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CrossFit® / February 2016
Carrie Anton, Contributor

CrossFit Games Athlete Rob Forte Wears His Battle Scars with Pride

Bruises, bloodied hands, and chipped teeth may be off-putting to others, but to someone like five-time CrossFit Games athlete Rob Forte, the wounds just come with the territory of giving a challenge everything he's got.

These battle scars are a testament to mental toughness and true character. Instead of an end goal to have sculpted six-pack abs or a symmetrical bodybuilding V-taper, athletes like Forte train to compete, which means leaving aesthetics behind and finding pride in fresh rips, cuts, and battered body parts as if “Badges of Honor."

“My training has pretty much always been performance-based, and that requires me to push my limits, which as a result I make mistakes sometimes," says Forte, who believes these are opportunities that ultimately make him a better athlete.

One learning moment for Forte came while doing a partner WOD in preparation for the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games.

“I hit my shins pretty hard on a 30-inch box," says Forte. “During my first set of 10 burpee box jumps, I came crashing down at rep number six. My shins were throbbing, but I kept going and learned from that moment that I needed to jump a bit higher."

Forte's not alone in taking a bit of a beating at times. CrossFit athletes of varying abilities are quite familiar with these kinds of scars. They include hands torn to shreds from pull-ups and muscles-ups, whipped leg lashings from chipping out double-unders, and collar bone bruises from cleans and front squats.

Battle wounds simply come with the territory, but rarely do they stand in the way of getting the work done.

“I'm not afraid of a few scars; they're reminders of good stories and important lessons," says Forte, even if some friends and family view his wounds as a bit worrisome.

“I'm used to my scars. I used to jump a BMX as a kid and race motorbikes so I've got plenty of them. Like I said, they're all about life experiences and mistakes you probably don't want to make again."

CrossFit® / February 2016
Carrie Anton, Contributor