Sioux Falls man Brett Stanhope competing in 2022 CrossFit Games

Brett Stanhope discovered CrossFit on a run.

Around eight years ago, Stanhope was participating in the Avera Breast Cancer Awareness 5k run. Then, 5k’s, Tough Mudders and other running-adjacent workouts made up a lot of his regimen. But the Valley City State University football alum also had a strength background from the weight room of his playing days.

Someone ran up beside him: “Hey, have you ever tried CrossFit?” they asked.

They led Stanhope to CrossFit Sioux Falls, where his first workout after receiving a membership for his birthday was three rounds of 15 overhead squats and 10 bar-facing burpees.

“And it buried me,” Stanhope said.

But eight years later, the now-head trainer at CrossFit Sioux Falls has turned the hobby into a career. In early August, he’ll participate in the 2022 CrossFit Games Aug. 3-7 in the 35- to 39-year-old division after qualifying ninth in the entire world for his age group at the semifinals in early June. The 2022 Games will be held in Madison, Wisconsin. 

It took “quite a few years,” but after training for eight years and coaching for seven, Stanhope has turned himself into an elite athlete in the sport at 35-years-old, to a point where “now (no workout) worries me or bothers me.” Stanhope has three kids and life sometimes gets in the way, but this year the “stars aligned.” He’s been injury free, available and it’s led to the biggest stage in the sport.

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