Anna is a 5x CrossFit Games athlete, Olympic gold medalist, and a dog mom! This week we pick her brain on some topics that we think everyone can relate to. Enjoy!
Meg: How long have you been competing in CrossFit? What was your background before you started the sport?
Anna: I have been doing CF since the fall of 2011, but i didn't start competing/getting serious about in it until after the 2012 Olympics. Before I did CrossFit, i was on the Olympic Sailing team for the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. I found CF at the end of the 2012 quad and used it to supplement my training going into the Olympics.
Meg: You’re an Olympian and a gold medalist, tell the readers about the experience? What was it like in comparison to your CrossFit Games experiences?
Anna: Going to the Olympics was a goal of mine from about 12 years old...one that I didn't know would ever come true until i had the opportunity to pursue it. its hard work, its a lot to travel and time away from home, but it was 100% worthwhile. I won the gold in 2008, and it came down to the last race which made it very exciting. I had a medal locked up, but the color was still up for grabs. For the first half of the last race i was in the bronze medal position, and it wasn't until the second to last leg of the race that i managed to make a big pass on most of the fleet and move up into the gold medal spot. There are some similarities and differences between the Olympic Games and the CrossFit games I would say the qualification process is the same and its a do or die at regionals, which would be like the Olympic Trials, and once you make it, you are still competing against the best in the world, At the CF Games, just about everyone is super friendly. People talk about how to help each other get better, give advice to the next heat on wods, there is just a great sense of community, even when you are at the highest level. At the Olympic Games, it feels a little more everyone to themselves, and i think its probably just because of the nature of the sports. In sailing, there is a lot that goes into developing a good race/regatta, and a lot of those things you spend hours and hundreds of dollars trying to figure out to get the slightest edge. other than that though, both amazing competitions to be a part of.
Meg: Why do you think dogs and fitness go hand in hand?
Anna: Because dogs are awesome of course! I think dogs just want to have fun and be with you and be happy and make you happy. Somedays you just need that after a hard training session, to take your mind off what just happened and to bring you into the now and be happy again. They are almost always ready to go and do anything you want to, and i think their constant energy gives you more energy in return.
Meg: What’s the most rewarding thing about being an affiliate owner?
Anna: People assume that qualifying for the CF Games is the highlight of my CF career, but in reality, its the little day to day victories that my members and athletes achieve that keeps me loving what i do. When someone tells me they are down X number of pounds and their doctor has taken them off their meds, or someone finally gets that pull up for the first time, or you see the progress someone makes in just two months and the confidence they gain. It is so rewarding!!!
Meg: What has being a competitive sailor and CrossFit athlete taught you?
Anna: Being a competitive athlete has taught me a lot about dedication. There is always an incredible amount of work to be done to be successful whether it is as an athlete, or as a business owner. There are days when you don't want to do it because you are tired, or you would rather go and do something else, but you can't. Since I started my Olympic Sailing, I have had a phrase with me that I say regularly to myself, "Your competitors are doing it, so you need to do it and you need to do it better!" I use this on days when i know i need to train, but am struggling. It reminds me that I need to keep pushing forward if i want to achieve my goals.