am doing much better in the competition this year than I thought I would,” said Wood. “I have improved every year I have competed in, but this year I have made a huge improvement by being in the top 1,000 in my age group, being in the top 95th percentile of my age, and I qualified for the next round [the quarterfinals] of the competition for the very first time this year.”
Along with competing in CrossFit, Wood will give his injured athletes CrossFit-styled workouts to help them continue to train safely.
“When my athletes get injured, I often give them CrossFit workouts because it allows them to keep up their intensive training but puts less stress on their injury,” said Wood.
Another benefit Wood receives from competing in CrossFit is that he can better relate to his athletes by personally experiencing the difficulties of competing and truly understanding the mental elements of competing.
“I think that in being a competitor myself, I have an idea of the mental thoughts that my athletes experience while practicing or competing since I experience similar thoughts when I compete,” said Wood. “I think that it’s cool for my athletes to know that their coach is actually capable of participating in difficult physical activities and is not just standing on the sideline.”
Above: Coach Wood concentrates before he begins his weightlifting portion of practice. Photo/@coach _chris_wood via Instagram.
Above: Coach Wood provides instructions to Lynn track athlete, Alex Miranda, to complete the Olympic weightlifting portion of the workout. CrossFit often incorporates Olympic weightlifting within it. Photo/T. Super.
Above: After the second week of competition, Wood was in the 95th percentile and was within the top 1000 within his age group. Photo/@coach_chris_wood via Instagram.