The Cross Fit games is all about the fittest and strongest and we are serious fans! Since its Stateside start-up in 2000, functional fitness programme CrossFit has amassed an international following that has seen the world’s fittest compete in the toughest of exercises at the annual Games. With the 2016 games coming this summer (July 19- 24th) we are seriously inspired by the female athletes competing, showing just how strong, fit and driven they are. We spoke to Katrin Davidsdottir, 2015’s title-holder, to find out what it takes to be a champion.
Have you always been into functional fitness?
I did gymnastics from the age of six up until I was 16 and then had enough of it. I wanted to try something new, so I did track and field. I loved intense training and the build-up season, but still never found anything specific that I wanted to compete in.
Until you came across CrossFit?
Yeah, I kept trying to find something and that was the same year that Annie [Thorisdottir] won the CrossFit Games. It was all over the media, and I remember my mum saying ‘Katrin, that’s something that you could be good at’. When I started CrossFit, I loved it instantly and being good at it pushed me to go further. That was September 2011 and I was three or four months in when I set my goal to make the Games. It’s a sport where you have room for improvement in every aspect. You can go from lifting to workouts, to skill work, to running, to swimming, so you’re having to build strength in every area. And I never get bored because I’m constantly trying to better myself.
One of the unique things about the CrossFit Games is that you don’t know what the workout is until hours before the competition commences. How do you train for something like that?
You’re constantly working out what it is that you’re hoping won’t show up or might catch you off guard so that you can train in those areas. If I’m nervous about something, I make sure I’m working on it. My coach Ben Bergeron takes care that I’m doing everything – long workouts, short workouts, running, rowing – everything that I might be bad at, I’m working hard on.
As 2015’s female world champion, do you go into a competition feeling fearless?
No, not at all. Not fearless. I think you need to be confident in your abilities. Everyone is different and everyone has holes. The world’s fittest, we have holes – it’s how you deal with them that matters. You have to be confident in yourself and know that your full effort is full of victory. I go on the field and I never leave anything. I don’t care what other people are doing – the only thing I care about is that I give 110 per cent effort and I’m happy. You can strive to be better every day and you probably will be, but there will still always be something you can improve on – that’s our sport. But being happy about your full effort – that will get you your own gold.
CrossFit has garnered a huge amount of interest in a short space of time. What is it like to be part of a sport that is continually developing?
It’s amazing to be a part of its growth and see myself improve every year with it. It’s very rewarding and the people who help you through the process become your family, and that means the world to me.
It’s one of the few fitness areas where men and women are covered equally. How does it feel to be a woman and be part of that?
That’s something that I’m very proud of – to be a part of a sport that has gender equality. I feel that I’m on the same plane as men. There is nothing that is different. I’m not treated any differently. We get the same workouts, the same prizes, the same opportunities. Iceland is also one of the most gender-equal countries in the world and it just makes me very proud. It’s something that’s incredibly important to me.