Jessie Lopez is an amazingly talented high school junior, the youngest in a family who all CrossFit. Jessie is also the proud and hardworking recipient of the 2012 Washington State Wrestling Championship in his division (3A, 132lbs) who won a 7-6 decision, going into the match as an underdog this past weekend. Check out video from the amazing state final match here (Jessie’s match is first).
Photo: Lui Kit Wong, Everett Herald
From the Everett Herald:
“I went in not thinking win or lose,” the Seagull junior said. “I wanted to wrestle as hard as I can.”
Lopez overcame a 6-5 deficit with 23.3 seconds left in the match to win. Everett coach Brien Elliott knew after the Dec. 5 bout that they would see him again and taught Lopez two moves to practice. Lopez spent 30 minutes every day outside of regular preparation on those moves, which is how he came back in the end. It was amazing dedication for an opponent that based on chance, Lopez may have never faced again this year.
“He executed it brilliantly,” Elliott said. “We knew he had him.”
Jessie brings that same drive to succeed and conquer to his CrossFit workouts, knowing that his physical abilities and natural athletic talent are strengthened and improved by cf.
His wrestling season this year has been different and his Mom, Nina says “It started at state last year. He had been beaten by Brandon Leach 3 times between the season and post season. Brandon had just lost and now had to wrestle for 3rd and 4th place. It was a very exciting match and Jessie won. That was better than winning first. The look in his eye changed at that moment. He suddenly became a confident wrestler. They say in wrestling that there is always a moment in time where they snap and finally believe in themselves. That’s what happened a year ago next weekend. Fast forward to this season and watching him has been amazing, he’s so confident in himself. We were at the rock tournament and he was wrestling for 1st and 2nd against a number one ranked kid in 1A. Jessie was up in points but he suddenly fell off of the other kid and of course the other kid took advantage of Jessie’s mistake. So now Jessie is down on points and about a min or so left in the match. Jessie worked his way up and out and turned the kid to his back. Now as a parent sitting on the side line that made me nervous for him and yet so proud. I later asked him about the match and asked if he was ever nervous that he wasn’t going to get out of that position. He said matter of factly “no. I knew something would open up. It always does.” At that moment I finally realized how confident in himself he is. He has proven that on the mat time after time this year.”
Photo: Lui Kit Wong, Everett Herald
Q&A with Jessie:
What is your Athletic / Fitness background?
My older brother Danny is a big influence in my life; half the things I’ve done are part of following in his footsteps as he has a natural talent at sports. I started participating in any and all athletics when I was 7 years old and I’ve done gymnastics, basketball, and football and started wrestling in the 6th grade. Thought I would be really good at football because Danny was but I just got trampled and in moving to another position, I found I was too small to play high school football.
What changes have you made in your nutrition?
I did paleo last year for a month and I hated it … giving up bread & pasta and having chicken every day. I’m not Paleo and it’s been really hard around the house as everyone else in the family has gone Paleo on me! Nachos are my favorite food.
How did you find out or learn about Crossfit
My brother Danny was doing CrossFit and he got me started when I was in the 8th grade. I come to the gym when I can during wrestling season (which isn’t often between practice & meets) and then 2 -3 times a week when I’m not training and then I basically live at the gym in the summer time.
What do you like most about CrossFit Everett?
I love this place, it’s my 2nd home and the people here are like those you’ll find nowhere else. I know I’ll be doing CrossFit wherever I’m at when I go to college and it won’t be the same. After college, I’d like to participate in the CrossFit Games
What advice do you have for others that are looking into CrossFit?
Everything about CrossFit is fun yet it’s also really hard and the average person can do it, you have to have a strong mindset and you have to know that you can do it in order to succeed. It’s also the best in terms of working out – you think something looks or sounds easy and, it’s like “man it’s not!” – you’re completely fried when you are done with a workout.
What have you learned about yourself in doing CrossFit?
CrossFit has changed how I wrestle – it pushes you as far as you can go then it pushes you just a little bit farther. It’s taught me that I have energy in my gas tank to do all my moves without stopping. I can’t imagine wrestling without CrossFit. It’s taught me to not think that anything will be easy.
A 140lb Snatch (and if you don’t know Jessie himself weighs 132lbs – amazin’!)
Least favorite thing:
Anything that’s too heavy for me the lift or anything I can’t RX.
Favorite CrossFit ‘thing:’
Hands down is Big Blue – there is nothing like it! I like to use the rope with the oxygen restrictor mask as it’s taught me that when I’m wrestling & think I can’t get another breath, I know that I can because I’ve done it at CFE with Big Blue. None of my team mates in wrestling do CrossFit but they all know that I work out here – it’s what I do to stay in shape but none of them are willing to put in the work – wrestling is not easy. Crossfit gives me an advantage in sports.
What do you think about the trainers at CFE?
I love Jesse like a brother and he’s been a great trainer to me. He doesn’t give up on people and he can see in everyone that they can do CrossFit and then he gives them the push they need when they need it. Randy is a great guy – he brightens up everyone’s day at the gym.