The Big Picture with Kelcy Ware
Kelcy Ware is a veteran of the pacific northwest competition scene. She competed at her first regionals as an individual in 2014, took a year off in 2015, and then returned to the West regional in both 2016 and 2017—where she placed 24th.
In fact, each year Ware does a little better than the previous.
Despite her continuous progress, Ware insists that—unlike many high-level regionals athletes—she isn’t tunnel-visioned when it comes to dreaming about the CrossFit Games. It's not even really on her mental radar, she admitted.
“Honestly, making it to the Games has never been a big goal of mine,” Ware said. In college, she played Division 2 soccer and explained the pressure of playing at that high level ruined her joy for the sport.
“The game turned into more of a job than a passion,” she said. “My biggest fear is that I’d lose my passion for CrossFit as I did soccer if I put that kind of pressure on myself.”
Ware added: “What I enjoy most is the process. Challenging myself everyday and enjoy that high when hitting a new PR.”
Along with enjoying the daily grind, Ware also takes the time to appreciate that CrossFit has not only made her a better athlete, but it has also helped her become a happier human being.
“Like most females, I have struggled with body image. Growing up, I’ve always been a thicker athlete. The goal of exercising was to always be 10 lb. lighter or a pant-size smaller,” said Ware, who works a full-time 9-5 job in marketing.
“CrossFit has enabled me to embrace the body I have been given. My goals shifted from fitting into a size 4 jeans to squatting 300 lb. I now see strength as beauty and have gained a new level of confidence.”
Despite her somewhat more casual attitude to competition, this doesn’t mean she doesn’t love working her butt off to be as the best she can be.
"I'm one of those athletes that likes the grind and to make it hurt,” she said.
And, though she said she was happy with how she did at regionals this year, she quickly added, “Being a competitor, you always want to achieve more.”
She is already looking for more at the upcoming Cascade Classic this October, where she hopes to improve on her fifth place finish from 2016, as well as to next year’s West regionals, where she said her goal is a top 10 finish.
To do this, she will keep doing what she did last year: Follow Invictus athlete programming and head to CrossFit Marysville to on the weekends to train with their group of elite CrossFit athletes. And she will keep working on her greatest weakness: Gymnastics.
“Going into 2016 regionals, I got my first strict muscle-up a week before the big weekend. This year, I really struggled being upside down. I envy ladies that participated in gymnastics as kids. Playing catch-up is tough,” she said.
And she'll remember to enjoy the process along the way, and to have some fun, too.
“As long as I have a good balance in my social life and can continue to qualify for regionals, I’ll be happy,” she said.