52a – Tia-Clair Toomey on realizing her CrossFit and Olympic dreams and finding confidence

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“If it wasn’t for CrossFit I would have never picked up on the weight training. At the time I thought, why not do both? What if one thing doesn’t work out? I would have another thing to fall back on. If it wasn’t for weightlifting I would have never gotten to Regionals or performed what I needed to in the [CrossFit Games] Open.” – Tia-Clair Toomey

At 23 years of age, Tia-Clair Toomey (Tia) is quite the accomplished athlete. Hailing from the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia, Tia burst on the CrossFit Games scene earning the title of 2nd Fittest Woman on Earth in both 2015 and 2016. She also quickly established herself as one of Australia’s best Olympic Weightlifters, earning the country’s only female weightlifting spot to the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. This also makes her the only athlete to compete in both the CrossFit Games and the Olympics in the same year. She currently resides in Gladstone, Queensland, Australia where she owns and runs CrossFit Gladstone alongside her coach and fiancé, Shane Orr. We caught up recently at Chris Hinshaw’s annual training camp in Cookeville, TN to discuss her background and the whirlwind that has been the past few years of her life.

Recording with Tia in Cookeville, TN

In Part A of this episode, we discuss:

  • Tia’s background growing up on a sugar cane farm
  • Participating in sports including running, swimming, and netball in her youth
  • Her passion for competing in the Olympics from a young age
  • The beginning of her motivation and study to become a midwife
  • Letting go of her Olympic Track and Field dreams
  • Moving with her boyfriend Shane to a new city where she would eventually find CrossFit
  • Her rocky start with CrossFit and using it to train for running again
  • Being asked to join her gym’s team for a local competition and igniting her desire to compete
  • Competing in her first CrossFit Games Open in 2013 shortly after starting CrossFit
  • Her first experience competing as an individual at the 2014 CrossFit Games Regionals
  • Finding an Olympic Weightlifting coach and setting the goal of competing in both the CrossFit Games and the Rio Olympics in 2016
  • Spectating at the 2014 CrossFit Games
  • Qualifying for and competing in the 2015 CrossFit Games where she placed 2nd in her rookie year

You can follow Tia at her website, on InstagramTwitterFacebook and at her affiliate CrossFit Gladstone.


Related Episodes:

01 – Rich Froning on Competition, Shifting Priorities and Discovering His Purpose

06 – 2015 CrossFit Games Demo Team – Christy Adkins, Jennifer Smith, and Talayna Fortunato

14 – Camille Leblanc-Bazinet on Moving Forward, Engineering and Body Image

47 – Coffee Talk with Katrin, Jen and Kelley at the Reebok Athlete Summit

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

Question: When did you set a goal for yourself that seemed just out of reach? How did you get there?

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