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5/15/2014 1:06:00 PM
Local athlete heading to Crossfit Regionals
Constantino Montes works out during the Crossfit Open at the Chelan Valley Crossfit gym. Montes will be at the ShoWare Center at the Crossfit Regionals May 15-17.
Constantino Montes works out during the Crossfit Open at the Chelan Valley Crossfit gym. Montes will be at the ShoWare Center at the Crossfit Regionals May 15-17.
Matt Baide
Staff Writer

There are few athletes that get to be considered the best, and get to compete against the best. When someone fights through adversity to become a great competitor, it's a story that can help inspire many and bring hope to those who are fighting through struggles of their own.
Constantino Montes will be competing in the Crossfit games Regional competition this May 15-17 at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash. It has been a long journey for Montes, who hasn't always been the fittest person in the room.
About eight years ago, Montes decided to get in shape.
"I was overweight, I think I weighed about 220 (lbs.)," Montes said. "I couldn't do a pull up, I couldn't bench press 185. I remember going to the rec(reation) center at Eastern (Washington University) and I remember bench pressing, and this girl comes up to me, she lays down, she puts on just as much weight as I do and she bench presses more reps than I do."
From there, Montes dedicated himself to fitness. He started getting into working out by using Men's Health magazines, taking the workouts from the pages and getting them done for about five years.
"I got really bored with it because it was the same thing day in and day out," Montes said. "It turned into a nasty routine where I would come in, talk to people for a little bit, and then (after) two and a half hours in the gym, I would go home and that was it. I was just bored with that."
At that point, Montes was talking with the now co-owner of Chelan Valley Crossfit, Bret Gibson, about opening a gym. Gibson asked Montes if he had ever tried Crossfit, and Montes was a bit hesitant at first. But once he tried the workouts, Montes was hooked.
"The biggest thing for me was, there's not a randomness, but it's never exactly the same, you're always doing something a little bit different," Montes said. "I tend not to get as bored as I used to. And, the competitive nature of Crossfit, you're competing against other people. It's who can do the workout the fastest or who can do the most reps."
The gym opened its doors and he competed in the Crossfit Open last year, but the gym didn't have the necessary equipment to compete, so they had to go to Manson High School to compete. This year, the group had a chance to train and compete in some local competitions to get ready for this year's Open. Montes wasn't sure if he wanted to compete in the Open, but after talking with some people close to him, he decided to give it a shot, and it seems like he made the right decision.
In order to get to the Regional competition, Montes had to first compete in the Crossfit Open, where anyone can compete for fun or competitively, with the top performers qualifying for the Regional games. Each week, there was a new workout given to the competitors, which they had to complete, record their results and see how they stacked up.
"The Open is kind of like your season, Regionals is kind of like playoffs, and making it to the games is like making it to the Super Bowl," Montes said. "They test different parts of fitness. The Open tends to be a little bit lighter in weight and they try to test your aerobic capacity a little more. It's really tough 'cause I tend to like to lift a little bit heavier weight, so when I'm competing against everyone in the world or in my region, I have to compete with those little tiny guys that look like gymnasts that can do pull ups forever, so for me, it was really tough."
Montes had a lot of support from the people at Chelan Valley Crossfit, and he credits them with a lot of his success to make it to the Regional games.
"Most of the time, I work out by myself," Montes said. "Just having other people around, it makes me nervous because I don't want to let anybody down, and I think that pushes me to go a little harder. One of our athletes writes a blog, and she wrote a little blurb in there about me, and she said that I inspire her and she looked up to me as a really awesome athlete, which I've never kind of looked at myself like that, I just go and do what I can. But I didn't know I did that to everybody. I wouldn't want to go and not give my 100 percent when everybody else is behind me."
The Crossfit Open ended on March 31, and Montes had qualified for an invite to the Regional games. At first, he wasn't sure if he was going to compete, but after talking with his girlfriend and friends, he knew he had the support and desire to compete in Regionals.
"If I'm going to do something, I want to do it all out," Montes said.
Ever since he has accepted the invite to compete, he has been training himself constantly to try and be ready for competition he will face at Regionals. Montes said he has been using workouts from Invictus Crossfit, a group that prides itself on competitive crossfit. He trains five days a week and rests two days a week in order to get ready for the games.
"Physically, there isn't much you can change between the end of the Open and Regionals, but mentally, you have to build yourself up to be a little bit more mentally tough because it burns for everybody," Montes said. "The difference between being mentally tough, it will be the difference between finishing a workout in the top 15 and finishing in the bottom 15, it's going to burn for everybody, but it's who can push past that burn and has the mental toughness to do one extra rep."
Leading up to the games, Montes said his strengths are lifting heavy weight and his weaknesses are the body weight movements such as pull ups or hand stand push-ups. He has been focusing on not just improving his weaknesses, but also getting better at his strengths leading up to the Regional competition.
Montes said he has no idea what to expect when it comes time to compete, but he has a few things that he knows will be happening this weekend. There will be a group of people supporting him in the stands, with 'Team Tino' shirts ready to cheer him on. Montes said he also doesn't plan on looking at the leaderboard during the competition. He said his goal is to survive the weekend and get through it injury free.
"I'd love to finish in the top half of the competitors, I think there is 48 going, if I can finish 24 or better, that would be hugely successful for me," Montes said. "If not, it's not a big deal. I'm looking at this as a big training experience."
The top three finishers at the Regional games will qualify for the Crossfit Games on July 25, which is broadcast on ESPN.
Montes had a message for the people who have supported him throughout the experience.
"I thank everybody that has been supporting me, especially in the gym, I think a lot of people have gone out of their way (to support me and the gym)," Montes said.
For any information about the games, crossfit, or to purchase your own 'Team Tino' shirt, please contact Chelan Valley Crossfit at 509-860-0679.

Matt Baide can be reached at 509-682-2213 or by email

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