Lois Smith CrossFit Journey - From a dream to CrossFit Games Sanctionals Qualification

Good evening, how are you all? This feels strange, writing as if I am speaking… please do bear with me as this is the first time I have written a blog! I was thrilled when Shaun, a good friend of mine, and owner of Icon Nutrition approached me to write a blog. And with the sanctionals season underway, what better topic to chat about?

 

So yeah, Hello, I’m Lois. I’m a mummy of two wonderful boys, George (5) and James (3). I work as a Lecturer in Sport Rehabilitation at The University of Hull and I’m married to retired Olympian, Alex Smith!

 

So, I set a goal in June 2019 that in the 2020 season I wanted to compete in both team and individual CrossFit sanctioned events! Yeah, me, just your average girl with all the normal life responsibilities that come with being a working mummy of two boys. A somewhat ambitious goal (you’d probably agree?) considering at the time I didn’t have a ‘team’ and I was some way away from the standard needed to qualify for such competitions. But hey, what’s a dream without a bit of ambition?

 

Up until this point (June) I religiously followed the class programming at my local gym, alongside some ‘other stuff’ to add that extra volume into my training. I absolutely cannot fault that, I love the community and I love the gym classes, but I knew that if I were going to make my goal a reality, I needed something more personalised that was directly focussed on helping me address huge flaws in my ability and help my weaknesses become stronger and my strengths become stronger too. After some extensive research into different programmes and providers I contacted AOD Fitness. They didn’t know at the time, but they were going to (hopefully) help me on the way to achieving the goal I’d set myself. I’ve not looked back since!

 

Along the way I was also approached by Evolve RX, a brand who I’ve supported for a long time, with regards to becoming one of their ERX athletes and making up ¼ of a sanctionals team! This was AMAZING, to 1) be noticed, and 2) now have a team of people who were all chasing the same goal.

 

The initial goal in my training was to be in a position to attack the CrossFit open as best as possible as it had been announced that this would be the qualification process for some well-known CrossFit sanctioned events.  So, I got to work. I worked tirelessly on the drills and accessory stuff that were {hopefully} going to make my muscle ups better, my lifts stronger and my engine able to run faster and for longer. This was ‘the start’ of the prep and I was absolutely loving it. Seeing progress directly translate into number and technique was great!

 

The open soon came round and 20.1 was announced, a pure ‘pain cave’ WOD – did I mention that I actually like things like that – strange I know! I hated it, but I enjoyed it all at the same time. And with that, the next week and the next 3 followed very quickly. In quite a blur now I look back. A brief round-up, but 20.4 was my favourite, 20.5 gave me the most satisfaction, 20.3 left me a little disappointed and 20.1/20.2 were just hard work! Throughout the time of the open I tried to stay relatively open minded and took things I saw on social media with a pinch of salt (that’s for another blog though), but I was keen to keep checking the leaderboard for the team qualification to the CrossFit sanctioned Norwegian CrossFit throwdown. It was looking good, the re-dos were worth it, the weekly check in with the team, the video angles and the support from the people at my box all contributed to us gaining qualification to this event! Wow, goal 1 complete.

 

I had also entered the individual leaderboard for SiD, the UK CrossFit sanctioned event, purely to see ‘where I was at’ as I had planned to aim to qualify for an individual event in the summer of 2020. I didn’t keep an eye on this leaderboard much, the names on there were huge and I honestly didn’t think I’d qualify. But a few weeks passed and a friend of mine sent me a screen shot of the athletes who would qualify for the event. It would be 25 worldwide from the SiD leaderboard, 5 wildcards and the top 10 UK individuals from the SiD leaderboard… suddenly my mind clicked. They had sent me that screen shot because that was me (video verification pending of course)! And there you have it, a week later a received an invite from SiD to complete in the individual elite division of their CrossFit sanctioned event. Goal 2, complete.

 

So here I am now, preparing to compete on the world stage! Training is going well and I am continuing to improve. There are still huge areas of weakness, but I’m more driven now than ever to keep working on those. I’m training 6 days a week, 3 days have double sessions and one day is full rest. AOD really know their stuff and I am so pleased I chose those guys to help me on my way.

 

I’m nervous, I’m apprehensive, I’m scared, but I’m also excited and in a ‘I have nothing to lose’ position. I really hope I can control my nerves and enjoy the experience while performing to the best of my ability. My best performance won’t match a lot of women in the field, but if I can do my husband, my boys and everyone else that has invested time and commitment into me as an athlete over the years then I’ll be happy!

 

Thanks to ICON for the continued support.

 

See you on the dancefloor at SiD and the Norwegian CrossFit Championships!