March 22, 2012
Mary-Lynn Kane on Determination
By Kate Rose

“I was shocked that after being away from gymnastics for 30 years, I could still do handstands ..."

For Open Workout 12.1, it didn’t matter how long it would take. Mary-Lynn Kane wanted 120 burpees.

At 48, Kane is dogged in her determination. With that 120 marker in mind, she set out at a steady pace, and didn't fall off until the seven-minute mark. She had 121. That score put her 7th in the Masters 45-49 Division, and only 11 burpees off the worldwide leader.

For 12.2, she was cool, calm and collected. “I was the most relaxed I have ever been,” Kane says. She knew the 45- and 75-pound snatches wouldn’t be a problem, but felt 100 pounds was out of reach. It would have been a PR by 20 pounds. With about five minutes remaining, she put the weight on her bar. She managed to get one rep in.

Ever humble, Kane admits, “I am sure it was the ugliest snatch ever, and I am thankful there were no style points.” Once again, though, Kane achieved one more than her goal.

Kane was disappointed with 12.3. “All the movements were in my wheelhouse and I hoped for 8 rounds,” she says.

Kane pumped out 7 rounds, 15 box jumps and 7 push presses before the clock ran out. She learned a lesson. “I changed my movement pattern on the box jumps, and, even at 48 years of age, that was a big rookie mistake,” she says.

Armed with that knowledge, she re-focused for 12.4. She completed 240 reps – Karen, plus 90 double-unders.

Kane, who was introduced to CrossFit by one of the partners in her law firm, has been a part of CrossFit PEI since the fundamentals course she took with her husband in 2009. Her background in gymnastics, basketball and track was an asset. “I was shocked that after being away from gymnastics for 30 years, I could still do handstands,” she says.

Last year, she was the 'veteran' on CrossFit PEI’s Regional team. “I loved it, but every now and then I did a reality check, as I am sure I was the oldest competitor … but I still wanted to kick some young butt,” she laughs.

She loved being involved with the team and the competition; the personal discoveries that came with the Regional event were a bit of a surprise. She discovered new weaknesses, and wanted to address them before 2012. She returned to the gym in the hopes of getting at her goats.

Kane started to experience symptoms of overtraining shortly after the Canada East Regional. With her trainer, she went back to the drawing board, and with some one-on-one training, she recovered by November. Kane immediately returned to her goal of competing in the 2012 CrossFit Open. “My goals were improved strength and confidence in Olympic lifting as I had no experience in that area and it hurt me in last year’s Open.” With help from Dr. Dave Whitty, and a paleo diet, Kane started to see gains and improvement.

One thing is clear, if Kane’s performance for 2012 is hindered by injury, her sharp mental game, the ability to live and learn with humility, and her ever-present determination, will ensure she’s a force in 2013.