Some of you might have noticed a new Italian kid around the gym speaking with a Scottish accent. Don’t mind him, he belongs here.
Tino Marini has been an honorary Invicti for more than two years now. He has been one of my favorite athletes to work with because he is bright, motivated, consistent and coachable. Over the course of the two years he has consistently demonstrated an eagerness and aptitude for learning program design, athlete development and coaching.
The stars have aligned for Tino to spend a few months in the States learning and sharing knowledge with me and the Invictus staff . . . and hopefully we’ll be able to keep him here permanently.
Next time you’re in the gym, please introduce yourself to Tino if you haven’t met him yet. In the meantime, I will let him explain a bit about how he came to want to be a part of the Invictus team.
My first exposure to the “Sea of Green” came in July 2010 when I met the famous “Pops” at the CrossFit Games. I planned to take my Level 1 Certification in San Diego in early August 2010 and thought it would be cool to explore the CrossFit gyms around San Diego – CrossFit Invictus being one of them. I dropped Pops an email explaining that I would be in town and would love to come and train. I also mentioned that I would be at the Games. His reply was pretty instant (as always) and insisted that I came and said hey that weekend. He told me to look for the Sea of Green. It was safe to say that I found him pretty easily amongst the 50+ green T-shirts. The encounter was brief, but memorable. I instantly knew that there was something special about the community at this gym. The week preceding the Games I trained three times at Invictus. I loved it. Even though I was an outsider, I was welcomed into the community with open arms. During my last session, I met CJ and told him of my desire to compete in the sport of CrossFit. He explained that he offered online programming and would love to help me develop as an athlete. I was very impressed with his enthusiasm and knowledge. On returning to the UK, I emailed CJ pretty much saying, “when can we start….”
That was the beginning of a great relationship with the Invictus staff and community. Two years on, I now find myself not only part of the community, but also part of the Invictus staff. I couldn’t be more excited. It’s strange how things happen with the relationships we create, but I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. The meeting with Pops wasn’t just a chance encounter; it was the first part of a journey leading me to the point I am at today.
In November 2011 I returned to San Diego to spend some time training with CJ. I managed to squeeze in a competition up In L.A with some of the other Invictus athletes. That was my first outing with Krazy K and the rest of the community. I was totally blown away by the thought and precision of preparation for the event. Invictus canopy: check, fold away chairs: check, Food for athletes: check…the list goes on and on. Pops and Krazy had this down to a fine art. It was pretty incredible. I also experienced this recently on another level at this year’s 2012 CrossFit Games. I truly believe that much of the credit for the teams 4th place finish should go to those who helped make the weekend happen. Pops, Krazy K, Courtney and many others. It was pretty amazing what you guys did for the athletes and community.
I made the decision back in November 2011 that I need to make this more permanent. I believe that in order to become the best you have to surround yourself with the best. At Invictus, that is the case on all levels, from the coaches to the members. I have much to learn, and I know that with the influence of the Invictus community I will go far!