“It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.”- Albus Dumbledore
Former Team Competitor Rebecka Vitesson Heads to Madison as Individual Rookie
In 2022, after placing 12th at the German Throwdown, and missing out on a qualifying spot that would’ve send her to Madison, Rebecka Vitesson was approaching a turning point. She had been managing CrossFit Butcher’s Lab, in Copenhagen, Denmark, full time, while training and working to attain her goal of competing as an individual at the CrossFit Games. Sick, exhausted and perpetually over-stressed, she realized that if she had any real shot, she would have to shift her priorities, and train full time. In 2023, she resigned from her position at Butcher’s Lab and became a full-time, professional athlete, her sights set on qualifying for the 2023 Games.
By taking 11th place at the European Semifinal in June, she did just that.
Remind me: The name Rebecka Vitesson may sound familiar to some, as she was a member of the Butcher’s Lab team in 2018, placing 21st at the Games. She and her team qualified again in 2020, but as there was no team division moving past qualifiers that year, they did not compete.
It was at this point that Vitesson decided she wanted to move away from team and pursue competing as an individual, and with that, she needed specific coaching and guidance. She found that with coach Andre Houdet and the No Shortcuts crew.
“It was in 2020, after the first wave of COVID, I wanted a coach that was close to me, with experience. I learned how to compete and be a professional athlete leading up to competition. I feel so much more secure working with Andre, I have confidence in him, because he has such experience. He knows what is required–all those small things that one doesn’t think about being an individual competitor. He thinks about all this and knows it,” said Vitesson.
This transition to individual was a major adjustment for Vitesson, as she relied heavily on her teammates for support through the years. Sessions were completed together, and she was never alone on the competition floor. Additionally, she had to adapt to the increase of time spent training each day, which was paramount to her growth as an athlete.
“I had to learn how to adjust my schedule to training full time. My coach helped me with this. It took about two months to adjust, because I just wasn’t used to it. It had to become my job.”
“I plan my training on my own, which can get very lonely. It’s a very lonely experience at times. I’m often by myself. With a team, you always have someone around. Andre told me that although it’s very different, I would need to learn how to love it,” said Vitesson.
And she has indeed.
After a particularly discouraging test at the Europe Semifinals, she was ready to give up. Feeling isolated, alone and absolutely gutted, she almost told Houdet that she was done. She shared the same sentiment with her boyfriend.
“I was so discouraged after the 3rd test, I was ready to give up. I thought, after everything, all the sacrifice, this isn’t worth it. I wanted to give up. But my boyfriend had said to me, ‘it doesn’t matter what happens here… look how far you’ve come- look where you are.’ I thought of this going into the 4th event.”
“I had this special moment, my boyfriend had encouraged me to look up in the crowd before the event, and so I did this, and there were so many people there from Denmark, and they were all yelling and cheering. I soaked it all in, and was proud that I was there. I realized I wasn’t alone,” said Vitesson.
Over the past three years, Vitesson has seen major growth in herself, not only in the physical realm, but in her mental space as well. Having suffered two ACL injuries, one in each knee, years prior, she has come to know some dark places.
Through this, she has learned to have patience with her body. In the midst of setbacks, she expressed that while the unknown is challenging, it’s remarkable what one can accomplish with faith and trust in oneself.
“I recently have begun working with a mental coach, and it has made a huge difference – I’ve spent more time on me. I’ve matured so much because of this.”
And she has learned to train smarter, prioritizing components of fitness found outside of the gym.
“I became a full time athlete…. Which is all about being more patient with recovery, rest and more time spent on nutrition. I’ve been able to rest more, and feel fresh. Before this, I was sick all the time, I couldn’t complete my training days, I had to rush through everything. I was so stressed out all the time. Now, my training has more quality, I prioritize rest,” said Vitesson.
Preparing for the Games: Over the next few months, Vitesson is preparing for her trip to Madison alongside Houdet and fellow No Shortcuts qualifiers Jelle Hoste and Manon Angonese. If the 2022 programming is any indicator of what’s to come, she’s looking forward to high-skill tests, gymnastics and a possible obstacle course.
Vitesson: “I’ll be training harder, more chaotic movements and workouts, different things, high skill work. I’ll be working on sprints and swimming. I’m excited for the Games since it has become my goal – it has all seemed like a fun playground – full of diverse workouts, I can’t wait.”
Count Reps, Not Sheep
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Is Programming Using CrossFit’s Classic Rx and Scaled Model Helping or Hurting Your Athletes?
That question has echoed through CrossFit gyms since founder Greg Glassman coined the idea of workouts having a prescribed weight.
Twenty three years later, being able to do workouts at the Rx weight is still a relevant milestone for many, a badge of honor even to graduate from scaled to prescribed on any given workout.
In fact, many (arguably most) CrossFit affiliates and functional fitness gyms still prescribe this way today. They offer two, sometimes three, different prescriptions for the training session of the day—including Rx and scaled—and athletes select accordingly.
But as much as these classic CrossFit prescriptions are still relevant today, more and more gyms have also moved away from programming this way, and have moved towards a more individualized way of programming that prioritizes honoring the intended stimulus of the day.
Such was the case for Randy Lauer, the owner of 3-46 GRIT CrossFit in Portland, OR, a gym he has owned with his wife Chausse Lauer for nearly 11 years.
The CrossFit Games are the absolute pinnacle of our sport, and athletes travel from all states, countries, and continents to take part in the ultimate testing grounds of fitness. However, it’s certainly not a cheap endeavor. In 2021, a team’s trip to the Games could cost upwards of $10,000. . . and the team surveyed was from the United States.
So, if you want to support a team or individual athlete headed to Madison this summer (and maybe get a t-shirt in the process), check below for who’s accepting donations.
From NOBULL: The title sponsor of the Games is selling authentic athlete replica jerseys for each individual athlete, available for preorder on their website. In 2022, athletes received $20 from each purchased jersey.
You've seen athletes like Brooke Wells and Sara Sigmundsdottir posting about red light therapy. But there's no way that actually works... right? Learn about the science behind the device that's taking over the CrossFit world.
For the majority of the population that are trying to lose weight, this cycle might look familiar. Restricting to lose weight, feeling restricted so you eventually binge, then you feel guilty because you binged. But how do you break the cycle?
Patriotic with the Born Primitive Patriotic Collection
Get ready for the 4th of July with the new Patriotic Collection from Born Primitive. From swimwear to a new gym outfit, you’ll be showing your American pride. Rock some of their new collection at a BBQ near you!
If you’re a new mom worried about repairing your core, figuring out if you have diastasis recti is an important step to know how to rebuild your abs. Read more to learn three different ways to check for diastasis.
CrossFit Bartlesville in Oklahoma is hosting a Dryathalon (Triathalon with a rower instead of the swim) fundraiser next Saturday, July 8th with heats starting at 8AM. All donations benefit the Project Tribute Foundation in service of First Responders.
Teams of 4-7 can register to compete in the workout.
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