PALESTINE — Two years ago, the thought of flying to San Diego to compete in a national fitness competition had not “crossed” – or perhaps, “fit” – Jonathan Duncan's wildest imaginations. But that's exactly what the 25-year-old Palestine firefighter will do Feb. 19 and 20 at a nationwide CrossFit competition for firemen.
The “Firefighter Throwdown,” as the event is called, will be the first annual event of its kind at the Firehouse World trade show, which will take place at the San Diego Convention Center. The two-day event was created to give firefighters the opportunity to compete on a national level in endurance, stamina and overall fitness through high-intensity CrossFit workouts.
Duncan, who started training with CrossFit a year ago, said he was “very surprised” when he found out he qualified for the event, which will bring together 100 of the fittest firemen in the nation.
“I read about it online and some people I train with there in Jacksonville, they talked me into signing up to see where I would be with it,” he said.
Duncan said when he found out he made it, the moment was “kind of surreal.”
“I was actually here at work that day, and got the email over my phone. I was just kind of in awe – like 'Really, me?' And I really just couldn't believe it.”
To qualify for the competition, Duncan has to send in personal times and statistics on a series of high-intensity CrossFit workouts. Jody Dyess, a coach at CrossFit Truth in Jacksonville where Duncan trains, said he helped his friend record the required stats.
“Once a week they would put up a workout (online), and you would have to do that workout and send in your stats, whether it was weight or time or whatever they put up,” Dyess said.