April 20, 2013
Wanda Brenton: Always a Team Player
By Lauryn Lax

Even though she was first on the Latin America Leaderboard, Wanda Brenton will once again compete for CrossFit 7 Mile.

Photos by: Dona Karlowee
Credit: [photographer][header text]

Not only does her mom take her to the park to play, sing her songs and change her diapers, Logan Brenton’s mom is also the first-place finisher in the Open in Latin America.

Wanda Brenton, 38, from the Cayman Islands, is not new to the competitive arena. She competed in both the 2010 Games with Team CrossFit Cayman, and again in 2012 with Team CrossFit 7 Mile. She says after two years of motherhood, she’s finally learned how to juggle being a mom and a competitive CrossFitter, and she’s a better athlete because of it.

“Juggling motherhood and CrossFit is definitely a challenge, but I have managed,” she explains. “The first year I competed at the Games in 2010, I was actually pregnant and didn’t know it. So after Carson, I took the rest of that year doing really light workouts.”

She sat out of the 2011 season and gave birth to baby Logan the second week of the Open. Her focus shifted from snatches and pull-ups to adjusting to wake, sleep and feeding schedules. She was also busy helping her husband, Carl, make their dream come true. After two years of CrossFitting at CrossFit Cayman — the only box on the island at the time — the couple stepped out on a ledge to open CrossFit 7 Mile.

“My only real (workouts) were wheel barrowing concrete for time,” Brenton laughs.

One year later, as the 2012 Open rolled around, Brenton was feeling less overwhelmed with new motherhood and running a new business. She was hungry to compete again, but says getting back into it was a little rocky.

“It was tough just coming back from having a baby, and I didn't really move well prior to pregnancy, so I was still very much a beginner last year even though I technically had done CrossFit for two years,” she says.

While Brenton and her 7 Mile team managed to sweep the Latin America Regional and advance to the Games that year, the team finished in 41st place. The loss fueled Brenton and her teammates for another run at the Games in 2013 and inspired her to work harder than she ever had before. She says the 2013 Open has been an eye-opening experience to see how her hard work has paid off.

“In the Cayman Islands, we don't get to go to any (local) competitions other than Regionals and the Games, so the Open is a time for us to see what we are made of,” Brenton says. “It's also a time to really see how you compare with others. Sure, sometimes it's not what you want to see, but it's the reality of it all.”

Brenton committed to training five days per week, with two rest days for her body to fully recover and devote all her extra energy to her daughter, husband and coaching at the box. She followed the Outlaw Way in the early preseason, and as of late, has been sticking with head trainer and teammate, Chris Spigner’s programming at CrossFit 7 Mile. With current PRs including a 285-lb. deadlift, a 130-lb. clean and jerk and a 165-lb. back squat, Brenton says her focus has been on getting stronger.

“Having another solid year of training under my belt this year has definitely given me a little more confidence in my abilities,” she says. “It feels really good to be on top (in Latin America). I know the numbers I put up wouldn't stand a chance in other regions, but If you want to compete with the big boys and girls, then you need to see how your weaknesses fair. I'm OK with that. Just makes you wanna work harder at them, I think.”

Daughter Logan has picked up on her mom’s dedication, and likewise, is working on her own game, as well — both as an athlete and coach, in her mom’s footsteps.

“She loves hanging on the rings or marking on the whiteboards.”

Brenton says, above all, she has grown all around, as a competitor, a coach and a mom.

“I'm learning as I go. That's what it's all about really.”