Beckley’s Hatfield practices what he preaches

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV

Austin Hatfield is a 23-year old gym owner in Beckley. He says most folks are looking for motivation to get in better shape, but they’re barking up the wrong tree. 

“Don’t have motivation,” he says. “Have discipline. Set your goals. Make a plan. Stick with it. Keep your head down and keep working. Results don’t come easily. I’ve been doing this for seven years and just now got to the level of competition I want to get to.”

These aren’t just empty words from Hatfield to his clients. He practices what he preaches. Recently, he competed at the highest level of Crossfit in Florida after seven years of disciplined work. 

The Crossfit Games

Crossfit is a workout program that combines cardiovascular activity, weightlifting, and bodyweight exercises in a high-intensity workout. In a competition, the goal is to successfully complete the workout quickly. Each workout is assigned a point value for time and workout quality. Workouts change daily. 

While most Crossfitters complete the workouts as a form of individual exercise, some also compete against other athletes. The pinnacle of Crossfit competition is the Crossfit Games. Hatfield competed this year for the first time, seeking to earn a slot in the games. 

Only 40 elite athletes earn a slot in The Crossfit Games. This year, some 150,000 athletes participated in the first stage of the games, called “The Open.” Austin Hatfield’s time put him in 11th place out of all 150,000 entries. 

“It was surprising to see my name that high,” Hatfield confesses. “Seeing your name up there with the world’s best is something special.” 

Next, Hatfield went to Orlando, Florida, where the top 60 men and top 60 women were invited for the second stage of the competition. In order to make it to the final stage, The Crossfit Games, Hatfield would need to be in the Top 12. 

“I came in 13th but just a couple of points,” he says. “I was heartbroken. To be that close hurt even more.” 

But remember, Hatfield practices what he preaches. He will not be deterred, and plans to compete again next year. In the meantime, he will continue his disciplined approach to training. 

“I love to compete,” he says. “Working out is great, but competing one on one against the top is the best. It’s the desire to better myself. I’m competing against myself. Just fighting those demons. I try to be better every day.”

Redline Fitness

Located at 314 South Fayette Street in Beckley, Hatfield’s gym is called Redline Fitness. It includes free weights and standard exercise equipment. In addition, they do offer crossfit. 

“We do a group crossfit,” Hatfield explains. “We have people in high school and people in their 60s. We call them our silver sneakers. The majority of people are in their 30s and 40s.”

Hatfield grew up playing soccer, baseball, and football. He takes a holistic approach to physical fitness and encourages his clients to find what works for them. 

“Results don’t always come immediately,” he says. “I remind people to be disciplined, set their goals, and make progress every single day.” 

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