Meet 8-time CrossFit Games Qualifier Laurie Meschishnick
It’s one thing to qualify for the CrossFit Games once; it’s a whole other story to stay on top of your game and remain healthy year after year, after year. For nearly a decade.
This is Laurie Meschishnick’s very impressive reality. Her first CrossFit Games experience was in 2011. Nine years later, she’s still competing, still in tip-top shape, and recently qualified to her eighth CrossFit Games via the Age Group Online Qualifier (AGOQ) in March.
Competing is in her blood: “Each of us has our own unique DNA, and mine is just in the arena of sport and competition. It’s just where I thrive,” said 55-year-old Meschishnick, a native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in Canada and the reigning CrossFit Games champion in her age division.
While Meschishnick said she has always been into sports, growing up in small-town, rural Saskatchewan wasn’t the best place to become an elite level athlete as a teenager.
- “I mean, I played every sport because if you didn’t your school didn’t have enough people to have a team,” she said with a laugh. “But then I moved to the city for university and realized I was just a really tiny fish in a really big pond.”
As an adult, Meschishnick settled into Yoga and running, but was always more drawn to interval-style, shorter and more intense runs than she was into pursuing longer distances. Needless to say, when she found CrossFit in 2010, she was immediately sold, especially on the idea of never-ending challenges.
- “I think what I love most about CrossFit is the part that you never quite get there. You never really arrive. There’s always a learning curve and you’re always continuing upwards, but there’s always something that’s pushing you just outside your comfort zone. And I think that’s what keeps us young. It keeps our brains active,” said Meschishnick, the co-owner of one of Synergy Strength’s satellite boxes in Saskatoon.
Still hitting PRs: At the age of 55, and after a decade of CrossFit, Meschishnick is still improving. In fact, she hit a clean and jerk PR—175 pounds—during the AGOQ.
- “When will the improvements stop? That’s an interesting question. I’m sure it will happen, but a woman in the 60-plus division hit 175 pounds. Now if I can do that at 60, I’ll be really happy,” she said of Shelly Chapple’s 175 pound clean and jerk during the AGOQ.
Not only does Meschishnick compete in CrossFit, she also competes at the highest level in weightlifting. Last year, she broke two world records at the World Masters Weightlifting Championships.
- “It was so amazing. I never considered myself much of a lifter, so it was really amazing, especially because the competition was at home in Canada in Montreal,” she said.
About the uncertainty of the 2020 CrossFit Games: “Sure, it’ll be disappointing if we don’t get to go to Madison. It’s always so much fun every year to go and compete and see your friends you have made over the years,” she said.
That being said, she is in full support of whatever happens, as she knows fighting the novel coronavirus pandemic is much more important than competing in the sport she loves.
- “We’re not changing the world by competing at the Games. We’re a bunch of big kids playing on expensive playground equipment. I mean, I get lots of messages from people who say, ‘Thank you. I just got started. You helped me get active,’ and that’s a cool thing to influence another’s life, but I know if the Games are canceled, it’s for a good reason,” she said.
After all, Meschishnick’s real reason for doing CrossFit is way more important than the Games.
Not only does Meschishnick have rheumatoid arthritis, which isn’t nearly as bad as it would be if she weren’t active, but it also helps her mental health tremendously, she explained.
- “I workout because there is so much more to it than the CrossFit Games. CrossFit has been my anti-depressant, my drug of choice for years, and I will continue to train regardless of what happens this summer,” she said.
And the next time she gets the chance to compete at the Games, she will turn on her competitive fire once again in hopes of achieving the ultimate prize in her sport.
- “I don’t think any of us should go compete without the goal of winning. So yeah, my goal is to bring home to gold back to Canada,” she said.