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Brooke Woodley tells us about her journey with CrossFit

Brooke Woodley stands in the field at Esquimalt High School on a sunny bright West Coast day.

Brooke Woodley is a CrossFit athlete who moved to Victoria last year. She trains at Taranis, and is taking Kinesiology at the University of Victoria.

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

It’s been a year and a half now.

What about CrossFit made you decide it was a sport for you?

I guess I saw the CrossFit Games on tv, and I’d stopped competitive fighting so I was in-between sports.

I like that it doesn’t neglect any aspect of fitness – you have to be good at everything. Fighting was technical but also mostly endurance, and body building was all strength, but CrossFit is well-rounded, and really technical. It’s also good for everyone – you can be in it to maintain your health and just dropping in for an hour still gives you a chance to cover everything. And I love that there’s the option of taking it to the next level so I can be competitive.

Do you miss fighting?

Yes and no. When I was fighting I struggled with compressed discs in my spine, which were pinching my nerves. I’ve also had some concussions. These impact-related injuries were part of the reason I decided to make the switch. With CrossFit I haven’t had any major injuries. I’ve had a nagging shoulder injury, but rest and physio keep that in check!

Do you have any practices around injury prevention?

[Laughs] I’m really bad at injury prevention – I’m trying to get in the habit of doing a better warm up with movement prep, which means waking up the muscles you’ll be using in the workout. I also want to start building up to my workload instead of jumping right in, as well as leaving time for static-stretching as a cool down.

I’ve also started using FitBalm for my hands, which is made locally by Morgan Rozon.

How has CrossFit helped you build community in Victoria?

You meet a lot of people at the gym – you get close to the people you work out with so that’s been great!

Where do you see your commitment to CrossFit going?

I’d like to start getting into competing – I’ve just joined a team that will be travelling the island to participate in local competitions. I want to see where it takes me, and to get as good as I can!

Do you have CrossFit role models?

Everyone at my gym – they are really fun people, and you look up to the people you train with. I follow all of the games athletes and admire their skill level and dedication, and I try to get tips where I can.

How many hours a week do you spend training? What are your favourite/least favourite exercises?

About 25 hours a week. Some of my favourites are pullups, snatches, muscle-ups, all handstand movements, and overhead squats. The ones I like least are rowing and the assault bike.

You’ve just finished the qualifying rounds for the CanWest Games, right? How did you do?

Yes, I’m enjoying it. I came first in Western Canada in the Intermediate Women’s division.

Congratulations! Do you have any upcoming competitions?

Now that I’ve qualified I have CanWest on July 26-27.

Good luck Brooke! Have a great competition.

Closeup of a laughing Brooke Woodley at Esquimalt High.