Tammy White – Fit & Fifty

Excited to share this inspiring story with you of Tammy who is Fit & Fifty.  She proves that it is never too late.  She is an inspiration to me, and I am sure you will find this a great read.  Its time to change the way women think about aging and fitness.  We can do it ….Tammy-IG

  1. Tell us about yourself and what you do?I have not always been involved in athletics or general fitness.  When I was in high school, I was diagnosed with scoliosis.  Back then, the recommendation was to avoid athletics, so I was not allowed to participate in anything.  In my 20’s, I had a job at the front desk at a big box athletic club.  That’s back when aerobics classes were popular, but that didn’t really interest me.  I was intrigued by lifting, fascinated by bodybuilders, but didn’t do much about it.  It intimidated me.Life happened.  I started working, eventually started to work on that college degree I didn’t finish.  Sixteen years after I graduated from high school, I had a math degree and was married.  Started working hard to be the best teacher I could be, even if that meant neglecting my health.  Eventually, I was 47, almost 200 pounds, on high blood pressure meds, and had a very worried doctor.One Sunday afternoon in March of 2009, the chest pains were sharper than usual and would not subside.  I asked my husband to take me to the ER because I was scared.  Considering my age and health status, they admitted me quickly,ran tests, and monitored me for about four hours before they determined it was anxiety.  However, the doctor made a point to say “not this time”, but I should expect to have a cardiac event sooner rather than later.  tammy2That was March.  I made the decision to change, but didn’t do anything until school was out in June.  I belonged to a gym for years, but never went.  At the time, I enjoyed watching “The Biggest Loser” because back then, that show was the only example I had seen of people making transformations.  Each of the contestants used a BodyBugg, so I bought one in June 2009 and signed up for nutritional coaching.  I worked with her for 9 months and she taught me how to track and log, how to make better food choices, and introduced me to the concept of clean eating.  I didn’t lift back then- just walked a lot until I had the courage to go to the gym.  When I did, I just walked on the treadmills.  I used to walk and watch the people lifting below.  I knew I wanted to do it, but I was still intimidated.tammy5During the first 9 months of diet and cardio, I lost 40 pounds and then progress stalled.  I struggled to maintain my weight loss and was beginning to gain again. I knew I needed to do something differently, but I didn’t know what to do because I wasn’t willing to leave my comfort zone.   In May 2010, a high school friend lost her battle with breast cancer.  Paula was fearless.  When she died, I knew I had to find the courage to do something that scared me.  Part of that was to honor her and part of it was to reclaim a life I was too scared to live.  That’s when I remembered that crazy dream I had when I was in my 20’s – bodybuilding.   In June 2009, I hired a trainer and asked him to teach me how to lift.  I gave myself two years to get ready for the first show.  I worked with general fitness trainers for the first 9 months,  and they taught me the basics.  I worked with a local coach to prep for my 2012 and 2013 shows.  I’ve been working with an online coach, Alberto Nunez of 3D Muscle Journey, since November 2013.  To date, I’ve done three bodybuilding shows and one strongman competition.
     In December 2012, my before/after picture was shared on a big Facebook page for female competitors.  The administrator of that page didn’t believe it was a legitimate transformation picture at first – he had to research my story before he would publish it.   From there, it was shared on a couple other large pages, and then it flew with thousands of shares.  I became “Facebook Famous” rather quickly.  A teacher friend contacted a local news anchor, who had already seen the picture, but didn’t know I lived in the same town.  That’s when I was contacted to do the TV interview.http://www.ktvn.com/story/21254004/someone-2-know-tammy-white

    This has all been such a blessing beyond reclaiming my physical and emotional health.  I am a better wife.  I am a better teacher, despite the fact that I don’t work long hours anymore, I don’t have the elaborate lessons I used to have, and I’m a slow grader.  I’m having a lot more fun and I understand better what it’s like to do something that seems to be impossible.    Some of my kids follow me online, so we connect on a level that isn’t about math.  That helps me be a better teacher for them, too.   They ask a lot of questions about nutrition and training.tammy8

    I have NASM personal training and fitness nutrition certifications, but I’m not working with clients right now.  I did do that for about a year and I liked it, but I had to accept that don’t have time for it while I’m teaching if I’m going to continue bodybuilding.  And I am still training to progress in my sport.  Right now, I am not planning to compete again until summer 2017 at the earliest.  My coach regularly talks about where I will be in 10 years – I think that’s exciting.  Even though I’m 53, I really am new to this and I love it.  Also this is my 20th year of teaching.  I’m not sure when I’m going to retire, but when I do, I will have a plan ready to go that pays forward what I’ve learned in some way.  Could be working with people again one-on-one, guest-speaking, writing, or something I haven’t thought of yet.  I’m open to following this path wherever it leads.

  2. Do you follow a specific diet?   At first I was a militant clean eater.  I found that to be too restrictive and stressful long-term.  Now I am more flexible.  At this time, I’m not tracking at all.  When I’m in contest prep, or when my coach decides it’s necessary, he will give me macro ranges to use.  Food choices are always mine to make.tammy3
  3. What does a week of training/exercise look for you?  Right now, I’m lifting 4-6 days a week, depending on how busy I am at work.  Not doing much cardio right now.  Maybe a walk once a week, but that’s mostly for stress management.  Teaching high school math can be a little stressful some days.tammy7
  4. What would you say to those trying to change and make the change like you did?       Get the help you need.  It’s worth the investment to have someone there, not just to teach you how to do things properly, but to make sure you don’t get hurt, and to provide accountability and support.  Everyone thinks the exercise is the hardest part.  It’s not.  The nutrition is a bigger challenge and the mental game can derail you.  I did not do this alone and don’t recommend it.  If someone cannot afford a trainer, there are options.  Group training, online-coaching, YouTube videos from reliable science-based fitness experts, or online groups are other ways to get the information and support necessary to stick with it.tammy6
  5. What are your strengths and weaknesses?     For both – discipline.  It helps and hurts me.  I tend to get into a fixed mindset about what I’m capable of achieving as a competitive bodybuilder.   Genetically, I have some negatives when on stage being judged as a bodybuilder.   It’s tough to be judged on what happens during those few minutes on stage when it took years of training and sacrifices to get there.  My coach has worked with me a bit to help me stay grounded in the idea of personal progression.  Even though I’m older and feel like I’ve accomplished some things in my life, I’m still new to this sport.  I have a lot left to do.tammy4

 

Wonder Woman Wednesday – Kayla Banfield

I was lucky enough to meet this lovely lady who is this weeks Wonder Woman Wednesday when I was at the CrossFit Regionals earlier this year.  She was compensating the event and it was hard to miss her infectious energy and personality.  Enjoy reading more about Kayla Barfield this week …

  1. Tell us about yourself and what you do?

Predominantly I am a CrossFit gym owner… more recently a two time gym owner! My partner James Newbury and I opened CrossFit Mode in Adelaide City in 2013, and in May 2015 we opened CrossFit Beach Mode which is closely located to one of Adelaide’s beaches. Besides overseeing the operations of both of those gyms, I also work closely with a handful of clients on improving their nutrition. I don’t have any official qualifications, but I do a lot of my own study and have some very knowledgeable mentors who I work closely with. I have a real passion for living and eating well, and am thankful that I am able to share this with those who are also looking to find out more!kayla3

Lastly, I have the amazing opportunity to work with CrossFit HQ through the season as one of their reporters at regionals & the world games. At regionals it’s my job to interview the winners of the final heat, and talk to the athletes about how they’re going through the weekend. At the games, I am part of the “fan experience team” where I go into the crowd and basically report on whatever cool stuff is happening! They are really awesome gigs 😀kayla4

2.  What do you do for fitness/exercise?

CrossFit. I try to train at least once day, sometimes two… but also sometimes none! Work/life balance can get a little crazy sometimes and I’ve learnt not to force exercise in. I do love it though, so it tends to find it’s place pretty nicely more often than not.

3.   What do you do to relax?

It sounds crazy, but getting shit done relaxes me! If I want to unwind or make myself feel good, I’ll just take the morning off work to clean my room, kitchen, wash clothes, sort drawers etc! A few hours of that relaxes me, and I’m thankful that I can make the time. Otherwise I love to float. We have a float tank at City Mode which I try to jump into once a week, that mellows me out too :)

4.   Do you follow a specific diet?

No, I just eat really well, and I’m proud of that! I believe in real, whole foods & minimal processed, packaged foods. Sometimes I like to play around with macros and calories just to see how my body responds, but mostly I just fuel myself with good quality food whenever I’m hungry! It has worked for me so far :)

5.  You recently commentated at the CrossFit Games in USA.  Tell us about this experience.

This was probably one of the best weekends of my life! CrossFit were such an awesome company to work for, and really love their brand – this is evident in its success. Each day was really cruizey, I got there and they basically said kayla2to me “go out, find some cool stories, and report them back to us!”

Luckily I love writing, producing & presenting… because that’s what was involved in my job. I had a camera man who I could bounce ideas off, and he was awesome too! We basically went into vendor village and spotted something cool; then I did a piece on it, a few interviews, another piece, then along with some B-roll, we were done! sent it off to the on-site editors & up it went on the jumbotron. They asked us to get as many stories as we could – we averaged about 3 – 4 a day, and then the editors were crazy busy in the arvo so we got to enjoy all the later events.

It was a really good situation that worked well for everyone. They loved our stories & I had an absolute blast filming them!

6.  What are your strongest and weakest movements?

I would say gymnastics are a strong point of mine. I love HSPU, pullups, muscle ups and toes to bar… but my weakness is definitely my strength. I don’t have an impressive squat or deadlift compared to my gymnastics. I love moving quickly & lightly and find it a real mental battle to grind through something heavy – but I’m working on itkayla1

7.  What are your future aspirations?

Hmm, this is a hard one. I guess everything that I am doing now, I hope to be able to continue for the rest of my life. I just want to be able to help more people and show everyone how to live a healthy and happy life!

8.  What advice do you give to those trying to get fit … maybe starting off, or getting back on the wagon?

Surround yourself with likeminded people! This is where I believe being a member of a CrossFit community is really effective. We all keep each other accountable and everyone has something to offer someone else. Going at it alone can be tough and challenging, but being a part of a team is really effective. The vibe at CrossFit gyms is hard to beat, it will make you feel mentally strong to go and chase your own dreams.Kayla-IG

 

STAY

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Wonder Woman Wednesday – Sarah Jones

Happy Hump Day all … hope your week is going great.  Some inspiration and motivation from this week’s Wonder Woman Wednesday Sarah Jones – fit mum and INBA competitor Sarah shares with us a bit more about herself. Love reading about different women each week and what works for them. Get inspired here ….

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  1. Tell us about yourself and what you do?

Grew up playing soccer, surf life saving, and pretty much any team sport in season. As a teenager I chose to focus on soccer and represented my state and national team. I was lucky enough to receive a full scholarship to division 1 school in USA. Played collegiate soccer for 4 years and got psychology degree. I work in child protection and also got my personal training and business qualifications. My passion is working with people to help them achieve their goals.sj5

  1. Have you always been involved in fitness?

Yes. My philosophy is to train, look and feel like an athlete at any age.sj1

  1. What exercise/sport do you do – why did you choose this sport?

After two knee reconstructions from playing soccer, I have kept fit running, doing triathlons, half and full marathons and more recently in 2014 body sculpting comps which I did really well in the Figure category. I won my divisions in figure in Townsville and Brisbane INBA comps.

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  1. Do you follow a specific diet?

I generally follow a well balanced diet and recognize that food is fuel. I train like an athlete therefore I fuel regularly with high quality fuel. I certainly enjoy my cake and wine in moderation. However, when I competed in my figure competitions, I had to follow a very strict eating plan which had significant impacts on my mind and body for months leading up to and following the comp. That sport is extreme and is NOT recommended for everyone, particularly those who want balanced health and well-being.sj2

  1. What does a week of training/exercise look for you?

I move everyday however if my body is tired, I rest. I love high intensity interval training. I love body weight exercises but include a push, pull, leg strength work out once a week. Every workout has some cardio. If you want to turn your body into a fat burning machine, you have to huff and puff. Increase your heart rate and try to go faster or longer than your last work out.

  1. How has fitness/exercise changed since becoming a mum?

The exercise hasn’t changed, my pelvic floor muscles have just deteriorated. I can’t run or jump without weeing but that doesn’t stop me!  Thanks  😆sj7What are your future aspirations?

To be happy, healthy, fit and strong for the rest of my life. sj4To always set new fitness goals and be a positive role model for my children.

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Wonder Woman Wednesday – Jenny Kemp

I love this Wonder Woman Wednesday weekly blog post so much … I just love highlighting other women of all ages, that a setting a great example for us all.  I am passionate about changing the way as a society we think about women and view ourselves.  The only way this is going to change is if we lift each other up and set a good example for each other.  Having 3 daughters I am driven to set an example to them

  1. Tell us about yourself and what you do?jenny1

Im a 53 year old female, the mother of a gorgeous Labradoodle called Lexi and a current serving police officer.  I am nearing retirement (retiring at 55 years of age) and when that day finally arrives I intend to further pursue my personal training business.

I love to travel with my partner and have just discovered travelling by ship cruises. I loved my first cruise in 2014 and we have booked our next voyage for 2016. My pre-requisite for any holiday I take is that a comprehensive gym is readily available (preferably a crossfit gym but if not I can make do) and that I have access to good quality food.jenny5

2.   Have you always been involved in fitness?

I have always been involved in fitness, from the very traditional early school years of netball, moving into triathlons in my early 20’s. I competed in triathlons of all distances for many years, competing at State level in my age group travelling all over the State and Interstate to compete. Towards the end of my triathlon days I moved to competing in half ironman events (1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21km run) but after a reoccurring leg injury I moved into competitive road cycling and became absolutely hooked on road racing.

I had a bike for every occasion and weather conditions and trained in the early morning’s everyday with every weekend competing in a road race of some sort all over the State. I particularly loved racing in team events and due to my size was quite successful when racing in hilly conditions. I also thoroughly enjoyed competing in the SA Police Games and World Police and Fire Games over the years.

Due to my love of cycling I NEVER for one moment ever thought I would ever stop cycling and having had the latest of bikes and every cycling gadget possible I was truly set for many more years of cycling until the day I walked into a Crossfit Foundations class and as the saying goes,‘the rest is history’.

For those close to me the thought that I was not cycling anymore was almost impossible to fathom, for myself as well if I am honest. So at first as I started to feel my way with Crossfit I kept cycling and racing on the weekends but as the days turned into weeks and weeks into months my beautiful carbon fibre bike with wheels that cost more than most people’s car started to gather dust and cobwebs. Not having been prepared for the inevitability of loving Crossfit so much I left my bike hanging in my shed for many many months until it finally hit me that I did not want to go back to cycling, I just wanted to do more Crossfit and improve my weaknesses and enjoy my strengths, so the bike got sold. (luckily I sold it to a friend so I still get to see it out and about which makes me smile :-)

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 3.  What exercise/sport do you do – why did you choose this sport?

It’s funny I wouldn’t say I chose Crossfit, I think Crossfit chose me. Crossfit provided me with a training program unlike no other. It had it all, just look at Glassman’s  ‘Fitness in 100 words’ that encapsulates it all really. Coming from an endurance background I found I had a solid ‘engine’ but lacked strength and skill in weightlifting and certain gymnastic movements. Aside from the love of constantly learning something new or being challenged in ways I had never been challenged before, I loved the community of Crossfit. I know it’s been said many times before by Crossfitters, but working out with and talking to like-minded goal oriented people is inspiring and motivating.

4.  Do you follow a specific diet?

I follow the principles of Paleo eating but am not 100% Paleo. I enjoy disciplined and structured eating full of clean food that enhances my training. I tend to eat a diet high in protein to support my training, given that I train 5-6 days per week.jenny2

5.  What does a week of training/exercise look for you?

I train every weekday from 6-7am, then Saturday mornings for 1 to 2 hours. Currently I am seeing a specific weights coach to focus on some of my weaknesses. I also ensure I utilise recovery methods such as a daily infared sauna and stretching through yoga sessions.

6.  What are you weaknesses?

Mobility and flexibility are constant issues for me and if I do not continually address the two my weightlifting will become affected.  Being a smaller athlete I need to concentrate a great deal of my training time to my lifting and getting or keeping myself as strong as I can for my age.

7.  What are your strengths?

Body weight exercises and endurance wods are easier for me to complete over a 1RM lift but recognising this I continually strive to work on my lifting.  I never thought my running was that great when I did triathlons but since starting Crossfit I have found my running has really improved to the point where I won’t say I enjoy running but I certainly find it easier to do within a wod.jenny4

8.  What are your future aspirations?

I have been extremely lucky to have competed in the Crossfit Games in Carson LA in 2012 and 2014 (Masters 50-54 age group) and will never forget the experience of attending my first Crossfit Games, it was unbelievable, I was like a child in a lolly shop, eyes and mouth wide open head spinning in all directions, loving every minute of it.

I may work towards another attendance if the opportunity was to arise again in possibly 2017. The Crossfit Games is the ultimate competition and to attend as one of 20 athletes in the world for your age group is such a wonderful sense of achievement in itself, anything else from there is just pure fun and enjoyment (although I wasn’t enjoying much after some of the wods in 2014!!).

I also just want to do everything possible to enable me to stay fit and healthy so that in my retirement I can train, eat, sleep and live life to its fullest :-)

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Happy Hump Day!

Wonder Woman Wednesday – Tati Pineau

I love this blog post, the chance to share another story from an inspirational person.  This strong lady fits lots into her life.  You can follow her on instagram: @strongfittati

Happy Wonder Woman Wednesday!  Strong Is Beautiful definitely sums this Fit Mum / Mom of 2.tat10

1.  Tell us about yourself and what you do?   My name is Tatiana born 03/19/1980. Am from Brazil Rio de Janeiro. I’m wife, and mother of two wonderful kids. I’m a StrongWoman, Powerlifter Coach and Athlete, i train to compete in both sports. And i also do Massage Therapy, i started when i was 6 years old, i always had the desire to help others and make then feel better, for me that is a perfect combination of train athletes and treat then as well.tat7


2.  Have you always been involved in fitness?  I always had been very active, i grew up dancing Samba, playing soccer, volleyball, hiking, bike ride in the mountains all that just for fun. I started training StrongWoman and Powerlifting  7 years ago.tat9

3.  What exercise/sport do you do – why did you choose this sport?   Strongwoman, PowerLifting, Mas Wrestling, Gymnastics, CrossFit, Rock Climbing, Boxing, kayak, Capoeira.

I grew up watching the World’s Strongest Man and weightlifting competitions… My dream was to train and compete in StrongWoman and Powerlifting which has now become my passion. I’m living my dream. I love the sports and am very passionate about it. I love challenges, for me the harder the better. I enjoy pushing myself to the limits :-) tat8

4.  Do you follow a specific diet?   I do the Blood Type diet for more than 6 years now, it is a lifestyle and saved my life. The foods you eat react chemically with your blood type. If you follow a diet designed for your blood type, your body will digest food more efficiently. You’ll lose weight , have more energy, and help prevent and fight disease.

The bloodtype diet is based on the theory that your blood type determines which foods you should consume in order to achieve optimal health.tat6

5.  What does a week of training/exercise look for you?  My training is based on functional and fundamental movements. I do strength training 2x week. I use the Conjugate System to rotate the exercises. I have one Press day and one pull day.

Pull day (DeadLift, Clean, Back Squat, Front Squat,).

Press day( Sand-Bags, dumbbells Log, Axle, Yoke, Barbel).

Twice a week I do Strength Endurance, Endurance, Anaerobic Threshold, Aerobic, Run, Capoeira (martial arts from Brazil)

Active Recovery 3x a week, Hike, Bike, Swimming, Kayak, paddle board, Rollerblade.

On my rest day i do jacuzzi, sauna, cold bath

All that is essential for my program, without recovery there is no training.   I go by feel really, if i don’t feel 100% i listen to my body. Joe Di Marco said “Don’t let your body be a slave of your mind”. I apply that to my training program.tat2

6.  How has fitness/exercise changed since becoming a mom?  have changed for better, i want to be a example for my kids and being a mom means i need to train harder to inspire them, they grow up in a great inspirational environment, and really there is no excuses,you can make time, you can train with your kids, and have fun at the same time ;-). I love the fitness life and i want my kids to see how awesome it is to have a healthy active life.

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7.  What are your strongest and weakest movements?  My strongest movements is most StrongWoman awkward objects, Sand Bag Carry, Atlas Stones, Wheel Barrow and Yoke carry.

My weakest movement is the Press, Olympic Weightlifting Snatch, Clean & Jerk, i need to work harder on all of them because they are very technical movements.  I love it and my body makes great progress when i do Olympic Weightlifting.tat4

8.  What are your biggest challenges?  My biggest challenge is strength. I grow up on the farm and i did lots of functional movements, the muscle memory helps me today on my StrongWoman training… But not so much in Powerlifting, in competition at 123lbs (55kg) bodyweight i DeadLift 270 1/2 lbs (125kg), Back Squat 225 (100kg) and Bench Press body weight, i still have many years to build more strength to achieve my goals.  My background is poor in sports, i played a lot and i was very active back in Brazil but i never had the chance to do any serious sports. That means i need to work harder and be patient with the process. To build strength takes time and i’m ready to do anything to achieve it!tat3

9.  What are your future aspirations?  I want to go to the Nationals first and one day go to the Arnold’s for PowerLifting and StrongWoman, I qualified many times for Nationals but i never had the chance to go. I would love to be there one day to follow my dreams.tat5

“Training isn’t about how much you can do or how long you can do. More is not better. Better is better” ~Julien Pineaureading

Once again I loved reading this post, I hope you did too.  This is what excites me to bring the Fit & Style Fitness Magazine together.  Each month I hope it also gives you more inspiration and motivation.  I am passionate about Woman’s Health and fitness routines for women, its time to change how we think.  This is one of the reasons I added this weekly Wonder Woman Wednesday post, its all about sharing our stories and seeing which fitness routines for women work for the different individuals. Its not always about fitness weight loss, its about creating strong bodies that function well.  Let me know what you think if you read and enjoy a post.  Its nice getting your feedback.
ABILITY-IS-LIMITLESS

I am lucky to be meeting up with Tati and her Strong man husband Julien when I go to USA later this year.  Tati has already ordered the sterling silver Barbell and Train Hard or Go Home Necklace which i do think is the perfect piece for her.  I know she will love it :-) you can find them here

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Happy Hump Day :-)

Wonder Woman Wednesday – Athalie Redwood-Brown

I love sharing a little about different inspiring women each week.  My Wonder Woman Wednesday post is all about inspiration and motivation … learning a little about each other.  This week fit mum Athalie Redwood-Brown shares with us … enjoy reading more about her.

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  1. Tell us about yourself and what you do?

Where to start, I am a mom to a nearly 2 year old, a CrossFit box Owner, University Lecturer and generally all round fitness nut. When not chasing after my little boy or 3 year old black Labrador, Mikko  you will find me at my second home, our box, CrossFit Deviant in Derby, UK.  What do I do when not working out – think about working out of course :-) Oh and think about all the chores that need doing around the house – although the latter normally never gets past the thinking stage!

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  1. Have you always been involved in Fitness?

That’s a bit like asking if a fish can swim without water, I swam competitively until I was in my early twenties where I swapped being “in” the water for being “on” it.  I rowed for 8 years and turned out I wasn’t bad at it! I represented Great Britain at two European Championships and even managed to get myself a few shiny medals in the process. After retiring in 2010, I ploughed myself in to my work – yes you’ve guess in the Sport and Fitness Industry keeping fit by entering local triathlons until I found CrossFit at the back end of 2012.

 

  1. What exercise/sport do you do – why did you choose this sport?

Now I would say I am 100% CrossFit, I love everything about it, the community, the spirit and the people I have met, I feel the fittest I have ever been. I chose it initially because it looked like a challenge, I like variety and get bored easily, I’m a go getter so I need something to keep me entertained. It was love at first site, a sport that is ever evolving, humbling and virtuous, it was a match made in heaven.

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  1. Do you follow a specific diet?

If my husband is reading this – then yes :-) I try but sometimes it’s just not that easy and we all need a treat now and again. Perhaps one a day is a little overindulging but hey some days I earn it. But in all seriousness my rule of thumb is to have a well-balanced (in terms of macro nutrients) breakfast, lunch and dinner. What happens in between depends on my will power but generally I try to eat protein bars/flapjack rather than a bar of chocolate for snacks. I run nutritional courses centered on the “block diet” this is a great way of keeping people focused whilst not feeling like they are depriving yourself.  Giving yourself a “block” total for the day is a great way of getting in all the nutrients you need, since I have done this my numbers have gone up and I feel great in training. If I eat badly or don’t eat enough then I really feel it. People are amazed that I am actually telling them to eat more and yet when they come back to me for their check in – they can’t believe they have lost weight but more importantly lost body fat.

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  1. What does a week of training/exercise look for you?

I train most days with a definite rest day – which can vary due to comps, family time etc. I am very lucky to have an ex-boxer who trains with me. He keeps me in check and as our weaknesses are very similar we really help each other.  I used to stress if I missed things out of my session if I didn’t have time or felt tired, now I just go with how I feel. I generally do my accessory work in a warm up (3 rounds), followed by a skills/gymnastic EMOM (every minute on the minute) this could include, push ups, ring dips, pulls ups, box jumps etc.  next is strength – I am pretty weak relatively so I like to lift heavy, I love lifting weights, it feels great when you get under some tin and feel strong. We finish with some MET con, usually the WOD on the board (work out of the day).

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  1. How has fitness/exercise changed since becoming a mom?

Well, after finishing a WOD – lying flat on my back I normally get a “mmmuuummmmyyyy” and a little monkey comes running over and sits on me – just what you want when you feel like you are breathing through a straw. I trained all the way through my pregnancy, my waters broke just after a set of squats J, so after a natural and very straight forward delivery I was back in the gym 5 days after. I never felt like I couldn’t train – it empowered me and helped me keep sane (I am not someone who likes to sit still).  It’s annoying that there is so much controversy and negativity around training whilst pregnancy (don’t get me started) but my advice would be to listen to your body and keep moving. In terms of post pregnancy, the same rules apply listen to your body, take advice from those you trust and do little and often. I love that my little boy sees me train, I love that he tries to copy what I do and most importantly he learns that it’s OK to fail (normally under a squat snatch).

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  1. What are your strongest weakest movements?

 I am built like a giraffe, tall, gangly and probably not the most co-ordinated of people, so I struggle with squatting and generally trying moving weight. It’s getting better and being the determined, single minded person I am, I will not give up. Given my background in endurance sports, I have an engine so I am lucky that although I can’t lift very heavy – I can lift lots of times, much to the annoyance of some of the heavier/stronger girls I compete against.  I never thought I would say this – but I am a pretty good gymnast so you could say I am a Gymnastic-Met con J.

 

  1. What are your biggest challenges?

Juggling – I was never very good at it at school, and now is no different, people often say how do you fit everything in?  I guess I must be very good at keeping plates spinning. I love being busy – if I wasn’t running from one place to another or didn’t have a few projects on the go 1) life would be boring and b) I’d be worried. I love what I do, I feel privileged that I get to meet and train so many people in so many walks of life, from elite athletes to women battling breast cancer.  Life is about challenge, and as soon as you realise that people will love you for who you are not what you are or what you do – everyday is an achievement.

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  1. What are you future aspirations?

The CrossFit Games – aim high – better to aim for the stars and miss than aim for a pile of s**t and hit :-)  But basically to inspire and empower other women to be the best that can be. So many women are knocked down by the media and social idealism. I feel I was put on this planet to  help them realise that we are all kick ass and we are all amazing and you CAN do anything you want to, all it takes is someone to believe and help you take that first step.

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If you love lifting a barbell like Athalie then you might love a sterling silver barbell bracelet find out more here 

I asked Athalie to share what motivates her on those “flat days” …

 

Its 3.30pm you have exactly 15 minutes before you leave the office to make the box and get your workout in before the 5pm WOD starts and you have to look after the little man. You’ve been up since 6.30am due to a lost dummy crisis and barely had time to cram in the left over chilli you took for lunch. Not the best prep for a dirty version of Jackie (yes you had a sneaky look at the WOD), but you’ve got your nieces birthday party at the weekend so if you don’t make tonight it’s going to be two rest days in a row!) So how do you get motivated?  I‘m very fortunate to own my own box,  but with that comes long hours for my husband meaning I have to train when he’s not coaching – it’s a tight time frame meaning minimal phaff and precise timing. In a way this helps me, there is no procrastination, it’s a case of get on with it or go without. It’s tough to keep motivated when you have a little one, a business and full time job so here’s my top tips for keeping those demons from telling you, you are too tired or too busy.

  1. Any training is good training, whether it’s psychological or physiological sometimes you just need to lift some tin and get a sweat on. It can help clear your mind and whatever it is that your boss wants you to complete by the morning will be much more productive once you’ve had a break, eaten some food and released some of those endorphins.
  2. Everyday doesn’t have to be a PB day, I tell myself this a lot, some days you are just tired, so drop the weights, work on technique or just enjoy going through the movement paths.
  3. Do something you enjoy, I am lucky to be able to train in open gym, so sometimes when I am feeling particularly fed up and uninspired I do something I like – a movement that always feels good. Maybe an EMOM working on skills. You are gaining some valuable skills practise but at the same time not breaking yourself in a gasey WOD.
  4. Work on your weaknesses, it makes you feel virtuous and whatever you do is bound to be an achievement.
  5. No matter who you are – you will inspire someone in your box, they will look at you during the WOD or strength set and be inspired by your efforts, if you are not there – you cannot inspire them.
  6. Remember why you started CrossFit in the first place, it’s a never ending journey and you know that if you walk through the door, the coaches will do the rest. That’s why we CrossFit, because no matter how crap your day – if you can walk through those doors, you can guarantee when you walk out – you’ll feel a whole lot better.

Ath – Co-Owner CrossFIt Deviant, Univeristy Lecturer, UK , 35 year old mum and wife J

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Wonder Woman Wednesday – Lou Richards

It’s Wonder Woman Wednesday and this week we are talking to mum and PT Lou Richards.  Its great hearing about different women, what they do and their aspirations.  Enjoy reading more about Lou …

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  1. Tell us about yourself and what you do? I am a CrossFit Coach and Athlete, Personal Trainer and mum to 2 beautiful kids. I work lots, train lots and love helping people.
  2. Have you always been involved in fitness? I have been in the fitness industry for 20 years and although I have worked full time in international trade and other industries have always had my PT business, trained and competed in martial arts, owned gyms and been involved always.lou7
  3. What exercise/sport do you do – why did you choose this sport? CrossFit, Kyokushin Karate, MMA and kickboxing. I love the intensity and the challenge it provides both mentally and physically.lou8
  4. Do you follow a specific diet? I eat perfectly 90 percent of the time. I don’t eat a lot of animal products anymore as my digestion doesn’t like it, I keep my portions small, basic food but good quality and organic where possible.
  5. What does a week of training/exercise look for you? Most days I train 3 hours a day. PT on the pads with my kickboxing trainer, I do gymnastics programming twice a week, lifting 5 times a week, plus CrossFit metcons, MMA twice a week and wrestling.  lou6
  6. How has fitness/exercise changed since becoming a mum? It has become more intense and a lot more of it! My body has gotten stronger and better post children. My kids come to the gym a lot. They were both born into the gyms that I owned so they are very used to it. I believe it is setting them up for life and I am a good role model for them.
  7. What are your strongest and weakest movements? Snatch is my strongest movement and my weakest is ring dips. Having said that I work on a lot of weaknesses and always changing technique and trying to improve.
  8. What are your biggest challenges? Fitting everything in and finding balance in life to actually sit still and relax as well as be a mum, work full time hours, 16 hour days, train, blah blah arrrrrrrrgggh! I dont know how to relax very well. lou3
  9. What are your future aspirations? I want to make it to the CrossFit Games in 2016. I turn 40 right before the cut off next year (although I pretend I am 27 😉lou5Inspiration and Motivation to keep you on your fitness journey … sterling silver Train Hard or Go Home bracelet treat yourself to one here 
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Wonder Woman Wednesday – Sammy Wood

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.

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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.sammyig
  • 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…  sammy8
  •  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.

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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.sammy2

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.sammyfamily

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!sammy5

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”.sammy3

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….sammy7

Wonder Woman Wednesday – Bella Vallejo

Time for some more inspiration, this weeks Wonder Woman Wednesday is the other end of the spectrum to last week.  Last week we had Kylie who won Gold in the 45-49 year age group  … this week Bella made Australia proud winning Gold also.

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Bella Vallejo is the 17 year old crowned the Fittest female teen in the world at the CrossFit Games in Carson.   Hope reading about this amazing young lady inspires you as much as it has me.  Enjoy ….

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  1. Tell us about yourself and what you do?

My name is Isabella Vallejo and I am 17 years old from the sunny coast. I am a competitive CrossFitter and CrossFit trainer at CrossFit Logic, Marcoola.

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  1. Have you always been involved in fitness?

I have always been a pretty active person, playing club netball and volleyball at school and doing some running here and there, always willing to give everything a go.

 

  1. What exercise/sport do you do- why did you choose this sport?

I do CrossFit, because I love the variation, the idea of working hard for yourself, getting stonger, fitter and being able to achieve your goals. It’s the best feeling in the world!

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  1. Do you follow a specific diet?

I try to stick to paleo based foods, plus diary and rice, and let myself go a bit on the weekends. I don’t weigh or measure my meals.

 

  1. What does a week of training/exercise look for you?

In games season training generally-

  • Mondays- comp style wod at 1pm, Olly lifting at 4:30pm, Daily Wod at 5:30pm.
  • Tuesday- 3:30pm skills&drills, 4:30pm Daily Wod
  • Wednesday- 9ish- something long and outside the box ( beach wod, long row, swim etc), 1pm comp style wod, 4:30pm Olly lifting, 5:30pm Daily Wod.
  • Thursday- REST
  • Friday- 2pm Strength lifts ( press, Deadlifts, squats), some skills&drills, daily wod
  • Saturday- 6am Olly lifting, 7am Daily Wod.

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  1. Tell us about the CrossFit Games…what was it like?

Like a dream! Literally… It still doesn’t feel quite real, being able to warm up in the same area as the individuals, competing in a massive stadium, getting fresh gear with your name and number on it! It was definitely a dream come true.


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  1. You won Gold in your age group, how hard was it?

Well everything is hard! I really did not expect to win, especially being 7th coming in from the open… also knowing I didn’t really have ring muscle ups patted down! It was definitely a challenge, I had to give the WODs that were my strengths everything I had to make up for those muscle up events.

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  1. Are your family into fitness?

My dad and older sister do CrossFit as well, my mum does the CrossFit cardio classes and my little sister does martial arts…so I guess you could say we were into fitness!

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  1. Who is your biggest inspiration?

Kara Webb, she is such a kind and humble person, willing to help anyone out.

 

  1. What are your biggest challenges?

Going into training everyday wanting to work on my weaknesses (muscle ups) but not being able to because of my shoulder injury. But it’s definitely making me stronger mentally.

 

  1. What are your future aspirations?

To one day make the CrossFit Games again in the individuals and hopefully from then on, make it a few more times! But first, Regionals is the goal!

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Wonder Woman Wednesday – Kylie Massi

This Wonder Woman just won GOLD at the CrossFit Games in her age-group, she is the fittest woman in the 45-49 age group in the world!  I am super excited to share more about Kylie.  She did Australia, herself and her family proud.  She is an example that Anything Is Possible …. enjoy reading more.  Happy Wonder Woman Wednesday xxx

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  1. Tell us about yourself and what you do?

I am a wife and a mum and probably no different to anyone else that does that. I cook, clean, garden, help out with homework and drive around way too much every day. Because my husband works long hours and travels a bit, I am sometimes the “sole parent” for our three children (almost 16, 13 and 10). They are very active, and we encourage this as we believe that school needs to be balanced with other activities, so as long as they commit, we will do it. I am their mentor and their emotional rock and they all know they are our number one priority. I started my working life as an intensive care nurse and have also worked in hospitality and retail and all of these things have given me good opportunities and challenges. More recently, I guess I have become a CrossFit athlete and it still feels weird saying this.

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  1. Have you always been involved in fitness?

I was a gymnast until I was 14 and my career stopped when I broke my foot. I was ok at it but probably did not give it 100% at the time. I was also involved in the normal sports at school, such as netball, softball, athletics etc but I guess most coaches would have thought “has potential if she tried harder.” I’ve also dabbled in tennis and gone to traditional gyms but never found anything that drew me until I was introduced to CrossFit.

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  1. What exercise/sport do you do – why did you choose this sport?

I do CrossFit around six times per week. I did not exactly choose it and my husband will sometimes call me the “accidental CrossFitter”. About four years ago, a friend of ours convinced us to give it a go. Twelve months later, both of us were hooked and we started training more seriously with CrossFit Athletic in Brookvale. It is a great gym with very knowledgeable coaches that know how to program, train and get results. The exercises are challenging and humbling at the same time and the people we train with are just fantastic. It is a big family and seriously this is what makes CrossFit so special

 

  1. Do you follow a specific diet?

I have always eaten reasonably well but have definitely changed my diet since starting CrossFit. We generally only buy organic and we stick to a Paleo type diet. I avoid gluten, lactose and sugar as much as possible, however with children and a lot of training, we have our occasional treats. I love chocolate almonds and we will have Messina ice cream whenever we can get to Darlinghurst. In terms of training, I do supplement with True Protein (pre, intra and post workout supplements) and they are great and delicious products. Fish oil, multi-vitamins, etc feature daily as well.

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  1. What does a week of training/exercise look for you?

In some ways, it depends of whether I am close to a competition or just doing day-to-day training. Before the CrossFit Games, I was using Monday as my active recovery day, perhaps with a swim, double days on both Tuesday and Wednesday, off on Thursday and then train Friday to Sunday, double sessions more than likely. The focus would be on Olympic lifting, strength, skills such as hand stand push ups, rope climbs, chest to bar, etc and getting faster and more efficient at my transitions between exercises. Variety is a hallmark of CrossFit and this follows through in my training as you really need to be good (or ok) at everything.

 

  1. How has fitness/exercise changed since becoming a mum?

Because I was not really a spectacular athlete before becoming a mum, it really did not change the volume of exercise I was doing. If anything now as our children have gotten older and finding CrossFit, I am exercising more than what I have ever done my entire life. What has been great is my kids being able to watch me work hard and do well in competitions as I think they realize that setting your mind to something and working hard will almost always get you there. I know it is something that they talk about a lot more now and it is good to think that I can be a good role model for them.

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  1. Tell us about the CrossFit Games … what was it like?

Outside of the obvious life moments, the CrossFit Games have been the biggest highlight of my life. From the minute we arrived in Los Angeles, it was go, go, go but you realize how incredible the entire CrossFit community really is. We dropped into a gym in Torrance called CrossFit Southbay and they were so generous with their time, equipment and space that they did not only host the entire CrossFit Athletic contingent but a lot of other teams and individual athletes. We made so many friends at that gym during the lead up to the Games and we got to enjoy some good training in pretty hot and sunny conditions which was perfect preparation for the Games.

 

As we got closer to Tuesday, the day I was set to start the Games, I was feeling so nervous and sick in my stomach whenever I thought about competing. The day before I got to meet all the other athletes competing and it was amazing. Not only did I realize they were all human (don’t know what I was thinking) but they were all as nervous as I was. But most important, you have never met such a supportive and nice group of women. You knew you were going to be battling it out for the next three days against them in the field but at the end of the day, they were now your friends so you wanted the best for everyone. I don’t think I was expecting to feel like that going into a competition but it was such a great feeling.

My coach Paul Walton spent the last two years building on my strengths and weaknesses and getting me ready for this, so I really have to give him all the credit for my performance. Yes, I certainly have trained my butt off and it was up to me on the day but without his programming, coaching and support, I would not have been as successful as I was.

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  1. You won Gold in your age group, how hard was it?

It was very tough. The standard of all the competitors was very high and it gets better every year. I had to take every workout as it came and even though I did well on one, it was a brand new story for the next one so you had to keep focused all the time. But you had to keep it fun too because while you want to do well, it is not the most important thing in the world so you need to keep it real. The one thing I really learned about myself is that the pressure is on, you need to dig deep and luckily I was able to find something that kept me going. And one thing that was pretty cool was standing on a podium with an Australian flag and two other super strong competitors and friends (Chris Perrins and Fran Pehi) and a lot of clapping and cheering in the background. I really hope I get to experience that once again, but if I don’t, I consider myself very lucky to have experienced that.

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  1. What are your biggest challenges?

My biggest challenge is to maintain a balance in my life. I guess like a lot of other mums out there, I whinge a lot about time, I just need more hours in the day. My family will always come first and this can be hard at times as I juggle their needs, training and a clean house (I am really pedantic about cleanliness). I do crave time out away from everything and everyone and have learned to take this whenever I can as otherwise I run the risk of getting cranky and unreasonable. It may be as short as 20 minutes but it is so important.

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  1. What are your future aspirations?

I try not to plan too far ahead but I guess you could say that my goal next year is to qualify and compete at the CrossFit Games again. I loved the experience and want to do it again. This means that I will need to be focused in working on my weaknesses, training hard, remaining uninjured and balancing myself. I am also thinking of ways that I can actually give back a bit more to the community and help others in thinking that health and fitness is something you do as a matter of course, not as an extra activity. I don’t know exactly what or how right now but if I can do these things and keep my family thinking I am a great wife and mum, then I can say I have achieved my goals for 2016!

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