Caroline Fryklund was introduced to CrossFit in 2010. A coach from CrossFit Kalmar brought her to the box to help out with gymnastics. “I gave a few lessons and in exchange, I tried out CrossFit,” she says. “I was stuck.”
Prior to CrossFit, Fryklund was on the Swedish National Gymnastics team. “I competed in the vault, uneven bars, beam and floor,” she says.
She quit competing after she dislocated her knee multiple times and she began studying to become a physiotherapist. “I couldn’t train enough to remain at the level that I was,” she says.
Fryklund’s history with CrossFit is not long standing, but her results are stellar. In November 2010, she competed in CrossFit SM in Sweden and finished second overall and first in the Swedish division. Last year, she competed at Regionals, and finished fifth. “I had a great pace during the first WOD, doing the handstand push-ups,” she says.
This year, she placed fourth at Regionals, and is headed to the Games. “I love the variety of skills, the intensity and the adrenaline after every WOD,” Fryklund says.
She also loves the way athletes continuously improve and have fun together at the same time. “The CrossFit community is amazing.”
Prior to the 2012 Open, Fryklund switched jobs to work closer to home and make her training more accessible. She structured her training more, and increased her days and volume. This year, she started following the CrossFit Invictus programming. Even though she was preparing for success, her sights were not necessarily set on the Games. “I wanted to qualify for the Regionals, compete, and see how far that would take me,” she says.
During the Open, Fryklund was most proud of her performance in 12.4, finishing fourth. “Muscle-ups are my strength, so I was hoping to perform well,” she says.
Prior to Regionals, she wondered how she would stack up against the other athletes in Europe. She says her strength is bodyweight movements such as handstand push-ups, toes-to-bars and pull-ups. Her weakness lies in heavy Olympic lifts.
The week before Regionals, Fryklund came down with a sore throat and a cold. “I woke up on Friday and felt that it was still possible to compete,” she says.
Her performance on Diane wasn’t exceptional, but she was satisfied with the results. On Day 2, she felt better and was determined to avoid being no-repped on Event 3. She succeeded. “I always try to keep a good technique in my movements.”
In Event 4, Fryklund was expecting a struggle. Completing 150 squats did not appeal to her. Despite being difficult, Fryklund was proud because she kept a good pace, didn’t get fatigued and almost finished during the time cap.
During Event 5, Fryklund practiced her favorite lift – the snatch. She completed the first two lifts, and on the third, she gave it her all for two attempts. “One hundred twenty-five pounds is a weight I never cleared before,” she says.
The last workout combined a strength, muscle-ups, with a weakness, heavy deadlifts. “I focused on giving it my all,” she says. “It was great to hear the audience cheer and give their support.”
Fryklund had no expectations to qualify for the Games. “I just wanted to perform my best in every workout,” she says.
On Day 3, she felt there was a slight chance she could finish fourth, but she was also acutely aware she wouldn’t place well in Event 5. At the end of Day 3, it hadn’t yet hit her. “It took me a few days to really realize that I’m going to the Games,” she says.
When pushing through difficult workouts, Fryklund stays grounded in the present and thinks positively. “Every rep counts and the work I’m doing is so worth it,” she says. “I know I’ll feel great when I’m done.”
The Regionals taught her to listen to her body and to keep her own steady pace during the workouts. “It doesn’t matter what the other athletes besides me are doing,” she says.
To prepare for the Games, Fryklund increased her training to three days per week, doing multiple workouts a day. Coach CJ Martin at CrossFit Invictus also began writing her programming. “It means the world to me,” she says of Martin’s programming.
Additionally, the CrossFit Kalmar coaches keep her company by training at the same time. “I’m focused on improving my Olympic lift techniques and increasing my lower body strength,” she says.
She is also doing different skill work in order to be prepared for anything. Her enthusiasm has made her goals for the Games bright and energetic. “My goals are to perform my best and to enjoy the experience and the atmosphere.”