CF West Santa Cruz member Ben Lezin is in his 3rd year at St Mary’s College of Maryland where he is on the sailing team. St Mary’s has a standout sailing program, one of the best in the nation, with 3 alums and 1 current student just being named to the 2011 U.S. Sailing Development Team, the pipeline to the Olympic team. For over a year now, CrossFit has been Ben’s, and many of his teammates’, principle strength and conditioning program. Here is his testimonial.
Recently my college sailing team competed in one of the largest sailing events of the year. There were over 100 participants in the Navy Fall regatta hosted by the US Naval Academy, teams came from all over and included: MIT, Harvard, Boston College, Georgetown, Navy and many more. Before the two-day regatta I stopped in at CrossFit Annapolis where I was welcomed with open arms, it was terrific to see that there is a thriving and dedicated CrossFit community at Annapolis.
On Saturday morning we passed through the security checkpoint at the academy and were greeted by 18-20 knot winds. We rigged our 2-person boats and prepared for an epic day of sailing. The first day we dominated and posted nearly straight bullets, scoring no worse than fifth place over 18 races. The races were approximately 25 minutes long and required quick bursts of energy combined with the prolonged maintenance of a single position, similar to that of a plank. The boat I was in was consistently faster and better able to handle the progressively increasing wind, which peaked at 22 knots with gusts nearing 28. It was awesome to blow past some America’s finest, Navy Midshipmen, who are supposed to be the epitome of an expert tactical athlete (some preparing for SEAL school).
The same successful trend continued into Sunday with equally strong winds. Unlike many of my competitors, I was able to hang in there and hammer out some top scores with my teammates. There is no greater feeling than knowing that you are the best physically prepared athlete on the field. I credit CrossFit with my team’s success and our near 100-point victory over the competition.
CrossFit has helped me tremendously in my sport. The workouts we do for sailing were specially developed for sailing at the Olympic Training Center, but CrossFit has better equipped me for sailing in extreme conditions. I am not a fitness guru nor do I have any professional training in strength or fitness, but I truly believe CrossFit has better prepared me for my sport than any training program Colorado Springs can come up with. I guess you could consider me a “true believer”, CrossFit is the way to go.
Back in Santa Cruz for the Thanksgiving holiday, Ben was hammering the weights at CFWSC today, deadlifting over two times bodyweight for several singles and posting the day’s fastest time on the WOD.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.