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.
Take Missy Herman for example. She picked up CrossFit as a way to stay in shape while playing Division I water polo in college. Little did she know that it would lead her to competing on the platforms around the world.
Herman has already competed at the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge, as well as the Granite Games. Now she will travel to the French Throwdown where she hopes to earn her ticket to Madison, Wisconsin.
In this interview, she talked about her journey to this point as well as how CrossFit has improved her life.
Athlete Bio: Missy Herman
Weight: 175 pounds
City: Doylestown, PA
FloElite: All athletes have their own story about how they got into CrossFit. What was it that led you to becoming a part of the fitness community?
Missy Herman: I have always been an athlete so when I decided to play Division I water polo in California, I had to find another training session to stay in shape over the summer before college. My high school gym teacher was Josh Wagner, the husband of 2007 Games Champion Tanya Wagner, so I was lucky enough to start my first CrossFit experience under very good hands.
Then, my assistant coach in college was Brianna Battles, who reintroduced us to CrossFit during training practices over the summer in college. I remember she said “You’ll be a CrossFit athlete one day.” She now has a super successful pregnancy and postpartum business to continue to help female athletes.
Then when I graduated college and got my first teaching job as a high school math teacher, I knew I had to find a CrossFit gym so I can keep it going. I even met my husband there, so I guess CrossFit has had a major impact on my life.
Which athletes inspired you, or who did you look to for inspiration or that extra push when the reps got tougher?
My family has always been my biggest inspiration and support system. They always remind me to never give up. It’s kind of our motto. No Dolls [Missy’s maiden name is Doll] can give up. Except maybe dance class, I was never good at that.
I always find a huge support system at my family at CrossFit Summa. I would have never started competing if it wasn’t for them and all the encouragement they gave me.
At this point in your fitness career, what do you feel is your biggest accomplishment or what are you most proud of?
I think just showing the people of my gym, my students, and community that reaching any goal or level of fitness is possible no matter what. Even if you have a full time job (like me teaching), are a parent, or are recovering from a life altering accident.
Although it may be the individual competing, many athletes credit their support system for helping them get to where they are. Who do you feel would be in that group for you?
My husband, Matt Herman, has been a huge part of my success. When we first met he would basically personal train me for free, probably because he had a crush on me but it worked.
I also have about seven or eight other coaches and training partners at the gym. Tyler Pultro has been programming for me, which has been a game changer because writing workouts for yourself is exhausting.
My parents and two older sisters have also been by my side through numerous competitions, good times, bad times, and they never let me give up.
You have done team competitions as well as individual contests. What do you feel are the differences as far as performing goes between the two formats?
Team events can be a lot more sprint based with rest, but mentally challenging to synchronize movements, as well as communicating while performing. Individual competitions are on such an island, your thoughts wander, it’s easier to get nervous once you’re in the corral. But you have to just have fun with either one, otherwise the pressure you put on yourself subdues you.
From what I have seen, you’ve competed in a few of the Sanctionals so far. Tell us how you feel about the competitions and how the new system has worked so far.
I only competed in one Regionals competition in 2018, which was awesome, and really only one Sanctional, the MACC, since I had to drop out of the Granite Games. I flew home to get some rest so I didn’t really experience [the Granite Games]. Both competitions, Regionals and the MACC, were good challenges of fitness. As a type A person, I don’t like the randomization of the Sanctioned events. The Granite Games was a four-day long competition, while the Rogue Invitational was only 2 days. Maybe next year there will be some more structured rules.
Why did you have to withdraw from the Granite Games?
I ended up fainting on the 7K trail around mile four I think. I was pretty dehydrated and had a crazy travel day the night before. I didn’t get into my hotel until 1 AM and turns out I also had a sinus infection and a stomach bug a few days before. Just wasn’t meant to be I guess. My doctor thinks I had a small case of rhabdo from a few elevated levels in my blood work. I took a few days off and seem to be recovering smoothly.
The French Throwdown is coming up and this is the last chance to qualify for the CrossFit Games. Any extra pressure going into it or is it business as usual?
This is really only my fourth individual competition ever: Regionals 2018, the MACC, Granite Games, and now this. Matt and I are coming up on our one-year wedding anniversary so we figured why not go to France. It also happens to fall during the first week of summer for both of us as teachers so it sounded like a great idea to make it into an extended vacation as well. I don’t feel much pressure except finding a really good French coffee shop. I’m open to suggestions!
Someone is going to be reading this and that person may be new to the fitness community. Any advice for those who are looking to eventually compete at an event in the future?
Find something you look forward to making time for! If you don’t, you’ll never be motivated to keep doing it. No one really has the time to keep themselves healthy, it has to be a choice.
Roger Lockridge is from Lewisburg, West Virginia. 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.