Happy Wednesday … its Wonder Woman Wednesday, and I know I’m on a bit of a CrossFit roll, but its hard not to be after the CrossFit Games and the great performance our Australian athletes showed. So this week, we get to know a bit more about Sammy Wood who competed as an Individual in the Games.
I had the pleasure of meeting Sammy only a few months into my CrossFit journey, and I have seen her grow and excel, and now compete at the Games in just two short years. I hope you enjoy reading more about this pocket rocket … I loved watching her at the Games. TODAY is Sammy’s birthday … so a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!
- What does a standard week of training look like for you?
This is my week right now …
- Monday- Active Recovery- Swim Session PM
- Tuesday- 5:30-7:30am and 6:00-8:00pm (CrossFit Gym)
- Wednesday- 6:00-8:00pm (CrossFit Gym)
- Thursday- 5:30-6:30am (Altitude), 6:00-8:00pm (CrossFit Gym)
- Friday- Full Rest Day
- Saturday-8:00-9:00am (Altitude), 9:30-1:00pm (Crossfit Gym)
- Sunday- 7:30-11:00am (CrossFit Gym)
- Do you follow a specific diet? Not really, I try and eat what’s right for me and good healthy foods, but if I feel like a chocolate or a juicy burger than I will have one. I am pretty disciplined in the way that I eat and quality foods most of the time. I don’t follow a specific diet plan. I do see a naturopath Rachael Weaver that helps me with some of my supplements and vitamins and gives me great advice on the right foods suited for me.
- What exercise/sport do you do – why did you choose this sport? I currently do CrossFit at CrossFit Athletic, located in Brookvale, in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, NSW. I originally chose this sport for cross-training for Flatwater Sprint Kayaking, I started in July 2011, and competed my first open in 2012 and my first year of individual at Regionals, where I then fell in love with the sport and told my coach Paul Walton, that I wanted to one day compete at the CrossFit Games. So my journey of hard work began…
- Have you always been involved in fitness? Yes, I started Artistic Gymnastics when I was 4 years old, and also ballet and dancing. I was the type of kid that did nearly every sport on a different day, mainly individual sports. I eventually became very good at gymnatsics and dancing. And continued Gymnastics through high school and competed Nationally and Internationally to Level 10 which is the highest level before the elite and Olympic stream. My favourite events were Vault, Beam and Floor (I loved tumbling). I retired from Gymnastics at 18 years of age due to an ACL Knee injury, and that’s when I found Flatwater Sprint Kayaking, which I did for 5 or so years where I was selected for the National Talent Squad. I specialised in the 200m sprint.
- Tell us about yourself and what you do? My name is Sammy Wood, and I am 28 years old. I work full-time at ANZ Bank as a Senior Personal Banker 5 days a week, and train before and after work and bigger sessions on the week-ends. I love all types of sports, and also love Surfing on the week-ends, sometimes, competing in local surf comps for fun. I just love being out doors and being active or hanging out with friends.
- Tell us about the CrossFit Games … what was it like? The CrossFit Games was the greatest and most unreal experience to have been apart of. On the night of our first athletes dinner and announcement of a few of the first day’s events, I couldn’t believe that I was in the same room as the top Crossfitters and my idols. I asked Camille and Noah Olsen for a photo, and they were all so nice. That was probably the most exciting part of the games, and walking back to the hotel with Sam Briggs. It was such an awesome feeling. We all spent so much time together during the games, and got to know each other pretty well, we hung out in the athletes village before and after events, and we had two sections in out athletes village, part 1 was our own individual space with our name on it, and a nice relaxing Reebok chairs and change rooms, this is where we kept all our gear and had quiet time or naps when needed. Part 2 was a big room for both male and female individuals, filled with comfortable couches and TV’s everywhere so that we could watch the Team events and also individuals. We would chat in this room, laugh, eat and congratulate each other. Competing at the CrossFit Games was Wicked Fresh, the crowd was electric, even if it was hot, or you were tired, it didn’t matter as the energy from the crowd just shouted straight through you. The last run on Murph was a tough one mentally and people you didn’t even know where cheering for you and motivating you, it was such a good feeling, I just wanted to keep saying Thank you as i was running past. I feel grateful that my coach came with me along side some family and friends and members from out gym all the way in Australia were in California right there cheering for me, and also the amount of message and support from people back home that was sent to me or put on social media. I learned so much from the CrossFit Games, I thought that all the girls would be like robots and be perfect, but they were not perfect, there was a lot that happened in the warm-up area that you don’t see on TV. The top athletes do get tired and sore and struggle on certain events, and you would see some that emotion come out on the warm-up floor. My coach Paul Walton gave me some great advice, I was a little emotional and feeling hot and tired and sore, and he said to me that I don’t want to have any regrets come Monday, like if only I did this better or did it like that, he told me that I am in the best moment right now, and I need to be mentally strong and forget about anything negative. He told me this on the Friday night. I wnt to bed in 25th place and had a great night sleep that night. I came back a different person on Saturday and had the best events of my life… my favourite being the sprint obstacle course event. I have never done hurdles before, but I did enjoy them. I loved everybit of the games, and had the time of my life, I smile everytime I think of that week. It wasn’t just about the CrossFit Games, it was also the journey leading up to the competition and all the hard work that My coach Paul Walton and his great programming, and the support from my gym CrossFit Athletic, and my manager from ANZ Sean yates, and my friends and family. Without their help, I wouldn’t have made my dream reality.
How hard was it? The CrossFit Games was hard, but I expected it to be hard, and I wouldn’t change any of it. My coach prepared me well with the volume leading up to the games and using different equipment and doing some beach sessions with my dad. Going into the Games, you have to be prepared for anything, and you also need to be mentally prepared. There were events that i knew I would struggle, but as long as you give it your best, that’s all that matters. I knew that Murph was going to be hard for me, and it was very hard mentally, after completing 100 push ups, my arms were dead, i was drenched in sweat and feeling so overheated, but that just kept me going, I looked at my jusge so much, and she just kept smiling at me, I would look around, and all the other girls kept going. Going into this evet, i didn’t think I was going to finish it, but when I got on that last run, I saw the clock and got a great feeling inside of me, I knew that if i kept running and pushing thatg i would get it done, so i just tred to relax as best as I could, and it hurt…. but it was the best feeling finishing an event that you thought was going to be impossible.
Are your family into fitness? I have a big sporty family, 2 brothers, 1 sister, 2 step sisters and a step brother. My whole family is into sport. My Dad does all the iron man, surfing and Surf life saving, and my mum, older brother and younger sister do CrossFit and surfing. My younger brother plays Rugby Union and surfs. So you can say that our family is pretty sporty.
Who is your biggest inspiration? My biggest inspiration in CrossFit has been Iceland Annie, I have watched her grow in the sport ever since i started CrossFit and I think that she is an amazing athlete and person. I felt so blessed to compete with her this year. It’s not just famous people that inspire me, it’s the people that I am around everyday that are inspiring, like my coach, training partners, family and friends. I am part of a beautiful community, I love it!
What are your biggest challenges? My biggest challenges in CrossFit are my engine, but it has improved so much since the open this year, I have been working very hard on it and heavy squatting, but I am working on my strength currently and so far it has been going successful. One of my biggest challenges at the start of the season was my mental mindset, where I would get down if I had a bad session, or I would be comparing myself to others all the time. This is one of the big things that i changed, leading into Regionals, and it has made a massive difference to the way I train and compete. Being mentally strong and staying positive. A great book that I read was “The Champion’s Mind”.
What are your future aspirations? I would like to continue to excel as an individual athlete, and compete again at the CrossFit Games, and also start to do some international competitions. I feel like I have more in me to give, and would like to inspire the younger generation of Crossfit, by being a good role model. After CrossFit, i would like to have a family and continue to stay fit and healthy and just keep having fun….