March 20, 2012
Trying to Achieve Her Potential: Janine Walinski
By Josh Gross
The 13th ranked woman in Canada West after 12.4.
The 13th ranked woman in Canada West after 12.4.

"I believe that I have the potential to go to the Games at some point, and I'll keep working until that happens."


When Janine Walinski’s then boyfriend Brett Shillington introduced her to CrossFit a few years ago, it was a big change from the training she had been doing as a fitness and figure model. Together, they owned VO2 Max Personal Training in Grande Prairie, Alberta and her hectic schedule didn’t leave much time to try out this new sport. After about a year of pressure to start CrossFit from Shillington, Walinski got into CrossFit. As with many other things in her life, she went at it with everything she had.

After only a short time training, Walinski and Shillington affiliated and opened CrossFit VO2 Max. When the 2011 CrossFit Open format was announced, she knew she had to enter and this is where things really took off. “There was a steep learning curve for sure, especially with some of the skills,” she says. “The first time I ever tried a double-under was on 11.1.”

She was determined and her athletic ability showed through, with Walinksi completing 177 double-unders during the 10-minute AMRAP (finishing 85th in Canada West). “After that WOD, I felt pretty confident and I placed fairly well through the rest of the Open,” she says. 

Following, she went on to post three top 10 scores, which led to 15th overall in Canada West and a spot at Regionals. The Regional competition was yet another learning experience for Walinski. “Standing in the hallway before the first WOD at Regionals, someone asked me what technique I’d be using for the handstand push-ups,” she recalls. “I probably looked cross-eyed when they asked, I had no idea you could kip.”

Walinski, a long time personal trainer, is the kind of person though that is only happy if those around her are happy. This translates well to her chosen profession. “I have to practice what I preach” and this drive to motivate others is a huge part of her success. She openly admits she’s “the least competitive athlete” she knows, stating that she enjoys competing with herself and bettering herself, but she’d rather be “cheering someone on than watching the Leaderboard.”

For the 2012 CrossFit Games Open, Walinski is giving competition another go. She has stepped up her training and added more to her already hectic days. Somewhere in her 14-plus hour workdays, she still manages to do her own training. She follows programming for her CrossFit training, but she also focuses on Olympic lifting at least two days a week. She says her skills have improved and she was ecstatic to say that while they weren’t possible at last year’s competition, she has added muscle-ups to her bag of tricks for 2012.

“This year, I’m aiming for Regionals, that’s the next stop for me,” she says about her goals for 2012. “I believe that I have the potential to go to the Games at some point, and I’ll keep working until that happens.” 

After four weeks of the Open, Walinski is 13th in the Canada West Region.