"I usually end up doing the guys' weights in a workout and then beat the guys."
Lauren Brooks, mother of two, qualified for Regionals two years in a row, but 2012 was her debut. Medical issues in 2011 prevented her from competing last year, so this was the year to make her name known.
And that she did, winning Event 3, and beating some of the best CrossFit athletes in the South East.
She dominated the workout that consisted of one-armed 70 lb dumbbell snatches and sprints, and it put her in 9th place overall. “Event 3 went great. I felt great. I paced myself and I didn’t miss any reps at the end,” she says.
But all the heavy lifting in the competition took a toll, and Brooks had to pull out of the competition after Event 4, where she needed assistance from the medical team to get off the competition floor.
Brooks started to notice some tightness in her lower back, which peaked during Event 4. “I tried to fight through it, but it’s hard when your body just gives up on you,” Brooks says. “I was on the first 10 reps of the front squats and my back started seizing up on me. Sometimes the body just says, ‘No.’”
Brooks began to have pain radiate from her low back through her quads during the workout and couldn’t support herself anymore. After helping her out of the arena, the medical staff advised her not to continue the third day of the competition. “I didn’t know if it was a disc issue, but I was throwing up all night (Saturday), and now the pain has spread to my neck,” Brooks says.
After missing last year’s Regional competition due to medical reasons, and not being able to complete the third day of the competition, Brooks was very upset. “I was super disappointed. I cried myself to sleep, but I really wanted to get back here and support the girls,” Brooks says of her fellow female athletes.
Brooks is fairly new to CrossFit. She mostly trained on her own in a gym and taught herself movement progressions by watching videos online. She decided to complete the Level 1 Seminar and now owns her own affiliate, CrossFit Salvation in Cape Coral, Fla., but still misses having a training partner to work out with. “It’s a small gym. I usually end up doing the guys’ weights in a workout and then beat the guys.”
Since she is a coach herself, it had been difficult to get help with her form. She began getting tips from Coach Rudy Nielsen of Outlaw CrossFit before Regionals in order to prepare for the weekend. “We focused heavily on Olympic lifting. When she first started with me, her back squat was 245 and it went up to 325, so we got that pretty heavy, too,” Neilson says. “We also focused on general overall conditioning.”