Will Carter and Move Fast Lift Heavy’s CrossFit Games Ambitions: ‘We will be a force to be reckoned with.’
Born and raised in Westchester, NY, Will Carter had two older brothers growing up, which he said was a double edged sword.
“My two older brothers were good football players,” said the 30-year-old. “So I was always trying to keep up with them, and they would push me, and I was always the little man and they definitely ganged up on me a bit. It was me versus them two a lot of the time. But it kind of molded me into what I am today.”
Carter went to his dad, asking him how he could get bigger and stronger, responding to the adversity by wanting to get better. His dad started taking him to the gym, helping him bulk up for both wrestling and football, along with being able to hold his own at home, and it was here that the youngster fell in love with fitness and all things working out.
Carter, who is currently slated to compete at the Granite Games on Team Move Fast Lift Heavy with Christian Harris, Nicole Soto and Winter Nicollete Rodriguez, went on to play college football after graduating from high school in 2013, and first discovered CrossFit when his brother Tommy opened up a gym, called Immortal Fitness in Pleasantville, NY right before his senior season.
“I started incorporating it into my training,” said Carter. “So I had a little taste of it.”
After graduation, Carter started “falling in love with CrossFit”, heading to his brother’s gym on a regular basis, and his first foray into the sport of note was the 2014 CrossFit Open, where he came 816th in the North East division. Carter said at the beginning the idea was to find a proper channel to continue his athletic growth in.
“I knew I needed something to replace football, because I had been playing football my whole life since eight years old and now it was over, and I needed something to fill the void, and it was CrossFit. I started substitute teaching, and after I did my first Open (in 2014), things definitely started to change for me. I remember just being blown away by what some people were able to do physically. And that was a real turning point for me.”
Carter continued his development under the tutelage of his older brother, diving into CrossFit’s now famous early days on YouTube where the likes of Rich Froning, Tia-Clair Toomey and Mat Fraser were giving viewers a peek into their training and mindset. In 2018 Carter got his first taste of potential success, and setback, when he finished 27th in the North East region, qualifying for Regionals, however losing his spot due to a video penalty which bumped him to 46th.
“I remember just being blown away by what some people were able to do physically. That was a real turning point for me.”
Carter rolled through this and put together a couple solid events with Team Conquer, a 10th place finish at the Mid Atlantic CrossFit Challenge in 2019 and 11th at the French Throwdown that year too.
Then last year, after his Move Fast Lift Heavy team finished second at the Granite Games, Carter was dealt another blow to his dream as they were notified that Katie Christian had tested positive for Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a banned substance, and their trip to the 2021 CrossFit Games was gone.
It was here, Carter said, that for the first time in his CrossFit career, that he considered quitting.
“That put me in a really bad place, I was just so heartbroken … I was burning the candle at both ends with a full-time job and having my parents take as much as they could off my plate to help me. And it was so much sacrifice and so tough to have it all taken away like that, it was really hard, I remember there was 22 days where I was like, ‘I’m done with CrossFit.’”
Carter, who has been teaching physical education at John Jay High School in Cross River, NY for the past three years said now the CrossFit Games are closer than ever for him and his teammates, and he is ready to finally take the next step. However, if and when he sets foot on the competition floor in Madison, WI, he’s not just going to be happy to be there.
“We will be a force to be reckoned with,” said Carter when asked about his team’s expectations for both the Granite Games and the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games if they make it. “I’m not going there to not win, that’s all that I’m thinking about… I understand it’s a big spectacle and it’s the biggest arena I’ll have ever be in but I haven’t been doing all these long days and nights to just go. We’re not planning on going to participate, we’re thinking and visualizing about winning.”