March 20, 2013
Back to Individual for Tina Balfe
By Kate Rose

"Every time I do OK on the Open workout, I always wonder how I could have done if I had a more routine training program."

Landscape photo by: Ali Pearson

Floater photos by: Jessica King

Tina Balfe may train less than most high-ranking CrossFit athletes.

A mother to three, Balfe is a full-time teacher who coaches CrossFit classes to her students at CrossFit Genetic Potential, a nonprofit high school affiliate. Last year, a teacher-student team from Genetic Potential qualified for Regionals.

“I probably average about four times per week, and usually only really fit in 30 minutes of actual exercise in that time,” Balfe says. “Since I don't train as often as I'd like to say I do, it makes it hard to follow anyone's programming.”

Balfe trains with the students and teachers at Genetic Potential three nights each week, and works out at home on other nights.

“Every time I do OK on a workout in the Open, I always wonder how I could have done if I had a more routine training program, or put in the volume of training that many of the athletes do,” she says.

Despite her schedule challenges, Balfe hit 190 reps on 13.1 and managed 312 reps on 13.2. While Balfe feels both events revealed a gap in her work capacity, she isn’t worried.

“My game plan for the Open workouts is to just to do the best I can. It’s a good motivator for me to work to exhaustion in a workout.  I'm not very good at pushing myself to do that in just a regular WOD I do on my own,” she says.

“I likely won't redo any of the Open workouts unless I'm really low on the score board and I think it will affect my chance of making Regionals,” she says. “I want to make it there to enjoy the experience of participating again.”  

Balfe is an integral component of the Genetic Potential affiliate, and she focused on its growth and the development of its athletes.

“This year was a great start to our CrossFit group at the school, as we had a lot of new die hard grade nine students out and participating, and they are still going strong and stronger,” she says. “Some started out in September being able to do one pull-up and can now string together 15!”

This year, with the help of another affiliate, Genetic Potential was able to purchase new equipment, which has helped recruit and retain new students. The success of veteran Regionals athletes Lucas Proulx and Phil Cress — both graduates of the Genetic Potential program — has also attracted young teens.

Last year, Balfe participated on the Genetic Potential team.

“This year I'm hoping to make it as an individual and I hope I can perform all the movements as required in the workouts to not get DQ'd early on in the weekend,” she says. “From here on in, I'd like to be more consistent with training and try to improve my cardio between now and May.”