I have been doing my best not to just make this a blog on incredible Crossfit athletes. I made it this far! Before you sigh and switch off I recommend scrolling a little further, as Tia-Clair Toomey is one of the most amazingly talented athletes out there.
There is a wonderful pride many Australians feel when their sportspeople excel on the international stage. Tia-Clair Toomey has offered this pride to her Australian fans in the Crossfit community two years running. You can buy her book here.
AFLW, women’s cricket, and soccer are some of the team sports that have boosted female profiles in sport in Australia. They’re fast increasing in popularity, and are navigating through pay gaps, advertising disparities and a comparative lack of representation in the media next to their male counterparts.
When Tia-Clair Toomey competed and won gold for Australia in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games the most common thing I heard from people who watched her was “did you see her ABS?! You could see them through her lifting suit!”
I mean ffs… Did you see that woman lift a TOTAL OF 201KG OVER HER FREAKING HEAD?!?!
The second most common thing was some kind of comment about how “manly” she looked.
I get that we are socially conditioned, we have unconscious bias and these things come out because perhaps we don’t know the technicality of what she’s doing or any other way to describe what was just witnessed.
But come on!
I am not the only woman who grew up doing sport. I’ve played netball, soccer, basketball, tennis, I’ve competed in swimming and running and have a black belt in tae kwon do.
I have been thoroughly dedicated to flogging myself in the pursuit of being fit (read: being skinny). I starved myself of food, I did extra laps around the block. I often told myself enjoyed it, and to be fair I always have enjoyed the burn of a good workout, the feeling of euphoria after you push way harder than you thought you could.
But it was always for the wrong reasons.
It took until I started Crossfit in 2015 to start enjoying the sport that I did. I now chase heavier weights, faster times, more efficient movements. I no longer consider what doing “too much” of something is going to do for my figure, and yet I feel the best about my body than I have in a long time… perhaps ever.
This is not a recruitment post. I get that it’s not for everybody, but it is for me!
I found my sport, and I bloody well love it. More so, I find incredible inspiration in people like Tia. I don’t want to look like her, I want to lift like her!!
Turning to her success at the Crossfit Games she becomes all the more amazing. Running, climbing, lifting, hand stand walking, throwing, pushing, pulling, heaving, swimming, rowing… This woman can do it all.
Always a natural athlete, Tia burst onto the Crossfit scene in 2013 and for the last two years has won the Games in an excellent demonstration of strength, agility, endurance and tenacity.
When I was first falling in love with Crossfit and sat down to watch the sponsored videos and interviews of the up and coming athletes the year Tia came third (2015), she wasn’t there. She popped up occasionally, walking across the background and smiling into the camera. There were a few interviews here and there but compared to the Icelandic queens she was nowhere.
Then she was on the podium. Aussies going bananas. People completely confused and excited. Then she did it again the next year, coming second, then boom. Two years in a row, she has been named “Fittest on Earth” in the Crossfit domain.
Tia-Clair Toomey is a fantastic role model for our girls. She is a hard worker, a natural athlete and someone who works to win.
In a world of influencers, social media over-consumption and all the rest of it, what a breath of fresh air to expose ourselves to someone who just wants to put in the hard work and get the best result possible.
We may not all have the capacity she has, but we can still take on her energy and be inspired by her work. We can all excel through consistency and strong and steady performance.
You don’t have to win all the time to come out on top. You just have to hold on and endure.
Thank you to the following sites: