One of New Zealand's best female CrossFitters Emma Wright, based at CrossFit Thorndon will be one to watch in this years CrossFit Open.
This girl has talent and a drive to succeed, 2017 saw her take out Judgement Day, NZ Nationals, compete in numerous weightlifting meets and head to the Pacific Regionals with team CrossFit Thorndon. Ranked 3rd in New Zealand the 69kg weight class in Olympic weightlifting - this girl is rather unstoppable - did I also mention how lovely she is?!
I was lucky enough to get Emma to do an interview for FxD, her responses below show her dedication and I have no doubt we will be cheering her on at regionals very soon!
1. What is your fitness or sporting background?
Growing up I spent 11 years competing in Artistic Gymnastics. I also did a bit of Athletics, Netball and Touch on the side. I enjoyed being active so that led me down to Dunedin to study Physical Education, and now I work full time in the sport and recreation industry.
2. What got you into CrossFit?
I had a few people I knew that did CrossFit and really seemed to enjoy it. I'd also moved to a new city and so was looking for a community to be involved in. My flatmate dragged me along to a trial class, and I signed up for 3 months. At first I didn't enjoy it because I was so unfit, but after some persistence I started to see improvement and became hooked.
3. What is your favourite and least favourite CrossFit movement?
My favourite movement is kipping handstand push ups and my least favourite movement are double unders.
4. You're now training under John Singleton and The Progrm (awesome), how are you finding the specialised programming and what does a typical week of training look like for you?
I'm really enjoying being part of The Progrm. John has a wealth of knowledge and experience in coaching high level athletes, especially in Europe. We were lucky enough to spend some time training with him when he came out to New Zealand, and in that time we learnt so much about movement, technique, mobility and more. At the moment the focus is working on my aerobic capacity, as months of solely focusing on weightlifting left me strong but very unfit. So lots of longer workouts (20-50 minutes) form a main part of my training. A typical week of training would include five training days, with one active recovery day (running, swimming or cycling) and one rest day.
5. How do you get focused prior to an event (be it a CrossFit or weightlifting competition)?
In Weightlifting especially I try to focus on myself and not worry about what is happening around me, or what others are lifting. I find I can focus really well if I have some simple cues. Any more and everything goes out the window. The same goes for CrossFit. I just try to focus on one movement at a time and not get too ahead of myself. Believing in yourself can be hard especially when you are competing with some amazing athletes but you just have to trust yourself, and believe in your ability.
6. 2017 saw CrossFit Thorndon take a team to the Pacific Regionals - what were the biggest lessons you took away from the event?
Being able to step on the regionals floor with my friends and fellow crossfitheads was an amazing experience and one I'll never forget. I think the biggest lesson for our team was learning how to work and communicate efficiently. Coordinating a group of six to move the worm in time is a lot harder than it looks. I was so proud of how we did given we had very little preparation time, and it definitely made us eager to put in the hard work to get back there.
7. Do you have any advice for those thinking about doing their first CrossFit competition and maybe signing up for the 2018 CrossFit open?
My advice would be don't think, just do it! The CrossFit open is a great place to start as it really highlights what CrossFit is all about - community. The workouts are fun, scaleable and are done in the comfort of your own gym. Competing in your first competition can be a scary step but I've always found everyone in the CrossFit community to be so supportive and welcoming. And I haven't met anyone that has regretted competing in a competition!
8. A lot of CrossFit athletes in NZ and abroad also compete in weightlifting. How do you find the crossover between the two?
I really enjoy competing in both sports. It provides more variety and more opportunities to compete. There is a lot of crossover and both complement each other really well. The juggling act can get difficult if you're not organised so it's important to know what your goals are, so you can focus on certain competitions, and parts of the training year can be dedicated more to one or the other. For example right now I'm focussing on CrossFit but later in the year I'll have more of a Weightlifting focus.
9. Nutrition is obviously an important part of being a competitive athlete but what is your favourite "cheat" meal?
Any kind of ice-cream! Paddle pops to gelato, sorbet etc etc I love any ice cream!
10. What are your goals for 2018?
My first goal for the year is to get as fit as I can to give me the best chance of qualifying for regionals. My other main goal is to qualify for the Oceania Weightlifting Champs. But really I just want to keep improving in all aspects of life - being a better person, partner, friend and colleague.
Thanks Emma! Wishing you lots of luck with the season ahead (not that you will need it!), can't wait to see what 2018 has in store for you!