September Athlete of the Month


No coincidence that we pegged her for this month and BOOM- she takes second place at the NZ Masters comp in the scaled division this past weekend! From someone who wasn’t supposed to lift any weights over her head due to injury, she’s come a long way!!

Interview by Paddy Compter

Name: Tanya Hammond
Age:  42
Occupation: Mum
Lives: Karekare Beach

You were one of the original members of CFW? How did you join up? I initially signed up with Genice for PT sessions as I had as shoulder injury and wanted to get into some weight training. A few months later she roped me into one of her Blast Off group fitness sessions at Les Mills (which I hated to start, then realised I missed them when she went to the States for a few weeks!) My very first session was with Tania Churches. This then lead to CF when she established her own box.

What sort of exercise were you doing before you joined? I am guessing it didn’t involve any weights…

No weights, track and beach running and spin classes.

How often do you train in an average week?

4 sessions, if I do too much the injuries flare up

How important is staying healthy and fit to you?

Very important, more so now that I have to be a role model to my children (and to keep up with them).  There is also a high risk of heart disease on my side of the family, my dad has been on heart medication for 40 years which has tainted his quality of life and I don’t want to be like this.

Do you remember your first CF workout and what it felt like afterwards? Was it more challenging than you imagined?

In one of my PT sessions with Genice she introduced me to boxjumps, can’t remember what they were coupled with – but totally wasted me as such a different kind of intensity to things I had done before.

How do you push though a difficult WOD?

Just trying to make it to the end most of the time and to ignore the voice in my head telling me to give up! Or to think of it as training for the competitions. 

And how has crossfit training changed the way you approach exercise?

Way less running. If I run now it is 1 hour maximum, especially after all the bad press on long distance running. Also on a beach run, will break it up with the odd burpee or sand dune sprint cross fit style. 

What about food. I believe you are vegetarian. What does an average day of food look like for you?

Not vegetarian, just no red meat or pork. I try and incorporate paleo to a point, but still eat whole grains and think of everything in moderation rather than cutting out all food groups completely (chocolate).

You are an inspiration to me in lots of ways – as an athlete, mum and friend. You are also one of the over 40’s in the box and a regular member of the comp teams. What’s your secret to beating those youngsters?

Thanks Paddy. I have played a lot of sports in my life but never really had anything that “measures” me like CF. I guess I just trying to beat my own times and going as hard as I can until my body is too old. But after seeing those 50 year olds at the Masters Comp yesterday…

Do you find it hard to rest?

Yes, not very good at sitting down doing nothing.

What/who motivates you at the box?

All the coaches, walking the talk – hoping one day can get those elusive skills they do so easily. And fellow box members, that’s the cool thing is that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses and with CrossFit being such a leveller, you can always learn from someone around you.

What are your physical goals for 2014? 

Getting sorted for the Mount Competition. Strength and improvement in my Oly technique and OHS. To name a few out of the millions. And keeping injuries at bay.

Favourite exercise?

Surfing, running

Least favourite?


Dream WOD?

Running, dubs, wall balls, boxjumps, rope climbs for something over 20 minutes.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone considering starting out at CFW, what would it be?
When I started I could barely lift a practice bar overhead (even this was too heavy for snatches and OHS had to use a dowel). I was scared to do a handstand against a wall and climb up a rope, but have overcome these fears. Stick with it despite the ups and downs. Listen to your body.

 3 facts about me you may not know;

  1. Married to Rob, with 2 gorgeous girls Stella and Laura (would be CrossFitters in the making if we could fit it around their swim schedule)
  2. I am horrendously allergic to bees (just in case you see me collapse at the box)
  3. 3. Was a paid lifeguard for 5 years





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