CrossFit Games rookie Brent Fikowski had big expectations headed into the 2016 Games — a high bar set by fans and the Canadian athlete himself. And while Fikowski’s 4th place finish is nothing to scoff at, we can’t help but feeling like the whole thing was a little bittersweet for an extremely versatile, cerebral athlete many fans have already taken to calling “The Professor.”
And that probably has as much to do with his in-depth, raw recaps of the events and experiences from last week in California as it does with his impressive displays of fitness.
Fikowski started posting lengthy, engaging recaps of the events aftter Day 1, which began with a surprise flight to San Jose and a trip to Dave Castro’s Aromas Ranch (home to the first three iterations of The CrossFit Games). It’s half stream-of-consciousness, half first-person narrative; Fikowski was writing these shortly after the events concluded, which means we get to read his reactions and thoughts in a raw form.
It’s pretty darn cool.
Fikowki kept up the recaps on Day 2, when the only event was the swim sprint.
No regrets, always wanted to win the swim event at the games, but it was not in the cards today. Khan and Jonne were fast.
Day 3 was the first Individual day at the StubHub center, and it started out with partitioned Murph. Fikowski gives insight into his rep strategy and admits even top athletes have a tendency to cut their warmups short.
Kept the warmup short and simple, i said to another athlete “I plan on doing 305 air squats today” haha. I paced the run, maybe a bit too slow but I was only off the leader by about 35sec. Pull-ups 7/7/6 push-ups mostly in 3s.
Next up on Friday was Double DT, where Fikowski used a somewhat unorthodox strategy to secure a 10th place finish.
A good athlete listens to his coach. So I did fast.. and often awkward singles on the deadlifts. I was using a mixed grip and switching which hand was over every few reps, and one time I did a double underhand deadlift haha.
Saturday had its ups and downs for the rookie; his day was bookended by wins on Climbing Snail and 100%, with a low finish (30th on The Separator) occurring in the middle.
Fikowksi’s mental attitude heading into 100% is especially thrilling: He knew he could win, and his confidence in quick box jump-medball clean workout never wavered.
Next event announced. Another one I knew I could win.
Loosened up the calves. Simple warmup. Took care of business. Calves started to cramp a bit on the last 10 jumps so I slowed down a bit. I could hear the announcer saying I was just around the lead so I just tried to keep bending over and picking up that ball. Jumped up for the win, like a boss. But slipped on that soaking wet platform haha.
And then there’s Fikowki’s thoughts after the Games wrapped, broken into two parts: One Sunday evening, the other a reflection a few days after the final event.
I had brief mental flashes of myself in my first year of CrossFit in 2012 and how that 21 year old Brent would be in disbelief if I could tell him what he would accomplish this weekend. As those memories came to mind I got down on my knees and buried my head in the corner of the wall and cried a bit.
Brent Fikowski made a big splash in Carson, and we’re already looking forward to The Professor’s in-Games recaps next year — wherever the fitness extravaganza ends up being held.
Featured image: Brent Fikowski’s Instagram (@fikowski)