Daniella’s Inspiring Story!

What a week! What awesome workouts! What an amazing community! Can you believe the CrossFit Open Starts this week! (insert Elf screaming “Saaaantaaaaa”) If you haven’t signed up under CrossFit Radix its not too late! Click the link setup your account and follow the prompts, we will take care of the rest!

This week Im going to highlight one of our Awesome Teen Members who does Personal Programming with me and our Nutrition Club and we’re highlighting her story for a whole different reason than usual, this is actually a really cool and amazing story so take a second buckle up and grab a seat, maybe some popcorn (not if you’re on the 8 week challenge) cause you’re in for a good one.

I’ve been working with Daniella as her CrossFit Coach for 2.5 years (since she was 14) and as her Nutrition Coach for the past year and a bit. I’ve designed every single workout she’s done and answered 1 million questions about every aspect of the way LOL (she’s relentless) I’ve coached her through The Open twice, through Olympic Weightlifting comp, Through CanWest Games and the Pit Teens Throw down.

I know her strengths, weaknesses, favourite CrossFitter and least favourite workouts. Over the time we worked together I’ve figured out when she needs to be pushed (rarely) and when she needs to be pulled back (often) I know when she’s over analyzing a workout or herself (often) and when she let her mind determine what she’s capable of over her heart. Sometimes I even tell her she needs to spend less time CrossFitting and more time hanging with friends and eating popcorn.

Last year I took over her Nutrition coaching as well and we talked about the goals for the coming year, we knew as she’s a smaller athlete for CrossFit she needed more strength to compete at the level she wants to, so her goal this season was to be the strongest she’s ever been. I told her there were two sacrifices to be made for her request and these 2 sacrifices are hard to make especially for female athletes. The cool thing is Ive been through this process with my beautiful wife Rach many years ago.

I told her in order to get that strength she had to gain weight and not only muscle but fat too AND we had to cut down her cardio and conditioning. She had to get fatter to get stronger, she had to get worse at burpees to get better at Clean and Jerks… this ain’t easy when you’re used to being lean and fast. Rach did this exact thing in 2013 before making it to Regionals (Semi-Finals) in 2014. I told Daniella its not permanent but its necessary and the amount of food she has to eat will not feel natural.

She was in, didn’t question me, put on her big boy stretchy pants and got to work.

Over the next couple months she gained 6 pounds, 1 pound of muscle and went from 15 to 19% bodyfat. Thats not easy, seeing the scale go up and your bodyfat increase that much but she was committed, once in a while she would give me a “I don’t like feeling uncomfortable” I told her amazing things come from being uncomfortable.

She went on to PR virtually every one of her lifts. Back Squat, Deadlift, Front Squat, Press, Snatch, Power Snatch, Clean, Power Clean and Clean Jerk- PRd EVERY DAMN EXERCISE

We sat down after that and discussed this years Open and the plan for training and strength maintenance and nutrition. We knew for the Open she needed to be lighter, less fat and better conditioned but maintain muscle and strength. I sat down and got to work.. over the last 5 weeks she added another pound of MUSCLE and went from 19% bodyfat down to 16%!! Her metcons are the best Ive ever seen them AND she’s still hitting PR lifts!

For a 17 year old Daniella has had her share of obstacles to overcome, one being an eating disorder that left her hospitalized and starting any type of physical endeavour was going to be an uphill battle of learning to eat properly, train properly and work on herself on the inside. She does Bible studies daily with Rach and I on a app we use to help her with discovering what’s deeper than just training all the time.

It takes a lot of guts, grit, determination and self discipline to come out of that place and take yourself to one of the best teen CrossFitters in the world. To work on yourself and your weaknesses relentlessly until they are no longer weaknesses, to look at yourself in the mirror and know what you need to change, to admit when you need help, to gain Fat to get strong, to compete with the best in the world in a relentless pursuit of excellence all before the age of 18.

I say Im proud, Im proud to be her Coach, Im proud that she represents Radix and one day Ill be proud to watch her compete at The CrossFit Games on the biggest stage.

After I wrote this, I sent it to Daniella proofread and be ok with letting you know all these things and here’s what she wrote back.

“so well written! im in law class and it almost brought me to tears during the lecture lol! Thank you for everything. Seriously. It was actually exactly 3 years ago last week that I was in the hospital so february has become a pretty big month of personal reflection for me. Then september of that year i joined the gym and in december of that year i started working with you. The gym is so special to me and it has completely changed the course of my life so i am forever grateful”. Daniella

Now thats what Life is all about right there!

Coach Dan