Every year, thousands of CrossFitters all over the world compete in the sport's “Open Workout” with hopes of qualifying for the annual Reebok CrossFit Games held in California.
Winners of The Games are referred to as “World's Fittest Man” and “World's Fittest Woman.”
The Open consists of five weeks and five workouts. Athletes can compete at any local CrossFit affiliate or submit a video to the CrossFit website to be judged.
Those who showcase the best overall fitness move on to regionals, then to the The Games in California if they make the cut.
However, the top 20 from each of the Masters Divisions (age 40-44, 45-49,50-54, 55-59, and 60+) automatically advance to The CrossFit Games Masters after The Open.
This year, most coaches and members at FitFarm in Omaha took advantage of the opportunity to compete. Co-owner of the gym, 56-year-old Patty Faila, competed extremely well in the Masters Division, earning her a spot to compete at The Games this summer. She is currently ranked 9th in the world and is the only Nebraska woman from her division to qualify.
I talked with Patty about what drives her to compete.
How long have you been doing CrossFit?
I actually just started in January of this year. This is still a bit new to me.
What is your attitude toward training for the sport?
Originally, I didn't like being timed for every workout. And since I'm not competitive by nature it was intimidating. But once I started to focus on competing with myself and not other people, training became fun.
What motivated you to do so well in The Open this year?
This was my first Open so I didn't really know what to expect, but the other coaches told me to sign up. Everyone was confident in me and I felt like there was nothing to lose.
This is a very demanding sport, physically and mentally. What do you eat to keep up your energy for training?
Tons of lean protein, fruit and veggies. The paleo diet has been awesome for me. Terry Shanahan (founder of the Shanahan Plan) has helped me out a lot with pre and post workout nutrition.
What advice would you give someone your age who wants to try CrossFit?
Trust in a professional and have a positive attitude. It will do wonders for you quality of life.
How does it feel to be one of the fittest females in your age group?
It's a gift! I feel shocked about going down to compete against other great athletes. It has given me confidence and the motivation to represent women my age.