2016 Throne Watch: Cameron Currie
The 2016 Throne Watch is a series of feature articles about athletes to watch out for for the upcoming Asia Championships season.
Words by Melanie Lim.
LAST GLIMPSES IN ASIA
The last time Asia saw Cameron Currie was at the 2013 Asia Regionals. In his first debut in the competitive fitness scene in Asia, the Air Force radio and broadcasting officer found himself tied for third with Tanner Shuck walking into the final event. The tension in the air was palpable; Currie knew the silver was his, if he could hold on to the barbell. With impressive consistency, Currie never won an event all weekend but held three solid second places, and he was enroute to finish the weekend on the highest note yet.
On the final round of rope climbs and sprints, Currie was flanked by Marcus Smith and Tanner Shuck - both top contenders looking to take his place on the podium. Not wasting a second, Currie set his grip and never let go. He crossed the finish line at 4:59, a giant seven seconds ahead of everyone else. That weekend, he shared the podium with some of Asia's best, falling just slightly short of joining the big leagues.
Florida bound for 2014
Some would have been discouraged by coming so close, but Currie took the silver and used it as fuel for fire. Passionate in all that he does, Currie spent seven years dealing with public affairs for the Air Force - a career that has allowed him to travel extensively around the world. In fact, it was during his deployment in Afghanistan that he stumbled serendipitously into competitive fitness.
"I walked into the gym one day, and in the free weights area was this girl from the Marine, doing kipping pull ups. Right when I was about to give her some fitness advice, she told me to sit in the corner and wait for her to finish her workout. She came over minutes later, breathless but excited, and told me all about CrossFit.
I've been hooked ever since," Currie admits.
Despite loving his job, Currie has always felt an inclination towards fitness and coaching. In 2014, the Pennsylvania-born athlete took the plunge and left the military to pursue a calling in coaching. His new hopes took him to Florida, where he would continue his pursuit in competitive fitness in the South East Regional. Currie came in 24th in the 2014 South East Regional, competing alongside names like Noah Ohlsen, Elijah Muhammad and Aaron Hanna.
"It was a much more mentally challenging experience being stateside for competitive fitness," Currie shares.
"After putting in the training and the hours, you get on the competition floor and give your best, only to look up and see that you're outmatched severely. It gives you a brand new perspective on what level you're at, and where you need to be,"
Never dismayed by comparison, Currie's outlook on competitive fitness never changes whether he's leading the pack, or trailing in the dust. "Seeing someone else achieve what you thought was impossible is inspiring. Knowing it can be done is all the evidence I need to never be satisfied with where I'm at."
ThE Return to asia
With a host of new experiences and knowledge under his belt, Currie was invited to coach at the newly opened CrossFit Cavaliers in Hong Kong. Excited at the chance to travel and live abroad again, he returned to the continent in August 2015.
"I'm excited to be back in Asia. The scene is smaller compared to the States, but the sport is catching on in popularity. I feel like we're at the cusp of breaking into a whole new paradigm,"
When asked about his experiences adjusting to Hong Kong and the cultural differences so far, the 28 year old shares his hopes in helping shed the misconceptions surrounding CrossFIt.
"People think they need to be fit to get fit; it's not a problem unique to Asia but I get that a lot more here than anywhere else."
"To them, I just say - I can get my grandmother in here and put her through the same workout; in fact, I have!" The laid-back athlete and coach shares with a chuckle.
Dipping his toes for the big splash
Wasting no time, Currie led a team in the recently concluded SnowJam team competition in Hong Kong, months after taking his role as head coach at CrossFit Cavaliers. The team took first in the competition.
"There is a palpable energy in the community here, where the size isn't overwhelmingly big despite the growth. It's still possible to know everyone, and there's always someone new to meet. I'm excited to compete again in Asia,"
Currie is set to compete at the Asia Championships Qualifier next, qualifying into the Central Sectional. Learn about the man himself through his Instagram @camcurrie_, or his blog at afterthoughtsblog.wordpress.com