Adam Davidson is the first to admit this year’s CrossFit Games aren’t what he has been dreaming about since his first regional competition in 2013.
- “I’m competing in the Games, but not at the Games,” said Davidson, the owner of CrossFIt Lolo in Victoria, British Columbia. “It’s not the same thing.”
But somewhere along the way, the rookie Games athlete, one of 17 total rookies (or first-time individual athletes who competed previously on a team) decided to embrace it.
- “I just realized I’m so over feeling sorry about the situation. So I decided, ‘You know what, I’m going to create the real Games experience as much as I can,’” said the 29-year-old.
Next week, Davidson is going to do whatever events he can do outdoors with a crowd, and his wife Kelsey Davidson, a photographer, took headshots of him to mimic what he would have experienced in Madison. Kelsey has even hatched up a scheme to put the faces of some of the other Games athletes onto masks for spectators to wear or hold up, “so it’ll feel like I’m competing alongside them,” Davidson said, laughing.
- “I’m not sure all that’s going to happen. I think they’re surprising me with some other stuff, too…I’m going to make sure I have the experience I wanted,” he said.
Davidson’s career: After competing on a team at regionals in 2013, Davidson sat out the 2014 season because of an injury, but returned in 2015 as an individual and placed 12th in the East. The following year, he missed qualifying to the Games in the West region by just two placings when he finished seventh.
- “2017 and 2018 were pretty emotional years for me. I think I just needed a break from (high level competition). All of my grandparents also passed away within a seven month period, and I just felt like I needed to prioritize being with my family. I still competed (in the Open) in 2018 but it’s kind of a blur,” Davidson said. That summer, Davidson tore his ACL and underwent surgery in December 2018.
- 2019: When the Open rolled around at the beginning of 2019, Davidson was in no position to contend, but he decided to compete anyway, even scaling a couple of the workouts. “The whole purpose was to show my community how CrossFit is infinitely scalable. I wanted to bring the community together to see the atmosphere, and I managed to get 60 people to sign up,” he said.
- 2020: Although making it to the Games “was always kind of the goal, it wasn’t the goal I had going into 2020,” he said. “I just wanted to learn what competing in a sanctionals event was like. I wanted to experience the format and see how I would react to travel and time zone changes, but then at my second sanctional, I punched my ticket,” said Davidson, who qualified by winning the Brazil CrossFit Championship shortly after placing third at the Pandaland CrossFit Challenge in China.
About his coach: Davidson has been coached by five-time CrossFit Games athlete Michele Letendre for the last three years, and has high praise for her.
- “She is extremely creative as a coach and isn’t afraid to try new things to see if they work. And she’s a mama bear. She’s there to take care of us,” he said, adding that Letendre flew across the country in recent days to help both Davidson and her other athlete Patrick Vellner — located 70 miles away in Nanaimo — prepare for next weekend.
About his strengths and weaknesses: The one movement Davidson admits he doesn’t want to see next week is a pistol. “And heavy snatches, although I might surprise myself and hit a PR. Oh, and burpees. Only short people like burpees, and Vellner for some reason,” he said.
- Davidson considers any kind of squat to be his strength. “Or heavy thrusters, clean and jerks, and anything from the hang mixed with something grippy,” he said. He’s also hoping to see handstand walking.
One big thing: Davidson credits breaking through this year to his mindset shift.
- “Competing has changed for me from being about me versus you and having to be better to being about a high level of playing and having fun. I’ve had a huge mental shift and people keep telling me I look like I have so much more enjoyment than I used to, and I do,” he said.
This mindset allowed him to not just achieve the biggest accomplishment of his CrossFit career, but also to appreciate it even more.
- “I don’t think I’ll ever forget that feeling of hearing them call my name and knowing what it took from all those years to get to that moment made it so much more special. And I got to share the experience with my wife. It was well worth the wait to celebrate it with her. It really was a team effort,” he said.
Get to know Davidson better: On September 14, a documentary about Adam Davidson’s rookie season — produced by his wife Kelsey — will be released on YouTube.
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