Name: Jeff Edwards
Founded CFBR 2008
How many opens: This is my 3rd year in the Open and 4th year competing at the regional level.
What led you to Crossfit?
At IU I pursued my Black Belt and needed something to supplement my practice to improve my performance. In my athletic career I’ve done everything from tennis to rugby but never had any formal strength or conditioning program, usually the coaches would just tell us to run. Not exactly a thoughtful program but most of the coaches were volunteers and the schools I attended were small with little funding for athletics. For martial arts I had decent stamina for practice, but as the belt tests became longer (usually 2+ hours of non-stop participation) I found that the more intense techniques of throws and grappling would wear me down and technique would deteriorate. I needed something to improve my strength and endurance and after some research into special operations training I ran across Crossfit.
What has surprised you most about Crossfit?
The most surprising thing to me is how many people are being drawn to this style of training and how quickly the sport has grown. I remember the announcement for the first Games in Aromas and being disappointed that I couldn’t travel out to California to compete, at the time there were no qualifiers you just signed up. Two years later the competition started to grow and Sectionals were introduced, the next year the Open was born and every year since the sport has grown dramatically. At first mostly intense competitive athletes were drawn to this style of training, but as the years have gone by I see more and more people with no interest in competition getting hooked and becoming dedicated to training. More and more people with widely varying backgrounds and ages come to the gym to improve their fitness in a real and profound way, and work as hard as the competitive athletes. How quickly so many people have changed their perception of fitness and how they should train has really impressed me.
What is the movement that you hate the most, and why?
Picking just one is going to be difficult. I have very strong feelings about movement selection during training and risk/reward for including a movement in the program. My top 3 least favorite would be Sumo-deadlift high-pull, medicine ball cleans, and high rep box jumps. I have yet to hear a reasonable explanation for their inclusion other than they may come up in competition.
What are you most nervous about with the Games?
To be honest I’m not nervous. Our team has worked very hard, I couldn’t be more proud of their dedication and hard work. As long as I can get enough food this weekend everything should go very well!
What is the one profession you wish you’d tried?
The other profession I would have gone towards would have been medicine. I’d thought about orthopedic surgery, but decided I wanted to follow my passion for training and entrepreneurship.
Other than training, what is the one hobby you most enjoy?
I love learning. My interests generally share an aspect of discovery, whether it’s travelling to new places or reading articles about new research. I love expanding my understanding and experience.
When you need motivation, what do you think about?
My motivation has always been rooted in my personal need to improve. I have a constant drive to make something better, whether it’s my personal performance, the programming I write, or the organization and layout of the gym I’m always looking for a better way or something to improve. When I have a bad day and need motivation to train hard, I basically just shut off any conscious thought and run on autopilot. It’s worked pretty well for me.
What is the one thing you wish people knew about you?
I’m very much an open book and most who have spent time with me know me pretty well. I’ve become much more outgoing the past couple years, where before I was much more of an introvert. I would say one thing I wish people knew about me is that my friends and family mean more to me than they probably realize. I’m pretty good with words but never seem to able to adequately express how profoundly important they are in my life and how lucky I am to have such an amazing family and incredible friends.