Supervisory Special Agent Gregg Geerdes finished second in the Masters division of the 2019 CrossFit Games, a multi-day competition designed to determine the fittest person on earth.
To qualify for the CrossFit Games, athletes test their fitness against tens of thousands of individuals worldwide. After participating in a series of challenges, only the top 200 age group athletes advance to the next level, and then only the top 10 from each age group advance to the CrossFit Games.
Geerdes has always been athletic, but his introduction to CrossFit began in November 2013, during his tour as an Assistant Regional Security-Investigator at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China. To help his wife train for a marathon, they both joined the local CrossFit gym to build up strength and the rest is history.
Competitive CrossFit requires advanced skills in Olympic weight lifting, gymnastics and a high level of athletic conditioning. Training toward peak fitness can be disrupted by unexpected injury, and Geerdes faced his share of challenges on his road to the CrossFit Games. He tore his hamstring competing in his first CrossFit Open qualifier in 2014, and he initially thought his competitive days were over. He did not quit and built himself back up to return to competition a year later. He finished 15th in the 2015 CrossFit Games and 8th the following year.
In 2016, Geerdes concluded his assignment in China and returned to the United States to be a Unit Chief at the DSS Office of Mobile Security Deployments. Geerdes prioritized work commitments and family life in 2017 and 2018, and it was not until 2019 that he returned to the sport in earnest. In early 2019, he completed the CrossFit Open, coming in second in his age group and first in the Age Group Qualifier (AGQ), emerging as the top competitor in the 50-55 age group. At the 2019 CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin, through three days of grueling competition, Geerdes earned three first-place finishes in eight events, finishing second on the podium and a mere 10 points behind the first-place finisher.
Geerdes adeptly balances training for CrossFit competitions, a career in the Foreign Service and family life. He prefers to wake up early to train, because he spends evenings with his family and is never quite sure what might pop up during the day while working for DSS. Maintaining physical fitness is an essential element of Geerdes’ DSS career, and he believes CrossFit is a good fitness option for DSS special agents who may not always have access to regular gyms while on assignment.
“As federal law enforcement agents, we need to stay healthy and mission ready,” said Geerdes. “CrossFit has given me the strength, agility and cardiovascular stamina to excel at my job, and I support and encourage my DSS team to maintain a high degree of physical readiness.”