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The sport of GRID is something completely different than the world has ever seen before, however, because many of the elements are the same as CrossFit movements, people often have trouble understanding the difference. Because of this we are creating a series of posts to help demonstrate the difference from several different perspectives.

First up, after our wildly popular initial article kicking this series off, is the incredibly talented and high performing CrossFit AND Grid competitor, Sam Gregory. Sam has competed Regionals multiple times, as well as was a high level player for the first ever FGL Season Champion the Tampa Bay Brigade.

Sam shares some details about her athletic background, as well as comparing the GRID experience to the CrossFit experience.

FGL – Who are you?  What is your athletic background?

Lets see….. I started gymnastics at age 6/7 and began competing fairly quick.  I moved up pretty fast and continued until I hit Level 9 at 13 at which time my family moved again and I didn’t have the same coach.  I quickly needed to find something else to fill my time so I found I could adapt pretty well to cheerleading.  I joined an Allstar team at 14 and never looked back.  I cheered all thru high school (I moved A LOT due to my dad being a football coach, it’s like the army brat lifestyle so to speak).  I attended a new school for freshman year and then again sophomore year.

click to read more on Sam's background
It was sophomore year at Manatee that I was introduced to olympic weightlifting.  All the girls who cheered participated in it and I figured if it made me a better cheerleader then why not?!  It probably helped out a bit that my dad was an avid weightlifting coach and even trained at the Olympic Training center out in Colorado for Team USA in the 80s.  So here was my newest opportunity and all the tools for success laid in front of me.  My first year competing in weightlifting I took the FL State title for the 123 weight class (beating out the former 2x state champ).  From there I loved weightlifting more.  I continued my cheerleading but I loved how weightlifting make me strong.  I continued to lift the next two years of high school where I captured the State titles again, totaling 3 state championships in a row for 123 and 129 weight classes.  Now mind you, CrossFit/Grid didn’t exist at this time and girls weightlifting wasn’t nearly as “cool” as it is now days. It wasn’t very popular for girls to lift “heavy weights” and I had to go against the grain on this but I loved every moment.  After high school I lifted briefly for Team FL (Team USA) in a few meets but was going off to college at USF where I also made the AllGirl cheerleading squad.  I cheered for football/basketball/vollyball and competed at UCA College Nationals for 3 years.  Weightlifting fell by the wayside, although I still did what I could to stay strong.  Almost 10 years went by before I had performed a “clean & jerk” or “snatch”.  Fast forward to 2014 and my now husband somehow coerced me to try CrossFit.  I was so against it but finally caved and tried it out.  One “WOD” in and I got my ass handed to me in about 2minutes.  My pride was so hurt because I had always excelled at sports that I returned again and again, day in and day out.  I worked my way to being part of a regionals team in 2015-2016-2017 and hopefully we can achieve it again this year for 2018.  CrossFit also gave me the path toward Grid as well which I was a part of for 2017.  This was an awesome experience as it’s different, yet the same as CrossFit.  I get to perform all the things I love and am great at.

FGL -You have been to regionals multiple times. How does competing at regionals compare to competing on the Brigade? 

Being part of both a regional team & Grid team are amazing experiences.  There was only 6 of us vs 14 and the pressure is far higher in my opinion while at Regionals.   The difference in being on the regionals team vs The Brigade is that I think you can relax a little bit more and enjoy.  I take both seriously as being the best teammate I can but I found that I could joke around and be a little more silly while with Grid.  With so many teammates and different races during the Match you are able to step back, watch, and appreciate what each teammate brings to the table.  During regionals, all of us are going at once and you can’t really see what else is going on.  It’s almost like tunnel vision.

FGL – What is your favorite part about the sport of GRID? 

That there wasn’t any assault bike or rowing! haha just kidding.  I loved the opportunity to meet & compete other athletes from different boxes.  Sometimes people get so caught up in their own little worlds or boxes they never get out and work with new people.  I was definitely guilty of that.  If I hadn’t joined Grid I would never have gotten that opportunity  & not to mention I wouldn’t have had teammates to do Wodapalooza with this year!

FGL -Describe the feeling of winning the Championship.

Omg, once Ryan hit his last lift and sprinted toward us it was so awesome!  All we had to do was finish and we took it to the next level by winning that race to prove a point as a team.  We had such a great mix of personalities and they all meshed and complimented each other so well.  .

FGL – If you were to give advise to someone looking to play for a team in the FGL, what would that be?


Stay humble, work hard, do your job and it will be so much fun!  There’s no one star of the show, its a group effort.  If you can accept that then you’ll have a blast and go far.

Sam has re-signed with the Tampa Bay Brigade for the 2018 Season. Play on Sam’s team or learn more at the links below.