The poster for the first Games in 2007. Fast forward to 2012, we ain't in Kansas any more.

The CrossFit Games are in its sixth year and by now it is huge.  It takes place at the Home Depot Center in LA, the same place the US Open in tennis is held. It’s also the home stadium of the professional soccer team the LA Galaxy. It houses three separate stadiums, including a 400m track. Yeah, it is a big place, and come Games time, it will be packed with thousands of CrossFitters from all over the world.

But it did not start that way. The Games began in 2007 at a private ranch in Aromas, a little south and inland from Watsonville. Basically in our backyard. This first Games boasted about 150, including competitors. There was not any kind of qualifying events and you could sign up right there on the spot, a few minutes before it started. Now, I am kicking myself for not doing just that. It would be really cool to have competed in that first Games, but, as we all stood around in the sun watching the events, no one knew how quickly it would grow. There was a lot of talk about really training and coming back next year. Well, by the next year the Games was already a whole different beast.

People often lament the growth of the Games, and the how big it has all gotten. What they really mean is that they wish they could have experienced the Aromas phenomenon. Sitting there on a grassy slope, watching the events. Or lounging in your tent or on lawn chairs in the back of a pickup truck. Maybe going for a run up the infamous Aromas hill between events. All that separated you from the action–the pullups, the bouncing bumpers and bars, the in-the-dirt burpees–was some orange snow fencing about 4 feet high. Yeah, I am really glad I was there for all three years of the Aromas Games, but I don’t miss it. Because of Regionals.

Regionals are the Games at Aromas. Regionals are it, the big local comp, right in your backyard. You can get right up to the action, set up tents and lounge in truck beds, and light up the mini-grill between events. No one really has to travel or get hotel rooms, and you can have load of your gym mates and fellow CrossFitters right there with you, cheering and screaming, roaming the booths, just sitting around talking shop. If you ever thought how cool it would have been to have been at the original Games in Aromas, the Regionals are your answer.

The NorCal Regionals are May 18-20, and wil once again be held at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. Tickets are 25 smacks for all three days, or just 10 for each individual day. If you want to get even closer to the action, maybe get some dirt kicked your way or walk through a cloud of chalk, man a stopwatch or scream no rep at the top athletes in the world’s toughest region, you can volunteer for any of the three days.

That’s right, NorCal is officially the most kickass region in all the world. NorCal has eight athletes or teams in the top 10 rankings (men, women, team), more than any other region. CrossFit West is seeded in sixth place out of the top 30 NorCal teams. Only three advance. Come May 18th, get your boots on the ground and your throat hoarse from cheering. It’s going to be a blast.

See you at Regionals.


Back Squat 5/5/5/5/5 (add 5lbs from last week)




Double Under

Situp (anchor feet under dumbbells, hands must touch DB handles each rep)