Member of the month Emma Thibert

One of our resolutions for 2022 was to restart our “Member of the Month” interview format. It’s done! We are pleased to present the #CrossFitStory of Emma Thibert who has 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 am 26 years old. I am doing a PhD in terminology at the Faculty of Translation and Interpretation of the Unige, for which I am also a research and teaching assistant. I am French, (from Besançon) and after passing through Milan I arrived in Geneva in 2016 for my studies. I loved the city and the 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 for one or two sessions a week, in addition to the other sports I was doing on the side, to complete my training plan and gain some strength.

Did you do any other sport before?
I come from triathlon and track and field. Until I was 24 I did both sports in elite competitions. It was when I stopped, to start my thesis, that I started to practice CrossFit more regularly and intensively, at first not to cut completely with any sport activity and then because I really got into it and it became essential to my daily life.

What was your goal when you started? Have you achieved it since?
When I started I only wanted to improve my strength and explosiveness, which I lacked for triathlon and athletics. Then very quickly I wanted to improve on the bars, especially on technique, and gym movements, as I was already doing a lot of cardio on the side. I still have a lot to learn but yes I would say that I have far exceeded what I thought I was capable of. Looking back there are loads I’m doing now in weightlifting that I never thought I would be able to do.

What are the ones for this year?
I continue to struggle with a lot of gym movements, so I’d really like to progress on that so I can be more comfortable in the WODs without needing to adapt. And more generally, now that I feel like I have a good foundation I’d like to train a bit more with a performance goal in mind.

What do you particularly like about CrossFit GVA?
Definitely the atmosphere. No matter how my day has gone or how motivated I am, I know that when I come I’m going to switch off, have a great time and leave happy with the hour I’ve spent.

Have you gained confidence since you started CrossFit? Do you feel better in your body, have you developed your mind?
Yes, beyond the 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 to progress and not something to fight against all the time, it helped me a lot in terms of acceptance. As far as the mental side is concerned, I find that what really helps is the others. At the box there is a real spirit of mutual aid, which pushes you to surpass yourself and to hang on when it’s difficult. On a mental level it helps a lot. For me, starting CrossFit was a trigger that really helped me to feel good and to find a balance.

What is your favourite memory from the gym that you would like to share?
There are many but if I have to choose I would say the Team Challenge in June, at 1227. It was the first time I participated in this kind of event and I really found it great, both in terms of the atmosphere and the WODs offered. There was something for everyone and it was really nice to be able to get together for a longer period of time.

What would you say to a very thin girl like you who is hesitating to start CrossFit for fear of getting injured or gaining too much muscle mass?
As far as injuries are concerned, I would say that when you train with CrossFit GVA you really don’t have to worry as the programming is really thought out beforehand, everything is adaptable (and adapted) and for beginners everything is done to make it progressive. By following the plan and the advice of the coaches, the risks are nevertheless limited.

As for the physical changes, this is also a question I asked myself when I started. But on the one hand, to really gain muscle mass you have to really want it, there is no chance that it will just happen, and on the other hand, once you really get hooked on CrossFit, I have the impression that physical transformations and aesthetic considerations end up taking a back seat to the desire to progress and have fun on the WOD.

The fact that you are thin is not really an obstacle, for me the strength of CrossFit is precisely that all morphologies allow us to have strengths and weaknesses, we are inevitably good somewhere and we all have points to work on.