Spend a day in the life of 5th Fittest Woman on Earth, Julie Foucher - a medical student and elite athlete.
On the surface, Julie Foucher’s daily grind isn’t glorious, or magical, but it is telling. Eventually, if you glare long enough into the abyss patterns unfold within the darkness and light shines through. In Foucher’s case, her pattern may tell more than even she knows.
6:30 a.m.: Wake up
First on Foucher’s daily docket – coffee. “Coffee, shower, eat, in that order,” Foucher says, going on to explain that it wasn’t until January of 2012 that her diet took a very paleo turn, hence, her coffee is black, and her breakfast is real.
Meal No. 1
2 whole eggs
2 egg whites
The colors of a competitor begin to glimmer in Foucher’s dedication to this morning ritual as her breakfast has rarely changed.
Foucher says her daily food intake isn’t measured, but it rarely changes from day to day giving her an internal kind of barometer that allows for quick changes if necessary. “I never really have weighed and measured, but I think I should,” she says. “When I start it, I know I won’t stop.”
8 a.m. - 11:59 a.m.: Medical school
At the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games, Julie Foucher finished in 5th place for the second year in a row.
In 2012, Foucher is a first year medical student spending much of her days dedicated to her profession. From 8 a.m. to noon, Foucher is immersed with 31 other students in a five-year professional program. “I don’t get to think about CrossFit at all during class, but it’s like CrossFit in a way,” she explains. “It isn’t always fun, but it’s always worth it.”
12 p.m.: Eat, study
Rarely does Foucher’s schedule award her time for anything other than studying. By the time class is over, food is the one thing on her mind. “I am always starving by the time class is over, but I am always prepared for that,” she says.
Every Saturday, Foucher prepares a week’s worth of food so she is never caught off guard.
Meal No. 2
Green beans, or asparagus
As a pattern, Foucher is extremely consistent in her routine. While she is strict in her diet most of the time, she is quick to admit her need for a cheat once in awhile. “Saturday I usually have a taste,” she says. “Like something chocolate and cream in my coffee. Not an entire day of cheating, just a taste to keep my sane.”
4 p.m.: Pre-workout
Up until now, Foucher is knuckle deep in organs and osteos. The only reprieve during research is lunch, and her pre-training meal a few hours before her only training session of the day.
Meal No. 3: Pre-workout
6 p.m.: Train
Eventually, Foucher trades in her white coat for weights.
“I know the sacrifices I am making with my choices and I am totally fine with that,” she explains. “The rewards I get from pushing my body to its limits and the fun I have doing it keep me coming back day after day.”
Foucher’s training generally begins with some sort of lift, followed by conditioning, rounded out by skill work. She’s at the gym until well after 8 p.m. Her programmer, Doug Chapman of CrossFit Ann Arbor keeps her in check with weaknesses and strengths.
Meal No. 4: Post Workout
Meat (a smaller portion than the rest of the day)
Foucher says the diet she started in January did not account for whey protein. Also, past experiences with post-workout shakes left her unconvinced of their effectiveness.
Yet another pattern unfolds as our day draws to an end-self experimentation. Possible the third habit adopted by successful athletes is keeping what works, and coldly eliminating what doesnt, even if everyone else say it does.
9 - 12 p.m.: Final meal, bedtime
A full day for Foucher ends later than she would like with study and research. At best, she’s getting six hours of sleep. However, before Foucher passes out for the evening, she manages to eat one more pre-planned meal.
Meal No. 5
It becomes more and more apparent by the finish of Foucher’s day exactly why she wins the mental battle on and off the workout floor. She remains dedicated when it counts, simply reminding herself why she puts in the effort. “After the Games last year, when all that energy is gone, I asked myself why am I doing this,” she says. “Then I remember how much fun I have, how rewarding the challenges are and how much better it all is the more difficult you make it. I just love CrossFit.”