Who is Travis Mead, 11th in the Open after 22.1?
One of the added nuances to the 2021 Open (that is back for 2022) was the introduction of payouts for the top five overall finishers at the conclusion of the final week. Questions were asked about what type of athletes, and who in particular, might have the best chance to cash in.
When the dust finally settled last year, there were familiar names occupying those spots, especially on the men’s side. Amongst those five were Rich Froning and Scott Panchik, 2020’s fifth place Games finisher Jeffery Adler, and Scott’s younger brother Saxon, all of whom have made a name for themselves in the sport. But, joining them, occupying the third place position, is a name barely anyone had heard of: Travis Mead.
Where’d he come from?: Mead grew up playing lots of sports he said, but seemed to always be drawn to individual competition.
- “Out of high school I started training for my first bodybuilding show and did that for three years. I then went on to strongman and powerlifting for a few years, which was probably my favorite leading up to CrossFit.”
While working as an electrician, he eventually found CrossFit, “I took my first class at CrossFit Fort Vancouver and instantly fell in love. I’ve never looked back.”
The desire to compete: “I watched Crossfit Fort Vancouver compete at the Regionals in 2013 and that was it for me. I said I wanted to be out there, so I trained my ass off and made my first Regional in 2014.”
- Although he’s always had the Games as a goal, and continues to have that goal today, competition has never been about money for him. “Getting to the Games is still a goal to this day, [but] I always thought of the competition as a hobby for me and never really strived to make a living at it.”
Iron Valley CrossFit: Mead was clearly inspired by what he learned and experienced at Fort Vancouver, but he had an internal desire since high school to eventually open his own gym. A place where he could workout to get better and help others do the same. That’s why he decided to open Iron Valley in 2014.
- “Competing at a high level over the years played a big role for my success as an affiliate owner, but that wasn’t the only piece. I love people and I love helping people, so building a community was a priority for me. Seven years later I have the best family I could ask for.”
A month of Murphs: Mead didn’t really have a bad performance in any of the Open workouts in 2021, which kept him near the top of the leaderboard. Turns out the bulk of his training leading into the Open last year consisted of doing Murph every day for a month
- “I wanted to have fun this year, I wanted to do some crazy challenges. I saw a guy do 30 Days of Murph but he partitioned it and kept it around 48 minutes. If you know me, you know I like crazy stupid mentally and physically challenging workouts. I wanted to do 30 days, but unpartitioned and keep every Murph under 45 minutes. I actually had a PR Murph time on day 20 which was crazy.”
- “I do believe this helped me in the Open because I dropped nine pounds and my bodyweight movements were getting crazy good. If you look at the Open workouts: wall walks, burpees, pull ups, toes to bar, it was all bodyweight gymnastics. Doing 3,000 pull-ups and 6,000 push-ups with a 20 pound vest right before helped dramatically.”
Third in the Open in 2021: Mead’s success in the Open last year is not entirely unprecedented. He was doing great in the 2020 Open through the first four weeks, and ultimately stumbled a bit with the ring muscle ups in 20.5, but it wasn’t without reason. “I tweaked my shoulder and still participated in a local team competition that week which was a bad idea.” These are all the little stories no one typically knows about, they only see results on the leaderboard.
A Hero WOD a day for a year: Mead’s newest challenge, which he is in the midst of right now, is to complete 365 Hero WODs, randomly selected each day, over the course of a year.
- “Well I saw a guy do a Hero WOD [every day] for a month so I wanted to take it a step further because that’s who I am. I wanted to do something no one has done to test me mentally and physically. Stuff like this keeps me going and of course I love everyone around me calling me crazy or insane which just fuels my fire.”
It’s an incredibly ambitious goal, and not a challenge necessarily meant for everyone.
- “Would I recommend people doing this? Well maybe not exactly what I’m doing but I do challenge people to step outside their comfort zone and do something that challenges them both mentally and physically.”
What’s Next: Mead opted not to compete in the 2021 Quarterfinals, as it wasn’t a priority, and he had other endeavors on his schedule which included a strongman marathon.
2022 Open: In the midst of his year’s worth of Hero workouts, Mead showed up once again for the Open this year and picked up where he left off with a score that ties for 11th worldwide on 22.1. Based on everything he’s accomplished and done in the past year, don’t put it past him to potentially cash in the Open once again this year.