I've never done CrossFit: book a free trial

Member of the Month Emma Thibert

One of our resolutions for 2022 was to resume our "Member of the Month" interview format. We've done it! We're delighted to present the #CrossFitStory of Emma Thibert, who's been training with us since 2020. Find out more about her journey, her goals and what motivates her to stay with CrossFit GVA.

Emma, can you introduce yourself in a few words?
Hello, I'm 26 years old. I'm doing a PhD in terminology at Unige's Faculty of Translation and Interpretation, for which I'm also a research and teaching assistant. I'm French, (from Besançon) and after passing through Milan I arrived in Geneva in 2016 for my studies. I loved the city and life here and decided to stay after my Masters.

When did you start CrossFit and why?
I started CrossFit in the summer of 2020, at first doing one or two sessions a week to complement the other sports I was doing on the side, to complete my training plan and gain a little strength.

Did you do any other sport before?
I come from triathlon and athletics. Until I was 24, I practiced both sports in elite competitions. It was precisely when I stopped, to start my thesis, that I began to practice CrossFit more regularly and intensively, at first so as not to cut myself off completely from any sporting activity and then because I really got into the game and it became essential to my daily life.

What was your goal when you started out? Have you achieved it since?
When I started I just wanted to improve my strength and explosiveness, which I lacked for triathlon and athletics. Then very quickly I wanted to improve on the bars, particularly in terms of technique, and gym movements, given that I was already doing a lot of cardio on the side. I still have a lot to learn, but I'd say I've gone way beyond what I thought I was capable of. Looking back, there are loads I do now in weightlifting that I never thought I'd be able to do.

What are your goals for this year?
I'm still struggling with a lot of gym movements, so I'd really like to make progress on that so I can be more comfortable in WODs without needing to adapt. And more generally, now that I feel I've got a good base, I'd like to train a bit more with a view to performance.

What do you particularly like about CrossFit GVA?
Without a doubt, the atmosphere. No matter how my day has gone or my level of motivation, I know that when I come I'll be able to switch off, have a great time and leave delighted with the hour I've spent.

Have you gained in confidence since you started CrossFit? Do you feel better in your body, have you developed your mental outlook?
Yes, over and above my physical performance, that's really where CrossFit has brought me the most. I come from endurance sports where the relationship with the body and its training partners is very different. When I started CrossFit, I discovered that my body could really be a tool for progress and not something to fight against all the time, which helped me a lot in terms of acceptance. As far as my mind is concerned, I find that what really helps is other people. At the box there's a real spirit of mutual aid, which pushes you to surpass yourself and to hang in there when it's difficult. On a mental level, that helps a lot. For me, taking up CrossFit was a turning point that really helped me to feel good and to find a balance.

What's a special memory you'd like to share?
There are many, but if I had to choose, I'd say the Team Challenge in June, at 1227. It was my first time taking part in this kind of event, and I thought it was really great, both in terms of the atmosphere and the WODs on offer. There really was something for everyone, and it was great to be able to get together for a longer session.

What would you say to a very thin girl like you who's hesitating to start CrossFit for fear of injury or gaining too much muscle mass?
As far as injuries are concerned, I'd say that there's really nothing to worry about when training with CrossFit GVA, insofar as the programming is well thought out in advance, everything is adaptable (and adapted) and for beginners everything is done to make it progressive. By following the plan and the coaches' advice, the risks are limited.

As far as physical changes are concerned, that's another question I asked myself when I started. But on the one hand, to really put on muscle mass you have to really want it, there's no chance of it just happening, and on the other hand, once you're really hooked on CrossFit I have the impression that physical transformations and aesthetic considerations end up taking second place to the desire to progress and have fun on the WODs.

For me, the strength of CrossFit is precisely that all body types allow us to have strengths and weaknesses. We're inevitably good at something and we all have areas to work on.

Not sure if CrossFit is for you? Come and take a free trial class, discover our 2 gyms and ask us all your questions.

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