Over the weekend, the CrossFit Regionals came to a close. We interviewed one of the participants, Emily Buckley, to get a better idea of what it takes to be a committed, competitive CrossFitter.
How did you get into CrossFit?
I found CrossFit in the summer of 2008 while I was going into my sophomore year in college. I played soccer and lacrosse at the University of New Haven and wanted to go into our fall fitness testing in optimal shape to start the year off on a good note. My cousin who was in the Marines at the time suggested I look into CrossFit so I found a local affiliate and started going and quickly became addicted to it.
Tell us a bit more about your competition history.
After I graduated college I realized that the “real world” had something that I missed. I missed the structure and the discipline of playing sports at a high level and I missed the thrill and excitement of games. I had gotten a taste of competitive CrossFit at the gym I went to in college but I was never able to fully devote myself to it because of my obligation to the university. I felt like this was my opportunity to get involved again with the sport of CrossFit.
In 2013 I began training with a group of competitors from my gym and in 2014 we qualified as a team for The CrossFit Games, which is comparable to the SuperBowl of CrossFit. As the sport grows each year and athletes improve, it continuously gets harder to qualify. This year, my team and I were able to qualify for the East Regionals, and end the weekend with a 9th place finish in one of the most competitive regions.
I also dabbled with competing in Olympic Weightlifting over the past few years, including back to back trips to the USAW American Open in 2014 and 2015.
How do you train?
I usually train two sessions a day. Fortunately my job allows me the flexibility in my schedule to do this without compromising sleep or my home life. I usually do my first training sessions at 10am which typically consists of a strength segment and a metabolic conditioning piece totalling about 90 minutes of work. After the first training session, I usually get some work done, eat, recover and then hit my second training session. The second training session is shorter, usually about 45 minutes, and is focused more around improving skills under fatigue. I train 5 days a week, with 1 active recovery day (typically swimming), and 1 complete rest day.
What do you eat?
I’m a very routine and bland eater. Breakfast is always a bowl of honey bunches of oats with a shake that’s chocolate protein and greens. I usually meal prep at the beginning of the week with ground beef or turkey, a quinoa/rice blend, and broccoli or zucchini for lunch and dinner. Once or twice a week I go out to the local pizzeria which is one of my favorite activities of the week! And I have a serious sweet tooth so desert is amazing but I try to find “macro-friendly” recipes on Instagram so they’re not that awful for me.
What’s your favorite thing about CrossFit?
I actually have two favorite things. First is the community, I love traveling and dropping into different CrossFit affiliates and meeting new people, creating new friendships, and having people I look forward to visiting next time I’m in that area. I’ve made friends all over the world because of CrossFit and I cherish that immensely.
Second is the amazing things you realize your body can do. Whether it’s adding 50 lbs onto a lift when you never thought that was possible, or realizing that after putting in the practice you can handstand walk for 100 ft. It’s an amazing feeling to realize you’re working hard to maximize your abilities and see that pay off.
More about Emily:
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY where I spent the majority of my youth playing any and every sport possible. I found a passion for fitness in middle school, I always wanted to beat the boys in basketball during gym class so I started going to a local gym to get stronger. My gym obsession continued through high school and my dedication to it landed me at the University of New Haven playing both soccer and lacrosse.
After graduating and finishing out my collegiate career, I couldn’t give up my competitive nature so I started competing in CrossFit and Olympic Lifting. I also started working full time as a personal trainer, group fitness coach, and fitness consultant.
Today, I live in Pelham, NY with my fiancé and work for CrossFit Westchester as the Director of Operations.