Work, train, eat. Living life as a competitive athlete with a full time job. – Matilde Garnes CrossFit Athlete
“Of course they’re great, the only thing they do all day is train! If I had as much time as them I’d be going to the Games by now!”
Who hasn’t heard something along these lines at least once? Whether you overheard it at your local Crossfit box or during a conversation with you gym buddies this comment is something many people fall back on when they see successful athletes. Although it is true that to be a competitive athlete you must dedicate a lot of your time to the sport, assuming every successful competitor spends all day in the gym and resting is just wrong.
Many of the athletes following The Progrm either work full time, are getting a higher education degree or doing both! In this article we wanted to showcase an athlete who we believe embodies the discipline and hard work that it takes to do it all. We believe there are many valuable lessons that can be taken from learning a little more about her life.
Meet Matilde Garnes CrossFit Athlete. Matilde works full time in a physical therapy studio while also running a nutrition coaching business on the side. She’s also a personal trainer and to top it all off she’s training to compete at the highest levels of Crossfit.
Matilde is currently completing her year of paid work required to become a certified physiotherapist. Pairing this with her two other jobs and training schedule means her work week is comprised of early wake up calls and a tight schedule. We asked her what a typical day for her looks like:
- Wake up at 6am
- First session from 6:30 to 7:30
- Work as a physiotherapist from 8am to 4 pm
- Second session from 5 to 8 , time varies on the day and the programming
- Coaching and training duties
- Bed time is 11pm
We want to note, that despite her packed schedule Matilde makes sure she gets at least 7 hours of sleep. No matter how busy you are sleep should always be a priority both for your performance in the gym and your overall health!
We asked her what she finds helpful to stay on track without burning out. Her response:
“I have always liked being busy, of course some days are harder than others. What helps me most is having routines that I follow every day.”
This comes with no surprise: the power of following daily routines has been a hot topic in the past years with so many books being published on the matter. Once a routine turns into a habit it’s going to be easier to stick to it even on those harder days when all you want to do is lay in bed. Matilde also emphasized the power of goal setting:
“On the really tough days I always remind myself of why I am doing this, how much I want to succeed in my sport, and my career. I think about how I feel on the competition floor or on the podium, to me those are some of the best feelings ever.”
Of course taking on so many commitments comes at a cost: usually in the form of limits on your free time and how you can spend it.
“I can’t party or drink alcohol as much as my peers do” Matilde recognizes, but she also adds, “I really don’t mind that much, I would probably choose going to the gym over a nightclub anyways”.
It’s also helpful to focus on the payback she notes, pointing out how Crossfit has given her the opportunity to travel the world and lead a lifestyle she loves. Bonding over shared love for the sport has allowed her to create long lasting friendships with people from all over the globe.
It’s important to think with a long term perspective when committing to such a busy lifestyle. We asked Matilde about what she looks forward to achieving both as an athlete and in her life outside of sport.
“My goal is to compete at the highest levels in Crossfit. On the other hand I’m really happy that I’m finishing my education before I focus solely on the “athlete life”. It’s good to know I will have something to go back to once I feel fully accomplished in the sport. I’m excited to see where that path will take me.”
We wanted to finish this article with some closing statements: working multiple jobs and training 3 plus hours a day isn’t something everyone is able to sustain nor may want to do. But we hope that after learning a little bit more about Matilde you won’t feel like it’s an impossible feat. You’ll be surprised by what you can accomplish as long as you’re willing to put in the work.