CrossFit Athletes: What makes SA’s best female athletes tick?

Recently The Box Community caught up with arguably three of the strongest female CrossFit athletes in South Australia to see what makes them tick. It was great to get an insight into their lives and their beliefs about CrossFit. It was also reassuring to know that they are actually human and have similar feelings towards the sport just like the average CrossFitter. We would like to thank the girls for their time and honest answers and it’s great to see they enjoy helping out the CrossFit community. So sit back, enjoy and don’t forget to follow the girls on Instagram.

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Name: Stephanie Ortiz (@smortiz87)

Age: 28

Date you started CrossFit:  January 1, 2013

Box you train at: CrossFit Adelaide

Sponsors:  The WOD Life and Bolder Bands

Regionals / Open appearances and placings:

The Open 2013 – 544th

The Open 2014 – 31st

Regionals 2014 – 8th

The Open 2015 – 4th

Regionals 2015 – 6th

What is your sporting background?

I have always been involved in a sport that I could be upside-down in. I was a gymnast for 10 years, had a bad fall in high school, and then transitioned to diving. I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship to dive in college at the University of Wyoming where I completed my degree and dove all four years.

Why did you start CrossFit?

I honestly was just looking for a gym nearby to stay in shape, I didn’t have a car when I moved to Adelaide so it needed to be close, I went into google and searched “gyms Adelaide” and CrossFit Adelaide popped up. Sent a message to Ben and have never looked back!

What have been the main reasons why you stayed?

The constant challenge. I have a laundry list of things that I need to improve on and I feel like I haven’t scratched the surface on some of the things that I am capable of. CrossFit is ever-evolving and I think it’s so freaking cool that women around the world are getting under bars and learning new gymnastics skills every day.

What’s your favourite aspect about CrossFit?

The excitement I feel when that timer is about to start. Walking into a gym full of people who are ready to work hard. The satisfaction you feel when you’re working and nailing your high percentages. The extra little bit of effort that people give when you cheer them on. The camaraderie between some of the female athletes here in South Australia. Competing. Helping people achieve their fitness goals. There is no one single aspect that I like about CrossFit-I guess I really can’t nail it down to one thing, but I think that that’s why this sport is loved by many because it’s a multi-faceted awesome train that everyone gets to ride.

Which athlete inspires you the most? (CrossFit or other)

Although she got her ass whooped-I am a big fan of Ronda Rousey. The level of confidence that women has for herself is completely awesome. You rarely see any women making the claim that they are “the best in the world”. I think its brilliant, because if you don’t think you can…your probably right-but if you do…then watch out.

What’s your favourite post WOD meal?

Post WOD meal…. that’s a good question. I guess it would be a protein shake. I do go home and enjoy some sweet potato, bacon and eggs on the regular.

What’s your favourite cheat meal?

I like to think that I never cheat-so I am just going to say that eating a delicious hamburger is something that I enjoy on a regular basis. Chicken wings are another staple in my diet. We just recently bought a smoker, so I’ll just go ahead and add brisket, pulled pork, and ribs to my list as well.

In your opinion what does it take to become a CrossFit athlete?

Guts, hard work, and working on things that you hate. Being able to put yourself out there and backing yourself is one of the very many things that I have learned. Being an adaptable athlete-sometimes things don’t go your way-they don’t have lady bars at a comp, no chalk, you blew out in the first round…what are you going to do?

Advice for the everyday CrossFitter?

Don’t give up. And if your just starting up-don’t worry about if people are watching you…they aren’t, concentrate on the task at hand. If you’re a chick?  Get under that bar and f*@$ing lift that shit! You got it smile emoticon

What are your goals for 2016 and beyond?

My goals are to keep doing what I’m doing-I feel very fortunate to be able to wake up and use my legs every day, walk on my hands, do a pull up with my arms. Some people don’t / can’t do that-so I am grateful. I’d like to compete at Regionals again for a shot at the 2016 CrossFit Games.

 

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Name: Emma Hissey (@hissey_fiit)

Age: Old

Date you started CrossFit: 2008

Box you train at: CrossFit East Adelaide

Sponsors: The Box Community

Regionals / Open appearances and placings: 2010 regionals 17th, 2014 regionals 36th, 2015 regionals 22nd

What is your sporting background?

Nothing elite, I won a few netball best and fairest over my mediocre career!

Why did you start CrossFit?

My good friend Ben Norman set up the first CrossFit gym in Adelaide and talked me into it

What have been the main reasons why you stayed?

I’ve met some of my best friends and my husband through CrossFit, plus I’m pretty good at it. It’s just a part of my life now, its part of who I am! Even when I stop competing, I will keep doing CrossFit.

What’s your favourite aspect about CrossFit?

My favourite part is finishing a workout knowing you gave it everything.

Which athlete inspires you the most? (CrossFit or other)

I’m inspired by the people I train with, especially Steph Ortiz

What’s your favourite post WOD meal?

I usually train in the morning and I love porridge with chocolate protein powder and a strong coffee.

What’s your favourite cheat meal?

Burgers and/or wine.

In your opinion what does it take to become a CrossFit athlete?

To be competitive these days, you need to be somewhat genetically inclined to being an athlete and also to a certain degree, a particular body shape and size – not too big, not too small, not too short, not too tall. You need to have enough time to train more than the average person, and if you have no background in elite sport, you need to be patient – it takes years to build the skills and the engine that are needed to excel. You also need to be able to deal with the pressure, and try to just do the best you can without worrying about where everyone else is – it can be hard to do that sometimes!

Advice for the everyday CrossFitter?

Listen to your coach and perfect your lifting technique early. It’s hard to fix things when you’ve been doing incorrectly for years. And if you want to progress, you need to go to the gym regularly to benefit from the programming.

What are your goals for 2016 and beyond?

It’s been a big decision but I’m not competing in the 2016 Open as it has been a hard couple of years for my husband and toddler, juggling everything so I can train. They’ve been so supportive but we all need a break! I’m still training but focussing more on Olympic weightlifting this year and plan to enter a few local competitions and hopefully qualify for nationals again.

 

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Name: Leilani Dawes (@lelanisophia)

Age: 31

Date you started CrossFit: Nov 2013

Box you train at: CrossFit Loaded

Sponsors: The Box Community

Regionals appearances: Regionals 2015: Team Loaded 7th

What is your sporting background?

Netball and Athletics

Why did you start CrossFit?

To be better at netball….but it took about a week for my passion to shift, if that. It was pretty crazy being that netball had been my world for so long, and all of the sudden, I didn’t want it anymore.

What have been the main reasons why you stayed?

The challenge. I was and am continually driven to want more from myself. There is no time to be satisfied and I love that.

What’s your favourite aspect about CrossFit?

The continual evolution of reasonable expectation.

Which athlete inspires you the most? (CrossFit or other)

My friends, the ones who share their ambitions and fears with me. I know their goals and dreams and have a personal insight into what it means to them and what they have given to get there, seeing them succeed is truly inspiring and motivating.

What’s your favourite post WOD meal?

Varies. It depends what time of day I train.

What’s your favourite cheat meal?

Too many to choose from, possibly burgers, or pizza, or parmies, or chips, cakes, bakery treats, cream, like I’m actually shocking.

In your opinion what does it take to become a CrossFit athlete?

To be a competitive athlete I think you need to be devoted to respecting and implementing the effort and commitment required to be the best you can be. You can’t be satisfied, ever. I think you need to be humble and open. I’m lucky to be working with people who know me inside out as an athlete. Having people around you, who are honest with you, tell you what you need to hear and are invested in your progress is priceless.

Advice for the everyday CrossFitter?

Have fun, make friends and be excited to see what you can do. Listen to your coach and respect the advice you are given. Be open to criticism it is an opportunity to learn.  There are so many ways to enjoy CrossFit, competition is just one, and it’s not essential by any means.

What are your goals for 2016 and beyond?

Simply to see what I can do.

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