“The hardest part was looking up when I hurt myself and seeing my friends and family look sad for me … They don’t give a shit how I do but they care that I’m happy ..."
In the last heat of Event 5, the top women in Canada West walked onto the floor, the crowd quiet with anticipation.
CrossFit Vancouver’s supporters had just completed their traditional clap-in which ends with a loud burst of, “Eunice!”
“Eunice” is Emily Beers’ nickname, which she inherited about four years ago.
Owner of CrossFit Vancouver, Craig Patterson, noticed that at every social event the box held, Beers would sneak out to make it home by 9 p.m. to go to bed. In that moment, she inherited the name Patterson calls “an old lady’s name."
After graduating from Western Ontario with a degree in journalism, Beers was a NCAA basketball player and rower.
She started CrossFitting at CrossFit London in Ontario, however her stint was cut short with her move back to the Lower Mainland.
It was there that Beers walked into CrossFit Vancouver in September 2009.
Beers went on to complete the Level 1 Seminar and started apprentice coaching at CrossFit Vancouver. It was only a matter of time until her competitive bug came back and she made her debut, finishing first in the 2010 Sectionals, held in Whistler.
The 2011 season looked promising. Unfortunately, she ruptured her Achilles, resulting in surgery in December 2010.
This injury was a blessing in disguise as she was appointed the Regional Media Director for the 2011 Canada West Regional, which introduced her to an opportunity to write for the CrossFit Journal.
Come the 2012 Games season, Beers was back in full force.
For the first two days of the 2012 Canada West Regional, Beers was making her presence known, sitting consistently in second place until the last event when her struggle with muscle-ups dropped her into ninth place, five points away from a ticket to California.
Heartbroken, Beers left her game face at the Oval and looked towards the future.
That evening, CrossFit Founder and CEO Greg Glassman offered Beers a permanent position to write for the CrossFit Journal, and suddenly her disappointments flew out the window.
“I remember last year when Glassman hired me full time at the Regionals after party. I was more excited about that opportunity than I was disappointed about missing out by one spot last year.”
Since acquiring a full-time position with the Journal, Beers has been able to push her number one passion, writing, into the spotlight with the opportunity to travel, meet amazing people and publish her work with the Journal.
A recent trip to Haiti has been her highlight so far.
“I definitely plan on stepping up with CrossFit Media. They sent me to Haiti recently and are really pushing high-quality stories, so I am sure there will be some great opportunities ahead.”
The 2013 season was rocked in Canada West with Angie Hay and Chelsea Miller announcing they were going team this year. This was a sigh of relief for Beers as the bar of competition was potentially going to be lowered.
On Day 1 of this year's Regional, Beers was showing consistency throughout each event. However, going into Event 5 with an irritated back from Event 4’s one-arm dumbbell snatches, she was just looking forward to getting through the weekend.
Ahead of the pack, 21 deadlifts done and two box jumps in, Beers laid down on the floor.
“The hardest part was looking up when I hurt myself and seeing my friends and family look sad for me … They don’t give a shit how I do but they care that I’m happy … When I saw their faces hurting for me, I just wanted to give them a collective hug and say, ‘Guys, don’t worry about me …’”
A spasm that started while she was on her deadlifts began to seize her back.
“It definitely makes my summer easier. The first thing that Mike Warkentin told me was that he needed me at the Games to write anyway,” Beers says.
Looking back on her experience, Beers says she doesn’t know if she enjoys competing or writing more.
“I think the best thing about competing is the things you learn about yourself and that’s why I compete. I don’t compete because I love competing … I learned this weekend that I compete for personal growth.”
She adds: “Every competition at this level challenges me in ways I’ve never experienced in sports. It’s the hardest sport I’ve ever done. Mentally just as much as physically.”
Beers has a positive attitude about the outcome of this year's Regional.
“Yeah, I’m upset of course, but it's easy for me to keep it in perspective because CrossFit is part of my life, it's not my whole life.”
So what’s to be expected of Beers next year?
“As far as competing, I love what it does for me, but with the level it’s at ... How it’s almost a professional sport … I don’t think that’s me. So going team next year might be a better option for my life.”