Athletics taken to a different level


Scarlett Lewis

Senior Fiona Doyle loves the competitive aspect of crossfit along with the encouraging attitudes of the participants. “A lot of people don’t realize how much crossfit involves everyone participating together and cheering people on,” Doyle said.

For senior Fiona Doyle to lift weights overhead, she needs confidence more than anything. If she is going to push her body to the limit multiple days a week, she needs a mindset that’s as hard to achieve as anything physical. 


Doyle first discovered CrossFit through her mom, and immediately fell in love with it because of its competitive nature.


For daily workouts in CrossFit, Doyle does a variety of exercises, which each focus on different methods of strengthening the body.


“You actually do a lot. So you might be on a bike or a rower. Then you have your weightlifting, so like clean snatch, deadlift, back squat, …And then gymnastics, which is like bar muscle up, pull up, ring muscle up,” Doyle said. “You put them all together in a workout. And so you have to be a really well rounded athlete to be able to do well in that sport.” 


Her day to day routine changes to work on specific areas. The weekly schedule is set up in a strategic way.


“Every day is kind of different. But normally, Monday through Wednesday, I do normal training. So intense training. I’ll have a lift and that con, which is workout, and then accessory work. And then Thursday, I have an active recovery day, Friday and Saturday, train normal. And then Sunday is a total rest day,” Doyle said.


Doyle has found that CrossFit has benefited her for the better, and she’s noticed the changes it’s left her with. 


“I’m so much stronger, honestly. I think it really helps me with actually eating the right food and feeling my body,” Doyle said.


For CrossFit, Doyle finds the struggles are much more than just physical. Mentality plays a big role in the sport as well.


“If you don’t have a positive mindset, it can just kind of go downhill from there. And you also have to believe in yourself, because  you’re not going to be able to put weight over your head if you’re scared,” Doyle said.


Doyle has found the community at her gym comforting, making the place not just a way for Doyle to work out, but a place where she can be herself.


“With the past few years with school and having so much stress, it’s been a nice outlet to go and not worry about anything, and also feel like it’s my safe place where I’m not judged or anything because everyone’s so welcoming there,” Doyle said.


Hayley Gierszal is Doyle’s coach and good friend. They first met when Gierszal moved to Doyle’s gym.


“We started working out at the same gym. We kind of just naturally became friends while we were there. And then, as our friendship grew, the coaching relationship blossomed,” Gierzal said. 


Like Doyle, Gierzal has found community at their gym. All the hours of hard work creating close bonds.


“It’s very tight knit, and very family style. So once you get in there and you start making friends and you start getting to know people, they’re going to become your best friends and it’s going to happen very quickly, and you’re gonna end up hanging out outside of the gym,” Gierzal said.

“And so it’s really close-knit, especially if you go to a really good CrossFit gym that focuses on developing and creating the community that they want. “


As Doyle’s coach, Gierzal individualizes workouts, schedules and other important aspects of Doyles training.


“The biggest thing is that I help her develop her fitness, make sure her nutrition matches that and her lifestyle and recovery, and then make sure that she’s ready to go for any events that she needs to do,” Gierzal said.


Since Gierzal has started working with Doyle, she has noticed growth within Doyle, especially in Doyle’s confidence.


“Just seeing her break out of her shell as an athlete is the biggest thing that I’ve seen from her. She just wasn’t as confident as an athlete as she is now. I think that’s come through developing her weaknesses and helping her feel good in CrossFit, and making her feel like she has a place in this sport, because she does,” Gierzal said.“ She’s Involved in the process of becoming better and better every single day.”


Gierzal finds that the work needed to put in CrossFit depends on how serious the athletes want to be. For Doyle, the work she poured in has shown results, regardless of how much she also has going on outside of the gym.


“The work ethic really comes in and the things that you have to do outside of the gym, or if you’re trying to be a high level athlete like Fiona is. So Fiona has two hours of programming every single day, six days a week,” Gierzal said.“There’s a lot of things that I ask from her, and she has demonstrated that she does have that really high work ethic.”


Gierzal finds that CrossFit is for anybody, no matter what level of athletic capabilities they are at.


“I think  the biggest thing that keeps people from trying it is they think that it’s impossible because CrossFit advertises a lot of girls like Fiona who can do muscle ups and the guys who are running four minute miles. But that’s not the reality for the everyday gym goer. So just go, just have fun,” Gierzal said. “Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing or thinking. really just enjoy it and be patient with learning all of the things.”