May 21, 2013
Calm, Confident, Ready for Regionals: CrossFit PBM
By Jolene Raison

"We are not that worried. We are focused, prepared and there to do our best."

Photos courtesy of Wilna Appel

CrossFit PBM has made its mark on the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games season so far. Nineteen athletes qualified for the Africa Regional — more than any other affiliate in the region.

Of those 19, six athletes will be competing as Individuals, while the others have chosen to compete on one of two teams CrossFit PBM qualified for the Regional.

Imke Wienand, team member on CrossFit PBM, says the teams are prepared to take on the Regional. They started training long before the Open began.

“We are not that worried,” she says. “We are focused, prepared and there to do our best.”

Wilna Appel, who finished first in Africa in the Open, says team members committed to competing on the team more than a year ago.

“The athletes in our first team, CrossFit PBM, decided last year to commit to competing as a team, even if we qualified as individuals,” Appel says. “We used the Open workouts as just another training session in our program.”

A second team was created at the request of the athletes at the box. Appel says putting the team together was a simple process.

“We had certain requirements and standards and we chose the athletes that met them,” she explains. “Each member of our team has a special ability that they bring to the team, as well as great overall fitness.”  

The strength of the team is not just within the athletes’ abilities, but also in their close relationships.

“There is a bond of friendship between every single one of us,” Appel says.

Appel’s younger brother, Gerhard van der Merwe adds: “We are like a bunch of close friends who just go out and have fun together. There is no need to worry because the whole team has your back.”

This close bond is reflected in training, as each team member spends signifcant time in the gym together.

“On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, we train twice a day,” Appel says. “On Saturday, we have a single, long session. Then, Wednesday and Sunday are rest days.”

Anmarie van der Walt says training is intense, but they make sure to have fun.

“Even if the workout is tough and you have butterflies before it starts, you know someone’s going to do or say something that ends up with everyone laughing,” she says.

CrossFit PBM and CrossFit PBM 2 team members are optimistic and confident going into the Africa Regional May 24-26.

“All the boxes have trained hard and we will be seeing some great workouts and massive efforts from our competitors,” Appel says. “It’s always good to have butterflies before an event. We trained hard and we come prepared. I believe in my team. We are ready for Regionals.”

The athletes are incredibly optimistic even though they know the competition will be much tougher this year. The calibre of the individual athletes is much higher and team entries are up from four to 20.

CrossFit PBM Individual Regional athletes include Daniel Crous, Gian Smit, Mark Lubbe, Wynand Appel, Naas Kruger and Estian Ferreira.

Team CrossFit PBM includes Gerhard van der Merwe, Frederik Engelbrecht, Sean Engelbrecht, Stephan Meyer, Wilna Appel, Anmarie van der Walt, Imke Wienand and Celeste Viljoen.

Team CrossFit PBM 2 includes Albi Citton, Jayson Buyskes, JP Knipe, Stephan Claasen, Jane van der Merwe, Anna Wood, Jeanine Knipe and Esti Hefer.