Justin Nahama, Josh Edgeman, Katie Keller and Sage Burgener represent Team Invictus at the CrossFit Games in 2009. Not pictured: Christina Marzocca & Adam Towle.

Oh What a Difference 10 Years Makes!
Written by “Krazy” Karen Martin (aka Team Mom)

As we prepare to send off our athletes to compete for our 10th year at the CrossFit Games, I became a bit sentimental thinking about all the amazing things that have happened over the years. I asked Jim (Pops) to dig up all the pictures and videos that he had stored over the last ten years. The memories came pouring in…

I remember CJ asking me in the spring of 2009, to see if I could find a few rooms for an event in Aromas. I had never heard of Aromas and the closest hotel that I could find was a Holiday Inn in Watsonville. CJ asked Pops and I if we could take some vacation to help drive athletes to something called the CrossFit Games. Invictus had only been open 6 – 8 months and we were watching CJ come back to life after choosing to leave his job as a securities litigator.

We loaded up a few cars and headed out to Aromas. I remember having a lot of people sharing each room. Rollaways and sleeping bags in every corner of each room. We brought knee socks that we bedazzled and embellished with inappropriate names for Coach Michele Vieux who was competing as an individual. (She also thought it would be a good idea to run a food booth and compete). CJ’s brother Gary created the special “Gary Burger” that became the hit of the weekend. We had no running water and Cynthia and Barry had to take the dirty pots and pans back to their campground to clean them so we could run the booth the next day.

Sage Burgener, Katie Keller, Christina Marzocca, Justin Nahama, Adam Towle and Josh Edgeman proudly represented Team Invictus 2009. I vividly remember waiting for our team to come down the hill (a horrible, dry, loose-dirt hill that they had to crawl down the back side to keep from falling) and Katie came out of nowhere, alone to finish the race. The team had to finish together so she headed right back up that hill to find her teammates and complete the run with the group. I also remember Sage Burgener’s muscle-ups being the highlight of the weekend for many.

We would go back to the hotel each night, absolutely filthy from the dry dirt and dust and smelling like the grill after making burgers and brats all day – with smiles on our faces – not knowing that we were the start of a legacy called Team Invictus.

Also Check Out…

Road to Games E1

Road to Games E3: The Unconquerable Women of Invictus

Road to Games E4: Team Invictus Boston, Bringing the Heat

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Ryan Mak SJ
Ryan Mak SJ
July 28, 2018 7:23 pm

Love this! Congrats on 10 Years — Thank you for being so welcoming to me when I return to San Diego. I love coming to Invictus when I’m home in SD!