70 ML : Are you done with climbing? DF : Pretty much. We went on all kinds of climbing trips, and I was very surprised that I can still climb really well, just from CrossFit. I got to a certain level with climbing where I was just staying the same. With CrossFit you’re constantly getting better. ML : Is there a definition of CrossFit? DF: They call it functional fitness. So there’s gymnastics, weightlifting, and kind of a triathlon thing, there can be biking. It can be anything. You have to be able to do anything. You don’t have to be the best at anything, but you have to be decent at everything. ML: Why do you do CrossFit? DF : I like how I feel when I do it. I don’t necessarily like it while I’m doing it, because it hurts, but I like how I feel after. I like the challenge of it, I like the gymnastics, I love lifting—I wish I was better at it, because I really love it. ML: The CrossFit Games are the competition of the year for this sport, right? DF: Yeah, it’s kind of like the Olympics for CrossFit. ML: So how does it work? DF : The open is five weeks of online qualifiers. Out of 18,000 in my category they take the top 200 to go to the next round. It’s worldwide. So everyone in the whole world that does CrossFit can compete. So then for the top 200 there’s an online qualifier, which is one weekend, where they give you four workouts on Thursday and you have to complete them by Monday. These ones you have to film. If you place in the top 20 they’ll ask you for video validation. From those top 200 they take 10. So you send in your videos and then you wait. Which was probably the most stressful part. Then you get a ranking in your country and age group and I was first in Canada, but I was also first in the world with the online qualifiers. Which is kind of cool. That was in May. Then August long weekend is the contest. It’s a three-day contest. ML: And how did you do? DF: I got third. There were seven events. But you don’t judge it all on your first day, which I learned. I got a no-rep on the first day; the workout had 30 bar-facing burpees. As I was going down into the burpee my head hit the bar. I stood up, and jumped over the bar, but the judge called a no-rep. I had to step back over the bar and redo it. There was five seconds between first and fifth, so I went from first to sixth because of this. On the last day I was in fifth. I had Gary check us out of the hotel room because I didn’t want to stick around to see other people on the podium. I thought we could at least start the drive home that way. There were three events sandwiched together one right after the other, and I did kind of crappy on the first workout and I got second on the last two, which ended up bumping me up to third overall. I’m very happy with how I did. Obviously I wanted to win and I know I’m capable of winning, but in order for that to happen everything has to align perfectly: workouts, judging, execution, who places where on the leaderboard. There can be no mistakes at that level of competition. Not everything went perfectly so I learned and got more experience and we’ll see what happens next year! ML: Anything else to add? I’m just a regular person. I didn’t come from a professional athletic background, and I just work hard. It shows that you can accomplish something if you put your mind to it and commit to it. And I think that is pretty motivating.