3 things I have learned over the last year, by Mia Akerlund

This article is about a few things I have learned the past year, the preparations, during and after competing at the CrossFit Games with my team CrossFit Fabriken. It all started in October 2014, on my way home from a competition, Emelie Smiding sent me a message that was very straight forward " Hi, congrats for a great performance in the competition. Would you like to join our team next year with the aim to go to the Games?" I couldn't almost believe what I read, both Emelie and all the other names where people I only followed on Instagram and admired from afar, now they asked me if I wanted to be in their team. Immediately after it all set in,  I started to criticize myself, I thought I wasn't good enough. That time I was still living in Västerås with my boyfriend and family, working as a manager in IKEA; it was hard to deal and to let go yet I still did.  So beginning of 2015 I finally moved to Malmö, which is a 6 hours drive from my home town. I started to coach part-time at Fabriken and part- time at IKEA in Malmö. I slept on Emelie's couch for 4 months, for someone who haven't tried that,  it can be very challenging to not be able to close a door to your room or to be alone. Fast forward. Open was over and team Fabriken placed 1st in Europe. Around May, I needed to be back at IKEA in Västerås, and just before I decided to return home, Fabriken was offering me a full-time job in the box. Life was in a spin to say the least.

"The chance of being able to work full-time as a coach feels something different and I don't think I would regret it, only the things I didn't do because I was scared of changes."

A few weeks to Regionals, last weekend of May.  I was back in Malmö for the final week of training,  this was the only time we could train together, which was  really not so good as the workouts were released three weeks before and most of the other teams had done a lot of training already. Admittedly,  my training was so poor before Regionals because I dislocated my shoulder three weeks earlier and on top of that , food poisoning 4 days before. Okay Regionals weekend was here... We did an amazing job in some of the workouts and not so good in some of them.  We realized one thing just as soon as the game ended and it taught us a lifetime lesson; not that we weren't good enough , we weren't just prepared enough.  It was also pretty easy to say that it was our first time to compete. Moreover, there is still room for improvement, more trainings to come and more sweat to sweat. The worst event for me was the event I thought I would love.  Snatches. Fast forward again, Regionals was over and Fabriken finished 5th place and therefore qualified for the Games.  The preparations for the Games was now a lot better, the team had more time to practice together. The games weekend went by and I never thought I would have been more sore after the first event.  Luckily, we still finished 9th overall which was a pretty big improvement from Regionals. Only after the Games,  the first time I realized  I have the potential of becoming a good CrossFit athlete. Thereafter, a hunger to be better started to grow in me. I then went on to my first Weightlifting camp in  September, where I met Carmen Bosmans and after that things went pretty fast.  I got a job offer from InnerFight.  This was really a hard decision for me, I remember feeling almost incapable of taking a decision. It was a mixed emotions, a big risk to take. I've already left something good in IKEA to work at Fabriken , and in less than a year later I would also  leave Fabriken, my family and friends  to move to another country. On the other hand,  it felt like I couldn't only continue to just getting better but maybe I was also seeking for new adventures, new challenges ...  maybe I just needed to settle.  I was so happy that my family as my anchor supported me and I  finally decided to leave what was safe and known for something new and unknown.

"Moving to Dubai and start working at InnerFight is one of the biggest and best decision yet I have made. Just 3 months in and I'm improving as an individual and as an athlete."

To sum it all up, the 3 big things I learned from the last year;

Believe in yourself, accept constructive self-criticism, take a bold risk! 

If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will. Live your dreams. This may sound cliche but also very true. Don't be scared to try something new. If you do mess up, learn from it and do it different next time.   By: InnerFight Performance Coach, Mia Akerlund