At the beginning of a project I seldom think about the ending—even though endings are natural occurrences in most things. I have been a part of the Fittest Games since 2012, serving as a creative and media director for this local competition that is held in Austin, Texas for the last eight-ish years. Throughout the years I have grown and learned alongside this event, but as 2014 comes to a close, so does my time with the Fittest Games.
I can’t help but look back at what a spectacular ride it is has been. I showed up a few years ago with a lot of ideas, ambition and determination but little experience. Jeremy Thiel and Nicole Hughes took a leap of faith and handed me the keys to a precious platform. Back then, social media wasn’t that huge of a thing but we all saw its value and soon, so would everyone else. As true with many, I have so many emotions tied to this event that I don’t even know where to begin. Special isn’t a strong enough to describe this local gathering of incredible people.
It’s not about the elite athletes. They are—no doubt—a signature part of the event but the real story is found within the heart of the community. The first-time competitors, everyday CrossFitter and those who just want to have fun are the people who continually captivated me throughout the year. These people may be labeled as average but watching them compete makes it clear that they are anything but. Watching the joy on peoples’ faces after PR’ing, learning a new skill or simply surviving a workout is the most filling feeling. I have had the pleasure of telling their story and celebrating with them. In a sense, I have shared in their trumps as a proud super fan. Many hours of sweat, stress and strategy went into the making of the Fittest Games and it certainly wasn’t possible all on my own.
I have had the pleasure of working with incredibly talented photographers, videographers and all-around creative folks. Outside of the media realm—I also collaborated with phenomenal event coordinators and logistics magicians. Ingrid Kantola, Laurie Pospisil-Gotcher and Michael Winchester are three outstanding individuals that have helped orchestrate a beautiful event that plays out like a sweet symphony—building to a crescendo on the final day.
It is a beautiful thing to be able to communicate and idea and have others buy in and help bring it to life. Brian Sullivan, Michael Bing, Dean Zu, Hance Taplin, Keir Simon, Elliot and Lindsey Schrock, Caleb Kerr, the assassin that is Walter Stokes, Bentura Flores, Heather Olsen, Chad Hamilton, Scott Wallace, Matt Block, Brian Flannery, Tim Bougie, my partner in crime Nicole Hughes and countless others have all contributed a wonderful creative verse in this great story. I am both proud and honored to have had the opportunity to interact with them. I am a better artist and individual because of them.
Above is the 2013 Media Team and below is two brilliant videographers I am honored to have worked with them.
There are many who work behind the scenes and volunteer there time to make (and continue to make) this dream possible. The care and craftsmanship they bring to the table adds a flare to events like this that help bring the social experience to life. You may not have noticed them, but then again you weren’t supposed to. Your job was to enjoy the event, celebrate with your friends and then sit back to re-live the story we captured for you.
I’ve learned so many valuable lessons and it would take more than just one blog to fully appreciate the past three years. I hope your experiences and memories from the Fittest Games are as fulfilling and heart-warming as mine.
I did not create the Fittest Games, I do not own it, it was never something that was mine but I love this event like it was my own and poured everything I had into it. I look forward to seeing it continue. Thank you to everyone who is involved with this event in any capacity. The 2015 season will no doubt be special.