Local Physician Ranked Top 25 in "CrossFit Games"

Shannon Medical Center's Dr. Gene Stokes is being recognized nationally for his achievement in CrossFit, a workout that's grown in popularity in the past decade. After only a year and a half competing in the sport, Stokes has climbed the national ranks from around 300 a year ago to number 23 after last weekend's National Competitions.

Typically, you will find Dr. Gene Stokes in scrubs at Shannon Medical Center, but outside of the San Angelo hospital Stokes is sporting his workout gear.

"It's what I do everyday, as a matter of fact I'm on call this weekend, so I'm working right now," Stokes said.

Stokes started a popular high-intensity full-body workout, known as CrossFit, just to stay in shape, but after only a year and a half he's among the fittest on earth.

"I can't begin to tell you, I'm as surprised as anybody to be where I am right now," Stokes said.

Gene Stokes competed against hundreds worldwide and after a grueling 5 weeks, this 60-year-old is ranked 22nd in the world.

San Angelo CrossFit Owner and Head Coach, Jeromy Speciale, says Stokes is an inspiration to everyone at the gym.

"Everybody feeds off his energy, and the guy at 6 a.m. in the morning is firing everyone up. He's really been the leader of that "rooster" crew," Speciale said.

This weekend, Stokes competed against two-hundred people nationwide in hopes to advance to the Master's Division in the CrossFit Games.

"You're never too late to lift weights or to workout along side people that are half your age, and Gene's been a great example of that," Speciale said.

Members of the local gym supported Stokes non-stop, cheering as he lifted more than he had ever done before.

"The hardest part is the expectations," Stokes said.

Regardless of the outcome, Stokes says this has been an unforgettable experience.

"It's changed my life, and I think most of the people you talk to in this gym will tell you it's changed their lives," Stokes said.

Stokes says the results have been incredible, and doesn't plan on putting the weights up anytime soon.

"I plan on doing this every single day forever. I don't plan on stopping, and there's no reason that I should," Stokes said.

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