Whitehorse’s Erin Light is among the fittest in the world, and she has the world ranking to prove it.
The 26-year-old worked her way to 27th for women at the CrossFit Games - the world championships - last week in Carson, California.
“I feel incredibly proud of that result,” said Light. “I came into that competition being (ranked) 42nd and I moved up to 27th.
“I have lots of gymnastics and cheerleading (experience), but not a ton of CrossFit competitions. Because of where we live, I can’t easily get down to competitions. So I’m incredibly proud to have done that well on that big of a stage.”
Light cracked the top-10 in one event at the championship that featured athletes from around the world. She placed ninth in a clean and jerk weightlifting competition, lifting 215 pounds.
“We’ve been in contact with (Whitehorse weightlifters) Emily Quarton and (Olympian) Jeane Lassen a bit and I’ve gone to maybe three one-hour workshops with them,” said Light. “The rest has been self-taught.”
Light also claimed 19th in a “burden run” event - a 2.1-mile run followed by various lifting and dragging components - and placed 20th in three other workout competitions.
In all but two of the remaining seven events she placed in the 20s.
“I ended up being incredibly consistent overall,” said Light. “I was probably one of the most consistent competitors ... I had a ton of workouts that were in the 20th place, 19th place - just right in that area.
“Some of the events I’m most proud of were the events we didn’t know were coming. We did a 21-kilometre row and that’s not something anyone practices or trains for and I ended up coming ... 24th in that event. That’s something I’m not skilled at and had to be mentally strong to get through.
“I’m proud of myself for doing well at all these events that are completely random.”
Just getting the worlds is a massive accomplishment. It has been a long and strenuous road.
Light earned a spot at the world championships with a second place finish at the CrossFit Canada West regional championship in Richmond, B.C., in June.
Only the top two from the region go to the worlds.
Light qualified for the regionals by placing in a two-way tie for third out of 1,794 athletes in the CrossFit Open in the Canada West women’s division in April following five weeks of intense competition.
For five weeks she, along with nine other registered athletes in CrossFit Whitehorse out of Peak Fitness in Riverdale, completed weekly workouts assigned by the CrossFit’s international governing body during the CrossFit Open to earn rankings.
Last year Light placed 28th in the CrossFit Open and went on to place 11th at the Canada West regionals.
It is so much work and requires so much dedication, Light can’t say if she’ll try again next year.
“I’m not sure yet,” said Light. “It was an incredible experience and I’m very grateful for that. I just want to sit back and think about my priorities, think about all my goals. I now know what it takes to get there and how much time and dedication to the sport it takes and I’m going to have to re-evaluate the time that I have.”
Light began CrossFit while studying at Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, in 2010. She won bronze at the Battle on the Border, a CrossFit competition, early in the year in Lloydminster, Alta.
CrossFit was founded in 2000 and has exploded from 13 affiliated gyms in 2005 to over 6,100 around the world today. The CrossFit Games have been held annually since 2007.
“I’m just grateful for the people who support and follow me,” said Light. “There were a lot of Canadian fans that screamed for me the entire weekend and then had hoarse voices and told me that in the airport or wherever I ran into them. I’m grateful for the support from the fans and the gym here and my husband (Caleb).”
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