“I really feel motivated representing all the good people at my affiliate. I like the friends, the teamwork and all the great events I've had a chance to attend. (The gym) is my extended family. I am happy to train and support everyone there, it's just a fun time.”
Donna Walters accumulated just eight points in the worldwide Masters 60+ Division. For four weeks straight, Walters took first place on every Open Workout. Her winning streak ended on 13.5 when she took 4th.
“My coach, Eric LeClair, prepared me so well for the Open that I just did what I do everyday,” she says. “There was a little more pressure (than last year), especially week five, but the movements were the same. I'm very happy with the results.”
Walters explains that having a plan was key to her success in the Open.
“Each week, Eric and I met to discuss the (workout) and evaluate the intention and design of each test. We drew up a strategy and we discussed options. I hit (the workouts) once on Friday mornings at 6 a.m. with my favorite class,” she says. “Our plan in this new age group was to make top five to 10 each week.”
And with four first-place finishes, she did.
After competing in the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games in the Masters 55-59 Division, Walters and her coach tweaked her training to get her stronger and more confident for the 2013 season. One of the changes they made was the creation of an all-women’s training team at her gym so she would have women to train with who had similar goals.
“All the women on the team were good CrossFitters,” Walters says. “They were generally well-balanced and looking to take their fitness to a competition level. (LeClair) helped us all improve our specific needs.”
However, her participation in this group training ended in February when LeClair started programming for Walters specifically for the Open and eventually, the Games.
“(LeClair programs) all my training with a strength bias. Now, as we close in on the Games season, (I eventually will do) double sessions a day, once a week, and triple sessions a day, once a week. This helps me wrap my head around the demands that are placed on me in July.”
She adds: “Most, if not all training is geared toward my weak areas and my testing sessions are designed to point out places that I need further improvement in the areas that we know will be tested.”
In addition to CrossFit, Walters’ experience with competition has given her the experience to perform well at the Games. As a young girl, she swam, played volleyball and softball, and in college, she played tennis.
After college, she competed in running and other endurance events until she met LeClair at one of his boot camps. In 2006, LeClair opened his own affiliate, Team CrossFit Academy. Walters has been there ever since.
“Eric always pushes me beyond where I think I can go,” she says. “There was a single training session where he placed me with the guys Rx’d group and said that I was a man for a day. This really motivated me.”
Walters says it is her family, community and fellow athletes that inspire her to excel in CrossFit.
“I really feel motivated representing all the good people at my affiliate,” she says. “I like the friends, the teamwork and all the great events I've had a chance to attend. (The gym) is my extended family. I am happy to train and support everyone there, it's just a fun time.”
For the next three months, she plans to work on her weaknesses like snatching and rope climbs. She also hopes to perfect her form on all basic movements.
Come Games time, Walters is looking forward to having her husband, son and community cheering her on. This year, her goal is to earn a spot on the podium.