Josh Miller executed his strategy this past weekend to perfection at the CrossFit French Throwdown, the last Sanctional event of the 2019 CrossFit Games season. Miller, along with the rest of the non-qualified athletes, had one last chance to earn a spot to compete at the CrossFit Games this year.
Thoughout the weekend, Miller was near the top of the leaderboard. Miller entered the final day of competition ahead of Mitchel Stevenson, a Games veteran, by just 38 points. And with a revised scoring table for the final event, Miller finished ahead of Jonne Koski by just one second to secure 2nd place in the event and to stay ahead of Stevenson on the overall leaderboard.
And with that, Miller was Games Bound. We caught up with Miller following French Throwdown for a quick interview…
The Barbell Spin (TBBS): Congrats on qualifying for the Games. Has it sunk in yet that you will be competing in Madison in five weeks?
Josh Miller (JM): Well, it’s been about 16 hours since I found out I qualified, I was asleep for maybe 5 hours of that, but besides that I haven’t stopped thinking about it!! Lol Qualifying for the games has been a goal of mine since since 2013. To finally earn that spot it just seems so surreal. So on one hand I would say it is definitely still sinking in. But on the other hand, I am already thinking ahead of ways that I can improve myself as an athlete and competitor. Just from this weekend I can already think of several things that I need to focus as I approach the CrossFit games in 5 weeks. And I couldn’t be more excited!
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After 7 years of hard work and dedication, a dream has finally became a reality for me.. To say I am excited would be an understatement. I am going to start this post by giving thanks to the one who deserves all the glory, and that is my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! I have said this before and I will say it again. I don’t believe there are many people who enjoy the sport of CrossFit more than me. And while I want to be successful in the sport, I continuously remind myself that I am not defined by how many wins and losses I have. What I mean is, my identity is not found in how I finish at the end of competition. My identity is found in Christ, the Lord and Savior of my life. He gives me an underlying joy and peace that no worldly thing could offer, even CrossFit. I will say that I truly believe that the Lord has given me a passion for fitness and a desire to compete. And that is why, as long as the Lord allows me the desire and ability to compete in CrossFit, I want to use that platform to (1) glorify Him and (2) to tell others about the hope that there is in Christ!! With that being said, I now want to thank my friends and family for all of the love, support, and encouragement in my CrossFit journey. @fitleigh2013 you are amazing and I thank you so much for your love and support. You deserve your own post, so for now I just want to say I love u so much! @ellis_mimi and @hardwaremm y’all have always supported me from day☝️and I couldn’t have a better support system than u two. I love y’all! @docrenfrow you may be one of my greatest encouragers through this whole journey and I can’t express how grateful I am to u for that. When I need encouragement, you always come through with a verse just at the right time. I love u man! @crossfitspartanburg family, & @talyoung y’all have been instrumental in my CrossFit journey and I just want you to know I love y’all. @crossfit_crash family & @cfcrash_daddy love u guys too & I appreciate your generosity in helping me get to France! Y’all are awesome! JR, I am grateful for your friendship. You’ve been a huge encouragement to me & I love ya dude! @jgworthy @sworthy86 @kyleruth_ttt I’ll get y’all in next post #ranoutofspace 😂
TBBS: You were battling with some CrossFit Games veterans all weekend. How did you maintain your composure and focus on the events at hand?
JM: Great question. For me, this weekend was not about who I was competing against, but who I was competing for. My goal this weekend was to honor and glorify my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. My faith in Him gave me all the drive and focus that I needed to do my best this weekend. Also, going in to this competition, I tried to focus on only the things I could control (proper warm-up/cool-down protocols; making sure I stayed on top of my nutrition and hydration throughout the weekend; making sure I got enough sleep; and also making sure on each event that I ran my race, listened to my body, and executed each workout to the best of my ability). I thank my coach, Kyle Ruth (Training Think Tank), for implementing these protocols in my competition game plan. I feel this truly made a difference in my performance. Lastly, I can’t leave out my friends and family. They continuously gave me the support and encouragement that I needed to stay focused this weekend. Further, I want to thank wife, Jamie. She went over and beyond for me this weekend, making sure I had everything that I needed to do my very best, and for that I am grateful!
TBBS: How did you sleep Saturday night knowing you were three events away from making it to the Games? How did the body feel Sunday morning?
JM: I woke up Saturday night around 2:30am. I am not positive I know the exact reason why I woke up, but I do believe I have some good guesses. My first guess is that I woke up because I was so excited for day 3. I was three workouts away from fulfilling a dream that I had worked so hard toward for seven years. My second guess of why I woke up was that my body was aching from the first two days or grueling workouts. As soon as I moved at 2:30am, my wife said that I grunted a little getting out of bed (I am thinking the 150 GHD sit-ups that I had to do super fast on day one may have contributed to this lol). My third guess of why I woke up could have been the fact that I woke up starving. Although I felt like I had eaten plenty throughout the day, obviously my body needed more calories. So of course I relied on my go-to, peanut butter!! These are my guesses of why I couldn’t sleep Saturday night, and they were probably all factors! To answer the question on whether I was sore Sunday morning, let’s just say that I hurt in places I’ve never hurt before! Lol And in my 7 years of CrossFit, I don’t ever think that my hip flexors were as sore as they were on day three of competition!
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Ready for day 3 @frenchthrowdown can’t wait to throw down one more day with some amazing athletes! #thejoyofthelordismystrength #colossians317 #glorytogod #frenchthrowdown #crossfit #crossfitgames #crossfitcrash #iabmfg #iambecoming #competitivelifestyle #blitzbelts #blitzhasyourback #trainingthinktank @fitleigh2013 @hardwaremm @ellis_mimi @kyleruth_ttt @iab_mfg @blitzbelts @crossfit_crash
TBBS: Event 8, the Snatch Ladder, was your worst event. Did you expect to give up some ground on this one?
JM: Realistically I knew this was not going to be my best event, but I did not expect to give up as much ground as I did. What is crazy is that warming up I felt great. All my positions felt good, strong, and crisp. But once I got to the competition floor the weights just seemed to feel heavier and I just felt off.
TBBS: You were interviewed after you finished the snatch ladder and said your knee had been bothering you. What happened to your knee and how does it impact you when doing CrossFit?
JM: Two weeks ago I was working up to a heavy clean and jerk and after completing the rep I immediately felt something off in my knee. At first I didn’t think too much about it, but then I went into an air squat and immediately felt pain in my knee. I had a good bit of pressure in my knee for 5-6 days the week before the French Throwdown, but through A LOT of prayer and good help from Nik Jordan (PT) and Mark Quinn (Sports Chiroprator), I was feeling really pretty confident by Tuesday (the week of French Throwdown) that I would be good to go for the weekend. The first 2 days of competition went great with my knee, no issues at all. The first time I felt knee kind of give a little was on the snatch ladder around 100kg. It wasn’t a horrible pain or anything though, just a small pull on inside of knee. So throughout the whole competition, I really feel that the heavier snatches were the only thing that really bothered the knee a little. I feel confident that with a little rest and some TLC, my knee is going to be perfectly fine in 5 weeks!
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Finally here and can’t wait to throwdown tomorrow at the @frenchthrowdown So thankful for all my friends and family who helped make this trip possible, love u guys!! And ultimately thankful to the Lord, because He is good! May the joy of the Lord be my strength this weekend!! #thankful #Godisgood #colossians317 #glorytogod #france #frenchthrowdown #crossfit #crossfitgames #trainingthinktank #crossfitcrash #iabmfg #iambecoming #competitivelifestyle #blitzbelts #blitzhasyourback #millertime #renfrownation @fitleigh2013 @hardwaremm @ellis_mimi @crossfit_crash @iab_mfg @blitzbelts @kyleruth_ttt @docrenfrow
TBBS: The final event was wild. With the heaviest dumbbell in a CrossFit competition and a different scoring table, what was the mindset heading into the event?
JM: Honestly, my mindset for this event was to win the event. I thought I could do it, although I was unsure how the heavy dumbbells were going to feel. In the back of my mind though I knew that I needed to be right with Mitch on this one though and try not to let him beat me (which he did). So my next goal was to not let anyone finish between Mitch and myself, and I was barely able to beat Jonne for 2nd place in the event.
TBBS: Did you know you had to out sprint Jonne Koski to the finish mat to stay ahead of Mitchel Stevenson on the leaderboard?
JM: Honestly, no. I knew that there was a different scoring system but I had no idea that only one person had to finish between us for him to pass me on the leaderboard. Once I saw Mitch cross the finish line, all that I knew was that I needed to focus on my last few reps and try not to make any mistakes and get across the finish line as fast as possible. At any competition, whether I do good in the event or not, I think it is always important to hustle through the finish line because in this sport, seconds (and even a half second in this case) can make a huge difference. Hats off to Mitch Stevenson. There is not one bad thing I can say about him. He is a winner and the best is yet to come for him. The last 2 days we were back and forth fighting for the one invitation to the CrossFit games. Although at the end of the weekend I BARELY edged him out, Mitch was just as deserving as I was. Although this weekend was the first time that I ever met Mitch in person, we actually became good friends. Not only did we get the opportunity to pray for each other before several of the events, but we also share the same goal in our CrossFit journey. We want to use our talents and our platform in CrossFit to bring glory to our Savior, Jesus Christ!
TBBS: It’s only been a few hours since your win, but when are you flying back home and when does Games training begin?
JM: We are actually flying back now as I write. It’s 1:00pm and we just landed in New York. Flying from New York to Charlotte, NC next. Once I get back to Charlotte, my wife, my dad, and myself are headed to Ocean Isle Beach to meet the rest of my family. I will probably take the rest of the week to rest, recover, and spend some time with my family. By Friday or Saturday, I will be back to Spartanburg, SC where I will be ready to begin my games training! And then July 12-17 I will be going to Alpharetta, GA to compete with the Training Think Tank crew for their 2nd Games Training Week!
TBBS: What event from the CrossFit Games would you like to see repeated this year?
JM: There are several events that I loved from last years games. A few that come to mind is The Battleground, Chaos, Bicouplet 1 and Bicouplet 2.
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