Travis Williams — the story of a Crossfit Games competitor

When Travis started CrossFit in 2011, he was 70lb. overweight. He’s now a three-time CrossFit Games athlete. He took 23rd in his first individual regional appearance in 2014, which he followed with improved Games-qualifying, second-place finishes the next two years. At the 2016 Games, he took 19th place.

Even with an impressive finish, Williams is not satisfied. He’s training harder than ever. We sat down with Travis to learn about why he does what he does.

Can you give a brief description of yourself and a little background about your athletic career? When did it start? What inspired you to get into Crossfit?

I played baseball until my senior year in high school. In October, 2009, I was in a car accident and fractured my knee cap. I probably could have bounced back and played that season but I decided I wanted to play Yugioh instead. Between that time and September, 2011, I gained 70 lbs. I really had no idea I had gained that much until I had an ear infection and ended up on the doctor’s scale the next morning. My sister had been doing Crossfit for three months and lost about 30 lbs, so I decided the next day I should give it a shot. Starting the day I set foot in the gym, I lost about 10 lbs a month for 7 months, until I was down to 200 lbs.

Was there a particular event that made you determined to take your commitment to Crossfit to the next level? On the other hand, was there anything that made you want to walk away from the sport?

I enjoyed competing a lot, so I always wanted to be as good as I could possibly be. Seeing regionals made me want to qualify and when Jordan Cook qualified for the 2014 games, I knew that it was possible for me to qualify in 2015. I just had to get my diet on track and stop drinking. I’ve loved this sport from day one and it has changed my life. Nothing could make me want to walk away.

When did you feel at your lowest point? What got you through those hard times?

I don’t think I noticed my low point until Crossfit pulled me out of my funk. I had dropped out of college and was just working at an arcade, and I had picked up smoking cigarettes about a month before I started Crossfit.

If you had any advice to give to a young athlete (or maybe even a younger you) who wants to take their commitment to Crossfit/fitness the next level, what would it be?

If you want to get to the games or the next level — whatever that is — find someone there who knows how to do it, and do what they do. If you can figure out how to keep up with them or beat them, t you should be able to make it too.

What is your next goal?

I want to place 18th or better at the Crossfit games.

What do your typical day and week look like?

I wake up at 7:00 am, then eat breakfast and drink coffee. I’m in the gym by 9:30 am for session one. I’m done by noon, then go home to chill and eat lunch. It’s back to the gym around 2:30 or 3:00 pm for session two. I’m done by 5:00 or or 6:00 pm to go home, make dinner, and chill.

Why do you do what you do? What makes it all worth it?

I make enough money to support myself and I don’t have to work.

Who is someone you’d like to see us feature on the Modern Athlete?

Sam Kwant


You can follow Travis on Instagram: travismwilliams

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