FIFO life MEETS CrossFit life

In the words of Katrina Naylor

Before CrossFit, I was looking to improve my overall fitness and I was bored of going to the gym and doing my own thing on the machines. I watched the CrossFit Games on Netflix and was in awe of the strength and endurance of the athletes. RFX CrossFit had just opened their new box in Canning Vale, and so I started peeking through the window when I’d walk past, and thought it looked like good fun. I joined in October 2016 and have never looked back. I remember during one of my classes, Coach Corey had me push an empty sled and I thought I was going to die. Safe to say that it was the start of this crazy ride into the world of CrossFit.

Today, CrossFit has given me something to aim for in terms of my performance and overall fitness. It started out with wanting to lose weight but it soon became much, much more. Every time I would perfect a new movement or PB a lift (achieve a personal best) it would drive me to do better. I injured myself pretty badly early on in my CrossFit journey, mostly due to not listening to the coaches when they told me to slow down or reduce my weights. Basically, pushing my body beyond what it was capable of at the time, my muscles couldn’t support what I was trying to throw around.

I took 10 months off to recover from my injury, and when I decided to come back, I made sure this time I’d do things properly. I was working FIFO at the time and so I approached our Head Coach Clint to see what I could do to integrate my FIFO roster in with the regular classes. This was the start of me getting serious with my training. I set a goal and that was to do my first competition by the end of that year (2018). I attended 1-2 classes a week when I was home and started following extra programming provided by Clint while away on site in the gym. I checked in with Clint daily and would video my progress to obtain advice and tips on my technique.

I said to Clint one day that I had figured out the definition of insanity – “Doing burpees late at night in an empty gym in the Pilbara with no one encouraging you or yelling at you, other than the voice in your own head telling you to push harder, knowing your coach would know if you cheated!”

Working away in isolation from friends and family can be tough, however having this training regime and setting a goal ensured my mindset remained positive and focused. Last time I worked FIFO was 2006/2007 and it was an unhealthy experience for me. I was carrying an extra 30kg and had not stepped into a gym before. But I turned things around and now had a FIFO/CrossFit friendly routine, and was even meal prepping food to take to site with me to ensure I hit my macros and got those gains.

My mental well-being became the focus of my training. When I started working FIFO and wasn’t training, my mind would wander and I’d start over thinking everything and wishing I was at home and not stuck on site. I would feel myself slipping into depressive states and that’s when food would become my best friend. CrossFit kept life interesting and my mind occupied. I would look forward to finishing my 12-hour shift and getting ready to hit the gym and grind as hard as I could. This training, while away from home, set me up to have a kick ass time in the Saturday partner WODs when home, as I was still progressing and hitting PBs like everyone else despite not being able to go to class every day like everyone else.

Today, CrossFit has allowed me to push my body to places I never thought possible. It challenges my mental capabilities every single day. I used to talk myself out of training when I’d look at a class and think there was no way I would be able to do that. Now, I can’t wait to see what else I am capable of. If I’m not at work I am usually in the box, and my life is so much sweeter for it. I get to train with one of my oldest friends of 23 years (and counting), have met some of the most amazing people who I call my best mates, and even found a little love along the way. I absolutely love walking into the box and witnessing everyone’s PBs and embracing the overwhelming support from everyone, including the coaches, to grind harder every day. It’s become my happy place, that’s for sure.

My attitude toward my training, my mindset, and my focus on my routine and hitting goals only grew more positive on the daily. In October 2018, I stood on the podium with my best mate of 23 years as we took out 2nd place at my first competition, Festivus Games. Today, my next goal is to get a Bar Muscle-up and be able to Handstand Walk. I’d also like to stand on the podium once again at my next comp!

To anyone out there thinking of trying CrossFit, remember this – It’s you, against yourself, no one else. Your biggest fan club is the people throwing down with you every day in class. These are the people that will cheer you on to achieve things you never thought you’d be able to do. I promise, you will get stronger and fitter both in your body and mind.


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