March 18, 2013
Staying in the Game: Cameron Williams
By Laura Gonzo

"I would have loved to do 13.1. It kills me to not be able to do that (workout) since I did so well on 12.2 last year."

After finishing in first place in the Mid Atlantic during the 2012 Open, Cameron Williams surprised everyone by choosing to compete on the CrossFit Greensboro team, rather than as an Individual.

At the Mid Atlantic Regional that year, Williams helped the team secure a top spot and advance to the CrossFit Games.

2013 was the year Williams planned on going Individual. But a recent injury may interfere.

“I injured my lower back in January during a competition,” Williams explains. “It wasn’t that bad initially, but it continued to get worse.”

In addition to training for the Open, Williams’ recent acceptance into the Greensboro Fire Department Academy has her preparing for the intense physical demands of that program.

Bruce Fields, coach and co-owner of CrossFit Greensboro, is a member of CrossFit Greensboro’s competition team, as well as a member of the Greensboro Fire Department. He credits Williams’ athleticism, drive and background in CrossFit for her achievement.

“This is a big deal,” Fields says. “She knows that she has to get through the training to make it into the department and she’s got one chance to do that.”

With this in mind, Williams finally made the difficult choice to rest and increase her visits to a chiropractor on an almost daily basis.

Currently, Williams is unable to perform any dynamic movements without extreme pain. She logged one burpee in Open Workout 13.1 and one shoulder to overhead on 13.2, so she could remain active in the competition.

“I would have loved to do 13.1,” she sighs. “It kills me to not be able to do that (workout) since I did so well on 12.2 last year. I still want to try it once I'm healthy. Seventeen minutes of pure hell, but I think I just might like it.”

In Workout 12.2, Williams logged 106 reps, just three reps behind two-time Games champion, Annie Thorisdottir, and fourth place worldwide.

Williams will do what it takes to be a top competitor. She splits her time between working out at home and at CrossFit Greensboro.

“I saved up my Christmas money and bought a barbell and weights, I won some kettlebells in competitions and CrossFit Greensboro donated a few more essentials to keep me working hard,” Williams says.

Because of her experience and success, many athletes look to Williams for advice.  

“Don't dwell on that one workout that might not be in your wheelhouse,” she says. “Work hard on those WODs you can do well at, but work even harder to get a good score on the workouts that challenge you. You don't have to get first place in every (workout) to win a competition.”

As far as the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games, she may have to change her original plan.

“I had wanted to compete as an individual this year, but plans have changed and I will now participate minimally in the Open in hopes of being able to help my team compete at Regionals,” she explains. “I'd love to go to Regionals this year, but the only way that would be possible is if we make it as a team. I am looking to compete individually in 2014. I've had a few bumps in the road the past few years, so hopefully next year will be the year.”

She adds: “As for right now, the only thing I have my mind on is getting my body back in one piece so that I can work it out again.”

CrossFit Greensboro co-owner and head coach, John Meeks, supports her decision 100 percent.

“She’s young, she’s a great athlete and she has lots of competitions ahead of her,” Meeks says. “She needs to get better. She’s looking at a career in the fire department and that’s important in the bigger picture. We did not anticipate her being on the CrossFit Greensboro team, as we all assumed she’d compete as an individual, but if she’s healthy and wants to join the team, we’d be thrilled to have her — she’s Cameron Williams!"