Krypton is Superman’s home planet, where he and his powers came from. CrossFit Krypton is home for Ben Smith. I’m not saying Ben Smith is CrossFit’s Superman but I’m not, not saying it either. Every superhero has an origin story. That origin story usually a discovery period where the hero learns about their abilities and puts them to the test. Say “Ben Smith” and most people will remember him lifting in front of his fridge in his garage, exploring and testing his abilities. Now, after years of flying solo, Ben is putting his powers to the test again, this time on a team.
Ben, his brother Alec, Erin O’Donnell and Caroline Spencer will fly the flag for CrossFit Krypton in Madison aiming to add to the Krypton legacy in competitive CrossFit. Alec previously stood on the podium with CrossFit Krypton during the 2019 super teams era and now the Chesapeake affiliate is gunning for more.
Ben has had plenty of turns on teams in the past back in the team series and invitational days and during off season events like Wodapalooza, “Personally, I love competing on teams and always have.” Taking a run at the Affiliate Cup will be new territory for Ben, but, he believes he has the formula cracked. “We wanted to put together a team to win the Games. We all believe in that goal,” Ben explained. “Erin and Caroline are good friends and clearly compete well together. Alec and I know each other pretty well,” he joked, continuing that, “the four of us will work great together. I’m looking forward to us all building something special together.”
“Alec reached out a few months ago, we met testing the Games workouts last year in Columbus. I was super excited when he reached out. I went to Virginia Beach and trained with Ben and Alec and we meshed really well. I went team at Wodapalooza with Caroline and Paige Semenza and that’s when we added Caroline to the team,” said Erin, who’s season last year ended at the Atlas Games Semifinal adding to her two Regionals and 2019 Games appearance. “This is my first year putting individual goals aside and focusing on team, I think there’s pressure being part of any team. When you’re individual you just have yourself to answer to. This will be a good change and we are looking forward to bringing all our talent together,” Erin added.
Caroline Spencer made it to Madison for the past two seasons and is aiming to build her own experience while helping the team reach their goal. “The stars aligned in a way that put the four of us in the right place at the right time. It was a no brainer for me, we mesh well and have the same end goal – to win,” commented Caroline.
This year, with the relaxing of rules for athletes, there are more teams coming together aiming to step into the Mayhem shaped gap on top of the podium. Seeing the teams being announced “fuels the fire. There are so many great competitors in this sport, you don’t really have time to focus on all of them. You just have to be prepared for whatever gets thrown at you,” O’Donnell explained. Spencer added that regardless of who they’re competing against, “there’s always pressure when there’s other people in the picture. The last thing I want to do is feel like I let my team down or held someone back, so I won’t let that happen.”
Ben has competed in every season since 2009. This will be his 13th CrossFit Open, but, this year will look a little different once this stage of competition is over. He is hoping to add a 12th CrossFit Games appearance to his already achievement laden legacy. Is a fourth podium finish in the cards for CrossFit’s Kal-El?