Competition, Business & Motherhood with Annie Thorisdottir
Annie Thorisdottir made a name for herself the first year she accidentally stepped into The CrossFit Games arena in 2009. Since then, she has become instantly recognizable with her Icelandic blonde hair and megawatt smile every time she competes. The CrossFit community has watched her grow from a newbie athlete to a veteran of the game. Check out all she has to say about being a rookie athlete in 2009 to a Legend turned Mom in the CrossFit world.
Q: When did you get into CrossFit?
A: I stumbled upon CrossFit a little bit by accident back in 2009. I was doing a lot of different fitness competitions at the time and one of the ones I signed up for happened to be a CrossFit competition and the winner earned an invite to the 2009 CrossFit Games. I convinced my parents to come with me and the rest is history.
Q: If you could give your 19-Year Old self any piece of advice before her first CrossFit Games appearance in 2009, what would it be?
A: I came into the 2009 CrossFit Games with no real expectations to what the competition would be like for what level of performance I could expect for myself. I actually believe this was the perfect approach to my first experience in the sport. This was the first time I had encountered something that I was simply not able to do (the muscle-up), but I knew with effort and practice, that I could achieve it.
Q: What’s something about you that not many people know?
A: I grew up in a small town of only 300 people on the South Coast of Iceland. My mom and dad actually started CrossFit before I did.
Q: What are some words of encouragement to someone who is just starting out in the competitive world of CrossFit?
A: I would tell them that they should not worry about their abilities coming in. Everybody starts somewhere, and we all need to put an effort to get better. Scaling is not failing, but rather a way to get the very most out of your training whether you were training to become the first on earth or just be a healthier and more athletic “you”.
Q: Anything you would have done differently throughout your years in the CrossFit world?
A: It’s always easy to look back and think that you could’ve done better if things would’ve been different. But to be completely honest, the only things I regret are the actions that led to my injuries. My back injury in 2013 happened during a late night attempt at “The CrossFit Total” during the deadlift. I felt tired going in, but decided to give it my best regardless, something that I now know I should shy away from. I know my body so well at this point and she will always tell me what I should and should not do.
Q: How long have you been using the Wodify software & did you use it anywhere else out of CrossFit Reykjavík?
A: I don’t even remember how long we’ve been using Wodify, but it feels like forever! We have more than 1,500 members at CrossFit Reykjavík and the Wodify services makes it possible for us to focus on what we do best: give people a great experience, great coaching, and making everyone fitter in the process.
Q: What was your key business challenge before using Wodify?
A: Our primary use of Wodify at the moment is for class management and scheduling. We have more than 20 classes every day and even more so now during the COVID times, it is important that we are able to track our members and make sure that the classes do not get overcrowded.
Q: Do you see yourself training athletes one-on-one in CrossFit? Or do you prefer being mainly on the athlete side of training?
A: I regularly coach at my gym, but primarily specialty seminars and not that many regular classes. I do enjoy both, but the specialty seminars are what I really enjoy doing. Getting a little extra time to dive into the science behind the training, and share some of the experience I have had during my many years of training at the highest level.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge since becoming a Mom?
A: My biggest challenge was recovering from birth. It was more traumatic than most and my body needed a long time to recover. After I got back on my feet, time management became the biggest issue; wanting to spend every waking hour with my baby knowing that I still had to do my day job.
Q: Has the focus of your training changed since having your daughter?
A: I have learned to be more efficient in the gym, more is not always better, and maximize both the time in training and out of the gym. I am no longer on my own schedule, but have to accommodate my daughter’s needs, so I need to be better at planning my days to make sure that I get everything done that I need to get done.
Q: What is your advice for fellow Moms who are starting to get back into their fitness journey postpartum?
A: I would advise them to start slow, seek out experts that know what to do, and can give you feedback on how your personal journey is progressing. No two births are the same. It is very important to not try to replicate what somebody else did, but rather feel how your own body responds to activity; then, make a gradual progressive training regime that allows you to adjust if something is too much, too soon, or ramp it up if your body can handle more.
Q: Do you have a favorite WOD that you frequently repeat?
A: I am very fond of monostructural work. So one of my go-to workouts is lactate threshold intervals: 30 seconds of work, 15 seconds of rest, 12 times through, then, 3 minute rest, and repeat the sequence three times. It’s simple, hard, and something everybody is able to do, you just have to scale the speed.
Q: What has been your favorite memory of competing in CrossFit?
A: Winning the CrossFit Games in 2011 still stands as one of the brightest moments in my career, but my fight back from giving birth and taking third in the 2021 CrossFit Games is probably the brightest.
Q: What has been your favorite memory of CrossFit Reykjavík?
A: CrossFit Reykjavík is one of my favorite places on Earth and it’s very hard to pinpoint one exact memory that stands out more than others. I believe that those strong memories are created by all the little things that happen every day, with all of our coaches, all of our members, and the joy we all share for fitness. When it all comes down to it I don’t believe it is about the fitness, but rather the people and enjoying each others’ company.
Q: What has been your favorite personal memory that has come about from the fitness world?
A: I simply cannot pick one memory. The CrossFit community is full of exceptional people, and I have had the pleasure of meeting so many special people; coaches, athletes, and members at gyms across the world. I do believe that that is one of the most amazing things about the CrossFit community, the fact that you can travel to anywhere in the world and find link-minded people under the roof of a CrossFit box whether it’s in the United States or Korea.
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