California Affiliate Home to Eight Athletes Who Have Done Every Open
Retaining clients for a decade is an accomplishment for any small gym owner. Forrest Jung has gone above and beyond this: His gym, CrossFit South Bay in Hermosa Beach, CA, boasts eight members who have not only been at the gym for a decade, but have done the CrossFit Games Open every single year since it began in 2011. All of them are gearing up to do it again in March.
- For Jung, promoting the Open is simply a great way to bring his community together. He’s doing that this year through a “battle of the sexes” competition with approximately 50 people on each of the two teams. Participation is down because of the global pandemic — last year Jung had four teams of 35 participate — but he’s excited nonetheless for “a nice, short and sweet Open,” he said.
What they’re saying: Ron Satow, who has been a member of CrossFit South Bay for “longer than recorded time,” he said, and is particularly excited about the Open this year because the 65 year-old will be joining the newly introduced 65-plus age group.
- Satow’s favorite competition moment came when a friend rounded up a bunch of 60-plus men from southern California to throw down together. “Picture this: Seven 60-plus men beating on each other in front of a crowd of cheering CrossFitters. You wouldn’t think saggy skin could move so fast…Then we all went to his house for a BBQ,” Satow said.
- For Mya Caruso, her favorite Open moment was when she got her first bar muscle-up during an Open workout. “I warmed up using a band and then just kept trying during the workout. The entire gym knew I had been working on them…so everyone started screaming and cheering when I got it. One of the members of the gym that I didn’t even know videotaped me so I could have a record of me fighting for it,” she said.
- And for 39-year-old Blake Trippy, who has been coaching at CrossFit South Bay since 2014 and hopes to be in the top 10 percent in his age division this year, his favourite Open memory is when he first captained a team at their Friday Night Lights event. “It was so much fun turning the workout into a community event, party-like atmosphere and watching everyone cheer each other on,” he said.
The big picture: Friday Night Lights won’t be happening this year because of COVID-19, but the feeling — and the memories the Open creates — will still be the same: miserable when it’s happening, but produces joy, a sense of accomplishment, and moments to cherish for a lifetime.
- Though his wife tells him he’s “grumpy the whole time the Open” is going on and he feels sick to his stomach before every single workout, the Open is a highlight for Satow every single year. “By doing the Open, I have to keep myself accountable. Training in preparation for the Open takes on a meaning, a purpose,” he said.
- This year won’t be any different, and at the end of the three-week competition, CrossFit South Bay’s competitors will all still get to feel that “sense of joy” and accomplishment they always feel the moment they complete the final workout, Trippy explained.
- He added: “Because you know that the Open is over, but also a little bit of disappointment because you know you will have to wait another year before it comes around again.”