Mat Fraser, the champ, champ, champ, champ, champ of the CrossFit Games announced yesterday that he is retiring from competition.
Writing for the CrossFit publication Morning Chalk Up, Fraser, the five-time consecutive (2016-2020) CrossFit Games champion, explained that while his decision to retire wasn't an easy one, he is choosing to leave the sport that he loves now, in the prime of his career and at the age of 31, to focus on friends, family and having a normal life.
That hasn't been possible for the past five years, when Fraser was focused with laser intensity on becoming CrossFit's GOAT. In his letter, Fraser explains how his obsession with winning impacted all areas of his life and was sufficient to stop him using a steak knife ahead of the Games to avoid potential accidents. "It wasn’t worth the .01% chance I’d cut myself and ruin my week of training or compromise my performance during competition," he wrote. "I was obsessed with finding improvements anywhere possible and always terrified that one had slipped through the cracks."
"Ever since the end of the 2015 season, when I decided to stop fucking around and commit myself fully this sport, CrossFit has been my world," writes Fraser, "and for that same reason, this is also an easy decision. Except for a few weeks in August, when I allow myself a break, my focus has been relentless.
"I’ve passed up vacations, bachelor parties, and more dates with Sammy than I can count, all so I wouldn’t miss a single training session or a full night of sleep.
"For eight years, every day has been roughly the same: wake up earlier than I’d like, sell my soul to the Assault Bike and the swimming intervals and the 40-minute AMRAPs, eat, sleep, repeat.
"No decision was unintentional."
While, he says, he's not sure how he'll be part of the CrossFit community in future, he absolutely has plans to be part of it. He won't be launching an affiliate gym, but he has hinted at releasing more of the workouts, programmes and training that went into building the five-time champion that we know today.
And what now for the CrossFit Games? Well, Fraser's retirement leaves a chasm at the top of the men's division, which will need to be filled. Just who will step forward to take Fraser's crown remains to be seen.
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