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From fashion model to Uzbekistan’s national champion.
How to Watch: Strength in Depth.
Cassidy Lance-McWherter and Aly McWherter publish a new book.
“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” — Steve Maraboli
National Champion Profile: Roza Gilles, Uzbekistan
Roza Gilles was a fashion model, a smoker, and a gym class dropout. Now, she’s the 2020 CrossFit National Champion from Uzbekistan.
As a young model during New York Fashion Week, Roza Gilles would wake up around 7 AM, drink a cup of coffee and review her 30 or so casting calls for the day. Then, she’d smoke hand-rolled cigarettes as she crisscrossed Manhattan, stopping to eat her first meal, a bodega sandwich, around 1 or 2 PM. Afterward, she’d hit more castings, runway shows, and after-parties. Around 10 PM, she’d soak up that night’s cocktails with a slice of pizza, her second and final meal, and go to bed around midnight.
For most of her 10 years as an international fashion model, this is how Gilles lived, but after discovering CrossFit, she devoted her life to fitness.
Growing up in Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s capital, Gilles says that fitness wasn’t a priority, especially for girls.
Though both her parents had been athletes, they didn’t encourage her or her sister to follow suit, and their school had no sports teams anyway.
Gilles: “We barely had P.E. All the girls would gather together, and we’d run 10 laps around the track. But that would only take you five minutes, and then you’d sit around and talk.”
At the time, Gilles was happy to have a mostly free class period. She was a serious student in all her courses but English (“Looking back, that’s the only class I should have taken”) and graduated at 16 years old. That same year, a modeling scout came to Gilles’ school, liked her look, and offered her a job in Singapore. Since Gilles was already ahead of her peers academically, she figured she had nothing to lose by giving it a try.
Though she loved the work, Gilles says that the fashion industry is unhealthy for a few reasons:
Because shoots can last all day, and models stay in each location for only a few months, it’s almost impossible to establish any routine, let alone a consistent diet or fitness regime.
When clients hire a model, they expect that her measurements won’t change, meaning the emphasis is on maintaining your (petite) size.
Gilles: “Having a gym membership, you might not ever go. But we’d run on the treadmill for an hour a day. I did that for five years, and it had nothing to do with health at all.”
Later, Gilles booked a job in Madison, Wisconsin. While in town, she and some coworkers tried a workout at Pat’s Gym, a HIIT studio a few hundred feet from Lake Monona, where the CrossFit Games’ swimming events would eventually be held. Afterward, the group debriefed over cigarettes and cocktails. They all hated it, except Gilles. She was hooked.
It’s official, the 2020 CrossFit Strength in Depth Sanctional is sold out. For those who couldn’t make the trip to London, England and missed out on the highly-sought after tickets, the competition will be live-streamed and broadcast on multiple platforms from ExCel London January 24-26. Follow our coverage throughout the weekend as we recap and provide analysis on the Strength in Depth Sanctional page and on Instagram.
Friday kicks off with a 6,000 meter run for the elite individual athletes while the elite teams will run the 6,000 meters with a sandbag.
Saturday features on-water rowing, one of the more unique Sanctional events ever programmed as the individuals will row on the water in and around the Royal Docks.
All outdoor events are free to spectate for the public.
The full schedule for all events and all divisions, as well as athlete rosters, are available on our Strength in Depth Sanctional page.
The fittest athletes on earth joined the beam team. And so can you.
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Worth Every Shot: Cassidy Lance McWherter Releases Book Detailing her Pregnancy Journey
It’s something that more than 6 million women in the U.S. face, yet rarely talk about. It can feel isolating, and depressing. While the world celebrates countless pregnancy announcements and gender reveals featured on social media, an entire population is suffering — mostly in silence — hoping for there own good news to share. Pregnancy difficulties affect couples in a myriad of ways. And for six-time CrossFit Games veteran Cassidy Lance-McWherter, it’s a story worth sharing in the hope that others, including other elite female athletes, may benefit from her experience.
It’s been one helluvah road: When Cassidy and her wife Aly first decided to start a family, they never expected the difficulties they would face. What began in 2017 as a trip to a fertility clinic to explore their options for starting a family, became an avalanche of doctor visits, IUI and IVF attempts, hormones, pills, injections and ER trips that took the couple on a three-year-long emotional roller coaster. And, it seemed to get worse with every negative pregnancy test.
“Whatever you think you are going to feel, imagine that and then add in a hundred other outlandish seeming irrelevant emotions just to add a special kick to the complexity of the moment. I cannot speak for Cassidy but as a spouse, I couldn’t figure out if I should cry, be supportive, be angry, be neutral, be positive or be everything all at once,” Aly wrote.
The big moment finally came just last October, when the couple found out they were pregnant. “We are so excited. We obviously wanted to tell everyone immediately, but we knew we needed to wait until closer to the second trimester,” Cassidy said.
At 11 weeks, the couple made an official Instagram announcement, posting a photo of a onesie with the phrase “worth every shot” across the front. It was a nod to the countless injections Cassidy had to endure throughout her pregnancy journey.
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Thirty-minute dinner prep and minimal clean-up? Yes, please. Try this Sheet Pan Teriyaki Salmon, it’s Whole30-approved, delicious, and so easy. And, if salmon isn’t your thing, you can easily switch it out for cod, barramundi, or halibut.