This year we kept an eye on the Crossfit Games to see the exploits of our Resawod athletes: Virginia Finol and Christelle El Debs. We saw Christelle’s thrusters and how Virginia gave it her all in every event!
Before the Games began, we interviewed Virginia Finol. And we found out what goes through the mind of an athlete competing to be the strongest woman on earth in the masters 40-44 category. However, our curiosity goes further.
Now we want to know what it feels like to be among the top 10 strongest women in the world in the Women 35-40 category. To do so, we interviewed Christelle El Debs. Athlete and Crossfit trainer and owner of Box Simply Crossfit in Guadaloupe, France.
Do you want to know what the moments before a WOD at the Crossfit Games are like? Or maybe you want to know what role the mind plays in such a competition? Stay and read on!
Did you expect to get the 7th place at the Crossfit Games?
Not at all. I saw that the first events were going well. And when the organisers announced that there was a cut-off of 10 athletes in the 8th WOD, I made it my goal to be in the top 10 and finish the Crossfit Games. When I made it, I didn’t want to be last, so I’m happy to have achieved 7th place.
- Now that you’ve been to the Games, was it how you imagined it would be? Was there anything that surprised you?
The competition seemed less tough than Wodapalozza. At least I felt better than I thought physically and mentally. It’s a competition like any other and it doesn’t change much. What I did find very different was the opening ceremony: seeing the military plane flying in the sky was incredible. Also, they gave us a lot of Crossfit products when we arrived, it was great.
- What are the last minutes before an event like at the Crossfit Games?
A good friend of mine who I train with and who I particularly appreciate gave me a top that has been very useful. It’s to repeat in your head, just before you go out to the event, the following phrase: “They’re not ready. They don’t know you. They will be surprised”. So, I repeated it to myself over and over again and it worked.
- As you tell us, the mental part is very important, what else did yu do to prepare yourself psychologically? Did you feel like throwing in the towel at some point?
It’s the experience that prepares you. I have already participated in Wodapalozza several times. The first time I qualified, I didn’t feel to much pressure. The second time, on the other hand, I put too much pressure on myself and I was not mentally prepared. I had a very bad experience in that competition and that helped me for the nest one.
I quickly took stock of myself. And I told myself that whether I continued in the competition or dropped out, I should do it without puutting myself under such stress. It’s not worth participating in a competition without having fun.
At the Crossfit Games, my husband helped me a lot because he stressed to me the importance of having fun. He helped me to go to the Games without goals. The first few event went really well. That made me realise that I was better prepared than I thought I was and, above all, that it was my level and that I was in the right place.
- Were there any WODs at the Games that you didn’t like?
The last one was a bit scary. The load surprised me because they were hard thrusters. I fell two or three times with the bar, I felt like my mind didn’t want to and my body did. But I tried again and finally, I made it.
- Tell us an anecdote about the Crossfit Games…
At the first event, just before entering the event, I was told that I had to wear the top with my name on it that I had been given on the first dat. Altough I could take it off before I started, I had to wear it in order to be able to perform the WOD.
I had 5 minutes of stress, I didn’t have that shirt handy, and I could’nt call my husband to bring it to me. For a moment, I wasn’t going to be able to continue in the Crossfit Games.
Finally, after a lot of running around, I managed to go and get it and made it in time to start the event.
- Of everyone who came to the Crossfit Games, who were you most excited to meet?
Without a doubt, one of the best moments was when I met the French team: Alexandre Jolivet and Maxime Guyon. The connection was instant. Once you meet other athletes, all the stress you can have disappears talking and laughing with them.
I also met the other Resawod athlete: Virginia Finol. It was really nice to meet her because she was in the same situation as me and we knew what we were both feeling. It was our first time at the Games and we were both impressed.
- What has been your biggest achievement at the Games?
Not giving up in a WOD. Usually, when I see that I’m falling behind, I give up. At the Crossfit Games I never wanted to give up and I realised that even if I was behind, I had my place.
- As an athlete, what is your next challenge?
The Wodaplozza qualifiers in just under a month and then that competition between 13 and 16 January next year. Then the Open in February/March. As you can see, Crossfit doesn’t stop.
Were you shocked to learn that to do the first event you have to wear the official t-shirt with your name on it? Did you miss the opening ceremony with the plane? If you have also got a kick out of reading Christelle and you want to apply for the next Games… We leave you the WODs of the Crossfit Games 2020 so you can start training.
And if you’re looking for ideas on how to prepare for a successful return to the box this September, here are the 10 key steps to follow.