Tough Road To The Games: How CrossFit Saved Darcia Ondrovcik’s Life
Many top CrossFit athletes have overcome incredible adversity to compete at the CrossFit Games.
Since retiring to focus on her role as a Coach and Mom, Australian Darcia Ondrovcik has turned to sharing her story, hoping to inspire other athletes who may be experiencing their own hardships.
- “A lot of people are quite shocked when they hear about my childhood and can’t actually believe you can break the cycle,” she said.
The truth is, Darcia attributes CrossFit to saving her life pulling her away from drugs, alcohol and a cycle of domestic violence. “I regularly witnessed my mum being physically, emotionally and verbally abused by my father,” she told the Morning Chalk Up.
- “The hardest situation I’ve had to overcome is when my mum’s life was almost taken by my dad’s hands. My sisters and I pulled his hands off of her neck as he strangled her.”
In her late teens, Ondrovcik left home in a bid to start a better life for herself and escape her parent’s violent relationship.
She was homeless and sleeping in her car at 18 and said that was the turning point. She knew something needed to change and it’s about that point in her life, Darcia found CrossFit.
- “We did a workout and I was hooked straight away.” she said.
The former competitive track runner would go on to compete at the Pacific Regional twice on a team and once as an individual – as well as traveling to Carson in 2016 with team CrossFit Torian.
- “Not everyone gets to compete at the Games and I’ve been fortunate enough to have experienced this,” she said.
Darcia hasn’t just been successful in CrossFit also dabbling in fitness modeling and competitive track and field — both on a state and national level — in her younger years.
- “I have always believed in living a healthy lifestyle and wherever I was on my path that’s what became the priority and it’s just a matter of doing the work that’s required.”
Darcia’s now runs an online program — Beauty In Strength — providing fitness, nutrition and mentoring to clients around the world. She donates a portion of all profits to an Australian charity offering support for domestic violence victims and also travels around the country speaking about her experience.
- “My mission is to end the cycle of domestic violence in Australia. To achieve this, I will continue to share lessons from my own background to empower others to take ownership of their lives,” Darcia said.
She’s also written a book entitled Beauty In Strength that details her childhood and how she built her career as an athlete and coach.
Darcia met her now husband and biggest supporter John, through CrossFit. Both are determined to build a positive family environment for their daughter Ava.
- “My perspective on training, health and fitness hasn’t changed a great deal since becoming a mum,” she said. “What’s changed is the priorities. At one stage, it was all about being a competitive athlete…but now it’s about being the healthiest role model for my daughter.”
Grab a copy of Darcia’s book or read more about her program.