One-on-One with the Fittest Man on Earth

What does it mean to be “The Fittest Man on Earth?” Ben Smith has a few answers.

I recently caught up with the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games champion at his gym, CrossFit Krypton in his hometown of Chesapeake. It was just a little over a week since being named this years champion and Smith was hard at work with his “gym family.” Before his workout, he shed a little light on his recent victory.

Reck: What was the reaction like soon after you were crowned the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games champion?

Ben Smith: “Since the win, I’ve gotten emails and messages from all of my family, friends and everybody who has been there for me. They were as excited as I was and it was really cool to see. I feel so blessed to have that in my life, the family, friends and community around me with that support and it’s really, really cool. I just got so many emails and text messages that my phone died and that never happens, because people who know me, know I do not spend much time on my phone.”

Reck: What made the biggest difference for you at this years games?

Ben Smith: “I think this year I grew up a little bit more and was a little bit more mature. I was a little bit younger when I first starting coming to the games and its a little bit scary when you first come to the games, but this year I came into the games and I knew I could do it. I knew I could make that jump and I knew I could win it this year. Mentally I was ready to go and well prepared. I trained the entire year and did not have any injuries which I had in every year past so I was feeling pretty good. Just mentally I was a little bit stronger than I was in years past.”

Reck: What are the CrossFit Games?

Ben Smith: “The CrossFit Games are a test to find the Fittest Person on Earth and they classify that as your ability to perform work in any time domain and any type of fitness. So that means you could be biking, running, swimming, rowing, gymnastics, weight lifting or any combination of these. You get tested multiple times over 5 or 6 days depending on how long the event is, but you don’t know what the events are until you go to them.”

Reck: How much have the CrossFit Games grown since you’ve been involved?

Ben Smith: “The games have been going on for 9 years and I have been competing at them for 7 straight years. I’ve followed them since they got started, but I could not skip school and fly out to California to compete. It has meant a lot to me to be able to compete in this event for the past 7 years to see how it grows and see how it expands. The sport really has grown, but it really stays the same. It might be on TV or in the news, but those people who started it are still there and you don’t see that anywhere.”

Reck: What are your plans for the first place check worth $275,000?

Ben Smith: I plan to put it back into my gym CrossFit Krypton.

Reck: Have you set your sights on defending your title next year?

Ben Smith: “Yea I hope to win it again next year. But for me to win the games, it means so much to me. I’ve been to the games for 7 years and I have been training for them for 8 or 9 years and it was just a matter of going for it. It just means so much to me, my family, my gym family, my wife and friends and I was thinking about them on the floor during competition. It was really amazing.”