March 8, 2012
A Work In Progress: Caitlin Mills
By Jessica Sieff

Mills' run may have ended on that third day of Regional competition, but her drive was strengthened. 

CrossFitters know, there’s an element of surprise in the Sport of Fitness. It happens when an unexpected level of capacity is unearthed, when new strength is discovered, when old limits give way to new PRs.

As she trains for every Open Workout, Central East athlete Caitlin Mills is an example of the element of surprise.

Mills’ first experience in CrossFit competition was when she registered for the 2011 CrossFit Games Open. “I just kind of signed up to see what would happen,” Mills says.

To say the least, Mills was shocked upon making a Regional debut that year.

Mills’ humble attitude continued throughout the Regional weekend. She studied the Workouts listed for the first two days of competition, never expecting to make it to Day 3. “I didn't even look at Day 3,” Mills admits.

As Day 2 drew to a close, Mills sat strongly in 12th place overall. Her prediction of two days and out went out the window. “It was so much fun,” Mills says. “I really enjoyed it. It was just a crazy experience.”

Mills’ run may have ended on that third day of Regional competition, but her drive was strengthened. With the official start of the 2012 Open, Mills is back and focused, hoping to take more from Regionals than a good weekend. Mills wants a spot in California.

Mills finished 3rd in the 2011 Faction Games in Tennessee and is now training at CrossFit South Bend, following the programming of James FitzGerald. The workouts outlined have provided the additional challenge she needed to get to the next level. “I need things like that and people around to push me,” she says.

As the competitive season heats up, Mills is trying to improve her performance on “the long burners. The 20-minute AMRAPs, stuff like that. Those are serious mental barriers for me.”

The field is full of new competitors and for Mills that just means a bigger challenge and a fun one. “It’s almost doubled in size this year,” she said. “Who knows where I stand?”

As the Open Workouts roll out, Mills isn’t letting up on pushing herself. She hit 104 burpees in 12.1 and 83 total reps in 12.2.