March 14, 2013
Prepared: Fain Davis
By April Wheeler

"I have spent the last year working hard with an emphasis on my Olympic lifts and strength training.”

With Open Workout 13.1 behind her, Fain Davis, of CrossFit St. Simons, feels more prepared than ever to take on the remaining workouts of the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games Open.

Davis’s 194 reps have her currently standing in sixth place in the South East and 62nd worldwide.

Standing at 5-foot-5 and weighing 135 pounds, Davis has been athletic her entire life. A former University of Georgia basketball player, she took up running to maintain her fitness after college. Now at age 34, she has found a love for CrossFit.

“I have been doing CrossFit about two years now. I don't remember my first WOD, I just remember being really sore afterwards,” Davis says. “My sister had recently started doing CrossFit in my hometown, and she thought I would enjoy it. Her encouragement led me to try it, and I haven't looked back.”

Davis says being a former Division 1 basketball player helped her transition to CrossFit.

“Division 1 basketball could be intimidating at times just as a barbell can be intimidating,” she says. “Playing at UGA helped me look intimidation in the face and tackle it head on. That is the same approach I have with CrossFit. When the WOD or the weight is intimidating, I dive right in before my head can get in the way.”

Last year, Davis finished the Open in 21st in the South East, earning her a trip to the South East Regional. Nobody was more surprised than Davis herself.

“Last year, I just did the Open on a whim,” she admits. “I literally signed up at the 11th hour. In all honesty, I didn't feel prepared for the Open, and I don't like to do something if I can't give it my all. I went ahead and signed up, never thinking I would qualify. I literally had done snatches once prior to 12.2. I feel like the stars lined up, and a little luck and a lot of heart got me to Regionals.”

Davis ended up finishing 29th at Regionals and is ready for a second chance at proving herself to her competition.

“At Regionals last year, I couldn't clean 135 lb. or snatch a 70-lb. dumbbell before I went. Somehow the adrenaline kicked in when I needed it, and I was able to do both at Regionals,” she says.

“I worked so hard between the Open and Regionals, but once I got there I realized how unprepared I truly was. That set me on fire to come home and work hard so I have spent the last year working hard with an emphasis on my Olympic lifts and strength training.”

With the announcement of Open Workout 13.1, Davis was faced with one of her weaknesses (the snatch) and one of her strengths (burpees). Last year, she had 123 burpees on workout 12.1, so she knew she could make up for any shortcomings on her snatches by being efficient on her burpees.

“My strategy going into 13.1 was the same as it is in any other (workout): just go. My first crack at it was meant to be a trial run to see how I could do with it, and then strategize from there,” she says. “I did each of the Open (workouts) from last year three times and improved with each one and that was my plan for this year — to do them as many times as I needed to.”

She did 13.1 twice.

“I got a 192 my first go-round and was pretty happy with that,” she says. “I did feel I had a few more reps in me, so I ran it one more time and gained a couple of reps and lowered my tie break time by about 45 seconds. My strategy the second time around was to link more of the 75-lb. snatches. I was shooting for sets of 10 and then sets of five for the last 20.”

With another one of her strengths being endurance, the 17-minute workout had no effect on Davis, mentally.

“I love long workouts. I feel those usually work to my advantage because I hit my stride from the middle of the (workout), towards the end,” she says. “Once I get in a groove, I can hit a second gear for the home stretch.”

One year’s time can make a huge difference for an athlete, and Davis feels certain she will be more prepared should she make a return trip to Regionals.

“I will be ready for handstand push-ups. Also, I won't be so afraid of snatches. Although snatches still aren't my best movement, I am better prepared, and I can trust my body to know how to get underneath the bar, and I won't have to think about it so much,” Davis says.

“I believe the hard work is paying off. I (now have a Level 1 Certificate), am CrossFit Kids certified and I also got my USAW Certificate,” she says. “Not only is that helping me coach others, but it has helped my own lifts tremendously.”