by Christy Parrott
Well known for its world-class athletes, Grand County can add Cal Cherrington as the 3rd fittest man on earth to the accolades. Cherrington recently competed in the 2018 CrossFit Games, an international event, based in Madison, Wisconsin, where athletes from all over the world compete in various, rigorous events for five days. There are fifteen thousand CrossFit studios worldwide, and the CrossFit Games draws competitors from across the globe. The top 200 competitors are whittled down to the top 20 in each age division, which starts at fourteen and goes to 60+ (Cherrington’s bracket).
The physically demanding challenges include swimming, gymnastics, weight lifting, even hand walking. “CrossFit philosophy is based on the idea that routine is the enemy,” Cherrington explains. “They can throw anything at you.” The workouts each athlete endures over the five-day event are anything but routine. Cherrington describes a 600 meter run, followed by an obstacle course, cargo nets, a 15-foot wall climb and monkey bars. “Living at altitude gives me a big advantage,” Cherrington says. “If the event is longer than ten minutes, I think to myself, I can win this. The open-water swim was the most difficult for me,” he insists, as living in Grand County, water sports aren’t widely available.
Before opening Stand Firm CrossFit studio, Cherrington has worked in Grand County as a rancher and high school teacher, coaching wrestling for 33 years. The discipline involves in his previous professions has prepared him for success with his life long passion of fitness. But can says the secret to his success, outside of hard work and dedication, is not only the altitude but also nutrition. “I eat clean food. No sugar,” Cherrington says. At 7% bodyfat, he certainly knows how to eat for fuel. “I’m not the strongest person on earth,” Cherrington admits. Though, he’s certainly one of the fittest. Cherrington plans to return to the CrossFit Games next year to take first place.
Cherrington provides training at Stand Firm CrossFit studio, located at 695 West Agate Avenue in Granby, just behind the Pearl Dragon restaurant. 303-921-6394. “Walk through the front door,” Cherrington insists. “That’s literally the hardest thing to do.”