For someone who barely made it to the 2011 CrossFit Games, Cheryl Brost proved she was meant to be there with a 7th place finish at 41 years old, almost twice the age of Games champion, Annie Thorisdottir.
Brost is like many other CrossFit athletes – she’s busy. She owns a business with her family; she’s a mother of two active children, a loving wife, and, of course, a dedicated CrossFitter at Eugene CrossFit in Oregon. “We have a lot going on in our lives and you can easily get overwhelmed,” she said. “But I don’t know if I’d have it any different. If I started to eliminate activities, I would just fill it in somewhere else. I’m just that type of person.”
That type of person pulled off what many thought she wouldn’t or couldn’t do at the CrossFit Games – a 7th place finish, six spots up from where she landed in 2010 in 13th place. At the North West Regional, Brost was able to eke her way into 3rd place when Becky Clark stalled in the last workout, knowing she would qualify for the Games, but be unable to go.
Brost said this was a humbling experience. “It was a weird feeling to be in that situation,” she explained. “I was upset at myself to put myself in that situation. I knew I was capable of performing better. Outsiders may think I got there by luck – and you could say that – but I guess my performance [at the Games] shows them that I deserved to be there. For me, I knew deep down I could be a competitor.”
And that she was. Brost credits experience to her success. “I have another year of CrossFit under my belt,” she said. “I’m getting more fit and I had better nutrition in that year. It’s just another whole year of being more efficient at all the variety of CrossFit movements.”
Even with the additional year of experience, she said she surprised herself, in a way. “I was hoping to be somewhere in the top 10 and even saying that is really hard to say,” she explained. “You can’t control how someone else has changed. You can only do everything you’ve done in preparation to set yourself up for success. I guess I learned that with hard work and proper training, that it does make a difference.”
Her hard work and dedication paid off – even with an injured Achilles that dated back to before the Open even began. She suffered through box jumps in the Open and Regionals. In fact, after Open Workout 11.2, she was out of commission for almost five days. And after the Games, she experienced swelling and had difficulty walking. How did she get as far as she did? “You prepare your mind and it’s amazing what your mind can let your body do.”
Right now, her focus is on getting healthy and recovering fully. After trying many tactics, she finally found a chiropractor who was right for her – and she found him through fellow Games competitor Angie Pye who had a similar injury about eight years ago. “Michael Maxwell asked me if I had ever considered shock wave therapy and I had never heard of it,” she said. “It opened up an opportunity for me to meet with him and he did a whole full assessment on me. He asked me about my training and if I factor in any rest.”
After being asked that question, Brost realized she wasn’t making nearly enough time for rest during the ramp up in her training schedule, which has attributed to her Achilles problem. “It’s a tough pill to swallow, but I need to listen to my body and take rest,” she said. “Let your body have some recovery. That’s been a big lesson for me.”
Brost has her sights set on the 2012 season. “I still have a ways to go on several areas. Right now, I’m training full steam ahead. I always have Feb. 22 in the back of my mind.”