Nairobi Romero: The Invictus Prodigy
Interview by Sea of Green Member Marty Rojas
At the beginning of the year, I switched to working out in the mornings and had the opportunity for one of our youngest members, Nairobi Romero, to be one of my semi-private coaches as she was shadowing Melissa for her internship. She is one of the nicest and strongest people that you will meet at Invictus. I interviewed her the day of the Open 15.3 workout, and she was extremely nervous about the workout (which she crushed). Even with the nervousness of the 15.3 workout, there was a lot of excitement as she talked about her coaching internship.
Marty: First, how old are you and what grade are you in?
Nairobi: I’m 16 [she has turned 17 since the interview] and in the 11th grade.
Marty: How did you find out about CrossFit? But more importantly, how did you learn about Invictus?
Nairobi: I started at Invictus when I was 11. My dad, who knows that I liked fitness, told me about this gym around the corner from where I lived, and I said YES!!! There was no hesitation.
Marty: What are your competition goals for CrossFit and Olympic lifting?
Nairobi: My main goals are to make the CrossFit Games podium and win first place. The Olympic lifting competitions have been really fun. Before I knew about the CrossFit Games, I wanted to make the Olympics in the 100 meter sprint.
In the weightlifting competitions, I’m having fun with it. It’s exciting to lift heavy weights and put it overhead. It’s fun! I’ll give it my all and see how far it goes.
I still do track on Wednesdays, I love the 100 meter sprint because it’s short and quick and you have to go all out. Maybe hit a nine second sprint, even if I don’t go to the Olympics for the 100 m sprint.
I was looking at my goals in my journal recently and I had “win the CrossFit Games” written at least ten times in it and to have a six second sprint. I don’t use other people’s limits as my own limits. I believe I can do whatever I can imagine.
Marty: Did your mom take up CrossFit so that she and Justin (Herzog, another Invictus Member) can scare boys away when they stop by your home?
Nairobi: No, there are no boys around. They’re kind of scared of me. My mom had been wanting to try CrossFit for a while; she knows how much I love it. It is great that we have this in common and can talk about CrossFit. Even my dad does CrossFit.
Marty: Have you done a partner workout with your mom yet?
Nairobi: We have talked about doing a partner workout together, but she wants to get better and stronger. She wants to beat me when we work out together. We have also talked about maybe doing a competition together in the future, and of course to win it.
Marty: How did you get the opportunity to be an intern coach?
Nairobi: At my high school, the juniors get internships for a month. My first thought was to do mine at Invictus. I talked to Michelle about it, and it worked out, especially since I’m always here. I learned a lot about coaching, talking to people, and running a successful gym. I never knew there was so much behind the scenes work going on. I would coach in the morning and workout at 1:00 p.m.. I was sad when it came to an end. It was worth it, even if it meant waking up at 4:00 a.m..
Marty: What did you enjoy the most being Coach Mel’s minion?
Nairobi: (silence – thinking) I can’t really choose one thing. Everything was so much fun. I enjoyed everything about it. I’m a bit shy in front of people, so I had to practice to be louder in front of group classes. I started thinking, ‘I’m always here at Invictus, there’s no reason for me to be shy.’
Marty: Other than me, were there any members that were a pain in the butt when you were coaching?
Nairobi: No, it was just you, Marty. It was fun and I know you were trying to help me.
Marty: What are your favorite Girl Scout cookies? And how many boxes did you eat?
Nairobi: I didn’t get any boxes. My favorites are Samoas and Thin Mints. I only had 2 thin mint cookies.
Marty: Have you started thinking about what university you want to attend?
Nairobi: I’m not sure what university I will go to. My high school is helping us with deciding where we want to go. I’m open with all my options, maybe study abroad for a year, maybe go to China for a year. I would love to go to China to study. I had a lot of fun when I was there before. I’m not closed about staying or going somewhere, it will also need to work with my training schedule and I’ll value CJ’s input.
In the Teenage Girls 16-17 division of the 2015 Open, Nairobi tied for fourth place worldwide and the Sea of Green looks forward to cheering her on this July in Carson as she competes as a teenager at the 2015 CrossFit Games!