How athletes recharge outdoors in the off-season


Photo credit: Tia-Clair Toomey

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In the sport of fitness, the offseason has long been a time when athletes started to dig into their weaknesses and work on the things they needed to improve for the season ahead. However, for many athletes, this is also the time to explore new elements of their fitness and passions as they shift their focus from training.

A great thing: One of the key pillars of CrossFit is not only being prepared for the unknown and the unknowable, but also being able to use your fitness outside the four walls of the gym.

  • For athletes at the highest level, the offseason is the perfect time to put this into practice as well as to mentally recover from the rigors of Games training.

Alec Smith completes a triathlon: CrossFit Games athlete Alec Smith has long been known for his gymnastic skills, but this year he decided to test his endurance out of season.

  • In early September, Smith completed his first triathlon in his native state of Virginia.
  • “I knew it was going to be hard, but I didn’t know how much fun I would have, ”Smith said in an Instagram post after the event.
  • While Smith admitted he struggled with the road bike aspect, congratulating the 50-year-old who blew him away at the halfway point, he also ran a 5k of almost 20 minutes.
  • “I can’t wait to see the next one! “ He continued. “Maybe I’ll blend in a bit more instead of sticking out like a sore thumb with all of my CrossFit gear. Or not!”

Tia-Clair Toomey launches her bobsleigh season: In 2016, Toomey qualified for the Olympics in weightlifting, but her Olympic run is not over yet.

  • This year, Toomey joins the ranks of CrossFit Games veterans who have come to their country bobsleigh teams, including Blaine McConnell, James Newbury, Colleen Fotsch and Kelsey Kiel.
  • A little over a month after his historic victory at the CrossFit Games 2021, Toomey announced via Instagram that his bobsleigh season is about to begin.
  • She joins the rest of her team in Lake Placid, New York as they prepare for the World Cup in November.
  • If Toomey qualifies for the next Olympic Winter Games in bobsleigh, this will be the second Olympic Games she will compete in off the CrossFit season, the first being her Olympic weightlifting debut in 2016.

Regan Huckaby goes hunting: Up there in the deep woods of the Pacific Northwest, individual and team Games veteran Regan Huckaby used her off-season time to engage in archery.

  • “It was a GRIND. A pure and simple obsession ”, she said in an Instagram post.
  • “From sun to sunset, you spend every waking moment thinking about animals” the behaviors, the patterns, when you see them, where they’ve been, etc… it’s so intriguing, ”she added.
  • “More than anything, I realize that this time has become my personal journey of discovery – a respite for reflection and renewal, ”concluded Huckaby.

Patrick Vellner goes to the mountains: A little further north, Patrick Vellner also headed towards mountains during five days of hiking and biking, or as he called it in an Instagram post, “5 Days of Blood, Sweat and Gears”.

  • “We hiked and biked 6-7 hours a day to see who would crack first, but we all got away with it, ”Vellner said in his Instagram post.
  • “I admit that I had nothing to do on some of these terrains and I took a few heads, but it was a hell of a trick and I wouldn’t have done it any other way, ”he concluded.

The big picture: As the season draws to a close, it’s easy to get carried away by the sheer athletic phenomena that these athletes are. During the season, they dedicate their entire lives to training and recovery and it’s easy to forget that the fitness and abilities of these athletes extend far beyond the Colosseum floor. From bobsleigh to mountain biking, these athletes prove the importance of getting out and using your fitness in every way possible.

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