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A student’s dream of being the fittest woman in the world

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Photo: Courtesy photo / Grand Valley Lanthorn

Courtesy Photo

Diets and workout plans – possibly the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Sometimes they last for a couple of weeks, maybe a few days, or only hours before they are pushed aside.

This is not the case for student Alyssa Ritchey.

Ritchey has had her membership at 8th Day Gym for a few years now, and she is taking fitness to the extreme by training to be named “The Fittest Woman in the World” at the 2013 CrossFit Games.

“I needed something more than lifting weights everyday. It wasn’t enough,” Ritchey said. “I needed to switch up my routine to push my body to new levels and to keep my mind interested. My goal is to make it to the CrossFit Games where the world’s strongest athletes compete and place on the podium.”

CrossFit training is a variety of functional movements done at high intensity levels that combines aspects from many sports into physical activities to maximize the trainees overall strength. For the first time in Ritchey’s 12 years of training, she’s been pushed to a workout level she’s never accomplished before.

“I train twice a day, six days each week for a total of 18 hours, and I do a combination of strength and power,” Ritchey said. “CrossFit is the most amazing sport to me and kicks my butt everyday. To complete the goal of going to the Games would mean the world to me. I have worked so hard everyday of my life to achieve a goal so big, such as this one.”

The CrossFit Games are a three-step journey. First, Ritchey will compete in the five-week Open competition against 17 regions around the world. The top athletes from each region will move on to compete in the three-day, live Regional competition.

The real games begin once athletes reach the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games in California, where thousands of competitors are narrowed down to the 100 fittest men and women in the world, and Ritchey dreams of being one of these top athletes.

“I want to show the world that I am the fittest girl in the world,” Ritchey said. “If I won the games, I would want to open up a gym of my own someday and train my own little cross fitters.”

On top of being a full-time student and working 20 hours a week, CrossFit training might seem draining, but Ritchey finds the fire to continue training through her love of working out and bettering herself.

“Everything about working out is gratifying,” she said. “It’s my home away from home, and 8th Day Gym is my everything. It’s like one giant family that cares for each other. The best part is seeing the training work; when you set a personal record or perform top times in the world for WODs (workout of the day), that is what revs me up day to day. I want more than anything to say I am the fittest woman on the earth.”

jsmith@lanthorn.com



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