Student Competes for Gold in CrossFit Open

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Student Competes for Gold in CrossFit Open

Venetis follows in her mother’s footsteps. (Photo courtesy of Anna Venetis)

Venetis follows in her mother’s footsteps. (Photo courtesy of Anna Venetis)

Venetis follows in her mother’s footsteps. (Photo courtesy of Anna Venetis)

Venetis follows in her mother’s footsteps. (Photo courtesy of Anna Venetis)

Phoebe Sessler, Staff Reporter

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Junior Anna Venetis has trained since her freshman year in CrossFit.

CrossFit is a lifestyle characterized by safe, effective exercise and sound nutrition. CrossFit encompasses three modalities: weightlifting, cardio, and gymnastics with a serious recovery process from the intense workouts.

She is in the process of submitting workout scores over a five-week period to the CrossFit Open, the precursor round to the CrossFit Games in July and August.

In the last couple of years, Venetis scored in the top five in the state, and third last year. For her last year in the teenage division, however, she would love to win.

She has also placed in competitions at individual CrossFit gyms, including her own local chapter, WcG.

Not counting the Open, Venetis has competed five times, scoring third place twice, second place once, and fourth place the other two times.

“In CrossFit, there’s a lot of different scores depending on the workouts,” she said. “Usually it’s really close, especially in the teenage division.”

Venetis said her ideal training regime includes training six days a week, with two sessions three days a week— one right after school followed by another evening class.

“That’s what I’m trying to get back to now, but even if I can’t get to the gym every day, I try to at least do something every day.”

Despite the many different modalities, Venetis focuses on strength-building the most.

“Weightlifting is my favorite,” Venetis said. “I’m going to focus on that more for a little while just to get stronger there because it helps with everything else too.”

Venetis reportedly can bench 125 pounds (though this is her least favorite weightlift), front squat 195, and back squat 235.

The importance of the recovery process came with the whole CrossFit package for Venetis.

“I never used to stretch but recently I’ve gotten into doing yoga afterwards and on my off days,” she said.

  For nutrition, Venetis relies on “different drinks,” sans the preservatives and non-organic components.

“I’ve actually went vegan recently so those protein shakes are harder to find. It’s a lot of food prep,” she said. “You’ll see a lot of Games athletes eating the same thing every day because they know exactly what they’re putting into their bodies so that they get the most out of their training.”

Venetis talked about the community’s emphasis on meal prep.

“I have had a very negative relationship before with food in general, and I think this really put into perspective that food is literally fuel for your body,” she said.

The community environment itself became a very crucial aspect to Venetis’ experience.

“Especially with WcG CrossFit in town,” she said. “Everyone just understands where everyone comes from and wants everyone else to grow and do their best, and not see them fall.”

Venetis said this nurtured her journey with, “the fact that everyone is really supportive. Going to the gym is more individual and, while CrossFit is still individual, you have the support of everyone doing the same thing so they understand more, versus the gym is just solely you.”

Venetis understands possible apprehension with starting CrossFit, but still highly recommends the path she took.

“I know people are worried about working out in a group setting and being judged. I was worried about the same thing, but I realized you go at your own pace,” Venetis said. “No one expects you to be amazing your first day. You will grow so quickly, especially in the first few months you’ll realize a huge difference. So, honestly, it’s just a matter of starting.”