Though the World Police and Fire Games CrossFit competition does not kick off until Sunday, John Torres has been gearing up for it since 2012.
The retired Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives special agent in charge and deputy assistant director will compete in the two-day competition at the Los Angeles Convention Center after picking up the sport five years ago.
“It was good for a lot of us local athletes,” John Torres, a Santa Clarita resident said. “We feel blessed to be able to participate.”
After working for ATF for 30 years, Torres now works for Los Angeles County in the Office of the Inspector General. This is his first time competing in the World Police and Fire Games, but he has done some CrossFit competitions in the past.
Participating in The Games is an opportunity to unify the law enforcement population he cares so much about, he said.
“The sense of community brings everyone together,” Torres said. “Especially in the law enforcement community, sometimes there is a negative perception. This is one of those times that we’re doing something positive for our profession.”
Doing CrossFit has been a way for Torres to stay in shape, keep him feeling young and alleviate stress, he said. Also, being a part of the sport provides a community of its own, according to Torres.
Though he trains five or six days each week, competitors only received the schedule for the Sunday events less than a week ago. This forced him to become an all-around expert in every possible element of CrossFit.
Sunday’s competition will last from 9 a.m. to about 5 p.m., Torres anticipates.
“The last six months, you’re working everything in anticipation of what this might be,” he said. “It’ll be a full day, but it’ll be a good day.”
The first event is a rotation between rows, pull ups, thrusters, burpees and double unders. After, competitors do squats and deadlifts with weights before doing dumbbell snatches and box jump overs.
“If I could have picked any events, these are probably the ones I would have picked because these are the ones I’m pretty strong in,” he said.
The contest closes with a surprise event that competitors will not learn about until just before it begins.
To add to the uncertainty, competitors still do not have the schedule for the second session on Monday.
Though, this ability to remain calm under pressure and be ready for anything is not unfamiliar to law enforcement officials, according to Torres.
“You’re always preparing for the worst and expecting the best,” Torres said. “There is a lot of correlation.”