Five weeks of grueling workouts have culminated in a spot at the CrossFit Western Canadian regional championship for Whitehorse’s Erin Light.
The 25-year-old finished the fifth and final workout in the CrossFit Open to place in a two-way tie for third out of 1,794 athletes in Western Canada’s open women division.
“I was absolutely not expecting to do that well and I’m still surprised,” said Light. “I think the reason I did a lot better was I had the right equipment and I had (Peak Fitness owners) Erin (Schultz) and Cliff (Schultz) who were supportive. For me, I need cheerleaders in my corner. I was a cheerleader (at university), so it’s funny I need cheerleaders.
“I always say, and you’ll hear all CrossFitters say, that it’s all about community and the friends that you make.
“There are a lot of people that are doing well in the gym. Just having that extra energy and enthusiasm was so much better than last year.”
CrossFit’s international headquarters releases workouts each week on Wednesday and athletes have until Sunday to submit their results through a registered organization such as CrossFit Whitehorse, founded in 2012.
Workouts can be anything from chin-ups, handstand push-ups to snatches with a barbell and more.
The CrossFit Open ran for five consecutive weeks and ended on Sunday.
The top-48 qualify for the regional championships in June and the top-two from regionals go to the CrossFit Games – the world championships – held annually since 2007.
Light’s highest placement over the five weeks was fourth in workout two (i.e. week two) and fifth in workouts three and four.
Those consistent results put her in the tie for third, up from 28th last year.
“Your position going into regionals really depends on what the workouts were and four of those workouts were particular strengths of mine,” said Light. “We’ll have to see what regionals bring for workouts. A few of them could really be outside your comfort zone.
“They could ask me to go for a five-kilometre run and compared to other girls, I wouldn’t do that well. But give me a barbell and gymnastics movements, that’s where I really excel.”
The final assigned workout was short but “brutal,” said Light.
Athletes had four minutes to complete as many reps of 15 of chest-to-bar pull-ups and thrusters (squats with a barbell that is then lifted above head level.)
CrossFit Whitehorse, which operates out of Peak Fitness in Riverdale, has 10 registered athletes, eight of whom finished in the top-1,000 and five in the top-500, counting Light.
CrossFit Whitehorse’s Bethany Peters placed 308th, Lauren McClintock 371st, Heather Jordan 419th, Chandelle King 779th, and Lee Randell 660th for open women.
On the men’s side Brett Cross came 424th and Cliff Schultz 678th out of 3,857 male athletes in Western Canada.
Light, who has a background in gymnastics, began CrossFit while at school in Waterloo, Ontario, in 2010. She won bronze at the Battle on the Border, a CrossFit competition, two months ago in Lloydminster, Alta.
She placed 11th at CrossFit’s Western Canada regionals last year.
“Last time I got really injured and sore and that was really less than ideal,” said Light. “So my main goals are focusing on the appropriate strength so I can recover better and not be injured, not be sore. I want to leave the competition in one piece.”
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