Morning Chalk Up Community

Chalk It Up To Greatness: Chandler Smith

April 21, 2023 by

If you are measuring success by strength of character, Chandler Smith stands on top of the podium. His unflappability is mightier than his 615 lb deadlift, patience more powerful than his 490 lb back squat, and persistence tops his 305 lb snatch. Chandler knows when to take life seriously and when to find humor, balancing the highs and lows of life with an unbeatable spirit. 

Born into an athletic family, Chandler was coached to view sports as a profession. His father, Cedric, played 6 seasons for the NFL then transitioned to being an NFL strength coach. Being surrounded by elite athletes, set a high bar which Chandler always felt he fell short of. This motivated Chandler to find his own path, a place he belonged. 

Photo Credit:

Chandler tried many sports in his youth and found his groove in wrestling. Chandler competed in the sport through high school and into college at West Point. Wrestling taught Smith valuable lessons of discipline and resilience. The demands of the sport required training 4 times a day along with strict weight protocols. Intense training along with classes and social life left little time for sleep. Chandler conditioned his body and mind to operate in a state of constant suffering. 

Crossfit became part of Smith’s training in 2010 during his junior year of high school. He  was looking for military training to prepare him for the Army and CrossFit was the perfect fit. Smith continued to use CrossFit to train during his time at West Point and throughout his military career. 

Chandler teaches us to persevere with unwavering fortitude. This is why Captain Chandler Smith tops the leaderboard of greatness. He is a champion of honor. 

The character qualities Chandler developed in his youth have served him in adulthood as he set out to exhaust his potential. Smith has met a minefield of obstacles on his mission to  greatness.  Smith qualified for his first CrossFit Regionals in 2016. One day prior to the 2017 CrossFit Open, a military accident took off half of Chandler’s left ring finger preventing him from competing. In 2018, Smith was called up for military deployment which caused him to miss regionals. Finally, in 2019, Chandler got his chance to compete at the CrossFit Games and placed 15th. The 2020 pandemic was no problem for a man who has experienced bullets flying overhead. He stocked up on rice, set up a home gym, and continued training. The Games were held at The Ranch where Smith placed 6th.

After a decade of service in 2021, Smith retired from the military to become a professional CrossFit athlete. After finishing 21st at the Games, Smith committed to taking athletics even more seriously. He had a punishing drive to improve. Chandler was in peak condition for the 2022 Granite Games when he was struck with an asthma attack. His unmatched grit willed him to finish the competition but it was not enough to qualify for  the CrossFit Games. 

Chandler and Jessi: Photo courtesy of @blacksmifff

An exit from the military allowed Chandler space for relationships and enjoyment of life. In September 2022, he married his best friend, Jess, then podiumed at the 2022 Rogue Fitness Championship. In the new year, he moved to sunny Southern California to train with the lively Invictus crew. Life was all heading in an upward direction until adversity struck once again. Bracing his fall off of a bike, he fractured his left wrist. Miraculously, Chandler fought through the pain to complete quarterfianls. Now, he has just enough time to heal before the North America West Regionals. 

What keeps Chandler Smith going each time the unexpected happens? He lives by a higher purpose. He believes that what he does and who he is matters and influences anyone watching. Chandler Smith is devoted to living to his potential and uplifting others along the way. Being a good example is more important to Smith than any self serving goal. Chandler teaches us to persevere with unwavering fortitude. This is why Captain Chandler Smith tops the leaderboard of greatness. He is a champion of honor. 

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