“Fourth place stings, it really does. Sitting in the stands when you were only two spots away from punching a ticket to California burns, and it burns badly. I came back with a heart on fire."
Taryn Romanowich has spent 2014 defining full effort.
It started with her fourth-place finish at the 2013 Canada West Regional.
“Fourth place stings, it really does,” Romanowich said. “Sitting in the stands when you were only two spots away from punching a ticket to California burns, and it burns badly. I came back with a heart on fire. You can learn skills, you can gain strength, you can improve your conditioning, but you can’t teach desire.”
That desire was also fueled by the knowledge that she had some weaknesses to work on.
“I wanted to come back in 2014 being a well-rounded athlete, and not be left behind on anything,” she said. “In 2012, it was the muscle-ups at the end that I couldn’t get past. In 2013, it was the 100 chest-to-bar pull-ups that ate me alive. I was tired of that. I wanted to come back as a complete athlete, without any holes in my game.”
The first step Romanowich took was to find someone to train with. Now, she trains with Marc Dubreuil, one of the members at her affiliate, CrossFit FUNCTION.
“I got myself a training partner, and that’s one of the best decisions I’ve made,” she admitted. “I trained alone for the past three years, and I realized that I needed an extra push that I wasn’t quite getting by training alone.”
The second step for Romanowich was giving full effort more frequently. She needed to compete more often.
“I wanted more competition experience so I could to give the best effort I possibly could,” she said. “I won some competitions, got to compete as an ‘elite’ athlete and all other kinds of opportunities. You don’t get experience like that unless you go out and take it.”
Romanowich opened CrossFit FUNCTION in March 2011 in Yorkton, Canada. Shortly before Romanowich became an affiliate owner, she paired up with CJ Martin of CrossFit Invictus to help with her training.
“CJ has a mantra that he teaches to all of his athletes: ‘Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory,’” Romanowich said. “I think last year the biggest thing I learned was what ‘full effort’ actually meant. Now I understand what it means to leave everything on the floor.”
Romanowich competed with the CrossFit Regina team at the 2010 Western Canada Regional. Since then, she’s earned three individual trips to regionals, with a fourth-place finish in 2013.
She is looking forward to the 2014 Canada West Regional.
“I always have liked regionals more than the Open because it truly is a test of fitness,” she said. “They only want the best at the Games and regionals are going to filter that out. I love the heaviness of regionals—the grit, the tests of desire, the who-wants-it-more side of regionals.”
There’s a lot of daylight at the top of the Canada West women’s Leaderboard. With Heather Gillespie, Erin Light and Alicia Connors out, and Angie Hay sticking with Team Taranis, this may be Romanowich’s best chance to qualify for the CrossFit Games.
And she knows it.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to every single workout,” Romanowich said.
She’s already chosen a favorite.
“I’m looking forward to the very last one the most—pull-ups and overhead squats,” she said. “A pure sprint ... I’m frothing at the mouth for that one.”
She has two goals for her 2014 regional experience: “Walk away satisfied with my full effort. If I can do this, the rest of my goals will fall in place.”
And there’s one goal that’s above all others: “Win. I’m not sitting in the stands this time when the weekend is over.”