West Michigan man wins The CrossFit Games

Posted at 8:46 PM, Jul 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-30 20:46:01-04

JAMESTOWN, Mich. -- A man from West Michigan who competed in the CrossFit games took first place in the Masters competition in the 55-59 years old age category.

The competition is a grueling test of fitness. Every year thousands of men and woman train in the hopes of being tough enough to make it to final 20.

Steve Hamming, from Jamestown, beat out 1,500 of his competitors.

"If you watch a CrossFit competition, you're pushing yourself as hard as you can push yourself for a time period, or to get the reps done," Hamming said. "There's often a pretty painful look on my face."

This is Hamming's third year competing. He finished in 37th place during his first go-around.

"So, I began to get flavor of what that was going to be about and worked harder," Hamming said.

As a sports psychologist, Hamming began blocking roughly two and a half hours out of his work day to train.

"There are probably 30 different skills that you have to be good at in order to become good at CrossFit," Hamming's said. "Everyday is a challenge. In my office, I'm pretty subdued, pretty quite, this gives me a place to make some noise...get some animal."

While it's a painful process, Hamming said there's two things that keeps him driven.

"I've got kids that I want to model being healthy and taking care of myself. I want to pass that on to them as my dad did for me," Hamming said. "My dad was an incredible athlete. At my age, he was every bit the athlete that I am...and now he's 80 and he's got Parkinson's and he can't...he can't enjoy his body like I can."

Hamming, who modeled after his father, is now deemed the world's fittest man on Earth. He's also $10,000 richer because of it.

"I would do it if it was free," Hamming said. "But, it did pay for the me break even, at least."