"To be honest, it was a blessing in disguise to miss out on Regionals because it ... made me even more motivated to qualify this year."
For Jennifer Broxterman, 2012 was all about 2013.
In 2010, Broxterman placed third at the Ontario Sectionals, and in 2011 she competed at Regionals as part of the CrossFit London team. But in the 2012 Open, she missed the Regional competition in Canada East by 26 spots.
Disappointed at the time, Broxterman now believes the break was for the best.
“To be honest, it was a blessing in disguise to miss out on Regionals because it gave me space to finish up writing my thesis and has made me even more motivated to qualify this year,” she says.
She points to her 70-hour workweeks preceding Regionals in 2012. She was finishing her master’s degree, teaching at a university and running her own nutrition consulting business.
Due to her schedule, Broxterman was gassed facing the Open in 2012.
“The workweek was crazy, and although I trained hard at CrossFit for six days of the week, I think the fatigue of everything I had on the go caught up with me during the 2012 Open.”
She decided she needed to take a step back.
“I had to take a step back from CrossFit mentally, and just enjoy the training for the fun of it,” she says. “When you're putting in 70-hour-plus work weeks, your body and mind can feel like they're ready to explode some days.”
With student life behind her, Broxterman has refocused and is preparing for 2013 with her coach, Dave Henry. A smaller athlete, she knows she needs to be able to move the heavy weight.
“My coach … has been really strategic with his programming to help get me stronger, which has been a huge help,” she says.
Her training requires two workouts, three times a week, and then one workout a day for the other three days, and finally, rest on Sunday.
Right now, the focus is to work on her weaknesses — muscle-ups, handstand push-ups and overhead pressing.
“I’ve been working really hard with my coach and teammates,” she says, “and after bumping up my mobility and strength work by 200 percent in the last 12 months, I’ve successfully accomplished my goal of being able to do eight unbroken muscle-ups, 160-plus unbroken double-unders, and 15-plus unbroken handstand push-ups. I’ve mastered chest-to-bar pull-ups.”
And next on the list is achieving a 350-lb. deadlift.
As a test, Broxterman completed 30 muscle-ups for time, finishing in six minutes, 45 seconds.
She says 2013 will be her best year yet, competitively.
“I have really committed to training hard and, more importantly, training smartly,” she explains. “I listen to my body more and take the extra rest when I need it. The combination of consistent, clean eating habits with adequate sleep, mobility and rest has been a killer combination for staying healthy and recovering optimally between workouts.”
Broxterman is eager to see the events at the Open and Regionals, but is more excited about being at her best.
“What's great about the place I'm in now, is that I feel like I can give my 100 percent best effort again,” she says. “Ultimately, it doesn't really matter to me what place I finish in. I judge my performance based on trying my very best, leaving it all out there, and finishing the workout with a smile on my face and a high five with a teammate.”