Owen Valuch, CrossFit Games Medical Team Manager, sits down with Stephane Rochet at the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games to chat about his experience on the medical team at the Games, being a firefighter, and surviving cancer.
The longtime friends talk about how Valuch got into CrossFit, which he was hesitant to start. “I like to say it was an immaturity of fitness,” Valuch explains. “You get training in high school or what you think is the appropriate training to get, and you don’t open up your eyes to what functional fitness is.”
It wasn’t until he joined the firefighting service in Southern California that he was exposed to and fell in love with CrossFit. “I never experienced it like that before,” he says. “I’d never put my body through stressors like that outside of my job and I realized that this is what I needed to take myself to that next level to be the industrial athlete that I try to demonstrate to the citizens of my community, especially the new recruits. So I started doing CrossFit full time.”
He noticed immediately CrossFit was having a positive impact on every aspect of his life — mountain climbing, daily tasks, and playing with his kids. “CrossFit just fit into my daily routine,” he says. “Once I started getting into the ethos of CrossFit and understanding it … it only helped me in my real life. Just the daily things — mountain biking, jiujitsu, ice hockey, playing with my kids, grocery store. Anything that I could apply outside I could bring into the gym and anything I could do in the gym, I could apply outside.”
Valuch volunteered on the medical team during the 2012 regionals and Games, then joined the medical staff in 2015.
It was only recently that Valuch would go through “the health scare of a lifetime” and CrossFit would prove its worth tenfold. Listen as Valuch shares his emotional story of how CrossFit helped him through one of the toughest times of his life.