Introducing Taitn Gray. Taitn is a Cross-fitter, Olympic lifter, and wrestler. He also plays baseball, soccer, and competes in track and field. At just 9-years-old he already has several competitions under his belt. He has started his own You-Tube channel, and he has a list of PR goals he wants to hit over the next year. Taitn is also an active fundraiser for Kettlebells4Kids. A group that is dedicated to raising awareness about America’s 2.5 million Homeless Kids, by talking to local boxes in the CrossFit community.
Name: Taitn Gray
Home Town: Urbandale, IA
Sport(s): CrossFit, Olympic Weight Lifting, Soccer, Baseball, Wrestling, Track & Field
CrossFit Box: Spartan Strength (Olympic Lifting training with Coach Nick)
Interview with Taitn
Erin: How many sports do you play?
Taitn: CrossFit and Olympic Lifting all year-round, U12 Competitive Travel Soccer in the Fall, Competitive Travel Baseball in the Spring/Summer, Wrestling in the Winter, and Track & Field in the Spring.
Erin: How did you get started in CrossFit?
Taitn: I started CrossFit when my dad got into it almost 4 years ago. I just started going in with him. Being involved in CrossFit has really been awesome. I’ve been able to meet lots of cool people. Also I’ve been able to be apart of Kettlebells4Kids, a group of kids around the US raising awareness for America’s 2.5 million Homeless Kids by talking to local boxes.
Erin: Can you tell me about the competitions and races you have done?
Taitn: Wrestling: I’ve done a lot of wrestling meets. I’ve won several national titles. My favorite meet is Corn Cob Nationals. If you place first you get a “Golden Ear of Corn”, I’ve won two National titles there.
CrossFit: I’ve won a couple of local competitions as well as a national online competition, when I was 7 against 9 year olds. I was invited to Wodapalooza last year and competed in the 10-12 youth boys division. I came in 4th just missing the podium by a few points.
Weight Lifting: I did my first local competition last January and qualified for USAW Youth Nationals. I went to Texas and competed in the 13U division. Placed 2nd overall in snatch with 31kg, 3rd place overall in clean and jerk with 43kg, 3rd overall total in the 13U division and 2nd place overall in 11U total. We actually tied in total points for the last two categories but I was awarded second place determined by body-weight vs. weight lifted.
Track and Field/Running: This year was the first year I was old enough to be on the track team. I did one meet competing with others ages 8-11. I got 2nd in the shot put, 3rd in the 200 and 2nd in the 1500. I also run local mile runs. I’ve won several times with my best mile run being 6:30.
Erin: What did it feel like to be on the stage at the USAW National Youth Championship?
Taitn: It felt good and weird at the same time. There were a lot of people watching and I wasn’t used to lifting in front of that many people.
Erin: Do you have a favorite hobby or game?
Taitn: Outside of sports, not really.
Erin: Have you set any goals for yourself?
Taitn: I’ve set a lot of lifting goals. By the end of the year I want to hit a 85lb snatch, 115 clean and jerk, and 200lb deadlift. I also want to get 8 unbroken bar muscle ups and 10 unbroken ring muscle ups. I want to make it to the CrossFit Games in 5 years and I want to win 8 individual CrossFit Champion titles too. I always set new goals for each sport and update them when I accomplish them.
Erin: What inspired you to start a You Tube Channel?
Taitn: Well, my mom talked about it one time. I decided I wanted to give it a try. I really like writing programs for people and inspiring other people around the world so I decided to do a weekly workout. I have fun doing them and hope others get involved and do them too.
Erin: Do you have something that you hope to teach others?
Taitn: I want to teach other kids my age that if you work hard everyday and dedicate yourself, you can really do awesome things. I am active everyday, I work really hard at practice and lifting sessions. Sometimes I get up early to get my lift/workout in because of school events or sport practices. After the hard work is done I get to do fun things just like any other 9-year-old. I eat Oreos and like to ride my bike.
Erin: When you’re not on the field, track, or in the gym, what is your favorite thing to-do?
Taitn: I like to watch sports, if I’m not playing them. I also like to ride my bike (weighted vest style).
Erin: What has been the best part of this summer?
Taitn: I go to a year-round school so we have a really short summer. The best part was going to Youth Nationals and also going to my local day camps.