An Interview With One of the Youngest Female CrossFit Competitors

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

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I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing (via email) Valerie Calhoun, one of the youngest competitors in this year’s Crossfit Games. She’s 16 years old! Amazing, right?

Valerie Calhoun Headshot (604x750)

A week after the CrossFit Games, Valerie will also compete in the WOD Gear Team Competition. If you’re not familiar with this event, the competition consists of teams made up of two males and two females. Unlike the CrossFit Games, teams do not have to belong to the same affiliate and can be made up of members from any box around the world.

More than 70 teams will compete in this year’s WOD Gear Team Competition at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California on July 28th. The competition consists of four WODs and admission to the event is FREE! Cool, right? I’d totally go if I lived in the area (because I love watching people workout).

Valerie Chin up (750x500)

Without further ado, here’s my interview with Valerie!

How did you get into CrossFit?

After doing gymnastics for nine years and ending due to an elbow injury, I wanted to remain active and stay in shape. At the age of 13, I found Rocklin Crossfit, where Gary Baron, trainer and coach, introduced me to the world of Crossfit. Crossfit helped me to remain active and push myself to places I never thought I could go.

What made you fall in love with CrossFit?

After competing for the first time and feeling that adrenaline rush and excitement was truly the beginning of my passion for Crossfit. I loved that feeling and that’s when I really started taking Crossfit more seriously, while having fun at the same time.

What’s your favorite WOD?

Fran is my favorite and least favorite WOD at the same time. I love it because I perform it well, and I hate it because it takes so much out of me after doing it. Any workout that includes wall balls and rowing is definitely at the bottom of my list too.

How often do you train for CrossFit each week?

When I’m in school during the off season, I only go to Crossfit 4 times a week. However during the summertime, I train 6 days a week. In addition to WODs, I swim, bike ride, run, and trail runs.

How do you balance school with CrossFit?

Balancing school with Crossfit is not easy just as balancing other competitive sports. Keeping my grades up is very important to me, so after training at Rocklin, I shower and get right to homework. I’ve maintained just under a 4.0 GPA and use my time wisely to keep my grades up.

Valerie handstand (500x750)

When you’re training, what’s a typical day of eating like for you?

When I’m training, a typical day of eating would start with a few boiled eggs followed by some bacon and a glass of orange juice. My snacks usually include fruit and Met-Rx protein bars. For lunch and dinner, I typically eat meat usually chicken or steak.

Are you ever intimidated by older athletes?

At first, age was definitely an intimidating factor. During my very first competition, at the age of 14, I was competing against women who are in their 20’s to 40’s. I competed at the intermediate level and ended up taking first place, which definitely improved my confidence level. Now, however, age is not an intimidating factor.

What are your goals for the 2012 CrossFit Games?

My goal for this year is for my team, Rocklin Crossfit, and me to take top 3 in the world at the 2012 Crossfit Games. We also hope to do well at the WOD Gear Team Series as they are both filled with amazing competitors.

What CrossFit athletes do you admire and why?

I admire Jenny Labaw because she is very humble and an incredible athlete. She’s an inspiration to many and is one I look up to.

What’s your best advice for someone who wants to learn how to do kipping pull-ups?

My best advice for someone wanting to learn a kipping pull up is to practice a lot!!! Focus on opening and closing your hips while pushing your head thru at the bottom. After the hollow rock at the bottom, thrust your hips up and propel to the bar.

Many thanks to Valerie and the folks from the WOD Gear Team Competition for coordinating this interview. It was so inspiring reading Valerie’s responses to my questions. To learn even more about her, check out this video from CrossFit.

GOOD LUCK, Valerie!

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30 Comments

  1. Tina,

    AHH!! Today in my Google Reader, Val’s picture popped up!! I had to do a double-take — WOW! I worked out with Val when I went to Rocklin CrossFit, she’s amazing! How fun… just crazy how connected this crazy blog/CrossFit world is. So thanks for speaking my language, and for featuring a friend of mine. It was a great surprise to see her on here!!
    XO
    Hayley

  2. Whoa there! Makes me want to start doing CrossFit! 😀 I doubt that I could ever get into the competition shape that she’s in, but I’d definitely want to try it out now! 🙂 She tried it out at 13 and can balance it with school? Gives me hope! I wish more teens our age would do it, though, so that it wouldn’t feel so awkward being the youngest person at CrossFit.

  3. God this is so cool. She is so cool. All your posts about crossfit are really making me want to look into it. I don’t even know if there’s one near me, but I’m sure I can find one in the entire city of Chicago 😛

  4. Thanks for sharing this Tina! Today, is Title IX’s b’day too so all the better! I was competing on the softball field, b-ball court and track—to think this is the new stage for females athletes is inspiring!!!

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