The day of, they came together for the CrossFit Open – now this unlikely band of misfits heads to Madison, WI for the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games.
June 21, 2021: Charleston, SC: Led by Rhapsody Fitness Co-Founder and Head Coach Alan Shaw, Team Rhapsody athletes Owen Bernstein, Cristian Mathes, Stephanie Rodriguez and Jared Shaw with alternates Gina DiGiacomo and Clay Godfrey earned 4th place in the CrossFit Games Semifinals at Atlas Games securing an invitation to compete at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games.
Scored from six workout events, Team Rhapsody earned 525 points overall and 1st place for Workout 4 among the 20 teams that competed across the North American division.
“It’s been a privilege helping this incredible team come together. With each individual bringing unique skills, strengths and talent to the table, it’s really how they mix that makes the secret sauce.” says Coach Alan Shaw. “Combine that with their passion for the sport, relentless work ethic and scrappy determination… you have a force.”
Hosted in Madison, WI, the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games will take place from July 27 through August 1, where athletes from across the globe who emerged from the first stages of the season will leave it all on the floor for a chance to earn the title Fittest on Earth.
“As one of the young bucks on the team, I’ve been doing CrossFit for 10 years and this will be my first time going to the Games,” says Mathes. “This is what you do, this is why you work and I wouldn’t want to go at it with anyone else.”
A feat in and of itself, qualifying for the CrossFit Games has special significance for Team Rhapsody as they came together on the last day to register for the CrossFit Open – throwing their names in on a whim.
“I have never even made it to Regionals. I was a three-time alternate selling my soul trying to make the team,” says Jared Shaw. “The only reason I am able to do this now is because of these three. I’m not making it in any way, shape or form by myself – my teammates are what makes this go.”
Not professional athletes by trade, Team Rhapsody fights to hold down full-time careers while maintaining a rigorous training regimen. The current program entails multiple sessions a day of both individual and team training up to 6-days a week.
“They’ve been fighting tooth and nail to get here and, now, the real work begins.” says Coach Alan Shaw.
WE ARE RHAPSODY
Headquartered in the heart of historic downtown Charleston, South Carolina, Rhapsody Fitness is raising the bar on health and fitness by developing humble, hungry and happy members through our prime coaching, top-of-the-line facility and prioritized member care.
Co-founded by business partners and husbands, Alan Shaw and Trinity Wheeler, Rhapsody is one of the fastest growing gyms in South Carolina offering 49 classes and 24 open gym hours over 7 days a week.
Team Rhapsody trains under the Rhapsody Athletic Department (R.A.D). Built with the pillars of discipline, physical training, mental fortitude and smart strategy, the R.A.D. is all about developing prime athletes who are good humans well beyond the podium.
MEET TEAM RHAPSODY
Originally from The Cape (MA), Bernstein is a full-time private chef in Charleston. Finding his way into a CrossFit gym in high school to train for soccer, he got his CL-1 at 17, started coaching and began competing. His competitive achievements include making it to the CrossFit Games with Reebok CrossFit Back Bay in 2016; ranking 194th in the CrossFit Open worldwide and earning a spot as an individual in the North East Regional in 2018; and competing as an elite individual at CrossFit Strength in Depth in London, England and the Granite Games in 2019. As an individual, his strengths stem from experience and familiarity with competing under pressure. He is working to hone being upside down and anything involving handstands.
From Stuart, Florida, Mathes was a competitive gymnast until breaking her back at age 13. Recovery meant hanging up the leotard and finding CrossFit in 2012. Graduating from USC in 2017, Mathes got back into competitive CrossFit leading her to Carolina CrossFit’s regional team in 2018, at which point she also started as a part time educator at Lululemon. Moving to Charleston from Baton Rouge in January 2021, she is a full-time Key Leader at Lululemon on King Street. As an individual, Mathes is a true Shebeast with a barbell and maven with gymnastics. She is working on embracing the hurt.
Born in Puerto Rico and raised in upstate New York, Rodriguez is an Assistant Sales Manager for Lululemon in Mt. Pleasant. After doing gymnastics for 12 years and competing in the Junior Olympics with the USA field hockey team, she transitioned to CrossFit becoming a two-time regional team athlete and making it to the 2018 CrossFit Games as a team athlete. When it comes to competing, Rodriguez is a performer – able to put her head down and do the work with gymnastics skills in spades. She is currently focused on enhancing her conditioning and hating burpees a little less.
With a sport background in football, Shaw earned a spot as a walk-on at the University of South Carolina from 2009 – 2012. His senior year, a friend introduced him to CrossFit and it was love at first sight. Shaw moved to Charleston with the “love of his life” and now teammate, Mathes, in January 2021. Outside of the gym, he is the Strength + Conditioning Coordinator at Oceanside Collegiate Academy in Mount Pleasant. Shaw’s greatest fear is his greatest strength – driven to do any and everything to make sure he never lets his team down makes him the hardest worker in the room hammering at whatever is in front of him. He is working on moving heavy dumbbells, squats and rowing.
DiGiacomo moved to Charleston to pursue a degree in exercise science at the College of Charleston with the ultimate goal of becoming a physical therapist. Joining Rhapsody in 2018 as a member, she graduated from the Rhapsody Coaches Mentorship Program before becoming a Rhapsody Coach in 2020. A competitive gymnast growing up, she has been doing CrossFit for 3 years and counting. With gymnastics in her wheelhouse, DiGiacomo welcomes a challenge and has an abundance of internal motivation. She is working to improve her mindset and relationship with the machines.
Born and raised in the Lowcountry, Clay is a fourth generation South Carolinian graduating from The Citadel in 2016. Pursuing his passion to become both a coach and competitor, Clay earned stripes training with CrossFit Games athletes Travis Mayer, Noah Ohlsen, Chandler Smith and Mike McGoldrick. In the 2019 CrossFit Open, Clay ranked 1,522 of the 186,000 athletes who participated from across the globe. Godfrey is adept at wanting to hurt more than the other athlete and is downright dangerous with a light barbell or gymnastics. He is focused on improving his overall strength, power and aerobic capacity.