Sacrificing Self for Team

By Kate Rawlings on 01.21.12

Christine Watts stumbled across CrossFit weeks before the Central East Sectional held at the 2010 Arnold Classic. In fact, it wasn’t even her idea. Affiliate owner, Doug Chapman of CrossFit Ann Arbor, spotted Watts at an Olympic lifting clinic he put on. Immediately Chapman saw the natural talent in Watts and put a bug in her ear about taking it the next level.

Watts may have been new to CrossFit, but not competition. With years competing in mountain bike races, marathons and triathlons, Watts was no stranger to danger.

Soon, Watts found herself at her first CrossFit competition, never having been in a box before, and without knowing many of the movements. Her competitive attitude and strong will would place her on the podium in 2nd place, behind CrossFit Games competitor Julie Foucher. 

Watts went on to qualify for the Central East Regional in 2010 with less than three months of experience. Watts did not make the trip to California, for the culmination of that effort. Watts, however, would not leave empty-handed.

“After seeing what all the other strong women were able to do, and how far they were able to push themselves, I knew I wanted to reach that level,” she says.

Since that beautiful lesson on the CrossFit playground, Watts has spent the last two years testing her body trying to attend every competition she could. This is even more impressive when we learn Watts does all this, while running two businesses and often trains alone.

Less than a year ago she was put into a position where she had to make a difficult choice. She was either going to lose her local CrossFit gym, or take over ownership. Knowing what a positive impact CrossFit has had on her life, she couldn’t imagine not having a place where she could share that with others. Without putting much thought into how it would affect her training, she took on the role of owner and head coach at TC Total CrossFit in Traverse City, Mich.

Running two businesses, Watts found out that she had to change the way she had been approaching here training. It quickly became apparent that she needed to focus on quality over quantity. She used to spend three to fourhours a day working out.  She now fits her sessions in between classes when she can. She often works out alone and without accountability, so she began leaning on CrossFit Transformation, where she is still a paying member.

Watts says she loves her role of owner and coach, but knew that taking on that role would affect her own training. It was suffering. She needed more accountability. That’s where CrossFit Transformation came into the picture. Watts now regularly makes the four hour drive weekly to workout with her teammates and under the watchful eye of their coaches.

Watts’ relationship with CrossFit Transformation started as an individual athlete two years ago and quickly turned into much more. Her drive to compete and her bond with the other athletes led to a natural progression of creating a team.   

For the last six months, Watts has not only been training and competing with CrossFit Transformation, but doing pretty well. They have taken 1st and 2nd places in two recent competitions.

They have not been focusing on anything new and innovative, but instead rely on good old -fashioned virtuosity; training hard, putting in perfect practice and holding a high standard of movements.

Predictions are high for Watts this 2012 CrossFit Games season. After all, when competition becomes bedfellow, competing itself is to CrossFit as breathing is to life.