“My statistics aren't really impressive but one thing that does make me different is that I am a fighter."
In her first outing as a South West competitor, former North West athlete Becky Clark is sitting in 45th place in the region after the Open. This will be Clark’s fourth straight regional appearance, but her first in the South West.
Clark said she is competing for more than herself this year.
“I've got involved with the foster care community in Boulder, (Colo.,) and so I want to try to do something with them,” she said. “Something where if I'm getting recognized, they're kind of tied into that, as well.”
Having been raised in foster care after her alcoholic, drug-addicted parents lost custody of their children, Clark is deeply invested in this cause.
“My younger brother and I moved from one home to another at least every year until I was 11 (and he was 7),” Clark recounted. “For most children, there are two outcomes that become of this: they crumble, give up, feel worthless and eventually end up homeless or worse; (or) they fight.”
Clark said she believes this desire to fight gives her a competitive edge.
“My statistics aren't really impressive but one thing that does make me different is that I am a fighter,” she said. “I enjoy going into a competition as the underdog. Each time I've been to regionals, Day 2 and 3 are my best performance days.”
Clark became involved in CrossFit after some friends introduced her to it at a local YMCA in Clark's hometown of Gig Harbor, Wash. Clark reaped both physical and mental benefits from her new exercise regimen.
“I got into CrossFit because I was struggling with depression, and it, undeniably, gave me the self-confidence and self-reliance to become the successful person that I am today,” she explained. “That is why I am so passionate about coaching and trying to create a program for Foster Youth. CrossFit is the best therapy out there.”
This is not the first time Clark has put herself behind a cause. In 2013, she and her sponsor, Wfit Nutrition, hosted a fundraiser for CrossFit Walter Reed, a nonprofit CrossFit affiliate that works with wounded service members and veterans.
“The CrossFit gym there will work with some of them that did CrossFit before they lost limbs or had their injuries,” she said.
Her competitive career in CrossFit holds some impressive numbers. In 2011, while still in the North West Region, Clark finished 23rd in the Open and fourth at the regional; in 2012, she finished 50th in the Open and ninth at the regional; and in 2013 she finished 21st in the Open and sixth at the regional.
Clark's career as a CrossFit athlete has overlapped with her career in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, which she joined in 2011. She finished at the top of her class in boot camp, combat training and in her specialty school, where she became a Landing Support Specialist.
Her time in the reserve gave her a sense of selflessness and a desire to lend a hand to those in need, which she was eager to apply to CrossFit.
“I think the biggest affect it had … in CrossFit as an athlete was just doing things for reasons beyond yourself,” she said.
Being in the reserve also taught Clark leadership skills and gave her more confidence as a coach.
“Before boot camp I was coaching, but I would say I was a pretty timid coach,” she said. “After boot camp, I got put in a lot of leadership positions so that really helped my coaching.”
Clark, who now trains at CrossFit Sanitas in Boulder, strives to maintain her sense of fun to stave off stress.
“My most valuable lesson would have to be that you have to have fun,” she said. “The second that you start obsessing about numbers or the Leaderboard, or you dread going to the gym because you don't want to disappoint yourself—you don't want your performance to be disappointing—that's when it doesn’t really become fun anymore.”
Clark said she believes this to be a universal truth, and it is something she thinks all competitors can benefit from.
“No matter what caliber athlete you are, if you're not having fun, if you're not enjoying it and enjoying the people you're around, you're not going to do well,” she said. “You're not going to perform well.”