Fischer king: Carbondale man to make first trip to CrossFit Games finals
CARBONDALE — Mark Fischer isn’t afraid to admit that, at 55 years old, he’s in the best shape of his life. He’ll also admit that, five years after he first joined Sopris CrossFit, he never thought he’d be competing in it on an international level.
“I think most people start doing CrossFit just to get better at skiing, or biking, or whatever. It’s definitely helped me do that,” Fischer said. “It’s safe to say it’s become a little bit more than that for me.”
After five years in the gym, Fischer is doing a lot more than a lot of people his age. And one of the big things he’ll be doing is competing against some of the best CrossFit athletes in the world when the masters division of the CrossFit Games finals takes place Tuesday through Thursday in Carson, California.
“There is a little bit of an ego boost when you see where you stack up with everyone else. I’m not gonna lie about that,” said Fischer, who qualified for the finals when his workout performances exceeded many of those around the country. “It would be easy to become a real schmuck and really brag about it. But really, it’s more about improvement than anything else. It’s about getting better.”
It’s the first time at the finals for Fisher, who will compete in the Masters Men’s 55-59 year old age group. What’s more, Fischer will go into the three-day event ranked No. 32 in the field when competition begins the morning of July 22.
And he has a sense of humor about it, too.
‘I’ve actually had dreams about walking into this big coliseum and being crushed by these monstrous people,” Fischer said, laughing. “It’s really unfathomable how fast and quick and strong and agile these people are. It’s frightening.”
It’s almost frightening how well Fischer did during his regional workouts, which took place over a four-month time frame and concluded in May. Following the five-workout qualifier, Fischer was ranked No. 7 in the worldwide field. Fisher’s seeding headed into the CrossFit Games was changed in the past month and determined based on factors like overall CrossFit competitive experience.
Fischer takes it in stride, though.
“I didn’t think that I’d ever be in the Top 20 in the world in anything,” he joked. “It’s very bizarre.”
This year, CrossFit introduced the first-ever Masters Qualifier. The top 200 masters athletes in each age division — 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59 and 60-plus — had from April 17 to April 21 to complete four events or, in CrossFit terms, workouts.
Masters athletes had five scores recorded to determine the top 20 in each age division. The first of five scores for each masters athlete will be their final Open ranking. The other four scores are the final rankings of each event from the Masters Qualifier. The top 20 athletes in each age group received an invitation to the Games.
Fischer plans to keep things in perspective with hopes of keeping things fun while he’s competing in California — among other things.
“I hope that I can have a good showing while keeping a certain amount of dignity,” he said.
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