It all started with a headline. My Google News alert pings me at 7:08 AM:
“Rich Froning Accepts Individual Invite to Compete at 2019 CrossFit Games.”
Oh. My. Lawd. This is going to be the most epic CrossFit Games of all time. We’ll finally see the Froning-Fraser rematch fans have been begging for.
It would be hard to find a logical argument against this happening. Froning has been adamant in interviews about enjoying team competition. Yet, Froning was dominant in 2018. He won the second workout of the 2019 CrossFit Open. The guy gets better with age, like a fine protein bar.
“Okay,” I think to myself. “Morning Chalk Up has the scoop. Let’s alert our audience.”
Sitting in my car, idling inside my work parking garage, I pen a quick post to WeRFitness:
“This is a breaking news story and details will be added as the story develops. Morning Chalk Up is reporting that four-time Fittest Man on Earth Rich Froning will compete as an individual in the 2019 Reebok CrossFit Games.
Froning retired from individual competition after his fourth-straight individual win. He has competed as the captain of team Mayhem Freedom since 2015. Froning will be the favorite to unseat current champion, Mat Fraser.”
That was it. I would need to zip into the office, take a quick shower, and write something more expansive. Somewhere between shampoo and face wash, an odd feeling crept up my spine.
I had met Froning briefly at WOD on the Waves in February, and the guy was happy as a (really fit) clam. He was building a business, leading a dominant team, and spending time with his beloved family. In the ten to fifteen times I watched someone ask him about individual competition that week, he never once yielded.
With the same game face we see on the competition floor, his was response was always, “I’m happier than I’ve ever been when I’m competing with a team.”
Much to the surprise of those who shower at the same time, I shut off the water and zipped directly (towel-less) to my phone. Reading the article on Morning Chalk Up, the shame hit me. It’s April Fool’s Day. And Justin LoFranco is a master of the game.