14 Years Old in the Open

March 10, 2012

Thomas Patton


Addicted to CrossFit
The majority of CrossFitters often wish they had found CrossFit much earlier in their lives. Fortunately, some have the CrossFit advantage at a very early age. 
Such is the case of Ana Paula Andrade from CrossFit Guayaquil in Ecuador and Deborah Shrem from Reebok CrossFit PTY in Panama. Both 14-year-olds have been CrossFitting for almost two years and competing in the CrossFit Games Open as a preparation for the years to come. If these girls continue this path, in a few years they will be atop the Leaderboard.
Shrem is like any other girl, she likes to go out with friends and do what all teenagers do. Besides being a straight “A” student, Shrem is also “addicted to CrossFit.” She began gymnastics when she was 6, representing her country in competition until she was 12. 
Shrem started CrossFit at the urging of her friends. She spends extra time, outside of the regular teen classes to do skill work, lifts, and help out the younger children. She plans to attend a Level 1 Seminar, and train others.
Andrade started CrossFitting at the age of 12. Before CrossFit, she dabbled in swimming, speed skating, as well as a little Olympic lifting. She now considers CrossFit her true sport. She is making tremendous progress, enjoys every minute of it, and is preparing and gaining experience with the CrossFit Games Open to make serious damage in the years to come. 
Andrade came out with 83 burpees in Workout 12.1, which was a very good performance among the women in the Latin America Region. She did even better on 12.2, completing 58 snatches with the prescribed 45 and 75-lb. loads.
Seeing Challenge as Opportunity
“Thanks to CrossFit, I now see every challenge as an opportunity,” Shrem says. “CrossFit has helped me mentally and physically to beat obstacles that I wouldn’t have been able to in the past. CrossFit has helped me mature as a person and as an athlete.” 

Shrem completed 94 burpees in seven minutes for Workout 12.1. Even better, she completed 60 snatches on 12.2. Heading into 12.3, Shrem is in 25th place in the region, well on pace to qualify for Regionals.

“CrossFit has made me change my definition of fitness. I have more strength, resistance and speed, and I get a chance to compete against myself everyday, to become better and better,” she says. “Even if I cannot improve a lift or a skill on a particular day, I know the experience helped me grow and I’ll be mentally stronger because of it.”
The value of CrossFit for kids and teens is only now beginning to make an impact. Young boys and girls such as Andradre and Shrem will make a huge impact on the Leaderboard for many years down the road.