May 10, 2013
The Iron Angel: Nicole Seymour
By Candice Tehini

Gymnast, hockey player, Regional athlete. Meet Nicole Seymour.
Photos by: Gary Seymour

Gymnast from the age of 4 to 13. Hockey player until age 20. Fitness shows thereafter. And most recently, second place in Africa for the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games Open.

Meet Nicole Seymour.

Seymour is the owner of Iron Angel Gym in Ballito on South Africa’s east coast. You’ll find her there from early mornings until after lunch. From then on, she’s on mom duty. Seymour has two young kids to keep up with, grocery shopping to do and dinner to prepare. All while training toward becoming the fittest woman in Africa.

“I would ultimately like to be a professional athlete. I love training and would honestly love to compete amongst the fittest in the world,” Seymour says.

For Seymour, competing is not only fun, but it’s a way for her to build community, meet new people and travel.

Seymour’s introduction to CrossFit came from watching the CrossFit Games on ESPN.

“I remember saying to my husband that I would love to do it,” she recalls. “But I then fell pregnant with my second child.”

In January, Seymour resumed training, but was lacking direction.

“I decided to start training seriously with the aim of competing in the 2014 CrossFit Games Open. But my husband had other ideas and registered me for this year’s Open,” she says. “He thought the experience would be good!”

Seymour and her family have had a challenging eight months with her son undergoing surgeries for a cleft lip and palate.

“It has been extremely stressful, and both physically and emotionally draining, but I am happy to say that I think the worst is over,” she says. “He had his second and biggest operation a week after 13.5.”

Seymour has found relief from the daily stress through CrossFit.

“CrossFit has really helped me cope through all we have been through,” she says.

And behind this aspiring athlete stands a supportive husband and strong family.

“My husband really has backed me in my CrossFit training. He actually knows more about the sport than I do, and always makes sure that I am able to do my workouts. There is no way I would have been able to juggle everything without him,” she says. “CrossFit has actually bought us closer together as a couple and a family.”

Seymour adds: “CrossFit really is such a social sport with everyone there to support you no matter how good or bad you are. It enables you to challenge yourself and set new personal goals.”

After a successful Open, Seymour has set new goals as she heads into Regional competiton.

“After surprising myself with my position in Africa at the end of the Open, my short-term goal is to win the Africa Regional this year, and to qualify for the Games, thereby gaining as much experience as possible,” she says. “My medium-term goals are to eat, breathe and sleep the sport — competing in as many local and international competitions as possible, and in doing so bridge the gap between the leading girls. My long-term and ultimate goal is to bring the title of the Fittest Woman (on Earth) home to South Africa!”

Seymour is working toward those big goals at CrossFit Durbs with Andy Craig and Dean Ridgeway. She trains Monday to Saturday where possible, and she is primarily focusing on weaknesses that were exposed during the Open. And what about rest?

“Rest? What's that? With two very busy kids and a demanding husband, I really do not get a second to rest.”