Nathalie Connors has a ticket to the Games … maybe two.
Connors, a 41-year-old mother of three from Ottawa, placed 12th overall in the Open for the Masters 40-44 Division.
Connors will also be competing on her affiliate team from Physics CrossFit at the Canada East Regional.
Last year, Connors was a part of the Usine CrossFit Ottawa team that represented Canada East at the Games.
The training Connors put in after her 2012 experience has yielded significant gains for this Masters athlete. Francois Leclerc, of Physics CrossFit, introduced Connors to a new competitive program.
“The programming is structured into periods of specific training objectives,” Leclerc says. “Each period focuses on various elements to improve performance while maintaining the gains achieved during the year.”
Connors usually fits five training sessions in during the week at Physics, and one more at a globo gym near work on her lunch hour.
“Of the five training sessions, I attend two of the four sessions of the competitive program, two regular CrossFit (workouts) and either join in a team WOD or continue with the competitive programming on a Saturday,” Connors says.
“I am a ‘go in, do the work and get out’ kind of girl. I agree and trust Francois’ training philosophy and the programming — competitive and regular CrossFit (workouts) — he designs around it. If the philosophy matches your personal goals, it’s a perfect formula for success. That is what I like about CrossFit — the programming is done for you. I think all day long in my job, and the last thing I want when I go to the box is to figure out what is expected of me and to think of what I need to do.”
As a result of her dedication, Connors has seen dramatic improvement.
“I knew I had improved from last year, but I didn’t know to what extent,” she says. “Now I know. I trusted the program 100 percent and my results show it.”
Her high scores were also influenced by a great Open experience at CrossFit Physics, a relatively new affiliate in the Ottawa area.
“This year, the box was electrifying and alive because of the number of athletes who participated. Last year, we were only a few and for some of the events, I was the only athlete doing the WOD. So it was pretty cool.”
A mother of three, Connors has a lot on her plate. Having her workouts planned to the smallest degree helps her manage her schedule.
“The calendar on my phone is indispensable and keeps me sane,” she says. “With three kids in all kinds of activities and a full-time job, I need to be aware of my available time so I can easily reschedule my training sessions to other times during the day or during the week, all the while keeping to my responsibilities as a mother and wife. I usually never skip out on a training session unless my body tells me to do so.”
Connors is looking forward to the Games, but she also plans on helping out her Physics team.
“I’m really looking forward to the Regional competition, where I will be competing with the Physics team to try and secure a spot to go to the Games. And I’m really looking forward to competing as a Masters athlete at the Games. I found my experience last year a remarkable one and I am sure my experience this year will be as much, if not more,” she says.
“Ultimately, my goal was always to return to the Games, but at the beginning of the Open, I didn’t know that it could truly be a reality.”