Blonyx athlete, four-time CrossFit Games competitor Tyson Takasaki, is accustomed to battling it out on the competition floor. But this weekend at Wodapalooza in Miami, Florida, Takasaki is taking on a different role: A supporter and coaching role.
We caught up with Takasaki in Miami to chat about his coaching role, and get some insight into what it’s like to be in the Blonyx house as a Wodapalooza competitor.
The Blonyx Team Wodapalooza House in Miami, home to some of the fittest athletes on earth this weekend. Baller!
Takasaki tweaked his knee while surfing in Mexico at the end of last year after competing at The Ultimate WOD 2015 in Acapulco. While he’s almost 100 percent better, Takasaki said he’s just being extra cautious. So he has chosen to sit out both Wodapalooza this weekend, and the East Coast Championships (ECC) in Boston next weekend, to ensure he’s completely healthy for the upcoming CrossFit Games season. But he’ll still be traveling with, supporting, and bunking with his Blonyx teammates in both Miami and Boston. And he’ll be coaching the 8th Fittest Woman on Earth, fellow Blonyx athlete Emily Abbott.
Team Blonyx (left to right): Elyse Kile, Kristi Eramo, Mel Doss, Carleen Matthews, Tyson Takasaki, Stephen Wallace, Emily Abbott, Sean Brown
Emily Beers (EB): What are you guys up to today, the day before the competition starts?
Tyson Takasaki (TT): This morning Graeme (Blonyx Sales Director) cooked us a big hash. Emily’s calling it the Graeme Scramble. We’re going to head to CrossFit Soul (Sam Brigg’s home gym) in an hour-and-a-half. Then there are athlete check-ins later today, then it all starts tomorrow. They’re calling for lightening on Saturday, so we’ll see what happens.
EB: What’s the Blonyx house like?
TT: It’s huge. There’s a big garage with a pool table. That’s where I worked out this morning. Like you might expect, there’s shit everywhere. The kitchen is a mess, and as always there’s no shortage of food. It’s a bit of a frat house here right now. People are still coming in and filling up the bedrooms. People started arriving yesterday, like Carleen (Matthews - 2015 CrossFit Games athlete) and Emily. Richard Bohlken (2014 CrossFit Games athlete) is getting here today. Carleen and Emily are staying in the master bedroom. The washroom in there is as big as my apartment.
A big bathroom, yes, but Tyson's apartment must be pretty small :)
EB: What’s it like being on the Blonyx team?
TT: It’s great to have all the Blonyx athletes staying under the same roof. And even though it’s an individual sport, you’re not really competing against each other, so there’s a lot of strategizing going on in the house. People are meshing. It’s these types of experiences that are important to grow as an athlete and develop a group dynamic.
EB: Is it bittersweet being there not competing?
TT: It’s going to be hard to be at the competition. My main goal is always the Games, but I love CrossFit and I would do it even if there were no Games, and these workouts this weekend look like a lot of fun. And I know all the guys competing, so yeah it’ll be hard. But I can’t be selfish and it’s hard to be bummed being in Miami. I made this decision a few weeks ago and health is number one. I coach a lot of high level athletes, both CrossFit and a couple of other sports, but I haven’t coached at a big competition like this before.
EB: Are you going to be able to train while you’re in both Miami and Boston?
TT: Yeah. I already did a workout while everyone was still sleeping this morning. And Sean (Sean Brown, the SE sales manager for Blonyx and Olympic Games competing weightlifter) is here. He’s a national level weightlifter, so we’re going to do some snatching in an hour here. I’ll try to get in one workout in the morning and one in the evening.
EB: What are your expectations in coaching Emily Abbott?
TT: I’m lucky to have the role helping Emily out. I’m not her coach normally, so it’s a new role, but my job will be to make her life easier by doing anything she needs done, whether it’s loading her barbell (in warm-up) and making sure she’s recovering properly. I’ve competed at the Games without a coach for the last two years, but I’ve always brought a friend with me to sit with me and help take my mind off the workouts. So I might be doing that with Emily, to basically help put her in the best position to do her best.
EB: What’s the dynamic like between you and Emily?
TT: We’re good friends. We did a competition together recently in Mexico (The Ultimate WOD) and ended up staying there after for four days to chill because, well, we were in Mexico. So we have a good relationship. We always find each other and talk in between events during competitions. Whoever does an event first will share information about the event—things like, ‘What was the hardest part about the workout?’—so we’re used to helping each other out in competition. This time, I just have a specific role doing that.
Takasaki and Abbott competed together at the Cascade Classic in Seattle, alongside other 2015 Games athletes Joe Scali and Alex Parker.
Tune back tomorrow. We’ll be catching up with Tyson each night over the course of the weekend to get his insights and inside scoop as the competition unfolds.