“I don’t think, ‘Oh, it’s in the bag, I’m going to the Games again.’ I’m definitely not that kind of person ... I try to go into every workout knowing I’ve got to earn my spot. I’ve got everyone on my back and they want to get there as much as I do.”
If you’ve ever watched the CrossFit Games, you’ve seen her.
With her ultra-tan skin, Snooki poof and penchant for booty shorts, Stacie Tovar stands out from the crowd.
Although many CrossFitters can better identify her from behind than from the front, Tovar is a lot more than the proud owner of a world-famous derriere.
The former University of Nebraska - Omaha Division II Volleyball player has competed in the CrossFit Games for the last four years (2009-2012).
Although she’s a longtime Games competitor, Tovar doesn’t overlook the early stage of each Games season. To make sure her training stays on track for Regionals, she hits the Open workouts hard, just like all of her other workouts.
“Basically, the Open (workouts) are just another workout that my coach programs into my weekly regimen. More or less, it is a competition to me … but it’s not,” she says. “I just want to get to the point where I know I’m going to make it to Regionals.”
The most important part of the Open, she says, is throwing down next to her friends at CrossFit Omaha.
“I don’t know if it’s every gym or just our gym, but the Open is more about the community,” she says.
Hitting it hard and having fun with her gym was enough to keep her in the top 10 in North Central on all but one Open workout. On 13.2, getting over 11 rounds of shoulder-to-overheads, deadlifts and box jumps, wasn’t enough. In fact, in the competitive North Central competition scene, it was only good enough for 34th.
The next week, she was one of the few who was excited to hear she’d get to repeat 12.4, 150 wall balls, 90 double-unders and 30 muscle-ups.
“It’s obviously a test of your fitness. Have you gotten better, have you not gotten better? That’s what CrossFit is all about. It’s repetitive. You have to test at that level and this is a great way to do it,” she says.
She tallied 20 muscle-ups, a three-rep improvement over last year, to finish with a score of 260. Although she improved and took fourth in the region, she wasn’t satisfied.
“Since I started CrossFit, I normally write down my strategy, how many reps were unbroken, etc., so that if I ever run into another workout like that again, I have a feel of what it took for me to get that time or number of reps,” she explains. “I was so disappointed when I went through my journal and realized I didn’t write down anything for 12.4 except for how many reps I had gotten. I had a pretty good visual and feeling of what I experienced last year. That was helpful, and I got lucky in that sense. I wish I would have taken better notes. But that’s OK.”
Once the Open closed, Tovar was in third in North Central, behind Elisabeth Akinwale and Deb Cordner Carson. Although she’s in a solid position next to the other veteran Games competitors heading into the Regional, she can’t help but feel the rookies, like fourth-placed Jessica Schulz, breathing down her neck.
“I don’t think, ‘Oh, it’s in the bag, I’m going to the Games again.’ I’m definitely not that kind of person,” she says. “I’m more of a worrywart. I try to go into every workout knowing I’ve got to earn my spot. I’ve got everyone on my back and they want to get there as much as I do.”
For now, she’ll continue to train, studiously journal after each workout and trust her trainer.
“I know I need to take care of my business, stay calm, relaxed and focus and listen to my coach … and hopefully I’ll have success.”