Stacie Tovar of CrossFit Omaha is an athlete who has worked hard in her sport of choice her whole life. Someone who knows what it means to compete and face potential disappointment or supreme success. This year, Stacie is hoping to turn 2014’s disappointments into 2015’s successes.
Last year, Stacie went in to CrossFit Games North Central Regionals strong and ready. The five-time CrossFit Games competitor knew what she was getting into – or she thought she did. She was ready for everything – except the punishing handstand walk that led to non-podium finishes for many of the other CrossFit Games hopefuls last year, as well. When asked what her hardest competition moment was, she simply said, “Not qualifying for the 2014 CrossFit Games.”
In the tradition of a true competitor, Stacie attacked her gymnastics training this last off-season and spent the remainder of 2014 upside down, improving her handstands and core strength, while enjoying the fact that this physical work was carrying over into improving her mental game, as well. She also emphasized her Olympic lifting training and feels both her gains and confidence have soared.
Her hard work as paid off and she currently sits in first place in the North Central region and she is ready to head into the arena this weekend with many other competitors due to the reorganization of the regionals format by CrossFit this season.
Each athlete has her reasons for competing. Stacie is no different. She finds great reward in knowing she did absolutely everything she could to prepare. And, this preparation is further celebrated when the hard work pays off, especially with a podium finish. But Stacie finds motivation beyond the competition events. She believes that even when you’re not competing for a spot on the podium, you are still competing against the clock, the barbell, or an old personal record.
Stacie is proud of her personal journaling and record-keeping obsession and recommends all athletes track their progress. She has found that personal data is a wonderful method to stay on track with your lifts, goals, and nutrition. Part of this attention to detail comes from Stacie’s history in athletics. She says that she “played just about every sport except soccer.” Her main focus was volleyball with track mixed in, and the tools she learned from playing volleyball in college have served her well in preparing for functional fitness competitions.
Stacie is not easy-going when it comes to her training, and it is important for her to have a plan in place. Her current method of training is two days on, one day off, then three days on and one day off. She did mention she will take rest days based on the needs of her body and on many of those rest days she truly and completely rests, without any active recovery methods.
As a coach and athlete, Stacie values the input of other coaches and acknowledges that consistency is key. She shared with me her coaches’ “Olympic toolbox” when it comes to those particular lifts:
My coach once told me that when it comes to Olympic lifts, I’ve got to think as if I’ve got an Olympic toolbox. There are so many moving parts to each lift and I’ve got the same tools to use each time. My set-up is the same, my footwork is the same, my bar path is the same, my catch position is the same, etc. If you perfect the fundamentals first and memorize those movement patterns, you’ll see a 300-pound snatch before the person who forgets about the tools needed and only worries about the numbers.
Growing up on her family’s Nebraska farm taught Stacie what a solid work ethic is all about and she employs that discipline in her daily life. Eating properly, getting plenty of sleep, and having the great support system of her parents, family, friends, her home CrossFit, sponsors, and God are the reasons she is able to do what she needs to do.
Stacie trains and coaches at CrossFit Omaha where she passes along her passion and helps create a supportive environment. “I can speak on behalf of all our coaches at CrossFit Omaha, we genuinely care for our community and their families. I can’t think of a better place for someone to train and learn CrossFit.”
I’ve done a great many interviews and spoken with and am honored to know many CrossFit Regionals and CrossFit Games athletes. I still cheer for each one of these athletes and now I am happy to say that Stacie is added to my list as I yell at my computer screen to cheer her on during the last Regionals weekend at the end of May.