Before I had ever met Will Moorad, I had cursed his name many times — once when I fell on my butt during a set of front rack lunges, at least twice when I fell on the box jumps following those lunges, and again during the subsequent thrusters. Lunges, box jumps, thrusters — just a taste of the programming during the winter season of the Music City Box League that Will helped develop and manage. I was certain that only an evil mastermind could conjure up the WODs that he inflicted on us for six straight weeks.
When he agreed to meet me for an interview, I decided to call him out on it.
I walked into CrossFit Talon and asked for Will. “I’m Will!” he said, jumping up to shake my hand. We sat down at the front desk while the sounds of barbells, grunts, and coaching cues rang out around us. He offered me a water and when I declined, he brought me one anyway. When you’re a CrossFitter, especially an average one like me, you feel a bit of magic when you meet a top competitor. How is it possible this guy in front of me can be so fast and so strong? But Will doesn’t seem to know that he’s awesome, which endears him to me, evil box league programming and all.
At the suggestion of a friend, Will decided to check out a local CrossFit gym, CrossFit Talon, and met owners Dennis and Tara Cheatham. One day Dennis was coaching a performance class and asked Will if he’d like to join in. “It was snatches and prowler pushes and kicked my butt for about an hour. I loved it. And Dennis invited me to really start training here.” That was in the beginning of 2013. “I was training at Talon, going to school, cleaning the gym every Saturday to pay my way to pay for my training.” When it was time for the Open, Will signed up. “You have to be crazy enough to believe it before it can happen. Belief is a huge thing for me. My faith as well.” That faith paid off. With only a few months of CrossFit under his belt, Will did the unthinkable: he came in 20th during the Open and qualified for Central East Regionals. He didn’t advance to the Games, but the experience and opportunity were invaluable. “We knew we needed to do a lot of training, but we didn’t know how much it took. We’ve been putting in many more hours, from last June to now,” Will says of his preparation for the 2014 season. Joining him in his training as training partner and coach is Dennis Cheatham, who has already been accepted in the Masters Division of this year’s Games.
So far, 2014 has been the start of a wild journey for Will. He finished 4th in January’s OC Throwdown and picked up sponsorships with LiveSore and 2Pood. He’s also found solid local sponsorships with RipFix, PaleoWorks, Warrior Massage and Max Muscle. “It’s a blessing. My sponsors mean a lot to me,” he says. Then in the 2014 Open, Will placed 6th in the Central East Region, once again qualifying him for Regionals.
I asked him if there was someone he would like to sabotage, perhaps lock in a closet before one of the WODs. “No, no, no,” he says. I guess he’s looking forward to a fair fight. But Regionals isn’t the only thing on the table at the moment. Last month, Will qualified for the National Pro Fitness League’s final combine in Las Vegas. And he’s getting married. “We had originally set our wedding date for this weekend. When I saw that the date for Central East Regionals was set for the same weekend, I looked at Cass and said, ‘Uh oh.'” But Will’s high school sweetheart and fiancée didn’t skip a beat. Within 24 hours, the wedding date had been moved back a week. In fact, the day after Regionals, he and Cass are leaving to spend a week alone together before the big day. But the honeymoon? Postponed for the moment. With the outcome of Regionals and the NPFL Combine still unknown, it’s hard to plan. But Will’s enthusiasm for the unknown is contagious, even for this slightly cynical blogger. When he says he appreciates his sponsors, or that he’s just happy to be playing in the same level as Rich, Scott and Graham, I actually believe him.