Interview With CrossFit Games Athlete Valerie Voboril

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Kill Cliff to interview one of their elite CrossFit athletes at the 2015 Kill Cliff East Coast Championships. Unfortunately, I was out of town and unable to attend the event, but I still had the chance to interview (via email) Valerie Voboril, a CrossFit Games athlete, mom, and kindergarten teacher. Incredible, right? She is such an amazing role model for women and inspires me so much.

At the age of 36, Val is one of the older competitors in the CrossFit field yet she consistently places at the top in every competition, including third place in the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games and fifth in 2012, not long after giving birth to a baby girl (via C-section) the year before. Also interesting: Val works out in her backyard and she started CrossFit all by herself, no coach. Read on for our interview!

Valerie-Voboril-2013-CrossFit-Games

 

You’re a mom, a teacher, and a Games athlete. How do you do it all?

I run a tight ship and have an organized scheduled. I am also lucky enough to have an amazingly supportive husband and family. A basic day involves getting up around 6:45, getting myself ready and my daughter ready. Reading a story, playing a game, or trying to find some way to have some quality time together, then I take her to her grandparents who drop her off at preschool at 8:30. I am in my classroom by 8am and work straight through lunch and recess. I  leave work by 4 at the latest, pick up my daughter and head home to train. Sometimes she is great about working out next to me or playing on her own, other times she gets to watch a tv show.

When you’re in training season, what does a typical day look like for you?

A typical workout consists of strength work (squatting heavy for me), followed by some Olympic lifting (snatches or clean and jerks). After that I have a conditioning portion that can be interval training or an AMRAP.

What does a typical day of eating look like for you?

Breakfast is decaf coffee and crustless egg quiche (yam, spinach, egg, and a tiny bit of bacon). Lunch is a bottle of water and a Strawberries and Cream KC Bar from Kill Cliff. After my intense workouts it’s important that I provide my body the right micronutrients, vitamins and minerals to recover and be able to crush it the next day all over again so I drink a Kill Cliff Recovery Drink while I make my new favorite meal for dinner; a Paleo version of Shepherds pie with ground bison and mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. Speaking of new favorites, I just got to try the new Kill Cliff Recovery drink flavor Berry Legit this past weekend ”” tastes like lemonade mixed with blackberries ”” so tasty!

What is your favorite go-to meal when you’re short on time?

The strawberries and cream KC Bar, because it tastes great, satiates me, and I can read all the ingredients!

What is your favorite type of CrossFit workout?

I prefer workouts that are for time, not those AMRAPs. The sooner I am finished, the sooner I am done.

What is your biggest goat?

Wall balls and OH walking lunges!

What is your favorite motivational quote?

Post Super Bowl commercials, my new favorite motivational quote is to train #likeagirl. Another is … Don’t stop when you are tired, stop when you are done.

What is something most people would be surprised to know about you?

Although I am competitive by nature, I don’t truly enjoy competing.

Question of the Day

What female athlete inspires you?

56 Comments

  1. I’m sorry.. But I find it hard to believe that a crossfit athlete isn’t starving after eating a only 220 bar for lunch. I get that killcliff is promoting their product through a interview- fine.. But really.. That’s all she eats? A crustless quische for breakfast and then a bar? Come on.

    1. I agree, she barely eats! and that ‘bar’ is only 220 calories.
      total advertisement, but that’s the American way. I like this blog but hate the ones that advertise other products, just WRITE about your life..for the haters, I do like the blog that’s why I read but I skip a lot of stuff. 🙂

    2. Have to agree with you there. Thought I misread…. lots of people who barely work out eat more than that daily. Seems hard to believe.

    3. @Meg: took the words right out of my mouth. That aspect is not motivational or healthy. If it’s true she really beeds to work on fueling her body better.

    4. @Meg:
      I completely agree. This is scary to me. Also, noting a bottle of water with lunch? I hope she drinks more water than once a day (I imagine she does). And no snacks? I would be eating my own arm, or yelling at everyone around me on a diet like this.

    5. I wondered the same exact thing! A protein bar and water for lunch?
      If that is a typical day of meals”¦she is Not a role model.

    6. Was thinking the same thing…seems like one big ad for Kill Cliff and a serious deficit in calories and nutrients required to sustain her level of training…

    7. @Meg: She must eat more than that! She’d be keeling over (and would definitely not have the strength/power to do any heavy lifting) on such little food! Not a good picture to paint for people who don’t know much about nutrition! The body needs fuel!

    8. From Kill Cliff’s website:

      Strawberries & Cream KC Bar Ingredients:

      Protein blend (milk protein concentrate, partially hydrolyzed milk protein isolate), isomaltooligosaccharides, roasted almonds, vegetable glycerin, water, dried strawberries, natural flavors, salt, sunflower lecithin, stevia.

  2. I am inspired by woman who are giving their all, may that be athletes or moms just trying to sneak in a run. Anyone who is going after their goals and staying healthy inspire me!

  3. She Trains hard and only eats a bar for lunch?!?! That does not seem healthy or realistic, sorry.
    I am inspired that she is a working mom and trains, however, not feeling that she takes in such limited calories.

  4. “Don’t stop when you are tired, stop when you are done.” is a great point, I’m glad she said that. I think a lot of women refrain from pushing themselves especially when it comes to weightlifting.

    I wonder where she gets all that bison. It’s pretty tasty and \ lean. I wish we had that more readily available around here!

  5. Annie Thorisdottir if my absolute favourite CF athlete but I also love Valerie as I find she’s so humble and honest in all interviews and just seems like an all-around awesome woman 🙂

  6. I agree with Meg. I’m not criticizing you or her (well not trying to be mean) but that does not really sound like enough food, especially for someone who trains hard.

  7. Are you KIDDING with this interview!! Val is such a super star I am so happy you got to speak with her! SO amazing!!

  8. i totally agree with Meg! those workouts sounds gruelling – much harder then what i do at the gym everyday and i eat a TONNE more (healthy stiil) food!

  9. Thanks for sharing this, Tina! I know that you obviously had no say in terms of what went into the answers, but as someone who is a teacher on my feet all day and works out frequently, I too find it hard to believe that Valerie can get by on a bar for lunch! I know everyone is different in terms of their eating styles and habits, but that seems crazy to me!

  10. She is cool! I like the concept of not working out ALL the time, but working out more efficiently. I was surprised too about the diet – I figured that more calories would be consumed. I don’t have a specific athlete, but women athletes in general inspire me.

  11. This interview was so shocking and disappointing to me that I felt I just had to comment. Valerie is a Crossfit athlete and according to this interview, she is starving her body and instead of fueling for her intense workouts with whole, nutritious foods, she is eating processed protein bars and shakes?!? Doesn’t that go against Crossfit nutrition philosophy?

    I pray that no one reading this article thinks that this “typical day of eating” is a good idea!! As a blogger myself, I get that Kill Cliff is promoting their products through impressionable bloggers, but this took it too far for me.

    1. Jen, I totally agree…I put my comment more up top…I don’t do crossfit but at some point I was doing a lot of weight training and such and you GET HUNGRY! and eat whole foods, not just bars. i’m curious if Tina wrote her back and said what? that’s all you eat for lunch??

      its irresponsible to put something like this on a ‘healthy eating blog’..i like this blog but not every post. this particular question/answer should of been eliminated. and for her inspiration? I get it but not from her eating habits!

  12. My mom is a kindergarten teacher so I know how crazy that can be. I think it’s amazing that she can work full-time be a mom, and still have enough time to train as much as she needs to. Major props to her! I do have to say that I don’t see how she just eats a Kill Cliff bar for lunch. Maybe they’re that filling?

  13. i’ve watched her and she is awesome!I absolutely shocked tho of how little she eats! Wow! I don’t say that in a judging way I just figured after watching her at the games she must eat like a horse to fuel that body!!

  14. It always inspires me to see mothers and full time workers at the same time that make time for their health and fitness. I can totally see where you might or could lose sight of taking care of yourself with a baby but it makes many of us young women who don’t have children see that their is a balance and a way to do everything 🙂 I know reading your blog and seeing how you have made a business for yourself, have a child and a dog but still are training for a marathon inspires me!

  15. I’m a Kara Goucher super-fan. I was really rooting for her at the NYC Marathon this year! It was a difficult race for her and I was really impressed with the way she responded to press, interviews, etc. I now admire Kara even more- for her honesty and passion (in addition to her incredible athletic abilities).

  16. Tina you’re the athlete I admire! So impressed with your dedication all through your pregnancy and after. I’m a bit older than many of your readers, my babies are having babies 🙂 I SOOOO enjoy your blog!

  17. I’m always inspired to hear about dedicated women not letting get in their way or path to what they want to do, whether it be being a mom or work. The quotes that she motivates herself with are ones I am going to tuck away for days I need a little push. I am sure she didn’t reveal every single detail from her diet and life so there is no reason to get upset. Maybe it could have been worded differently to avoid this criticism that neither one of you deserve? It was still a great post to get a glimpse into her life! Thank you!

    1. @Stacy @ Sweating Tulipz:

      “I am sure she didn’t reveal every single detail from her diet and life so there is no reason to get upset. Maybe it could have been worded differently to avoid this criticism that neither one of you deserve?”

      Stacy, I really don’t agree. As an influential fitness blogger, Tina has a responsibility to her readers (especially the younger, more impressionable ones) to not publish content that could be seriously detrimental to their health. And, Valerie, as a CrossFit athlete has a responsibility not to idealize an incredibly unhealthy way of fueling her body for intense workouts. In both of these respects, they completely failed in order to promote kill Cliff’s product.

      Nothing anyone said in the comments was personally attacking Tina or Valerie. I think everyone has done a good job of expressing their disappointment in this post without being mean or taking it too far.

  18. Well, the advertizing worked. I tried one of those bars and they must be some of the worst bars I’ve tasted in a while. I’ll be returning the uneaten bar and hoping no one else makes the same mistakes. This was an ad, pure and simple. I’ll take future ad-blogs with a grain of salt.

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