"I loved the way I was improving, I loved the way I was getting stronger. I loved the way I was getting in better shape, and I actually loved the way it made me suffer because of the rewarding results."
Renée Martin hated CrossFit. She didn’t get it. Why would people hurt themselves like this? She had no idea why she kept going. But she did.
“I loved the way I was improving, I loved the way I was getting stronger. I loved the way I was getting in better shape, and I actually started to love the way it made me suffer because of the rewarding results,” Martin says.
The strong relationships she was building were also encouraging. As a nurse, she finds it hard to motivate herself to go to the gym after a shift, but her passion for improvement pushes her. She found a new sense of drive and competitiveness in her life with CrossFit.
Three years later, Martin is still competing. She was at the Eastern Canadian Sectionals two years ago, and placed 4th overall, but declined the invitation to Regionals. Last year, she finished 30th in the Open, but decided to go to Regionals with the team from CrossFit Dieppe. They placed 8th. This year, however, it’s about her: a surprise even to the humble Martin herself.
Continuing to get comfortable with the uncomfortable, she's now embracing the suck. “I’ve learned that the uncomfortable, nerve wracking, indescribable feeling that I get before the clock starts before every workout will never go away,” she says.
She knows it will be worth the anxiety. The clock presents the opportunity to compete and give it her all. She is simply satisfied with putting in the effort to compete.
This competitive edge is what keeps her addicted. “No matter how bad you want to quit or take a break, you know you just have to keep going because the person next to you isn’t going to stop,” she says. “No one will wait while you rest.”
Martin is clearly driven. Gymnastic movements are her strength, but muscle-ups continue to be a challenge. She likes the heavy, short workouts. “I find them challenging – they only last a few minutes, but they put you out of breath for twice as long after and I just love it,” she says.
Martin says she did not have any expectations heading into the Open. “I just wanted to make the top 60 and go to Regionals” she says. When she saw the first workout, her first response was to laugh. “After 7 minutes of burpees, I sure wasn’t laughing anymore!”
When she discovered she tied Camille Leblanc-Bazinet for 2nd in the Region (125 reps), she was elated. That feeling quickly disappeared with 12.2. “When I saw the second workout, my first thought was, ‘Crap, that’s a whole lot of snatches in so little time,’”she says.
She had a difficult time at Regionals last year with the 95-pound snatches during ‘Amanda.’ Even though her result was far from her 2nd place finish in the first workout, Martin was happy with her 81 reps.
Open Workouts 12.3 and 12.4 played to Martin’s gymnastics foundation and she placed 12th and 7th, respectively. She was happy with both. In 12.5, she managed 27 more reps than the year before, a clear indication of her improvement. Martin was pleasantly surprised with her Open experience. “I sure wasn’t expecting to finish 5th place overall,” she says.
Looking forward to Regionals in Toronto, Martin is in awe of those athletes against whom she'll be competing. “Competing at Regionals beside amazing athletes that are currently on the top of the worldwide Leaderboard will be very challenging.”
Martin will rise to that challenge, and she is looking forward to it. “It will make me push myself to a new level that I’ve never been at before,” she says. “I can’t wait to see where I’ll stand at the end.”
She is excited, but is keeping her emotions in check. “I’m just working on getting my mental game on.”
Pleasantly Surprised. Excited for the challenge. Focused. Renée Martin is ready for Regionals.