“That was my biggest takeaway. How bad I want this.” Dallin Pepper Says He’s a Serious Contender for the 2022 CrossFit Games
When he made a name for himself in the teenage division at the CrossFit Games–standing on top of the podium in 2017, 2018 and 2019– Dallin Pepper was just warming up.
“I’m tired of hearing about what I did as a teenager, I loved it, it got me to where I am, but I’m an individual now and I’m here to compete with them.”
Now at just 20-years-old, Pepper is looking to finally break through in the men’s individual category, and after finishing fifth at Wodapalooza, he’s a serious contender to do just that.
“I think the transition to actually physically competing is definitely difficult because of how competitive all the men are. Everything is so fast out on that floor, everyone is good at everything. I’m not too worried about making a name for myself, I’ll let the results speak for that as I continue to compete.”
After day one, Pepper was sitting in second – just three points behind Patrick Veller – a place that he’s familiar with early on during competitions. Back at the West Coast Classic Semifinal, he was sitting in first after day one of competition. While his hot start to the weekend helps build confidence, Pepper says, he doesn’t focus too much on where he’s sitting early on.
“I saw where I was at but it didn’t matter because we were a quarter of the way through the entire weekend, there’s still so many points and I knew there would be ups and downs on the events that we still had left, so really I didn’t think about it too much.”
For fans in the stands or watching from home, the shift in the leaderboard for Pepper on days two and three was obvious. What might not have been as obvious, was a spill he took during the Bayside Chipper which led to a rolled ankle and not being able to walk the next morning. Luckily he had a good personal trainer though – Pepper was able to continue the competition and ultimately finished just two places outside of the podium.
Ahead of Wodapalooza, Pepper moved to Florida to train in person for the first time with his coach, Matt Torres. In addition to having his coach with him during training sessions, Pepper also gets to train alongside other top competitors under the Brute Strength Training program such as Phil Toon, Fee Saghafi, James Sprague and most recently, Emma Cary – an environment that Pepper is excited to be a part of.
“It can get really lonely training alone, but having all those great people around us is going to be awesome.”
With the CrossFit Games season beginning in couple of weeks, Pepper has not only the training environment and tools to be successful, but now the confidence too.
“I think I really proved to myself how bad I do want this. I know I want it, but with what I went through with my ankle, not being able to walk in the morning, as soon as I got on the floor I was ready to throw down and I was trying to win every event I could, that was my biggest takeaway. How bad I do want this.”