Mum turns grief into world-class performance
CROSSFIT: Competing against the best in the world is a target Kirsten Mckessar didn’t expect to achieve for several years, but 30 months after starting crossfit she’s headed to the world championships.
The CrossFit CapCoast owner will travel across the world to compete at Wodapalooza, in the US city of Miami, in February next year.
Thousands of spectators travel to watch the hundreds of athletes compete across four days.
Mckessar qualified as No.20 in the world after claiming second place in the 40-44 years hero division at the Masters League competition finals in Melbourne a fortnight ago.
Qualifying for the Miami fitness festival is a dream come true for the Yeppoon mum, who has crossfit as a lifeline to happiness since the death of her son Carter.
After losing Carter in 2010 just hours after giving birth, Mckessar has spent the past nine years using exercise to prioritise her mental health.
“It’s a real true therapy for me,” Mckessar said. “If I’m having a tough time, it’s the only way to get peace of mind.”
Making Carter proud is always in the back of her mind – he will be her inspiration at the international event.
“I use it as fuel to my fire to get through anything,” Mckessar said.
“When I start hurting I always say if I can get through losing Carter, I can get through this workout.”
Mckessar trains at least three hours a day, focusing on weights, technique, gymnastics and high-intensity cardio.
She will continue the broad training in the lead-up to competition, with no way of knowing what she will have to face.
The workout of the day is not released to contestants until a matter of hours before the event, which means competitors need to ensure they are well rounded.
“One of the joys in crossfit is you don’t have to be the best in anything – you have to be an athlete across the board,” Mckessar said.
Weighing 60kg, Mckessar can clean and jerk 75kg and back squat 115kg, but she hopes to increase her weightlifting ability before the competition.
Along with training, Mckessar will also focus on fundraising for the next four months to fund her trip.
She said crossfit athletes had to fund their own way to compete.
Mckessar will fundraise from her Jabiru Drive gym, where she works when she’s not exercising.
The crossfit club achieved its best result this year when 10 competitors qualified for the national major and masters league games.
As a team, they brought home three gold medals, one silver and three bronze across five age groups ranging from 16 to 54.