First off, congratulations on accomplishing what only 9 other people in the WORLD could achieve. You’ve made it to the CrossFit Games. To say this feat is nothing short of incredible would be an understatement. There were several tests that you had to endure in order to get to this point and your thrived through all of them. In all of your successes, you never lost who you were. It would be easy for a 15 year old kid to get swept up in all the commotion, but you remained the humble, hard working and talented young man that you’ve always been.
We had a tradition before championship games where our coach would read us letters from previous players who had won a state title or a regional title. Hearing their words of success and advice on what to expect resonated more than I could imagine. It also made me hungry to one day be one of the persons who was writing a letter to a future team speaking about my own experiences as a champion. Unfortunately, I have never made it to the CrossFit Games. So, my advice on what to expect will mean very little. What I can offer you is a few things to keep in mind as you go through this weekend of events.
The first, is to remember that you earned your right to be in Madison. There were no flukes. You battled your way through the Open and the Qualifiers to be named the fittest 14-15 year old in the U.S. As you walk through the tunnels and see the other athletes warming up, just remember that you are just as good as anyone else. You earned your spot. You’re meant to be on that stage showing the world how talented you are. It can be easy to be intimidated, but you bested a lot of the other athletes in workouts and you need to remember that you are capable of doing that again this weekend.
The second thing to remember is that you have the support of an entire community back home. Despite the fact that not all of us could be in Madison with you, we are all behind you. Everyone is ecstatic to watch you compete and we are beyond proud of what you’ve accomplished already. We will all be watching every event, texting Manny for updates and sitting on the edge of our seats every time you step onto the field. When you hit tough moments, which you will, just remember that it isn’t just you out there. We are all with you.
The third thing to remember is that this is one of the most unique experiences in the world. Very few people can say they’ve been where you’ve been. Enjoy every moment! The lights, the crowd, the rush you will soon feel as you enter your first event. Those moments are priceless and relish every second of it. No matter what happens, you will forever be a “Games Athlete”, a title only a small percentage of athletes can have. Take nothing for granted and soak in as much as you can this weekend.
The last thing I want you to remember, is that I remember a time when you first came into NorthEast CrossFit. A scrawny, athletic, quiet kid. We knew right away that there was something special about you. Always hungry for more, always eager to learn and always willing to put in the necessary work to become better. You’ve ridden your bike through rain storms, blizzards and heat waves to get to the gym. You exemplify traits that are rare in people, let alone in a teenager. There is nothing that Castro can throw your way that you aren’t ready for. It has been an absolute pleasure to watch you grow into the athlete that you’ve become. And as much as Manny or I would like to take credit for all of your success, you’ve done it on your own with consistent good old fashioned hard work. There is nothing left to do, but to leave it all on the floor. Go get you some!
– Coach Cam