We are deep into the the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games Open. With just 2 weeks to go, nerves are increasing and so is the buzz about what is still to come. The CrossFit Open is the starting point for anyone who wants to qualify for the CrossFit Games. After the Open the top athletes from each region move on to the Regionals, and then hopefully on to the Games. However, these athletes are all under 40 years of age. Does the mean that anyone over 40 does not have a chance to compete? Heck no! Once over the age of 40, we enter the MASTERS division. The Masters compete in each Open workout. Then, the top 200 in the World move on to do 4 more workouts in 4 days to qualify for the Games.
Unless you live under a rock, you have probably heard the chatter around Industrial Athletics about our Masters level athlete who sitting high on the Leaderboard. Susan Prevoznak is a competitor in the Master division age 55-59. As of today, she is 11th in our Region and 80th in THE WORLD. With only 2 weeks remaining in the CrossFit Open, she is sitting in a perfect position to move on as a top 200 Masters athlete. So, we thought we would sit down with Susan and check in on how she is handling the pressure and hear some of her thoughts on CrossFit and the Open.
Why did you start CrossFit?
I started CrossFit for 2 reasons. First, I have always been a distance runner and tried to do strength training but found strength workouts incredibly boring. Secondly, I saw a picture of myself and thought I looked anorexic because I had so little muscle mass on my upper body. (my weight has not changed but my body has) Diane talked me into trying crossFit even though I had no idea what it was.
When did you decide to start competing?
I guess I started contemplating it in the fall [of 2013] since I was going to turn 55 on my next birthday which meant I would be the youngest in my age bracket. A year makes a difference at my age.
Why did you start competing?
I have always been competetive and LOVE a challenge. Besides at 55 there will be no more running PRs.
How many competitions have you done?
The Winter Chiller [in February of 2014] was my first and only competition so far.
Is this your first time competing in the CrossFit Games Open?
When you started the Open this year, did you expect to be doing as well as you are?
Absolutely not. Although top 200 was my goal.
How do you feel about your success in the Open?
Honestly, I am suprised and pleased. I feel I have worked hard to master(sort of) all the diverse skills necessary to compete. So it is nice to see the results.
What would you like to see in the final 2 Open WODs?
Can I say running? How about a 2k row? I know those wont show up so I have to say lots of burpees, air squats, sit ups and nothing involving shoulders and overhead.
What is your favorite thing to do in CrossFit?
Unless I can say running, I do not have a favorite. I look at all the movements as a challenge and constantly try to improve on my weaknesses(which are numerous!!!).
What is your least favorite thing to do in CrossFit?
Anyone who has ever been near me knows the answer is SNATCHES! Ugh! Since it is such a technical lift it requires thinking, fast twitch muscle fibers and shoulders all of which highlight my weaknesses.
What is your primary goat?
Shoulder strength! Which leads to a really long list…can you say HSPUs, Chest to bar pullups, all lifts overhead…..
Have you seen CrossFit help you in other areas of your life, both athletically and outside of sport?
Athletically, CrossFit makes me a much better runner and definitely kept me from serious injury in a trail race last summer. Ouside of sports, other than making some great new friends, not so much. I think mostly because I have always been a dedicated athlete and driven to suceed in all aspects of my life.
What is your favorite part about coming to CrossFit class everyday at Industrial Athletics?
The whole experience! I love the interaction with the coaches and my fellow athletes. It is a daily challenge which I love.
What advice do you have for someone thinking about starting CrossFit?
DO IT! DON’T FEAR IT! When I started I had never touched a barbell or kettle bell, and had never heard of a burpee. Also, I could not do a strict pull up and only 1 wimpy push up. Amazing things can be accomplished with great coaching and determination.
What will you do if you make it to the 2014 CrossFit Games?
Pass out in shock. No really, I wont make it this year but I have already started planning and working for 2015.
Thanks Susan for taking some time to sit down with us. Best of luck in the next 2 weeks. We will all be cheering for you.