Unleashing The Powerhouse – Invictus Unconquerable
Interview by Tiffany Ammerman
Hailing from diverse backgrounds and united by their unwavering passion for fitness, Team Invictus Unconquerable embodies the true essence of camaraderie, pushing boundaries, and achieving greatness as they prepare to head to the CrossFit Games in a few short days!
Ammerman: You’re pretty new to the world of CrossFit and have already found yourself heading to the Games in a few short weeks! What initially piqued your interest to join CF?
Tyler Soderback: What piqued my interest in CrossFit was a documentary about Rich Froning that my father showed me when I was eighteen years old. At that moment I knew I wanted to compete at the CrossFit Games. At that stage in my life, my parents wanted me to finish college and focus on college baseball. During that time, I was just following a generic workout routine. When I initially saw that documentary, I was still eager and looking forward to one day starting CrossFit and pursuing my dream of going to the CrossFit Games. That dream came to fruition when I was finally able to begin competitive training, competing, and earning my way to the Games through CrossFit Ingenuity and CrossFit Invictus!
Ammerman: We’re so excited to see you at your very first Games appearance in a few weeks! Walk us through your emotions as you began to realize you’d be punching your ticket with your teammates.
Jessi Smith: I actually still don’t think it’s sunk in yet! I’ve been doing CrossFit for almost ten years and I remember watching the Games for the first time with my parents on CBS (I think that’s what it was on??). I knew then that I wanted to be out there one day but didn’t think it would really happen. It feels surreal. I think it’s going to hit me when we actually step onto the field for the first time, and I couldn’t be more excited to do that with these awesome people by my side! #TeamFunconquerable
Ammerman: You’re a long time CrossFitter with a pretty stout competition resume. What advice would you give your teammates who are going to be facing their first Coliseum crowd?
Eric Carmody: Enjoy it when you can because it’ll be over very quickly.
Ammerman: Beyond CrossFit, what are some of your other goals that you’ve been working on during your time in San Diego?
Jessi Smith: Getting toned, tanned, and working on my beach volleyball skills! Just kidding (kind of). I’m hoping to do some volunteering and continuing education for my physical therapy career after the games, since I took time off for this season. I’d love to work with ICE Physio and take some of their courses so I’m fresh and ready to go when I start back to work!
Ammerman: You found yourself in Korea for a while doing some work in the CrossFit world. How would you say the culture around CrossFit is different in Korea versus the States?
Eric Carmody: Crossfit gyms in Korea are very nice and clean. They usually have five showers for each male and female and offer towel service. The gyms are also much less dirty and are well maintained. Otherwise CrossFit is CrossFit wherever you go.
Ammerman: You said that you previously wanted to reach your goal of being a firefighter but have currently put it aside to pursue CrossFit. Do you think that CrossFit is something that you want to continue to do or do you see yourself moving back towards the life of a first responder?
Tyler Soderback: I have always wanted to follow my father’s footsteps in becoming a firefighter, but my father saw my passion and discipline in CrossFit, encouraging me to chase that dream first. If it wasn’t for the support from my mother and father, I wouldn’t be where I am today. When I started CrossFit, I had no idea where it would take me and the possibilities it held. As a lifelong competitor, CrossFit is the next level I want to achieve, reaching for the highest level, for as long as I can. These last two years were unexpected as I was doing local competitions in Washington State to help me prepare for my first Open. Fast forward to today, and I am living in San Diego getting ready for my first CrossFit Games representing CrossFit Invictus. Being still very new to this sport and having so much more to continue to build and plan, my goal is to carry it forward for as long as I can to pursue my competitive dream at my highest level of achievement. My passion and love for becoming a firefighter will always be in my future, but for now, I’m going to focus on competing in CrossFit and see where else this takes me first. Goals and dreams can be more than one thing, it is just the timing of each one and how they are each achieved.
It’s not just about the physical capabilities of Invictus Unconquerable; it’s also about their unyielding spirit, their relentless pursuit of excellence, and their unshakable belief in each other that is sure to lead them to greatness!