By Dan Walton
The CrossFit brand prides itself on being the one of the most intense workout programs available, and tests its talent through the annual Reebok CrossFit Games. One CrossFit gym, Endeavor Fitness, is located in Invermere, and co-owner Jolaine Bloom recently put herself to the test at the 2013 CrossFit Games world competition in Carson, California on July 23rd, 24th, and 25th.
Ive been involved in many different sports, but with CrossFit, there are so many things youre working on that its always a constant challenge and youre never getting bored, Jolaine told The Pioneer after returning from California.
Before the Games, competitors had to be prepared for countless CrossFit movements, with only a few being selected on short notice. This year was the first that any notice was given.
Jolaine was supported by her husband, Brandon. She entered the competition in the Masters category, for ages 40 to 45. This is the first year the Masters category has not encompassed all athletes over the age of 40. And Jolaine was only one of 48 Masters women from the Canada West region one of 17 divisions around the world to qualify to compete in California.
It was an absolutely a mind-blowing experience. As soon as we checked-in, we were treated like celebrities by Reebok, she said.
Jolaine said Reebok had personalized gear waiting for her upon entry, which had her name, athlete number (Jolaines was 408), and her hometown of Invermere.
Everything from compression sleeves, clothing and shoes, she said. They even had seamstresses there to custom fit our outfits!
Six events were held over the three days, and each event contained several extreme challenges, encompassing every gym-class challenge from 100 metre sprints to sled pulls to rope climbs.
I train five days a week and perform two to four workouts per session, said Jolaine. This includes strength training and a few shorter intense work outs or a longer one.
After a strong performance during the Open rounds for qualifying, which happened at CrossFit affiliates around the world, Jolaine placed herself ninth among 1,200 women in the standings, and eighth among women aged 40 to 45. Her strong seeding allowed her the option to go to Vancouver for the Regional games (which was not necessary to advance to the annual Games as a Master in California). When she did attend the games in Vancouver in June, she became ill with the flu and couldnt compete, so she went to California to compete.
After a strong performance on her Day 1, she launched herself into third position. Two more strong performances kept her in third spot on Day 2 where she remained until heading into the final event on Day 3.
Unfortunately, Jolaine suffered muscle failure, which caused her to struggle through the final workout, dropping her into fourth place, just barely missing the podium upon finishing the CrossFit Games. However, her fourth place finish listed Jolaine as the top-ranking Canadian.
I missed my opportunity to win that third-place prize and come home with some hardware, she said, adding that placing 4th makes you far hungrier for the podium.
Shes still new at the sport its only been four years since Jolaine began training. Prior to CrossFit, Jolaine competed in fitness competitions for eight years.
Once we discovered CrossFit, we never went back, she said.
She said theres a lot more strength to gain by performing functional movements in training for CrossFit, in contrast to isolation movements as a fitness model.
When you place well, like qualifying for this competition, its much more rewarding than being judged on my physical, she said. I cant think of any other sport that has so much encompassed into one.
Jolaines personal statistics can be found by searching her name or athlete number at www.games.crossfit.com.
Its helped me achieve incredible strength, power, speed and stamina Not many women can say they can throw 200 lbs over their head from the floor.
Jolaine continues to train at Endeavour Fitness CrossFit, preparing herself for her next competition next month at CrossFit in Calgary.