November 2013 Athletes Camp
The Invictus Athletes’ Camp Wrap-Up and Thanks
Written by C.J. Martin

If I told you that you could make a living hanging out with your best friends, studying what you love, learning from people who inspire you and sharing that knowledge with individuals who are eager to learn…would you believe me? I still have to pinch myself sometimes, but this past weekend was another fantastic reminder that I have an amazing career and community.

We just wrapped up our last Invictus Athletes’ Camp for the year in San Diego. It was a great group of participating athletes. They were open to learning, asked great questions and quickly embraced the Invictus principles of support and encouragement for their training partners. They helped us to create a great training environment that allowed everyone to learn and progress. Maybe most importantly, they were all open to our messages on mindset, vulnerability and character…and understood that those topics extend well beyond the gym and the arena. To all of you who traveled to San Diego to spend 3 days with the Invictus coaches and athletes, I cannot thank you enough for giving us the opportunity to share with you what we love and are so passionate about.

A sincere thank you to all of our coaches – Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, Josh Bridges, Aja Barto, and Nichole DeHart, as well as all of our assisting coaches – Ashleigh Moe, Bryan Miller, Elyse Umeda, Noah Pester, Ryan Swobody, Erica Livett, Cody Burgener, Tino Marini, Melissa Hurley, Heather Hippensteel and Lauren Fisher. You all embody the success and joy that comes with training and competing in the sport of CrossFit. I always learn from each of you, and am blessed to have you on our team. Your collective knowledge and strengths allow us to cover everything from gymnastics and weightlifting to mental toughness and game day preparation. This is an insanely talented group of athletes and coaches, and I am glad to be surrounded by you all.

A very special thanks also to Coach Burgener who took the time to come down and hang out with our athletes and share his knowledge with all of us. Coach B has taught me so much about weightlifting, coaching in general, and most importantly, is always an example of character and integrity. Any time I have a chance to hang out with him it’s a great day.

Heidi Fearon, you are a Godsend to everyone you come in contact with. You have a way of helping athletes (and coaches) center themselves and tap into their full potential that is unparalleled. Thank you for sharing what you do with all of our athletes, and for opening the door for them to explore their motivations in a way that few athletes ever will.

If you attended the camp and you’re reading this, please drop a note to comments. It’s much better for folks to hear your thoughts and experience of the weekend than it is for me to write about mine. Thanks again for helping us create a great training weekend.

If you have not yet attended an Invictus Athletes’ Camp, please get yourself registered quickly for our first camp of 2014 – which will be held January 17-19, 2014.


  • Kelly Levens CFRX

    If anyone is on the fence about attempt ding an Invictus camp, don’t hesitate! It was fantastic! Tons of great information and a great time…and it’s also in San Diego, which is almost guaranteed to be nicer than where your from! 🙂

  • Richard Lao

    Thanks CJ and the rest of the crew for a great camp this past weekend. It was hard to pass up an opportunity to train with such great coaches and athletes, and I’m happy to have done it. Whether you’re just starting to compete or a Regionals-level athlete, at the very least you can expect to come away with refinement to your technique, preparation and mental game. The coaches have all been to Games (to put it lightly) and their experience shows, but more importantly they’re able to effectively translate that knowledge to you. I’ve been to SoCal Regoinals the past few years as a spectator, and now I know why Invictus is so successful.

  • Rhett Chase

    Awesome camp! I had a lot of fun and got a lot out of the training. There is something to be said to train/compete amongst the best, and this setting proved to be an opportunity to do so. CJ and his staff of Games Competitors did an excellent job and there was not a wasted moment throughout the weekend. It was a great combo of skills/drills, lecture, Q&A and WODs.

  • Keith CrossFit Happy Valley

    I have been looking for a long time between Invictus and Outlaw, never really believing that either program could possibly be better than the other, or that it would be so close that it never really mattered. I followed Outlaw for a while and it never really agreed with me, it was boring and repetitive to me. I’ve been following Invictus “on the side” just because I’ve been hearing for years that Cj was some sort of Ninja coach. So when the chance to sign up became available i took it. I was immediately impressed with level of “welcome home” attitudes by everyone at Invictus…
    Obviously there would be awesome athletes here and even some awesome coaching, but i was blown away and happily surprised by what i experienced.
    The explanations from Cj on the “why” things are done and what he expects are precise and laser sharp, make no doubt about it, this dude means business when he says to get back to the bar and pick it up. There is a soft humor in his voice and he is as funny as he is intense….I know why I myself will always be dedicated to the word invictus and what it stands for….its not just another wod or fancy gym, its the indomitable spirit that is being grown here and being shared with the community.
    I learned a lot about myself this weekend and that the boundaries i set for myself are really only in my imagination. The greatest lesson of the weekend was “I might not be able to change my destination over night, but i can change the direction i take to get there” There isnt any one person i could thank, everyone there was fun and exiting. This was hands down the best training ive ever done for anything in my life. The talk on postures of defeat humbled me and helped me open my eyes to so much, in and out of the gym.

    Thank you Cj and staff for an amazing weekend. Like Camille said, don’t let it be a sad day, make it a good day….

  • Ingrid

    I would highly recommend this camp to any athlete wanting to improve on any aspect of their crossfit journey – it is open to anyone not just CJ’s athletes so it was an amazing opportunity to meet crossfitters from all parts of the country. It was also coached by some of the best in the world which inspired and challenged me and I came away from the 3 days wishing I lived in san diego and closer to the invictus box. Thanks to CJ and all your coaches for all your training tips, help and advice to making me stronger and smarter in my approach to crossfit.