As the Australian school year ended in November 2012, and high-school graduates across the country were out celebrating, Courtney Fitzharris was spending her weekends picking herself off the floor after countless gruelling training sessions.
“My life revolves around my training. My work, family and friends all know training comes first. I think I had one drink at my 18th because I didn't want to miss a training session,” she says with a laugh.
In November 2010, Fitzharris walked out the gates of Hill Sport High School for the last time. Against all advice, she decided to quit school age 16 and decided not to complete her final two years.
“I already found what I wanted to do with my life. I always wanted to be a trainer and once I found CrossFit, I decided that’s what I would dedicate myself to,” she says.
Since, Fitzharris has not looked back. She has competed at three CrossFit Regional events — twice as a member of a team in 2010 and 2011, and last year as an Individual, placing 27th.
“Last year, I was so excited to make it to Regionals, I think the nerves got to me. So, I spoke to my coach at CrossFit Active and Brandon Swan, and decided this year, I would go team,” she says.
“It’s a tough decision, but I’m only 18 and my coaches think our team has a strong chance to make it the Games. I know if I can get that Games experience, it will really benefit me in the years to come.”
After scoring 172 reps on 13.1, Fitzharris placed 58th in Australia. Although she was happy with her result, she acknowledged she wanted to climb the Leaderboard this week.
“When I heard 13.2 announced, I thought it was something I could do well at,” Fitzharris says.
“I gave myself a test run on Friday afternoon. I did a few complexes of the presses, deadlifts and jumps, and found I was able to get one round out in 34 seconds. So I roughly knew without any stuff-ups, I could do a round in 35 or 36 seconds. I thought by the five- and six-minute mark I would slow down, so calculated I could get 11 rounds plus three reps done.”
Her execution of that workout was tantamount to an exact science.
“I managed to get that first round done in 36 seconds. So, I knew I just had to hit it 110 percent to give myself that buffer zone,” she says. “At four minutes, I had five rounds done, but had to really pace myself by the six-minute mark, forcing myself to step up on the box instead of jump.”
In the end, Fitzharris not only secured her goal of 11 rounds and three reps, but bettered it by three, scoring a total of 336 repetitions, placing her 20th in Australia, and landing her at 32nd overall in Australia after week two.
“I went into the Open knowing I would only do the workout once,” she says. “I’m really happy with how I’ve gone so far because my mentality this season is no regrets.”