The year is 2009. CrossFit, as it’s known today, looks starkly different. This is the era where handstand pushups are novel and seemingly insurmountable, the competitive landscape is contoured by Regionals and Sectionals, and The Games had wrapped its third year.
Enter Charlie Lima, big time Aggie, founder of BoomFitand BCS, and the current Competition Director.
Following his first competition in October 2009, Charlie learned of the upcoming 2010 Southern South-Central Sectional scheduled to take place in the heart of Austin, TX at Camp Mabry. Legendary. Much like the competitions of today, the weekend consisted of unique tests designed to identify the top 30 athletes who would go on to later represent the area at Regionals.
While a new idea to Charlie, the experience was so impactful he still recalls the various workouts in detail, including the dilemma imposed by the 12 handstand pushups in the final event.
Admitting he had no clear sense of what to expect from the weekend, Charlie walked away with a secured Regionals spot and an idea that would change the course of his life from that point onward. A vision of how a fitness competition could not only bring people together for competitive fun, but rally community at the same time. And, so, the idea for BCS emerged.
In the span of a mere 8 weeks following Sectionals, BCS went from an idea to the first event of its kind in Bryan-College Station. With no official guidebook and a community eager to make it happen, Charlie and his team planned, crafted, and produced the first BCS Games. The venue was the Lincoln Center outdoor pavilion, home to the Boy’s and Girl’s Club. Approximately 80 athletes competed as individuals. There were only 2 divisions.
The concept was simple, the delivery sincere. It was the kind of occasion that is made special by the unbridled love for a community, and the wide display of support from that community in reciprocity. As a show of gratitude and good-will, the BCS organizers made an early decision to donate the proceeds from the event to the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of the Brazos Valley, establishing the spirit of giving back that BCS continues to champion today. That was 2010.
Let’s Run It Back, Folks!
Year Two replicated much of the success from 2010, thanks in part to word-of-mouth and the help from the other 2 affiliates in the area. People told their friends. With time, BCS naturally became a competition people looked forward to attending. Keep in mind, this era in CrossFit was hallmarked by this very thing. Affiliates would send groups of athletes to compete here and there, but they wouldn’t go alone. Several more folks from the same gym would travel with them to cheer them on and show support. The reality of picnic blankets and coolers and snacks, set to the tune of friendly conversation and refreshing “here and now-ness”, anchored the power of affiliate networks. It was adult athletics, and iconic in every way. Community wasn’t just the bi-product of competition–it was the center of gravity.
From 2012-2014, BCS continued to grow and improve in its evolution. The rig was implemented in 2012, elevating the programming possibilities for competition. In 2013, Cellucorwas onsite with a small booth, modeling a future for brands and vendors to join in the fun. Year over year, Charlie and his team sought to identify ways to be better, do better; and so, they did.
After conversations around the premise of a partner competition, BCS made the swap to offering team divisions in 2016 and ran with it. The experience so many athletes already knew from throwing down with friends in partner WODs made its way beyond affiliates and onto the competition floor, embodying the sentiment of the Swedish proverb: shared joy is double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow. If the earlier days of CrossFit were any indication, 2017 and 2018 also clarified that shouldering the challenges and triumphs of competition and lifealongside people—your people—who show up early and stay late to root for you is not a romanticized reality. It’s the anthem of community BCS has championed since its earliest years.
Then, in 2019, things changed. A new collaborator entered the scene. His name is Rich Froning.