Rugby Player of the Decade
Phaidra Knight is the rugby player of the decade. She is also a CrossFitter. Knight has represented the USA in the Rugby World Cup and appeared on MTV’s “Made,” as a rugby coach. Now, she is showing her strength on the CrossFit competition floor.
Knight placed 10th in the 2011 North East Regional. She dominated the thruster ladder event, maxing out at 165 pounds. At first, CrossFit was a way for her to repair her body during some time off from rugby. She soon caught the CrossFit bug. At the 2011 Regionals, Knight learned not only that she can dominate on the rugby pitch but that “I could be a contender.”
A Smooth Transition
The transition from one sport to the other was simple because, according to Knight, “the two sports epitomize each other.” Every athlete is constantly pushed to their limit. Whether you are gutting it out during “Fran” or driving through a ruck on the pitch in the 38th minute, you are pushed beyond your perceived limits. In both sports, no matter how well you do, you can always do something better. You can always hit a new PR or master a goat in CrossFit. Rugby is the same way; you can always do something better.
Knight talks about the similarities in the communities of CrossFit and rugby. The strong camaraderie, support, and teamwork is found in both sports are a big draw for her. When training for Regionals, she experienced amazing support from her fellow CrossFitters. Wherever you go, you can walk into a CrossFit box, and automatically have some new friends. “You have a buddy for life,” she says. The rugby world is the same, says Knight. No matter where you go, what new city you find yourself in, connect with the local rugby club and you automatically have fifteen new friends.
Shoring up Her Weak Points
In 2011, Knight dominated the thruster ladder, but her weaknesses showed with gymnastics and bodyweight movements. They have been the focus of her training leading up to 2012. Knight’s recent injuries have forced her to step back and really change her approach to training, putting emphasis on technique and flexibility.
Knight has been training hard, but she has also in the formative stages of creating a foundation, teaming up with Play Rugby to bring fitness, mentorship, and character building to kids at schools. She plans to start by bringing the programs to where she went to school in Georgia and hopes to expand from there. Knight is an excellent role model and wants to give kids opportunities to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle through exercise, nutrition, and building strong human beings.
When asked what role CrossFit will continue to play in her life Knight remarks, “CrossFit will always be a part of my life. I always plan to be fit.” Fitness has played an important role in her life from the beginning, and CrossFit has been a perfect fit for her. She also hopes to expand into an on-camera role with rugby and possibly CrossFit, if the opportunity unfolds. Her time with CrossFit is only just beginning. She thinks that, in time, CrossFit competitions will become more center stage for her, as rugby takes the second seat.
The 2012 Games Season, we’ll be hearing a lot from Phaidra Knight.