Robert Hibbard – Utility player for the Gainesville Wild
What is a brief overview of your origin story. Where you grew up, early family situation, athletic background, school, early jobs, travel, etc?
I grew up in Maryland in a blue collar family that was extremely supportive of everything I did. As a kid I played several sports (soccer, baseball, football). By the time I got into high school, my main sport was wrestling. Joined the Army after high school and was stationed at Ft. Hood, TX for about 4 years.
What is your current occupation, family situation, and focus in life?
I am currently in school for physical therapist assistant (graduate in March 2022). I am engaged to the amazing and beautiful Mia Austreng who has been by my side supporting me for the past 5 years. Besides school, my main focus is on olympic weightlifting (competing at Nationals in June) and of course GRID (gotta take it all next year).
What is something interesting that people would like to know about you?:
One interesting thing about me is I’m an enjoyer of the anime. Of course the classics such as Dragon ball, Pokémon, Full metal alchemist, etc.
Describe the biggest hurdle or challenge you have overcome in your life:
Well I have never had any major hurdles besides the injury here or there that most athletes get. But, if you know me, you’d know I’m not the most outgoing person ever. Putting myself out there has been a struggle and in an industry where if you want to go anywhere it’s important to get yourself out there.
How do you prepare to play on the GRID and other forms of competition? How do you think about nutrition, training, and other factors that contribute to your readiness?:
As the season gets closer, I get my programming from my head coach Adam Muir. As far as my nutrition, my fiancée Mia has me covered there. She just tells me what to eat and I eat it. It’s worked so far.
Describe what is it like to play on your team:
What can I say except there’s no one better. We have the best atmosphere/relationship than any other team. I can guarantee that. For a team that has majority of its players living out of Florida that don’t train together, we have the best communication. We are all super competitive and know what kind of mentality it takes to win. Everyone is on the same page, making us a very cohesive unit. Plus, we all enjoy each other’s company, that’s always a bonus.
How did you get involved in GRID? Did you come through the American Grid Trials? Tell us the story!:
I first learned about GRID back in 2016 when it was the NPGL from my coach at the time, Dan Jackson. I did the combine the year after, unfortunately the league went away before I could get a chance to get on a team. Fast forward to 2019, I get a DM from the Gainesville Wild asking if I was interested. I was hesitant at first, but I’m so glad I gave it a go. Sometimes good things come out of being stalked on Instagram by Adam Muir.
What is important for people to know about the sport of GRID? How does it compare to your other forms of competition?
There’s nothing really like it. Obviously it gets compared to Crossfit, but trust me it’s not Crossfit. It’s super fast, crazy intense fitness with people doing things Crossfitters could only dream of doing.