It’s inspirational to see what can be achieved with hard work and dedication and Frances is, undoubtably, an inspiration. Frances challenged herself to reach the quarter finals of the CrossFit Games this year, which she did in style. She has had to work extremely hard to regain her fitness after a horrific injury and, wow, has it paid off! Out of 16,000+ original Open contestants in her age category, Frances placed 442 overall, with a best placing of 205th in WOD 3 (rope climb and shuttle run ladder). We asked Frances to tell us a little bit about her CrossFit journey….
I was introduced to Saxon Crossfit by a friend towards the end of 2017. I came along and saw the ladies dragging tyres alongside the men. I knew I wanted to give it a try. I got booked in to classes and haven’t looked back! Saxon Crossfit has changed my life in so many ways and I consider the Saxon community as my family.
Prior to joining Saxon Crossfit, I had a background in Karate which I did into my mid 20’s. By my late 30’s I cycled a lot, went to standard leisure centre fitness classes, ran a bit, messed about with throwing javelin (badly), did a bit of yoga and occasionally went into a standard gym to do the same old programme or get bored on a treadmill. I have no ‘sports’ background and at school I would do anything to get out of PE and be the very last person to get picked for any team!
I remember being nervous about starting CrossFit, I didn’t entirely understand what was happening in my first few classes, but everyone was really friendly and helpful. I fell in love with the process of learning, developing, setting and achieving little personal goals, doing fun things like learning to rope climb, lifting heavy shit, competing (and suffering at times) side by side with everyone in the box. It was clear the CrossFit methodology creates physically and mentally fit people and I admired others I trained with. I was especially impressed with how inclusive it was, CrossFit truly is for everyone.
After being at Saxon for a few months I had a go at the try outs for the Saxon Tribal Team, and got to represent Saxon at the beach fitness event Tribal Clash…. Now my training had a purpose – to be as good as I could be for the team. I have been lucky to have been in three tribal clash teams, I have been in various teams & pairs at Suffolk Games and love the Saxon in-house competitions. Nothing motivates me more than not wanting to let my team mates down. I have many fond, and at times epic memories from all of these events. I have made lifelong friends with loads of brilliant humans.
By 2019 I had become the fittest version of myself, I had got myself into healthy eating and sleeping patterns, I was getting stronger and fitter month by month. And then in a moment mid-way through a tribal Clash event things changed. We dropped a big old 90kg tyre from overhead and it landed on my wrist. We strapped my hand up, and we did the second day of the event as a team. I managed to lift the 66kg atlas stone, climb ropes, flip tyres, carry the sandworm…. 5 weeks later after the advice of a physio, I took a trip to A&E and it turns out I had shattered my wrist, my hand had fallen out of the remains of the shattered joint and my thumb was detached. One urgent surgery later I found myself unable to drive, or work, or use my right hand. I made it back into the box within the week. The support that Saxon gave me is invaluable through my 9 month long recovery. It was time to concentrate on what I could do, not what I couldn’t do. Once I was cleared to start using the bionic hand my fitness ambitions became moving my fingers, learning to write, to grip things but built to doing a push-up, then a pull-up, then picking up a barbell, passing my fitness test for work……
So making it through the Crossfit Open this year to the Quarter Finals is a result of lots of little steps & goals being achieved along the way. Only possible with many people’s help over the whole of my time at Saxon Crossfit. From the coaches, to the members who I train alongside, to the kind folks who drove me to the box when I couldn’t drive, to the kind words and advice from my Crossfit family. Even my post-op nurse was a Saxon member!
Looking forwards; my Crossfit ambitions to enjoy the Age Group Quarter Final this year, then work on my skills for the Open next year and see where that takes me. More importantly I intend to be a fit old lady and avoid a decent into decrepitude!