Colleen Fotsch Interview, Pt. I: Granite Games Victory & Move To Arizona

Colleen Fotsch, fresh off winning the 2018 Kill Cliff Granite Games in St. Cloud, Minnesota, spoke to FloElite about her preparation for the Granite Games, her move to Arizona, her growth with her new coach, and much more. Here’s the first installation of this two-part interview.

Athlete Info

Age: 28

Height: 5-foot-7

Weight: 167

City: Scottsdale, AZ

Occupation: Crossfit Athlete, master’s student at Michigan State University (remote kinesiology program)

Other Best Finishes At Events 

  • 7th South Regionals 2018
  • 4th 2017 Crossfit Games Team

FloElite: Now that it's over, how does it feel to be the champion of the 2018 Granite Games?

Colleen Fotsch: When I found out I won the Granite Games the best feeling was being able to share the win with my coach, my family, and my friends. They have all played such a crucial role in my life both athletically and personally. So sharing these moments with them means the world to me. I moved out to Arizona last October to work with Mike Lee at Big Dawgs. I can honestly say it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am the happiest and healthiest I have ever been. Winning the 2018 Granite Games was another form of validation that I am doing the right things. 

I believe in Mike and his programming 100 percent. I also believe that I am doing everything I can be doing outside of the gym in order to achieve my goals. To see all the hard work come together on the competition floor is an extremely rewarding experience. I’m also really proud to have won; there were many ups and downs throughout the weekend and that’s what makes the win even more special. This was also my first four-day competition and it was a good test to see how I would be able to perform on that last day. 

For those of us who don't compete at your level, how much of a toll does an event like this take on the body?

This is by far the best my body has felt competing in my CrossFit career. I think this speaks volumes to my training program and all the information I’ve been able to get about recovery and performing from my coach Mike Lee. This was the longest individual competition I have done so afterwards I definitely felt mentally and emotionally fatigued. During a competition I’m on high alert until the competition is over. Once the nerves set in they don’t quite go away until the competition is over. So once I got back to Arizona I didn’t feel super beat up or sore I just felt like I needed a really long nap (laughs). 

Give us an idea what training was like leading up to the Granite Games. 

My training didn’t change too much until the week of the Granite Games. On Monday I did some skill work, Olympic lifting (singles around 80 percent), some squatting, and then some interval work. My PM that day was rowing intervals. My Tuesday AM session consisted of some shorter for time pieces at 80-85 percent and some light cardio in the PM. Wednesday was an off day for traveling. Once I got into Minnesota I used a bike in the hotel gym to do some easy blood flow after the day of traveling. 

What part of the Granite Games was your biggest challenge and how did you push yourself through?

The most challenging part of the weekend was the length of the event and the length of each individual day. I’ve done three-day competitions before but never four. Also the competitions I’ve done in the past haven’t included several events that are outside. Because of this I knew my recovery really had to be on-point. I made sure I was eating enough, staying hydrated, and properly warming up and cooling down. What also helped me through this was focusing on one event at a time. It is sometimes easier said than done but it can become extremely daunting if you’re thinking about all nine events at once. Having my coach and my friends reminding me to stay present really helped me show up strong for the final events.

For full Granite Games coverage, click here.


Roger Lockridge is from Lewisburg, WV. His work has been featured on numerous platforms and magazines in the fitness industry over the last 10 years. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram @rocklockridge.

CrossFit Games Teams Rosters Announced

Most fans who watch the CrossFit Games have their favorite male and female athletes, but those aren’t the only competitions in Madison. Some of the most exciting action you will see this year will come from the team events. 

Saxon Panchik Scores A Last-Minute Spot In The CrossFit Games

There are no other Sanctionals or other events between now and the 2019 CrossFit Games, but thanks to an unexpected development, another name has been thrown into the mix.

French Throwdown Crowns Winners & Punches Tickets To The CrossFit Games

The road to Madison started in Dubai in December and has moved to different locations around the world over the course of the last six months. That journey has now reached its penultimate stop in Paris. The final Sanctional concluded over the weekend, and we are now on the road to the final destination: the 2019 CrossFit Games!

What You Need to Know About the French Throwdown

After a season and journey that has included more than a dozen events that have challenged athletes around the world and inspired millions of fans, it has all come down to this. The final Sanctional event is upon us. For the athletes who will be competing, this is the final opportunity to qualify for the 2019 CrossFit Games. 

CrossFit Games Updates: New Stream & Media Policies

The 2019 CrossFit season will be one that is remembered as a season of change. The Regionals were replaced with Sanctionals, the Open was more challenging than ever, more athletes will be competing for the title of “Fittest on Earth,” and more people are being recognized in the fitness community than ever before.

Cedric Lapointe Is On The Hunt For Redemption At French Throwdown

Cédric Lapointe is an up-and-coming athlete who has been on the biggest stage of the CrossFit world. He made it to the Games in 2018 as a part of a team. Very few people walking the planet knows what that is like. 

Missy Herman Looks For CrossFit Games Berth At French Throwdown

One of the many benefits from the Sanctionals that have taken place so far is that the fitness community has been introduced to some amazing athletes that have their own experiences which they hope will lead them to the biggest stage in CrossFit; the Games.

Travis Mayer And Emily Rolfe Win The 2019 Granite Games Championship

Travis Mayer can add 2019 Granite Games champion to his list of accomplishments. Mayer looked dominant all weekend accumulating 712 points in the process. With only 1 event finish outside the top 10, Mayer finished 64 points ahead of 2nd place and never looked at risk of losing his top spot. 

Team CrossFit Krypton Win The 2019 Granite Games Team Championship

Alec Smith, Cody Mooney, and Jessica Griffith have proven that great things happen when they come together and with the addition of Dani Speegle to their team this weekend, CrossFit Krypton looked unstoppable. 

Travis Mayer And Carrie Beamer Still Top Of The Pack

The Pro division faced just two events on day 3, On The Rope 2.0 and Bear Press. With minimal points available to move the needle, athletes looking to climb the leaderboard had to bring their A game.