Photo Credit: Robert Rivera, Strict Press Media

By Tamas Mondovics

Photo Credit: Robert Rivera, Strict Press Media

For FishHawk resident Jay Bradley, being fit and staying in shape was never a question.

But, for Bradley—as is true with most hard core athletes—throwing heavy weights around for 20 to 30 minutes in between training for the next triathlon season was hardly enough.

Pushing his fitness to the limit and beyond was always a part of the next workout. It is for this reason that today, at 50 years old, Bradley, a husband and father of two teenagers, is about to take part in a competition that is known as the greatest test of physical endurance at the Masters 2016 CrossFit Games World Championship.

Scheduled for the weekend of July 19-21 in Carson, California, the event is sporting the top 20 athletes in each age division against each other in the world’s premier test to find the Fittest on Earth.

The CrossFit Games are a broad range of functional movements of large loads, long distances, performed quickly. To qualify for the event is a monumental accomplishment for any athlete, which for Bradley, did not come easy.

“My goal for years has just been to get to the finals,” Bradley said, referring to the past four years since he has joined CrossFit for Glory, located at 16627 Fishhawk Blvd. in Lithia, where he decided to compete at the CrossFit Open, an annual, worldwide competition. “I placed 56th in my age division that first year and decided that I liked it better than triathlon.”

With Josh Martin on board as his coach, the long road to the games began. The journey was filled with heart, endurance and success, but not without setbacks and some disappointments, which became fuel to work even harder.

“Four years ago, we made a choice to give it everything we both had to get him to the games,” Martin said. “Four years ago, he entrusted me 100 percent to take over his training and coach him.”

“I’ve seen what the other guys can do,” Bradley said. “Getting to the games takes a lot of work, effort from my coach and continued support from my family. I’d really like to do well enough over those three days to podium, but that is really not what it’s about. It’s about having fun, staying healthy, active, fit and young,” he said.

Visit www.crossfitforglory.com. or www.games.crossfit.com for more information.