On October 8, 2011, the North East Region’s CrossFit Community gathered at a local competition. Regionals and Games-qualifying athletes came to compete, including Christy Phillips, Lauren Plumey and Kate Rawlings. When the dust settled after six workouts, a relatively unknown tied three-time Games competitor Christy Phillips for 1st place. Meet Teresa Luz.
Luz started CrossFitting mostly on her own in 2008. In 2010, she began training at CrossFit Diesel in Maryland. When Luz’s coach, Evan Davidson, approached her to consider training for the 2011 Games, she replied, “I am nowhere near where I need to be.” Luz followed Games athletes closely; from her point of view she could not compete at their level.
Despite reservations about herself as a Games competitor, she signed up for the Open to be a part of the community at her box. Luz had no expectation that she would qualify for Regionals. But as the Open was wrapping up, Luz squeaked by in 55th place to earn a spot at the Mid Atlantic Regional.
Regionals for the First Time
At Regionals something came alive in her. With limited training, she was able to walk away as the 12th fittest female in the Mid Atlantic. “Regionals put a fire under me,” she says. “My number one goal now is to make it to the Games.”
Luz has recorded the stats of the best female athletes and made those her target. “That's how I set my goals, because that’s what it’s going to take to get out of this region.”
Finding her Inner Strength
Luz is strong and fast, but her biggest assets might be her heart and determination. “I've always known that when I set out to do something, come hell or high water, I’m going to get there,” she says. “CrossFit just turned something on inside me that’s always been there.”
At the Beast of the East, Luz showed the CrossFit community she means business. Luz not only tied Christy Phillips, but also placed above several athletes who ranked above her both in Open Sectionals and at Regionals. “Tying with Christy was an honor, and it is still unreal to me,” Luz says. “In my head, she is one of those people who is untouchable.” When asked about Luz, Phillips said she enjoys competing against her and called her a “fierce competitor.”
What’s next? “The Games,” says Luz’s coach Evan Davidson, without hesitation. “We here at CrossFit Diesel see it, and at the Affiliate Gathering in Montana this past summer (Mike) Burgener and (Jeff) Tucker saw that in her future too.”
Luz is ready to put all that she has on the table when the CrossFit Games 2012 season begins. Luz says she can push through what others may feel as pain in workouts and competitions because she knows it’s taking her closer and closer to her ultimate goal: the Games. “I keep reminding myself someone somewhere is training harder than me, so I’ve got to give it everything I've got.”