The Reebok Crossfit Games Southwest Regionals were held at the Utah Olympic Oval, just south of Salt Lake City this past weekend, May 31- June 2. These regional games saw athletes coming together from Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. Gnarly was there with our tasting booth, trying to spread the love of Gnar a little bit further. Actually, gnarly was all around the event. Watching heat after heat of the Southwest’s fittest and most dedicated Crossfit athletes duke it out, you come to one conclusion; these are some very special individuals.
Gnarly was lucky enough to have Kyle Boyer representing not just his home box of Crossfit Dixie, but Gnarly Nutrition as well. A former collegiate and professional baseball player, Kyle found crossfit a year after he hung up his baseball cleats. He even opened his own gym (The Aforementioned Crossfit Dixie) with his brother in St. George, Utah and, Kyle says, “The rest was history” –he started training for the games with the same amount of ferocious dedication and iron will he’s always been known for.
The games are an intense competition. The chance to watch your hometown hero –the one who works out with you or maybe even teaches you– compete in an event that puts them on a trajectory aiming them against the crossfit world’s strongest, draws a huge crowd from anyone who’s devoted even a little bit of their time at a local box.
Watching Kyle compete was, what seemed to be, his entire box –all with matching green Crossfit Dixie t-shirts and all now probably nursing damaged vocal chords from their cheering. Whenever Kyle was competing, you knew exactly who his hometown fans were in the stands–they were the loudest there.
What was most impressive about this group though, was how many of these Boyer devotees were actually family. His wife, brothers and sister, parents, and some extended family were all happy to be there –even if they weren’t crossfitters. Talking to them you realized they actually didn’t want to be anywhere else. Even Kyle’s wife, Tiffany, was very content celebrating her birthday watching Kyle compete.
Looking at Kyle Boyer, it’s easy to be intimidated. He’s 6 feet tall and 195 pounds of absolute power. His shaved head and lumberjack beard make him all the more intimidating. That’s why it’s so surprising that, when you finally do get the courage to walk up and say hello, he flashes back a huge smile, grabs your hand for a hearty shake, and is genuinely happy to meet you. That’s when you get it. That’s when you realize that Kyle isn’t just special because he’s a damn tough competitor, but he’s also a dad with two kids, a wife, and a family that supports him enough to put aside a whole weekend and the health of their vocal chords to cheer him on. These folks turned the CrossFit Games into a sort of family reunion. They’re probably not the only ones that did that, but the Boyer family stands out because of Kyle’s passion for not just competing, but wanting to teach others as an owner and instructor of his own his box, setting an example for his young family and even simply not giving up. Kyle actually injured his knee and still competed in a final heat that consisted of box jumps and overhead squats, two movements that couldn’t have felt great on a badly beaten knee.
But that’s what Crossfit is all about. Honestly, it’s what sport, at it’s purest form, is all about too. These core values are what we here at Gnarly Nutrition really respond to – it’s why we felt inspired to build a clean nutrition line. We ask for these values from all the athletes we sponsor and Kyle gave us gallons of heart, inspiration, and integrity this past weekend. Thanks Kyle. Crossfit is gnarly because of people like you and your family. Wish we had time to tell all the amazing stories folks were gracious enough to share with us at our booth this weekend.
To all the competitors this past weekend, you’ve probably inspired hundreds you’ll never meet. Just know they’re out there……and they’re training for next year!