Workout of the Day:
Take 12 minutes to find your 1-RM Snatch (or Power Snatch);
immediately followed by,
12 minutes to find your 1-RM Clean (or Power Clean);
immediately followed by,
4 minutes for max reps burpees over a hurdle (lateral jump over hurdle to complete burpee)

Add snatch weight, clean weight and burpees completed for total score – e.g., 175 + 245 + 75 = 495.

Justin getting some post-workout love from his very pregnant wife.
Justin getting some post-workout love from his very pregnant wife.

An Athlete’s Perspective – Invictus is Different
Written by Justin Nahama

Another year has come and gone and the 2010 Crossfit Games are behind us.  While the Invictus programming and family size continues to evolve, one thing has remained the same:  Invictus is different.

At some point in our athletic or professional experiences, most of us have heard some version of “it’s not about winning and losing.”  While many make this hollow claim in theory, few actually apply it to their every day practice.  As a result, there is often self-imposed pressure to “win.”  Unfortunately, “winning” is a subjective term, which most define as their place on the podium.  Not at Invictus.

Daily, CJ and the rest of the incredible CFI coaching staff give us the gift of revealing the best version of ourselves.  While the platform for this quest of self discovery is physical, it is clear that what we learn through our struggles and triumphs in the workouts transcends the gym and touches every aspect of our life.

CJ’s coaching philosophy for our Games prep illustrates why Invictus is different. While most in the Crossfit community set their sights on being “the World’s Fittest Gym,” CJ defined the measure of our success by challenging us individually and collectively to be the best team we could be.

CJ said it best in a blog post shortly before the Games:

This weekend will be a celebration of [the Team’s] hard work, and of the community that has supported them.  Where our athletes place amongst others is irrelevant.  That they are true to themselves and allow their full potential to be realized will be the true mark of their success, and the perfect culmination to an incredible six-month journey.

I learned the true power of the Invictus community this weekend, and it had little to do with the Games.  Monday evening of the week leading up to the Games, I received a phone call from my Dad letting me know that my Grandfather had hours to live.  Like our CFI family, my family back East is extremely close and the impending loss weighed heavily on our hearts.  I didn’t sleep much the week of the Games as I waited for that phone call telling me that it was time to come home.  Defying all odds, my Grandfather fought until Thursday afternoon, passing away literally an hour before Susan and I were leaving for Carson.

On top of the deep loss I felt for my family, I was terrified that I was going to let our team and community down by having to leave Saturday night for my Grandpa’s funeral. I kept torturing myself by repeatedly visualizing the announcement of a 6 person WOD on Sunday.  What if we didn’t “win”? In a momentary lapse of judgment, I forgot that Invictus was different.  CJ’s response to my concerns of letting the team and Invictus family down was simple:  “you have a rock solid family here that will rally around you and support you by every means possible.” I took a moment to collect myself, and realized that I had fallen back into the trap that ensnares so many athletes. The moment I shifted my perspective, I felt a huge sense of relief.  This weekend was not about winning and losing, it was about showing the world what Invictus truly stands for.

Invictus embodies a community and family built upon a foundation of unconditional support.  We define our successes and areas for improvement by looking internally, not comparing ourselves to others.  While we can always draw strength from others, we know that the true source of strength lies within ourselves. What was more meaningful to me than placing first at the Games, was how many of you made time to come up to me this weekend, letting me know you were genuinely sorry for my (east coast) family’s loss.  The countless texts, emails, and phone calls from Shane, Nuno, Sage, Nichole, and M asking if my family or I needed anything meant the world to me.  Not once did anyone communicate, directly or indirectly, any disappointment that I was doing my best to honor both of my families. The team and Invictus community was, as usual, unconditionally supportive.

After 2 years of having the privilege of representing CFI, I assure you that the memory of how we place in each WOD and overall competition quickly fades.  What is forever etched in my head and heart are the little things.  The look on a team members face while they are searching their soul for that last reserve of energy. The drying tears in CJ’s eyes as he flies out onto the track or platform to be the first to embrace us.  My (extremely) pregnant wife refusing to rest and rubbing the countless knots out of my arms and legs.  The sweat, smiles, and screams from our fiercely loyal sea of green as they too battle the blazing sun to unconditionally support us, regardless of the outcome.  Invictus is different, and for that, I am grateful.

  • Justin, words can’t express how sorry I am for you. I know how hard it is when your family is tight-knit and you lose one of them. I regret not being at the Games to help support you 6 along with the rest of the Invictus family.

    And, you’re right. I’m proud of your guys’ performance this weekend but I’m really just so damn proud of those of us who make up the family at Invictus. Many people up here have had to put up with my incessant rants of pride for Invictus and how the people and the place practically spoil you for any other gym.

    Love you, brother. Like everybody else, if you need anything, I will do my best to help you out.

  • sagie poopers

    Um I cried when I read this.

  • Richard

    I cried a little too. Made me realize how much I miss being back home and amongst people that make that much more of difference in your life. The CFI community…well, words don’t describe what it means to me and how I actually feel. But I have been to other gyms and they don’t compare to the community at CFI. Justin is right. It isn’t about winning or losing at all. It’s more about setting your goals, realizing your full potential and seeing it through to the end. It’s knowing that at any given moment, anyone of us would drop what we are doing to cheer someone on or lend a helping hand and that speaks volumes for the sea of green. Congrats to the team and cheers to everyone that went and supported.

    Take care and miss you all out here in the rough and unforgiving waters of the Indian Ocean.

  • Nichole D

    Justin, we love you and Susan so much! There was never a question in our mind about what you had to do when you found out about your grandpa. This is what a team and community are about – coming together as a family and supporting one another through tribulation. I can’t tell you how much I am proud of you and of the team with how well we all came together this weekend. We are your second family and that means we support you and Susan with whatever trial comes your way.

  • Justin, you have been an inspiration to me from the first time we worked out together, not only due to your ability to crush any WOD, but also by your humble-selfless nature. I think people like you are what make our community different and so great. Every day I am amazed at the level of support each member receives from others in the gym. I believe this inspires others to be open and support others to achieve goals they never thought possible. Invictus truly is a model for what other CrossFit gyms should strive to become.

    Take care of yourself out there on the East Coast and as always, let me know if I can help in any way during this tough time for you and your family.


  • Kim

    Justin –
    I also cried when I read this. It takes an amazing amount of strength and heart to do what you did this weekend. Your ability to give everything you had while you were going through such a tough moment of your life was incredible to watch and truly inspiring. You are an amazing individual and I know that both your east coast family and Invictus is extremely proud of your accomplishments …

    I am truly sorry to hear about your grandfather. My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.

  • Cynthia

    Okay, also squirting tears here.

    Justin, when you made the announcement at dinner about having to leave, there was not one person there who didn’t understand and support you 100%. You made a comment that you hated to let us down, but there is no way you could or would ever do that. You are an incredible man in so many ways, and I’m happy that we get to know you.

  • Susan N.

    Well, I think the only thing more emotional for me than reading today’s blog was realizing I am married to the wonderful man that wrote it. Jay, I am in awe of your strength of character every day, and your loyalty to your friends and family is like nothing I have seen before. Our son is truly blessed to have you as a father. A huge thank you again to the Invictus family for the love and support you all have shown us- I am so very proud to be part of such an amazing community.

  • not sagie poopers

    Invictus is awesome. I’m an outsider but I love the vibe here. 468 on the workout. Sage I have a shirt for you from Melissa in Toronto. Rochet.

  • Cody-Mac


  • Snax

    that was a touching post, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

    I was in the process in posting this yesterday, but got busy and was not able to finish it.

    CJ and the Invictus crew,
    Congratulations on a STELLAR CF games! Top 5 two years in a row is amazing, especially with such a large and talented field of competitors. I am constantly reminded that the power of community is one of the reasons CrossFit has grown to the size that it has. No other affiliate quite emulates that like Invictus. I think the size of the Sea of Green proves that, you could not get a spectator shot without some green specks shimmering in the crowd.
    I miss you all, and will see you in September.


  • This is probably not the best way to do this…but is this Justin Nahama…as in Jay Nahama from Marist? Lacrosse player.
    If so small world, dude I just trained at invicuts these last two days.
    if not…awkward. either way I am sorry to hear about everything.

    hit me up if so
    (rugby player/comedian from marist)

  • The Nahama Sisters


    We are so proud you! Being a part of the “Sea of Green,” this past weekend, and witnessing how supportive and amazing the Invictus Community is, was truly an awesome experience – It’s easy to see how close of a family they have become in your life out here.

    With the loss of Pop Pop so close to the games, your dedication and committment to still represent Invictus was inspiring. We know how hard you struggled with everything, and the fact that you were able to create a balance and honor both your families is truly commendable. We are so proud of you for the hard work, tears, and sweat that went into all your efforts leading up to the games, and we are so grateful we were able to be a part of it (and appreciative the Invictus family was so welcoming to us!). Congratulations to you, Nichole, Sage, M, Shane, and Nuno for being total rockstars and such positive influences.

    We hope that we can make you as proud of us, as we are of you.

    Love you lots!
    Jenny & Jessi

  • This post really touched me. I happened upon it because my coach shared it with me. He said it was a great read.

    I was a judge this past weekend at the games. I can give my personal stamp of approval for your communities support for your team. The CFI crowd was one of, if not the loudest and most passionate crowd amongst all the fans.

    Justin, as I read your post, I nearly came to tears myself. I know of the CF community as a whole, and especially the CFLA community as one of support and love. I have no doubt that your CFI community was not at all let down if you had to leave Saturday and miss Sunday… In fact, I’d be willing to bet that if need be, they would carry you on their back to all the way to LAX from Carson just to make sure you made it to see your east coast family in such a painful time of need.

    I’m sorry for your loss, and I send my thoughts to you and your family.

    Congratulations to you and your team for everything that you all accomplished.

  • Pingback: Defining “Team” Invictus « Invictus | Redefining Fitness()