Road to the Games: Watch the Hour-Long 2018 CrossFit Regionals Documentary

As the Reebok CrossFit Games approach, CrossFit’s media machine is in overdrive and HQ is churning out fantastic, high quality videos with regularity. Along with the CrossFit Games Update Studio, the new Brent Fikowski documentary series, scores of Regionals videos and, in the background, the filming of next year’s CrossFit Games movie, there’s another series worth watching.

Road to the Games is one of our favorite traditions and each year the shows just keep getting better. The series started in 2016 with an 11-minute look at Katrin Davidsdottir and Ben Smith, and the series slowly expanded until we got this latest video, the longest in the series’ history: “Regional Rollercoaster,” clocking in at 68 minutes.

Each episode typically usually focuses on two or three athletes (a great example is the first episode from the 2018 season, which looked at the Dottirs) and this latest episode took an unusual approach that focuses on one of the sport’s biggest athletes and a lesser known competitor who has yet to qualify for the Games.

If we’re talking about who the top male individual most competitive CrossFit athletes after you say Mat Fraser, you’ve got to say Vellner.

Patrick Vellner is the star of this short, and we get an interesting look at his job as an intern at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, along with his home life (three roommates) and how he approaches Regionals. This is, in fact, a look at the highs and lows of the Regionals and how competing is different when compared to the Games. (Vellner, for instance, is far stricter with his diet during the Regionals when he doesn’t need quite as many calories. In other words, it’s chicken, rice, and egg whites all day.)

[What’s the best meal to eat before a CrossFit workout? Here’s the science-backed answer.]

View this post on Instagram

Do you ever find yourself worrying about failing at something? Of course you do. We all do, but we shouldn’t, and here’s why. Failing at something in an inevitable part of the learning process. In fact I think we learn far more from our failures that we do our successes. There is a great quote by Samuel Beckett that says “Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” To me this perfectly encapsulates my thoughts on failure and learning. It’s easy to get frustrated sometimes, but don’t be discouraged. The day you stop failing at things is the day that you’ve stopped challenging yourself. It is important to shake the notion that failing or falling is something that we should be ashamed of. To me it is in fact the opposite. It’s a badge of honor. It means that you have set your ego aside and are pursuing something new and exciting. My older brother @jvellner recently wrote a blog post that talks about this thought process and relates it to his experience growing up in acrobatics where he arguably spent twice as much time landing on his head than his feet. The link is in my bio so give it a read. I highly recommend following his blog and account. He is: A) An amazing acrobat and will be the best follow ever. And B) A brilliant writer who spent years competing on world cup circuits in two sports. His insights into learning and psychology will rock your world. 📷 @johanyjutras #MotivationMonday #psychology #learning #failing #falling #challengeyourself #blog #lifelonglearning #crossfit #crossfitgames #selfimprovement #mindset

A post shared by Patrick Vellner (@pvellner) on

While Vellner podiumed both times he went to the Games an individual, Tia Wright, meanwhile, has never qualified. This makes for a pretty interesting dichotomy between the two, and we’re looking forward to seeing where the rest of the season takes us.

Featured image via @pvellner and @johanyjutras on Instagram.