Charity Vale's Training

August 17, 2009 7:00 PM

Posted in Competitors »
11 Comments » on this entry

CharityValeJumpRope.jpgWe asked Charity Vale of CrossFit Snohomish a mother, all around badass, and 2nd place overall (has video) at the 2009 CrossFit Games to tell us about her training. This is what she wrote:

Carey Peterson caught up with Charity right after the final chipper where she dominated the competition ... [wmv] [mov]

I would say my training started back when I was 9 years old and a competitive gymnast. The conditioning in gymnastics was very similar to CrossFit WODs in that you had to be not only physically tough to make it through but also, and I think more importantly, mentally tough to make it through. When I quit gymnastics my freshman year of H.S., I played soccer more seriously and also did track and field. I had amazing coaches that also turned me on to the weight room. From then on I trained when I could in the weight room and did those two sports throughout H.S. I went on to college and played soccer and continued working out. I pursued my degree in P.E. and later became a personal trainer at a globo gym where I trained in the traditional body building model of lifting combined with 30-40 minutes of cardio. I trained and worked out regularly for years in this same manner while in the meantime having 3 children. I remember thinking that I was working my tail off just to maintain my current level of fitness. I never seemed to make any progress. I was in decent shape but I felt like I was working too hard with little to show for it. Then Jeff, my husband, found CrossFit. He did it for almost a year while I was pregnant with baby number three.

After recovering from pregnancy I tried it and was hooked from the beginning. From that day on I have followed the main site staying a day behind so I can have the flexibility of juggling workouts with kids and Jeff's schedule if needed (i.e. not leaving the house for a 10k while Jeff is at work and the kids are at home). Depending on the workout, I do some sort of warm-up and then just the workout. I have a personality with working out that tends to think more is better, so from the moment I started CrossFitting I decided that I would not let myself do more than what was prescribed. Part of the attraction, after all, was the emphasis on quality and intensity rather than volume. For this reason I decided I would stick strictly to the site and not add to it. I follow the 3 days on/1 day off schedule unless something arises where I need to do 4 days on 1 day off then 2 days on/1 day off or something like that, but I never skip rest days.

When I decided in June to do the games I stopped following the main site to brush up on some different skills. The focus of the final month of training was skill training, recovery and mental preparedness. I felt these three aspects of my training would help me the most in the Games rather than killing myself trying to knock an extra second off of Fran or gain an extra point on Fight Gone Bad. I did a few multi-WOD days just to prepare my body and brain for that new stimulus. I also added in quite a few extra rest days. I pretty much followed a 2 days on/1 day off schedule leading up to the Games because I knew probably the best way to actually gain increased performance on game day that late in the game was simply by being fully rested and fresh. Jeff also added in some more random things like tire flips, farmers walks, jumping squats etc. in hopes to prepare me mentally for some of the unknown aspects that were sure to arise in the Games. He missed the boat though on that one...I had no stake hammering practice in my programming that last month. What an oversight! I also enjoyed several sessions during the month training with Jenny Olson (sister-in-law and 8th in the CrossFit Games) while Jeff and Dan (CrossFit Redmond) made up really random WOD's and critiqued our every move.

From here on out I plan to do more of the same. I love following the main site because I don't have to think about what I'm going to do and I'm pretty sure I'd unintentionally leave some not so favorite WODs out if I did my own programming! I also like knowing that Coach Glassman has been doing this longer than anybody and I trust that he knows what he's doing when he does the programming.

11 comments on this entry.

1. Jenny O. wrote...

August 17, 2009 7:32 PM

Yeah Tooty! GREAT interview!

2. Brian Sortor wrote...

August 17, 2009 10:48 PM

Amazing job at the games. I got to spend a little time getting to know Jeff while we waited for your heat in the triplet. My wife and I both were homeschooled much of our scholastic careers, so we talked about homeschooling and your box, and then had an awesome time watching you rock out your handstand push ups. And then the chipper.... oh.... what more can be said?

Can't wait to see you rock it next year!

3. Nichole D wrote...

August 18, 2009 6:32 AM

Great interview Charity! We are so proud of you here down south : )
Miss you and the family - hope to come up for a visit to the Pacific Northwest soon. I woke up this morning actually dreaming about rain! That means it is time for a visit.

4. Luila Barber wrote...

August 18, 2009 7:29 AM

Great job, Charity! You inspire all the moms in the Crossfit Nation! I hope to have the honor of working out with you one day!

5. Becky N wrote...

August 18, 2009 12:27 PM

What an amazing athlete and an incredibly nice person.

6. Charity wrote...

August 18, 2009 10:32 PM

Thank you so much for all the nice comments! You all are too kind.

7. Sarah Dunsmore wrote...

August 19, 2009 5:10 AM

Yeah Charity! So glad to have met you and so honored to have competed with you. You are an amazing athlete! If and you and Jeff are ever in North Carolina I would love to get the chance to hang out and get in some good CrossFit.

Congrats again!

8. Gina Davidson wrote...

August 19, 2009 1:09 PM

Charity you ROCK! I hope to get involved soon! Steph and Tony love it and you all look wonderful and have great attitudes. :> Keep up the great work darling mother of 3.

9. Lance wrote...

August 19, 2009 3:42 PM

AWESOME!!! inspirational

10. Kim Malz~FitMom wrote...

August 19, 2009 6:58 PM

Super video and story Charity. Glad to have had the opportunity to meet you and cheer you on. You absolutely DOMINATED the chipper WOD!

Way to represent all of us "fitmoms"!

11. Nans wrote...

August 21, 2009 6:01 PM

Hey folks Charity is my baby. Isn't she awesome. Charity has always worked hard and has perservered all these years. I am so proud of her.

Nanny