“I don't have any specific strengths or weaknesses and will never be that person that is just standout strong or standout fast. I am working on maintaining my well roundedness at an even higher level.”
In 2011, with less than a year of CrossFit training, Kara Gordon competed at the Australia Regional, where she finished 19th. A year later, the 22-year-old from Brisbane was standing atop of the podium at the WIN Entertainment Centre in Wollongong as the champion.
Now, Gordon has her sights set on another return to the Home Depot Center, to better her 19th place finish at last year’s CrossFit Games.
“I’ve worked really hard and I dedicate my life to CrossFit, so of course that's the ultimate goal; to make the Games,” Gordon says.
“I’d love to get back there because I know it would be so different to get back there a second time. Just having experienced it and knowing what to expect,” she adds. “Last year was the version of me that had a whole year less experience, so I have been working on every single thing I did then and have tried to improve on them.”
After an eventful end to 2012, where Gordon had a short break from the sport to get married, her mind is now fully focused on preparing for this year’s Open.
“I’m working on a bit of everything right now. I’m just trying to build on all my skills,” she says. “I train Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, have Thursday as an active recovery day, train Friday, Saturday and have Sunday as a full, lazy rest day watching movies and recovering.”
Last year was a breakout year for Gordon, claiming a Regional title, breaking a world record (Event 2 at the 2012 Regional) and finishing inside the top 20 in her first appearance at the Home Depot Center.
Heading into 2013, Gordon is keen to stick to a similar training schedule.
“Leading into the Open, I have been doing the same things I have been doing all last year,” she says. “I do regular CrossFit workouts with no specialized programs other than exercises I might need a little more confidence in, or a little more experience with.
“I do every CrossFit movement, but try and hold on for longer, move faster and fine tune the movements I am familiar with to make them as efficient as they possibly can be.”
With only a few weeks until the Open begins, Gordon has been training under the watchful eye of CrossFit Roar head coach, Brian Bucholtz.
“Not only have I gotten stronger, fitter and faster thanks to his programming, but I have also learnt so much about how to do it. To have someone that knows you so well and is so committed to your success is truly the greatest gift,” she says. “I only hope that as I progress on in my CrossFit journey, that one day I will become half as good a coach as him and maybe even guide someone else through this amazing adventure that I have been so blessed with.”
Despite Gordon’s remarkable CrossFit journey over the past 12 months, she is well aware of her weaknesses.
At last year’s Games, there were a few workouts Gordon struggled with — most notably the Medball/HSPU (32nd) and the Rope-Sled (40th).
Heading into the 2013 season, Gordon hopes to improve on those weaknesses, while also consolidating other areas of her training.
“If I only practiced the things that I didn't win (at the Games), then eventually I would have something else lagging, so I will never ever focus on just one element,” she says.
“I consider everything to be a weakness because I can always be better. I don't have any specific strengths or weaknesses and will never be that person that is just standout strong or standout fast. I am working on maintaining my well roundedness at an even higher level.”
In the past three years, the Australia Regional has been one of the world’s most open divisions for females, with three separate champions, and eight different athletes qualifying for the Games.
In 2012, Gordon was the surprise packet, upsetting defending champion Amy Dracup to pinch the title. This year, she is aware the same could happen to her, starting in the Open.
“You just never know. I came out of nowhere in 2012, so anyone can come out of anywhere this year,” she says. “But I try not to follow any of the other athletes too much during the year because I know that it's not going to do me any benefit.
“It just depends on what the workouts are and what you can bring each week. I won’t underestimate anyone or overestimate anyone, I’ll just go in there and see what happens.”