March 26, 2013
From Dojo to the Box: Mary Jamieson
By Jolene Raison

"(The community) is what I love most about CrossFit. I train with the most inspiring women."

Photos by: Shelley Vernon

This time last year Mary Jamieson hadn’t even stepped foot into a CrossFit box. Now, she’s causing a stir at the top of the Africa Leaderboard.

Around eight months ago, Jamieson ventured from the Northcliff Karate Academy, where she trains and teaches, into CrossFit Platinum.

“The mother of one of my students was doing CrossFit and I decided to give it a try,” she says.

This newcomer to CrossFit is an old-hand at competitive sport.

“I have competed in karate for the South African all-style team in the African Champs and World Champs,” she explains. “As a teen and into my early 20s, I played water polo and hockey. I also played touch rugby for the Gauteng province and for South Africa where we placed third in the 2011 touch rugby World Cup.”

The mental fortitude she’s gained from years as an athlete is proving one of her greatest strengths in the Open.

“In karate, we never have the option to give up,” she muses. “It’s given me the mental strength to push through anything at CrossFit. My strength also comes from the place I train — CrossFit Platinum.”

Coach Julian Reichman makes sure athletes are prepared for anything the Open might throw at them, she says.

For Jamieson however it’s not all about competition. It’s also about community.

“(The community) is what I love most about CrossFit,” she says, “I train with the most inspiring women. They support each other in the wins and the losses. They rock!”

Right now, though it’s all wins for Jamieson who’s been in the top three on the Africa Women’s Leaderboard throughout the Open. She says she did not think she would be doing this well at this point in her CrossFit career.

“Not now. Maybe in a few years. I still have so much to learn,” she says.

And she certainly didn’t plan her ascent up the Leaderboard.

“I didn’t really think that far ahead,” she admits. “I’m just taking it one (workout) at a time.”

A month ago Jamieson was still relatively unknown in the local CrossFit community. Now she’s making a name for herself going head-to-head with both our 2012 and 2013 Regional winners. Judging from her performance, so far she’s set to be a formidable opponent.