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What It’s Like to Compete on a Team at the Torian Pro as an Everyday Athlete
This isn’t a story about elite athletes with sponsorship deals.
It’s about a team of amateurs with a passion for fitness, who stepped up to the challenge of competing at the largest CrossFit competition in Australia–the Torian Pro, in Brisbane Australia. It’s a tale of emerging athletes, of self-discovery and teamwork and a bond forged through shared experience. It’s a story about going after something and having the time of your life doing so.
On May 26-28, 2023, I was privileged enough to compete on a team at the Torian Pro in the Pro Division, and this is our story.
Septuagenarian Gwen Engle has been CrossFitting for over a decade.
She has participated in ten Opens, has a 275-pound deadlift and a 207-pound back squat. She has never lacked motivation when it comes to her fitness, and as a caterer, baker, mother of three and grandmother of five, a sedentary lifestyle has never been on the table.
Gwen is a member of Arbor CrossFit, in Boise Idaho.
Owned by Jonathan Gonzales and María Aragón de Gonzales, Arbor is home to a community of like-minded, fitness-focused youth and adults. Members range in ages from 4 to 81, as Arbor offers classes for kids and Masters athletes throughout the week.
Gwen trains alongside members of all ages throughout the week, and is an integral member of the Masters class. Held every Monday and Thursday, athletes aged 65 and above complete the programmed house WOD. In addition to Gwen, there are 20 other members that regularly attend the classes.
The group’s oldest member, Tony, at age 81, began at Arbor as a personal training client. While this jump-started his fitness, he wanted more: he wanted a community, and specifically a community of athletes his own age, with similar goals and drive.
“My daughter encouraged me to join,” recalled Tony. “I was unhealthy, not very active, you know. And look at what this has become. This is amazing. There are so many of us.”
Over the past three years, with the help and encouragement of Tony and Gwen, more and more older athletes have joined the gym, many of them new to CrossFit, and have formed a tight-knit, supportive community amongst each other.
The Atlon App: The Latest Offering On The Market to Track Your Fitness
Look, I’m a geek for data. Did it even happen if I don’t have my Apple watch on when I work out? Does it even count? I am constantly looking at my heart rate to see when I could have pushed harder, and do not even get me talking about tracking my sleep. All those numbers! So much to extrapolate.
But as a CrossFitter, our fitness can be more multidimensional than other athletic pursuits. A runner just presses the same couple of buttons, and they are off – at the end of training, they have a simple data set. Same for bikers, swimmers, and many others. But we do so many things – one day we are doing a 5X5 deadlift followed by a 12-minute metcon, whereas the next day, we might have a one rep max clean followed by a 20-minute row. The possibilities are endless, and it becomes hard to track these moving parts separately. It would be nice to track weightlifting separately from endurance WODs.
Let me introduce you to Atlon, the newest app for your smartphones and smartwatch.
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LSKD has burst onto the scene with their edgy activewear and streetwear that can be seen on their athletes like Khan Porter, James Newbury and Sara Sigmundsdottir. Now you can get the clothes you’ve been eyeing for a HUGE discount. Shop the mid-year vibes sale!
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