"Life goes on. I enjoy training now that I don't care about the pressure."
Emily Beers knows what it’s like to have one door shut and have another open.
A CrossFit Vancouver coach and competitor, Beers worked her way back from an injury in 2012. She ruptured her Achilles tendon during training in 2011.
Beers was solid in the 2012 Open. Open Workout 12.4 was her first taste of "Oh, shit," having always done a big gymnastics kip in the muscle-up with her legs shooting up above her head, the fourth event presented a new movement standard.
"I had to focus more on my hip drive rather than a huge kick to the ceiling,” she says.
She trained herself to kip without getting her feet past parallel.
"I knew it was going to come up — I wasn't ready for it."
At the 2012 Canada West Regional, Beers proved she was a contender, but finished just five points short of qualifying for Carson.
From that experience, Beers learned she could come close to qualifying for the Games, and still not be disappointed.
“I was coming back from an injury and needed a whole year to train, whereas I only had three months and was still worried about my Achilles,” she explains.
A full time coach and a writer for the CrossFit Journal, Beers still finds time to train for the Games.
“My No. 1 priorities are my jobs: coaching and writing,” she says.
Lucky to have a flexible schedule, she is able to train between clients, and write whenever she's not in the gym.
Immediately following the 2012 Regional, Beers considered going team for the 2013 season. She's since reconsidered.
"I have to do individual for myself, because I came so close (in 2012) that I'm confident I can secure one of the two spots in Canada West."
To prepare, Beers has changed her training perspective. She now feels that she doesn't need to win to be successful.
“Life goes on,” she says. “I enjoy training now that I don’t care about the pressure.”
Now that she's fully recovered, her top priority is to enjoy training fearlessly.
“My whole life I’ve been scared to do things, so I just didn’t do them,” Beers explains. “So, now I am conquering the demons from my childhood.”
More recent demons are still in the back of her mind. Beers takes extra precautions to stretch and mobilize her Achilles tendon for fear of reinjuring herself.
"It definitely lingers in my head, but I don’t feel my Achilles when I'm training anymore.”
For mental exercise, Beers has been practicing the Beep Test, the workout in which she originally suffered the tear, which made a repeat performance daunting. Now, Beers says, she could do it on a whim. Along with running and double-unders — other scary feats post-injury — shuttle runs are no longer frightening.
“I am at a point where I don’t give a shit,” she says bluntly. “Whatever my results will be, they will be and, I’m still going to suffer, but as long as I get a C+ or a B-, rather than an F, I’ll be OK.”
And she’s been practicing those muscle-ups.
"I work on them daily and they're still not good, but everyone's got holes, I would say. And this is my hole.”
She adds: “In a way, I feel it gets harder and harder every year, so I need to be satisfied with where I'm at, or else I am going to set myself up for disappointment.”
Beers is at the top of her game with her career, and is sharpening her physical game in hopes of securing one of the two coveted Canada West spots at the Games.