Having a Hook Grip on Life, Caroline shares what sports and CrossFit means to her
“Sports have always being a common happy denominator through all the chapters of my life. Some disciplines grabbed my attention even more and I got very passionate about my training in them, for example: Ballet, Volleyball, Olympic weightlifting, Running, Taekwondo and now CrossFit!
Many people have asked me: “Why did you start Olympic Weightlifting?” – given that according to social stereotypes, it is not a typical girl sport. Well, “I followed my big sister” was the answer. We trained together at an Olympic Weightlifting club from when I was 13 years old to 15 years old. Our training sessions, our competitions, the community and the achievements made and witnessed were exciting. Then, life changed when my sister died at 18 years old and I was 15 years old. It was the first time that I truly felt that “sports”, all I find in it and all that is surrounding it (community) could give me such a grip to hold on to and a safe place to be in the middle of this storm.
At first, it helped by enabling me to escape a grief that was too hard to face as I could focus on my Olympic Weightlifting training and competitions, while always being with friends. Then, training in this discipline and others also provided such an incredibly powerful and positive outlet for both body and mind. Lastly, I guess that somehow it also kept me close to my sister to keep playing this game we started together and to think that she would be proud of me when I was doing well in competition. And so, I continued to practice Olympic Weightlifting until I was 19 years old, to then transition to other sports to be challenged in different ways.
Then, one day, a friend said: “Eh, let me show you the international CrossFit Games”. As I started to watch I found myself being completely captivated, jaw on the floor, heart rate increasing, edge of my seat and google-ing for a gym! They even did “Isabelle”(30 snatches at 95# for time)! I had a moment – “does this exist?!” (…after being hidden in “motherhood” land). I asked around for references and on that day Element CrossFit was highly recommended to me, I emailed to book an appointment right away.
Alex replied within minutes and then, a session was booked with a trainer. On October 26th 2013, I met Coach Brigitte and “IT” started. I can’t even begin to describe how much fun I was having during the KickStart program. I worked hard, I was exposed to new movements, it was always positive and I was reunited with Olympic Weightlifting (and all it means).
Crossing the front door at Element CrossFit is taking me to this comfort, happy and exciting place once again. Even more so, CrossFit is this amazing umbrella sport mixing together some of my all time favorite activities – but taking them to the next level of intensity. I honestly never pushed myself so hard, felt such a rush and obtained as much results in a short amount of time than by practicing CrossFit.
The energy created by the group when we are doing a Met-con is also beyond anything I have experienced in sports before and it taught me that it’s ok to push, that we are in this together, that one or two repetitions at the time will take me there, and that, even if it is taking me to my limits and I have to make adjustments – I can do it and get better at it! The Athlete Development program is taking this even further for me and I love it!
The title of this little peek in my life is “Hook Grip On Life” because it gives an image of the different ways Olympic Weightlifting and now, even more so CrossFit has been such an empowering, grounding and exhilarating experience. I realized again that I had this reassuring imprint in me when I actually found myself hook griping my steering wheel once as I got lost driving somewhere – haha! Also, I get ever so happy when I train at Element CrossFit that whatever was good is heightened and what was difficult gains perspective and finds a solution after since my mind is then clear and positive or is at least appeased.
Being a single mother of two young children, away from home and working hard – training is like finally having playtime, with truly amazing people. I hope that by sharing some of these moments with my daughters when I bring them with me to Element CrossFit, they inherit this hook grip on life as well and are well influenced by being with so many great role models and by simply being as happy as me.
Also, by writing this note, I wish to thank all the incredible Cross-Fitters I share this passion with and Element CrossFit, and to take a moment to share that jumping on a box, doing push-ups upside down and setting new PRs for example can be simply a lot of fun and make a positive difference when truly needed.”
Thanks for sharing your story Caroline! your attitude and smile during workouts are infectious and we love it!