“For Whom the Kettlebell Tolls”
by Christopher Piñedo
Basile Beaty, 27 years old, Beaty like Warren Beaty, as in the outlaw Clyde.
The first time I saw Basile Beaty, I was certain that he was Thor. I was coming to a gym and being trained by fuckin’ Thor, I was sold. He would come in with two giant thunderous dogs or on the lightning of a Harley. He was very real, a product of his ambition and his askew perspective of the world.
How it all began.
“I came here because I saw the kettlebells on the website. There was no other reason I came here. I saw a picture of kettlebells and checked it out. I had never done a fundamentals class. I would just watch Ronnie and Andrea do stuff, and I’d copy them. Soon after I went to Waxman’s and hit Olympic lifting hard.”
Beaty is always stoic. His internal strength has formed into an external Greek-like physique. His education looms around him as he walks through the gym, as though an alchemist forming metal only to lift it.
“Before competing I was just happy that I found a community. I don’t know how I feel about competition now. We only do the major competitions, the small ones don’t serve a large purpose anymore but it’s something everyone should do once or twice. My approach is mental. I’ve never been the best physically. When I used to run, it was often that after the first straight away, if someone was behind, they’d give up. After the first straight away I never gave up, even if I was far behind. I’d catch up.”
How do you you balance everything you have going on?
“I came to California as a PhD student. I wasn’t training as much as other competitors. I wasn’t expecting to make regionals my first year. I was training alongside Ryan Fischer when he used to work at Mean Streets, and that helped push me. This quarter is the first time I’ve had the ability to train as much as I’d like to. You learn how to manage time when you do Ivy and 3 sports. My hangout time was talking in the shower for 20 min. I associate this with academics, my approach. You just get better at managing time. When I had to read 1,000 pages a week for my PhD, I wouldn’t stop training.”
What are your expectations going into regionals?
“I never really know how I’m gonna do going into regionals. The workouts always change. Last year I got two top 10 scores and then really bad placements. I can’t necessarily compete with these big guys and heavy weights.”
Where are you at right now with CrossFit and who you are?
“Right now I’m really happy with the amount of time I’m putting into my education, I feel like I’m on the cusp of big things. I like CrossFit because there is a lot of intellect behind it. Kinesthetic awareness. I like regionals because I like competing with the best in the region. I’d love to go on a team, I love that aspect.”
If you could, what would you tell a young Basile walking in to the gym for the first time? Would you yell at him? Would you whisper?
“I wouldn’t yell at him, I’d tell him;
Focus on your weaknesses first.”
You can see in his eyes that his mind runs faster than the world. As though he were the fastest runner there ever was, stuck behind a vast populous of average runners. Continually trying to make way.
I don’t know if CrossFit has Basile’s full attention, I don’t know if anything ever will. His mind in every direction, constantly moving forward in all of them. You couldn’t disrupt his course if you wanted, he’s too busy trying to focus on his weaknesses, in every facet of his life.
Basile Beaty, 27 years old, Beaty like Warren Beaty, as in the outlaw Clyde. CrossFit Mean Streets, Downtown LA.