MANILA, Philippines – Kristen Lim is excited to compete against some of the finest athletes in the world when she represents the Philippines in the 2019 CrossFit Games, which will be held from July 29 to August 4 in Madison, Wisconsin.
The 26-year-old got started in CrossFit in 2014, in an effort to find a fitness regimen to maintain her weight.
"A local affiliate opened in my neighborhood and so I decided to sign up even without knowing anything about what CrossFit is. All I know was that it has gymnastics and I enjoy doing gymnastics," she explained to ABS-CBN News via e-mail.
"After a few months of attending classes, I was invited to join a local competition. We won and that’s when I got hooked into CrossFit as a sport rather than just a fitness regime," she added.
Half a decade later, Lim has established herself as the top female CrossFit athlete in the Philippines. She qualified to the CrossFit Games through an online competition called "The Open," where athletes posted workout videos over the course of five weeks that is then verified by CrossFit.
"I've been doing the Open since 2015 but it was only this year wherein they announce that the fittest per country will be invited to the CrossFit Games," said Lim, who trains out of Avant Garde CrossFit.
Lim is one of 134 women who qualified to the Games. It is a massive challenge for the Filipina, who has ramped up her training regimen ahead of the event.
"To prepare for the Games, I've been incorporating running, swimming and odd object training into my daily regimen," she said.
"Based on previous Games, the first few events are usually outdoor running and swimming and odd object movements so that's what I need to prep for if I want to increase my chance of lasting," she added.
Because of the great number of participants in this year's edition of the Games, they have implemented cuts after every day of competition. From 134 women, the field will be cut down to 75 after the first event, and further reduced in every round until only 10 competitors remain.
"To be able to last more than one day will already be a win for me," said Lim, who is looking forward to competing against elite athletes such as Tia Claire Toomey and Annie Thorisdottir.
"It is in this competition that I will get this once in a lifetime opportunity to compete and do the same competition events with them," she said.
Aside from this, Lim also hopes to "push my limits and see what my mind and body can achieve" in the Games, especially as they are not expected to know what kind of workouts they are supposed to do until shortly before the event itself.
"(I want to) gain as much experience as I can and see what I can bring back to the country," she also said. "My goal for this CrossFit Games is to be able to make the Pinoy CrossFit community proud."
Lim is not the only Filipino to compete in the CrossFit Games. Justin Hernandez, who also trains out of Avant Garde CrossFit, will represent the country in the men's side.
Their participation in the Games should bring a greater spotlight to CrossFit, which Lim said is "a good workout option for Filipinos," regardless of gender.
"It helps promote long-term fitness and health, with the goal of living our silver years independently and without any physical support or assistance whatsoever," she said.
"For Pinays, it is a great workout option because it allows us to become strong and independent," Lim added. "It makes us feel like Captain Marvel or Wonder Woman in our own right."
"It also provides a boost of confidence whenever we are able to achieve and unlock skills that we are unable to do before. It can also be a stress reliever that allows working people to forget their stress even if it’s just for an hour."
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