A Beginner’s Guide to CrossFit

Crowned the fittest woman in the world at the 2017 CrossFit Games, Tia-Clair Toomey, 24, shares the determination it took to get there.

I’VE ALWAYS HAD AN INTEREST IN SPORT and different types of fi tness, so when my partner, Shane, recommended CrossFit as a way to improve my strength and endurance for track running events, I agreed to try it. At fi rst I wasn’t sure if it was the right thing for me, but after a couple of classes I was hooked. In 2015, I made it to the Pacifi c Regionals for the Reebok CrossFit Games.

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I went in with no expectations, but I made the top fi ve and came second in the fi nals. At the 2016 CrossFit Games, I made it to the last event and came second again, and while being on the podium was a great feeling, I really wanted to be standing on top of it. In 2017, I knew I was at the Games to win, and having my fellow contestants around me wanting the same thing was an awesome experience. We all pushed ourselves as hard as we could and didn’t give up until the very end. I never thought I could work that hard in a workout, but I won, and it felt amazing. I love the challenges CrossFit offers in each daily workout, but the community vibe is what’s most addictive. Everyone is just trying to be a better version of themselves – they’re supportive, encourage each other to do their best and they have a ball at the same time. It truly is a community.

I train roughly two to three times each day, and that varies from gym training to hitting the track, the pool or even jumping on the bike. My gym session consists of a variety of fi tness elements, focusing on strength training, conditioning workouts and gymnastics components. If I’m running low on motivation, I’ll think about why I’m doing this and that’s enough to keep going. I have a lot of aspirations and I keep my goals in the front of my mind and know what I need to do to achieve them.

Plus, I have a great team around me to keep me on track. I fi nd people have the perception that CrossFit is dangerous and that it teaches the wrong techniques, and while there are some people who can be misguided and receive an injury, you get that with every form of fi tness or sport. It all comes down to ensuring you fi nd a coach who has the proper training and qualifi cations and that you feel comfortable with them.

It breaks my heart when other CrossFitters have to pull out of competitions – we train so hard and put so much dedication into what we do, so to fall short because of things that are out of our control is tough, but that’s the sport. It’s also what drives us to come back stronger and faster, so injury is a part of the journey and it develops you as a person and athlete. We need adversity to keep us in check and to keep us moving forward to better ourselves. After winning the CrossFit Games this year, I’m so proud of my e? orts and I’m still pinching myself. It’s been so great knowing all my hard work has paid o? and I can’t wait to get into the new season. Having the chance to turn my goals into realities is something I’m truly grateful for, so I don’t want to take any opportunity for granted. I want to give everything I can.

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