Trysta Pleasants walked into CrossFit Red Deer when it first opened its doors in 2008. She had been drawn to the box because she heard she could bring her kids to the gym while she trained. As a mom, this was a perfect fit.
“It is a community,” she says. “You do it with your kids and with your mom friends.”
Pleasants became a regular to the CrossFit Mommas group. In time, she got fitter and more connected to the box community.
“I have surprised myself over and over with what I can do,” she says.
Last year, while expecting her third child, she set a goal for herself: she’d compete in the 2012 Open for the CrossFit Red Deer team.
“When I watched the women in the box doing the Open last year, I felt like I was missing out on something,” she says. “Because we could do the Open Workouts at our home box, it became accessible. I decided then that I would be part of the Open in 2012.”
Now in 2012, Trysta Pleasants has achieved that goal. She is part of the 24-person team, and regularly contributes to the team’s score. “I am trying to help out the team, sometimes just by showing up,” Pleasants says.
Although she has gotten from A to B, it has not been a simple or direct journey.
Pleasants continued training at CrossFit Red Deer up until the day she gave birth. “It was awesome, I could do butterfly pull-ups through my entire pregnancy,” she says.
On October 28, 2011, she gave birth to her third child, a little boy named Gage. She took a few days to rest, brought Gage to meet the CrossFit family, and prepared to start her life with her family of five. But just 33 days after he was born, Gage passed away.
The months following have been incredibly trying for Pleasants, her husband, and kids. To her surprise, her CrossFit family stepped in to support her through her loss.
“They were amazing,” Pleasants says. “They brought me tons of paleo food, and had such a presence at the funeral.
“Then they gave me my own key to the gym, so that I could go and work through some of my emotions by myself if I was having a bad day and just could not be around people.”
CrossFit Red Deer decided to honor their lost child with a workout. One day, Pleasants came in and saw her son’s name written on the wall. Below it was a workout tailored to fit the boy and his mother.
4 rounds for time of:
11 kettlebell swings
“It was so humbling, I just burst out crying. Only those who do CrossFit truly appreciate what this means,” Pleasants says. “It was hands down the most physically and emotionally draining WOD I have ever done. A lot of thought went in to the workout. Every step has a meaning behind it.”
Returning to training, staying connected to the box community, and now competing in the Open has helped stabilize these otherwise turbulent months. “This team and CrossFit are what have kept me grounded throughout,” she says.
“It never crossed my mind not to participate [in the Open],” she says. “It was a positive part of my life and it distracted me. Working alongside these women is humbling, it is like no other sport I have ever played.”