“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”- Winston Churchill
New Coach, New Training Partner, New Country, New Mindset: Anikha Greer is a New Athlete in 2023
In 2018, Anikha Greer started to feel like she had something to prove.
That year, while sitting in her ninth grade math class obsessively updating the Age Group Online Qualifier leaderboard, Greer discovered she had missed punching her ticket to the CrossFit Games by one spot.
It was heartbreaking for the teenager, who started to grow a chip on her shoulder.
The next year was a similar story. Greer placed in the top 15 in the Age Group Online Qualifier, but that year only 10 athletes, as opposed to the usual 20, earned a ticket to the Games.
Finally in 2020, Greer did qualify to the Games, but the pandemic led to a canceled teen event.
And the feeling of being “ticked off” picked up more steam, explained Greer, who is 19 years old (nearly 20) and yet to compete at the CrossFit Games.
“I have had a chip on my shoulder about a lot…Every year I felt like I deserved something,” Greer explained.
To some degree, living with a chip almost became Greer’s identity in the sport. She didn’t know what kind of athlete she was without it.
Then last year happened: The technical glitch that was heard through the entire CrossFit community.
Greer submitted her score for the final 2022 Quarterfinals workout, and somehow it got lost in cyberspace and was never received by CrossFit LLC. Ultimately, the technical hiccup cost Greer her season.
And yet another reason for her anger to grow. Another reason to feel like the sport owed her something.
But that’s not what happened.
In fact, today Greer has let it all go. She no longer lives with a chip, and no longer feels like she has something to prove.
“This is the first year that I don’t feel like that,” she said.
Today, Greer has a new mindset, a mindset that helped her place an impressive seventh overall finish in the world at the recent Quarterfinals, and fourth in North America East.
Greer has accepted the fact that CrossFit owes her nothing.
“The world and the sport doesn’t owe me anything. I could give it everything and it could give me nothing, and that’s just the way it works,” she said.
Coming to terms with this has freed her from the shackles, she explained, and has left her in a better place.
“I feel more grateful this year than I have, I think, ever in the sport. It’s definitely a different attitude for me, but I feel much more grounded as a person now,” she said.
How she got here: After last year’s disappointing Quarterfinals debacle, Greer continued to train and compete in off-season events, including winning the CanWest Games in Vancouver, B.C. last July, and competing at the Madrid Championship and the Rogue Invitational.
Then, shortly after the Rogue Invitational, a mysterious back injury hit.
Greer isn’t sure how it happened, when it happened, or even what was ultimately going on, but the injury was so debilitating she was unable to lift, run, swim, bike, or even just bend over or put her hands over her head.
“I was useless,” she said, adding that the prognosis was “a little bit of a medical mystery,” as multiple scans, including an MRI, showed no evidence of injury.
“I almost thought I was crazy for the longest time because there was nothing showing up (on the scans), yet it hurt. My brain was sending pain signals, so it was very confusing and frustrating,” she said.
Hunter McIntyre Just Broke The Hyrox World Record…What’s Next?
In 2019, Hunter Mcintyre burst onto the CrossFit scene after social media chatter led to a wildcard invitation at that year’s CrossFit Games. While he was eliminated in the second round of cuts, he still placed 61st overall, ahead of 80 other competitors.
Since then, Mcintyre has continued to prove that he is one of the most versatile athletes in the fitness space. In 2020, he set the world record on the popular CrossFit workout, Murph, with a blazing fast time of 34:13.
In recent years, Mcintyre has been able to merge his love of fitness and endurance racing in a completely new sport, Hyrox.
25-Year-Old Goes into Cardiac Arrest During Team Quarterfinals, Saved by Quick Acting Teammates and an AED
In hindsight, Oscar Tyrberg said he should have listened to the subtle warning signs.
Sometimes when he worked out at high intensity, he would get dizzy, “but it would always pass quickly,” he said. Besides, he is only 25 years old and was “completely healthy and training hard for Quarterfinals,” said Tryberg, so he shrugged off his dizzy spells.
But then last week during the second team Quarterfinals at CrossFit Fabriken in Sweden, Tyrberg started feeling very dizzy in the middle of the workout. Shortly after that, he passed out and doesn’t remember anything that happened next.
What happened was the gym owner and his teammates came to his rescue, began chest compressions and administered an AED.
“I was only unconscious for about eight minutes due to their amazing effort, which saved my life,” said Tyrberg, who had gone into cardiac arrest and is still in the hospital today.
Tryberg has since discovered that he has a condition called ARVC—or Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy—a disease of the heart muscle that interrupts normal electrical signals in the heart and can cause potentially life-threatening heart rhythms.
“It’s the second most common reason for young elite athletes going into cardiac arrest…so it’s a scary disease,” said Tryberg, who has been doing CrossFit for 10 years and competing for eight.
This week, Tryberg had an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) placed into his body, which essentially will help keep the pace of his heart and “prevent it from happening again,” he said.
“I will be ok, but I will not be allowed to do high intensity CrossFit or max lifting ever again. Only moderate exercise from now on,” Tryberg added.
One big thing: While having an AED at a fitness facility is not the law in Sweden, it is in 15 American states, explained Vaughn Vernon, the owner of Affiliate Guard, an insurance company with a book of 2,500 gyms, many of which are CrossFit gyms.
According to Vernon, his 2,500 gyms experience an average of six fatalities a year due to cardiac arrest, a number that having an AED, and coaches trained in First Aid, at least have a chance to reduce.
In fact, we have reported multiple cases where gyms with an AED helped save a member’s life, such as last October at CrossFit Games champion Andrea Nisler’s gym. Meanwhile, another CrossFit member’s life was saved at Sharp Edge CrossFit last September because of an AED, and another at CrossFit Megalodon in 2021.
If that’s enough, Vernon shared this story: A long-time gym that his company insures had a member die after going into cardiac arrest.
The member’s ex-wife sued the gym for wrongful death, and the court ruled in her favor because the judge said that an AED could possibly have saved the member’s life. Vernon’s company had to pay out $2.5 million to the ex-wife.
Because of this (and because of its ability to save lives), Vernon said he will not take on a new gym as a client unless they have an AED, because not having one “is just irresponsible,” he said.
The big picture: Vernon’s message is one Tryberg is also preaching from his hospital bed, as he believes the only reason he is still here today, and without long-term damage, is because the gym had an AED.
“All gyms should have an AED, no doubt. And coaches should have education in how to use an AED and perform compressions,” Tryberg said.
“The effort of my teammates is something that I would like to really highlight. From what I have heard (when you go into cardiac arrest) it’s common to have severe brain damage due to oxygen not getting to the brain. Their effort was so good that not only did I survive, but I don’t have lasting damage.”
Rylee Beebe's Workout of the Week
Today’s workout comes from PRVN athlete Rylee Beebe, a two-time Games athlete and silver medalist in the Girls 14-15 division in 2022. Beebe also took third at Wodapalooza in 2022 and followed that up with a first-place finish in 2023. Most recently she finished the 2023 Age Group Girls 16-17 Quarterfinals in eleventh place worldwide (unofficially).
4 Rounds for Time:
100 Foot Handstand Walk
15 GHD Sit-Ups
9 Power Cleans (135/95, 62/43kg)
Scaling options: Drop the handstand walk to 50 feet or 5 wall walks; modify the toes to bar to knee to chest or knee raises; modify the GHD sit-ups to abmat sit-ups; drop the power clean weight to 95/65/
Some advice from Rylee: “Move smoothly through the handstand walks and shake out the arms on the transition to the toes-to-bar. The toes-to-bar are going to fatigue the core before the GHD sit ups so break the toes to bar, but keep rest short, and keep in mind that there are 4 rounds to get through. Smooth singles on the power cleans are smart here, and it will help to keep the heart rate manageable before starting the next round.”To inquire about submitting an upcoming workout of the week, shoot us a note.
This Costly Rope Climb Inefficiency
Are you looking to get more efficient on your rope climbs? You might want to take note of this costly inefficiency and see if it’s slowing you down without you even knowing it.
You know you've been eyeing them up. With the all new Lift and Run chassis system, you no longer need to stop to change into your running shoes when you see a 400 meter run in a workout. The Nano X3 is the most dialed in Nano yet- but don't just take our word for it!
You might be focusing on your fitness… but have you been focusing on your dog’s fitness? This month is Canine Fitness Month and our friends over at Barbells for Bullies put together a few reasons you should be keeping your furry friend in tip top shape too.
The YETI Yonder™, aka Your New Favorite Water Bottle
Looking for a light water bottle that still has the toughness you are used to from YETI’s products? Introducing the Yonder™ Collection: available in two sizes (750mL and 1L for those who want more hydration) and in four colorways, this new design is also built to sustain impact and drop while remaining 100% leak proof!
Congratulations to Marissa Nichols from CrossFit Lake Travis in Spicewood, TX on her unofficial 4th place standing and two top-three event finishes in the Girls 14-15 Age Group Quarterfinals.
Congratulations to Michelle Pedrick from Pennsylvania, who went into workout 3 of Age Group Quarterfinals thinking her max bench press was 125 pounds (56.6kg), and ended up repping out 20 of them before the time cap. “Not my max anymore!”
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