Wanda Brenton is in the final throes of preparing for the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games, and although at 39 she is likely to be the oldest female contestant, she is bolstered by overcoming injury and the fact that spending two weeks training at the Reebok headquarters in Boston helped considerably.
The Games, in Carson, California, claims to have whittled down to around 100 of the fittest men and women in the world, so Brenton – who sensationally won the Latin Americas competition to reach this stage – is in exalted company.
A coach at the CrossFit 7 Mile gym which she co-owns with husband Carl, Brenton was judging at the annual Throwdown on Saturday, an event to test CrossFit enthusiasts island-wide against each other.
Brenton is back to heavy lifting after shoulder and elbow problems. Recovery has taken longer than hoped and such is the intensity at The Games, she considered withdrawing.
Workouts for The Games are teasingly revealed in the lead-up and had some been particularly difficult or injury-threatening, she would have also pulled out. Thankfully, so far they have been OK.
The workouts revealed so far were a beach event on the first day, then a one rep maximum overhead squat test. The squat will be extremely challenging for Brenton considering her injury history, but like a true champ, she will give it a go.
She is renting a house near the venue with Carl and close friends Jon Pump and Dona Karlowee, both coaches at CrossFit 7 Mile.
On another day in the searing heat, watched by thousands and televised on ESPN, it is 3,000 meters rowing, 300 double-unders (skipping) and then a 3-mile run.
“I felt if I withdrew, I would regret it for a long time and wished that I would have tried my best, no matter what,” Brenton said. “I’m going to go and give it my best shot.
“Not everybody’s going to be going to The Games feeling 100 percent, and given the fact that I’m a little bit older than the others and recovery is a little slower, I don’t worry.”
She held a bingo night fundraiser last week and got a fabulous response.
“People have been really great and supportive and definitely a shout out to everyone who came and supported me,” she said.
“Numerous businesses donated prizes and we had a raffle. Everybody had a blast. Leaving on that note and obviously seeing all that support and love from everybody has just been amazing.”