April Fashlete of the Month
Name: Sadie Wells
Occupation: Coach at Reebok CrossFit Miami Beach
Sadie Wells finished the 2014 CrossFit Open in 11th place in the competitive South East Region. She's earned herself an individual spot at the 2015 Atlantic Regional, which will take place May 15-17. Sadie has been climbing the ranks of the leaderboard year after year at an impressive pace, even after a serious injury in 2013. As opposed to feeling defeated, Sadie chose to learn from this setback and use it to shape her into the athlete she is today.
This is how Sadie operates in all aspects of life - with speed, precision, and relentless dedication. She is a unique athletic talent, but she's also been working on mastering the mindset of an athlete ever since she made the decision to take CrossFit seriously.
Initially Sadie turned to CrossFit as a way to improve her running - something she had been doing most of her life. She ran Cross-Country and Track (indoor and outdoor) at Florida International University where she competed in the 1500m, 800, pole vault, and the Heptathlon. After college she got into 5k's and half marathons averaging in the 18:40 range for 5k's and 1:30:00 range for half marathons.
In our interview, Sadie filled us in on what drives her to train and compete year after year and how she maintains a healthy body and mindset even under extreme pressure and obstacles.
I think I just always want to be better then I was yesterday. I love the fight of pushing as hard as you can both against yourself as well as who ever is next to you - a girl or a boy. I love beating the boys!
"I love to prove people wrong," Sadie continues. She also loves to see the look on people's faces when she out lifts or out runs the guys... which is often. "Girl power," she adds with a laugh. Sadie is no doubt proud of being a strong woman and we can't wait to see her compete against the best in her region in just a few short weeks.
Fashletics: Outside of the physical demands of training, what are some of the most challenging aspects of preparing for an event like Regionals?
Sadie: The mental aspect of trying not to let your nerves get to you is difficult. I have to tell myself "You've got this," and that I deserve to be there with all the girls I have looked up to and have been inspired by. To breathe and to be in the moment. To enjoy all the ups as well as the down and believe in the process. As long as I know I did everything I could, then I can't be mad at that. I can be hard on myself sometimes, so I have been working on not thinking too far ahead and focusing on what is right in front of me.
F. Do you have any limits? Do you think there will be a point when you've become the best you can - or is there always room for improvement?
S: There are no limits. The potential of what I can become is endless as long as I want it. I have to keep visualizing that I can do whatever I decided I want to do. I can take it as far as I want as long as it's still fun.
When it's not fun... then we have a problem.
Improvement is a constant. I will always want to get better at all of it in every way I can. It's not just one thing. It's all connected in one-way or another.
F. To what do you attribute your growth as a CrossFit athlete?
S: When I started CrossFit I was using it as a supplement to make my running better, which it did. My fiancé, Jordan Kaplan is my rock and he is always in my corner telling me that he believes in me. Other friends like Jason Woolley (fellow Reebok CrossFit Miami Beach Coach) were telling me I should compete and that they see it in me to really kill it.
I did a few CrossFit competitions and really started to love it. At this time I was still running a lot and training for my triathlons. One morning I was training on my bike out on the Key and was having one of those self conversation that you have and was like: "I really hate the road bike. I mean, really hate riding this thing." I tried for months to like it, but every time dreaded it. That was the last time I was on that bike. I gave my bike back to my sponsors and told my tri coach that I'm sorry, but I'm really not happy. I walked into the gym and was so happy to really start taking CrossFit seriously. This was the being of 2013.
F: What I love about this is that yes, Sadie relied on the support of her friends - they pushed her to get serious about CrossFit and helped her develop confidence in the sport. But at the end of the day, Sadie was strong enough to trust her gut and choose this path because she knew it was right for her regardless of what anyone else said. At the risk of disappointing her tri coach and sponsors, and even at the risk of turning her back on what would have probably been a lucrative career as a triathlete, Sadie chose to do what made her happy and never looked back.
F. How do you come back mentally after a set back? Do you have any examples?
S: Well that's a self-conversion I have a lot of. Last year I really hit it hard, maybe to much. After the 2013 Regional I was determined to get better and work really hard. I was over trained and my diet and rest were not quite where they should have been. I felt really burnt out around the 2013 CrossFit Open. I did maybe too many competitions before and didn't focus on recovery.
I got injured in event 14.3 and that broke my heart. I got a partial avulsion fracture and a torn achilles and that was the end of my season. I was put into a cast. I sulked and ate a lot pizza and had to think about what I wanted to do. I got the cast off and did my rehab. I started out only WOD'ing when I wanted to. I would hop into a class and soon I was feeling it again. Training was making me happy.
I decided to start seriously looking into good programming. I started with The Training Plan and really listened to my body. If I felt like working I did, if not then took a day off. I really liked this program and I stared to want it again - to compete again. I didn't think I'd ever lose that drive. I just have to really listen to what I feel in my heart. If its there, I'm going to love it. If not, then there is no point.
F: What are some of the most important nutrition "rules" that you follow?
S: To eat healthy food and a lot of it, but not to be too crazy strict. I love food so the weekends are the fun meals. I try not to worry about it too much, but during the week I just keep it clean. I can't live the Paleo life while competing or training this hard. I need some carbs!
F: Are you doing anything special to prepare for Regionals?
S: Just trying to have fun the whole time. I train with different people and at different places to change it up.
F: What are your goals/expectations for Regionals?
S: To give it everything I've got. I just really want to push, have fun, and let the dice fall as they may. Of course top 5 should be the goal, but as long as I know I didn't hold back, I will be happy.
F: What are your long term/lifelong goals as an athlete?
S: To keep moving and to never be satisfied. Everyday I'm competing against who I was yesterday.
F: What are your favorite non-gym related activities?
S: I love anything outside - paddle boarding, yoga, running, being on the beach, hanging with my dog and Jordan.
F: We are so proud to welcome Sadie to the Fashletics family. As our Fashlete of the Month, Sadie is receiving a customized sterling silver "Pep Talk" charm with the words of her choice. Sadie chose "Gratitude, Relentless, Strength", and here's why...
Gratitude: Because I am thankful to wake up every day and be able and capable to do what I love in training / coaching/ and competing.
Relentless: To never give up no matter what. To push and give it my all. To be hungry for life.
Strength: There are many parts to this. The obvious being physically and mentally, but also as in being a strong human being. To have strength in my character, to know I can look in the mirror and be happy with who is staring back at me.