Getting to Know Canada West's Leader: Angie Pye

April 25, 2012

Brent Richter

"I think that's what I have going for me. I like everything. I like heavy lifting. I like long runs. I like some of the gymnastic movements."


No stranger to the CrossFit podium, Angie Pye is returning to compete in the 2012 Canada West Regional ranked 1st overall after the Open. Pye finished in the top five, including two 1st place finishes, in four of the Open workouts this year. 

She managed 98 reps and 259 reps in workouts 12.2 and 12.4 for her wins. She earned a 3rd place finish in 12.3 with 493 reps and took 4th in 12.5 with 126 reps. Her worst result in the Open was 8th place after doing 119 burpees in 12.1.The results are not out of the ordinary for Pye, who trains and coaches part time at CrossFit Taranis, named after the Celtic God of Thunder, in Victoria B.C.  In 2010, just 12 weeks after her first CrossFit training session, Pye was invited to join her gym’s team going to the CrossFit Games.

The team came in 26th place out of 69 teams that year, “which was awesome for our little Victoria gym,” she says. “I was just blown away. I was so impressed by all the athletes and I thought, I have to try to see if I can get here.”

After a year of hard training, Pye won both the Open and the Canada West Regional in 2011 and finished 10th overall at the CrossFit Games.

Pye acknowledges she no longer has the luxury of coming into the competition as an unknown. “In 2011, I didn’t feel any pressure from the outside world because I was just new, but this year I definitely feel there is some expectation and pressure coming into it,” she says. “Like most people, I am my toughest critic.”

So how does one become a world-class athlete in such a short time? Her lifetime of activity in sports, including playing open side flanker for Canada’s National Women’s Rugby team helps. But CrossFit holds a special place in her heart, as the sport became an outlet for grief when her mother died tragically just weeks into her training.

When it comes to training, Pye describes herself as a generalist who manages to spread her talent across the whole spectrum CrossFit demands.

“I think that’s what I have going for me. I like everything. I like heavy lifting. I like long runs. I like some of the gymnastics movements,” she says.

Pye typically does one workout a day for three days, followed by one rest day. Leading up to the Regional, she’s added a bit more of everything. “I’m trying to work on the 8 billion weaknesses that I always feel are there and getting used to a bit more volume.”

As for diet, Pye says she relies on consistency and the basics to keep her fueled.

“My diet is pretty clean and pretty boring. I eat the same foods for breakfast and lunch and same recovery shake everyday, and my dinners vary. I don’t do paleo, I don’t do Zone,” she says.

At 36, Pye acknowledges she’s a bit older than most of her competitors, but age isn’t a factor in her mind, especially when some of the competitors she has admired most at the Games were women over 40.

“It’s great to see that there [are] other athletes out there that are my age or a couple years older still totally kicking butts,” Pye says. “Somebody asked me recently if I have something to prove because of my age, and I don’t really. I just want to prove something as an athlete. I feel fitter at 36 than I did at 26, which is exciting, so I’ll try to hang out with the young guns for as long as possible.”

Pye says she enters competitions with a mantra, reminding herself why she does CrossFit – not to win, but to always improve herself as an athlete.

“It can be intimidating and scary and all that, but when I just broke it down, I thought, ‘I like to workout and I’m always trying to get fitter, so no matter what happens in this competition, I’m going to be fitter for it.”

That competitive spirit that drove Pye as an athlete in her younger years isn’t gone, and she still gets a special high from going head-to-head with the best. “The adrenaline, you know, you really can’t buy it.”