“This… Is… EVERPROVEN!” — Our Favorite Spartan Goes to Regionals
Name: Robby Teixeira
Joined EverProven: November 2012
Occupation: Heavy equipment mechanic
Athletic Background: Played many sports, but especially football
Least favorite CrossFit exercise: Thrusters
Favorite CrossFit exercises: Gymnastics-inspired movements, such as muscle-ups and handstand push-ups.
Our entire community was honored to support Robby Teixeira at the 2014 CrossFit North East Regionals in Canton, MA. He may look like he walked out of the movie 300, but this fiercely bearded and usually shirtless EverProven athlete is one of the nicest guys around. When I ask Robby how he placed overall, he literally doesn’t know. “I never checked,” he says. “I don’t care.” When I semi-jokingly refer to him as The Face of EverProven, he disagrees, arguing that everyone at the box makes up that face. All this could be taken as false modesty, but he absolutely means it. He genuinely loves to see other members hit PRs, and he loves the feeling of community we all get from making it through a WOD together.
Robby actually hasn’t done many competitions. He says he psychs himself out. “I’m not afraid of the workouts, or people watching me, or even failing,” he says. “It’s the fact that, in my head, I want to do better than anyone there. I’m just really competitive.” Sounds kind of strange for a guy who just said he doesn’t even know how he did at Regionals, right?
When he found out he qualified for the Regionals, he actually began to dread it. He was frustrated trying to practice things he knew would be in the workouts. He says he fell about a thousand times trying to handstand walk more than 10 feet, and he swore and stomped around trying to perfect hang snatches. And he kept working on his mobility, which he describes as his biggest weakness. “I’m about as flexible as a tree,” he says. “All my Olympic lifts are terrible compared to what they should be.” While that’s 70% due to mobility limitations, the other 30% is due to his natural bull-in-a-china-shop approach to lifting. “I see something big and I do whatever I can to pick it up,” he says.
He began to feel differently about Regionals once he started getting messages of encouragement as the competition approached. As he would discover, that was nothing compared to the support he received once he actually got there. He said he doesn’t know a lot of competitors from other boxes, so it felt wonderful to have the EverProven crew there, and to be cheered on and congratulated by so many total strangers as well.
The first Regionals event was the dreaded hang snatch (1-rep max), and he was in a great mood. He realized he wouldn’t make it to the Games, because he wouldn’t be among the top three finishers. Unlike so many other Regionals athletes, he’s a regular person with a job outside CrossFit. He stopped worrying about where he was going to place, because, as Robby says, you don’t get a prize for being 15th, or 8th. “It was the first time I actually had fun competing, because I didn’t feel any pressure,” he says.
The second event was handstand walking for max distance. He made it 120 feet, further than he had ever handstand-walked before. His hands are still burned from the heat of the mat that day. He continued to push himself with weight that was outside his comfort zone. “I’d rather risk it all then go out there and play it safe,” he says. “If I’m gonna fail, I might as well fail with heavy weight.”
The fifth event was where Robby’s perseverance and sportsmanship really shined. He had to do 10 rounds of legless rope climbs and 200ft sprints. He was in 2nd place after the 9th rope climb, but the judge ruled his 10th climb a no-rep. He says he doesn’t blame the judge – she just didn’t see him hit the cross beam. Completely spent, he struggled to make that 10th climb over and over again. He could have finished the workout in 4 minutes, but here he was at minute 7. He just couldn’t quit with the support of the crowd behind him. It sounded like a bomb went off when he finally finished. He said he loves to cheer on people at the gym, even – and especially – when they’re the last ones to finish. “I was that person at Regionals. Now I know what it feels like,” he says.
When asked for his advice to newbies, Robby says just to have fun with it, and listen to advice, especially from coaches. “Pride is what gets you hurt,” he says. As for nutrition, he says he’s basically a garbage disposal, noting that one night during Regionals he ate an entire barbecue chicken pizza from the Cheesecake Factory. He wasn’t remotely sorry. “What makes you feel right, that’s what you should eat.”
So what’s next for Robby Teixeira? His goal was to make it to Regionals, and he did.
“I tested myself physically, in an arena,” he says. “Now I want to test myself in the real world.” He is eager to do more Tough Mudder and Spartan races, run up mountains, etc. and see what he can do with the strength and stamina that CrossFit gives him.
No Robby story would be complete without a few words about that epic beard. Robby claims that it’s “scientifically proven” that beards make you stronger. The beard also helps him know that he’s done a full rep of pull-ups or snatches, because he can feel when the beard grazes the bar.
As for the Regionals? “There were some pretty good beards there,” he admits.