Kenny Kane, who coaches at CFLA introduced me to Corey Reed at a WodCast PodCast recording. Not only did Kane MC the SICcest of the SW, but he was also coaching the only team in CrossFit history to have a blind amputee representing their gym. Corey started out as a blind professional wake boarder, got in an accident and lost his right leg. Hearing the stories of the baby steps he started out with, all the way to him doing his do burpee box jump so trustingly was unbelievable. My favorite story was that in preparation for the competition, the whole team was united when they had to complete a run together, totally blind folded.
My good friend Kenny Leverich that represented SoCal in the 2012 Games this year, said it best when he met him in Phoenix. He told him everything he’s ever accomplished is nothing compared to how inspiring Corey is. Sharing the passion for our sport, and at the end of the day is just another Kool-aid drinkin fire breather that wants nothing more than to get PR’s, accomplish his goals, and get stronger. After how much he’s triumphed physically, I can’t imagine the mental battle running through his brain.
When looking around the press conference the night before, seeing a buff CrossFit-looking guy socializing with everyone, wearing jeans, and sunglasses inside, you might not assume right off the bat he’s blind. Until you see his girlfriend doing the same thing, with their seeing eye dog right in-between them. He ran up to me between heats and said that, the rumor has it… I was wearing a “For Him,” Jesus shirt. (Of course he was right!) He reached down with a huge smile and showed me the big white cross on his prosthetic leg. Getting to know him throughout the day, and tell him what the “energy is like” and explaining the competitive atmostphere to him was surreal. There were people in small groups everywhere, all having similar conversations about the team wods, the individual athletes, and the venue…. All trying to ignore the intensity of the stage that was right in front of us. Describing my very favorite place… a CrossFit competition, to someone that could ‘feel it’ but not see it, was quite the spiritual experience.