Contrary to previous reports, Chris Spealler may not be sitting out next year’s Reebok CrossFit Games after all.
You might remember him announcing his retirement from the CrossFit Games after his seventh showing in 2014.
While citing a desire to spend more time with his children, Spealler’s age had also become a factor. “It’s no longer a sport for someone who’s 35, 5’5″, and 150 pounds on a good day,” he explained.
But with Dave Castro’s recent announcement that the 2017 Games will have a new Master’s age bracket for 35-39 year old athletes, Spealler is thinking a little differently. (Prior to 2017, Master’s eligibility started at 40.)
In a new podcast, the athlete mentioned that he was planning to compete in the CrossFit Open, as he does every year, because of “the community aspect, and it’s just fun.“
Then it became clear that his last attempt at retirement may not be his last.
“If by chance I qualify for the next, you know, the next round, I, yeah, I’d do it,” said Spealler. “The stars would have to align and if by chance I qualified for the Games I’d probably go.”
His change of mind comes with a qualifier, though: he’ll continue to only train for an hour per day, and would be competing for fun, not to try to be the world’s best.
He clarified his position in an Instagram post that he published after the podcast aired.
“I love (to) be present with my family when I am away from the gym, to ski, and to mountain bike. I am no longer willing to sacrifice these parts of my life for the type of training I used to do,” he writes. “I will do it out of the love of it, no more no less. I will train an hour a day, maybe a bit more if I feel like it. (…) Here’s to the 2017 @crossfitgames season while training for longterm fitness, not just the here and now.”
A commitment to train less than ever might not sound promising to his fans, but Spealler’s more relaxed approach to training appears to be working for him in some respects: this year, he achieved new PRs in his back squat and his clean & jerk.
And after all, with the launch of an entirely new age bracket, the Reebok CrossFit Games is in previously uncharted territory. For now, we might be awaiting the Open even more eagerly than ever before. Best of luck to all the competitors.
Featured image: @cspealler on Instagram.