"I missed CrossFit way to much, especially after watching the CrossFit Games on TV last year. I wanted to be there."
Mona Pretorius won the Africa Regional in 2011, and went on to place 45th at the CrossFit Games. As a relatively new CrossFitter, having only started earlier that year, the 2011 season brought many firsts for Pretorius. She learned double-unders the night before Open Workout 11.1, and got her first muscle-up — then two more — at Regionals.
“I like to think of the future, especially after a good achievement. I use it as motivation to work even harder for my next event, and yes, it does feel good when you think of it,” Pretorius says, reminiscing about the 2011 season. “But it also makes you realize that when you work hard and do well, it’s all worth it at the end, especially when the workouts are very tough.”
Following 2011, Pretorius disappeared from the CrossFit arena.
“I decided to move back to Port Elizabeth, my hometown, at the end of February 2012 to focus more on my original sport of (Olympic) weightlifting for a year,” she says. “I won silver at the Senior Commonwealth Champs and African Champs, as well as broke three South African senior records. But I missed CrossFit way too much, especially after watching the CrossFit Games on TV last year. I wanted to be there.”
Since moving back to Port Elizabeth, Pretorius opened up her own CrossFit affiliate called CrossFit ECX, Port Elizabeth’s first affiliate.
“My big goal in life has always been to own some sort of a high performance center and to coach elite athletes. I love working with people and helping them achieve their goals. :)So opening the box has given me that pleasure of helping people change their lives and I’m still coaching my elite group, too.”:)
Aside from opening an affiliate, Pretorius has been focused on the 2013 Games season. In January, she beat 2012 Africa Regional winner, Rika Diedericks, to win South Africa’s largest local event.
“My prep for the season this year comprises more of a long-term plan to stay on par whenever competition arises,” she says. “I’m combining my CrossFit and weightlifting training because for weightlifting, I have the Worlds and Commonwealth Champs at the end of the year.”
Pretorius’ current personal records include an 83 kg snatch and a 102 kg clean and jerk.
As a coach and an athlete, Pretorius emphasizes strength work.
“My main basis is strength, and I believe it should be the foundation of all your training,” she explains. “But strength also needs to be done in a proper way to make sure athletes don’t injure themselves or over train.”
Pretorius’ future plans are bold.
“My goals include owning more gyms, winning Regionals, winning a medal at the (Olympic Weightlifting) Commonwealth Champs, doing my Master’s in Sport Psychology and helping athletes achieve their goals.”