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Former Hardin-Simmons athlete to compete in 2013 CrossFit Games

Published On: Jul 09 2013 04:35:56 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 10 2013 01:06:54 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

A former Hardin-Simmons University football standout has been chosen to compete in the 2013 CrossFit Games.

Roy Gamboa, 26, competed with nearly 140,000 athletes to earn a spot at the games in California.

"To realize that out of the almost 140,000 people that attempt to get to this point, that there are 50 men and 50 women that are going – and that Roy is a part of that small number is pretty incredible," said Aaron Wesson, a CrossFit coach in Abilene.

Incredible indeed.

Gamboa said he stumbled, on a whim, into something he calls life-changing.

"2011 is when they started airing it on ESPN. One of my buddy's texted me and told me to watch it, so I did. But I was still chasing the football dream. 2012 came around and I realized the football dream was fading away and I still wanted to be competitive at something, so I decided to give it a run: CrossFit. And here I am," Gamboa said.

Gamboa fought for a spot to compete with the top 50 male CrossFit athletes in the world – and he made it.

But not without hours of training, sweat, and dedication. He credits his work ethic to his father and to his faith.

"My faith keeps me going. Knowing that God gave me a competitive spirit or nature, I don't want to waste that," Gamboa said.

Weston, Gamboa’s coach, gave this quick rundown of what CrossFit constitutes.

"Basically, what we do is short intense workouts. Our workouts may be five to 12 minutes long, but they're as hard as you can go for that time and that's what makes it unique,” Gamboa said.

But Gamboa will be facing a much stiffer challenge at the games in Carson, Calif. He'll be pushed to his physical limit with 12 to 15 grueling workouts over four days.

"I'm not nervous, yet. Maybe when we get on the plane it will sink in, but we're doing so much training here that I can't think of that right now," Gamboa said.