Julie Foucher: “My CrossFit Games 2013″

Print
by JULIE FOUCHER

Julie Foucher took 2nd place in the 2012 CrossFit Games this past July. Here she shares about making her decision to focus on her second year of medical school for this upcoming Games season.
How do you balance medical school and CrossFit?” This is the one question to which it seems everyone wants to know the answer. I usually just smile or laugh and remark with a similar expression of perplexity, “I don’t know either – I’m still trying to figure it out!” I could talk about time management tips and strategies for maximizing efficiency, but those who are close to me know that I am far from mastering any of these skills.

The truth of the matter is that in my experience, more importantly than time management, achieving balance begins with defining reasonable goals.
Why do you want to compete in the CrossFit Games? Or pursue a particular degree, or job? Will this reason be enough to sustain you when the path toward this goal becomes dark and windy?
Last year, I entered medical school at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine with a goal of also competing in the 2012 CrossFit Games. With a good understanding of the first-year curriculum, I knew that it would be possible to dedicate the necessary time to training while still fulfilling my medical school requirements. Knowing that the path toward these two tasks I was simultaneously attempting to surmount would be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining, it was also important for me to spend time reflecting on why I wanted to pursue each one. As the year progressed, this reflection would prove invaluable as I reminded myself of these reasons with each moment of doubt, frustration, or exhaustion along the way, empowering me to steadily press forward. The incredible support of family and close friends in and out of the gym also kept me focused and reminded me of what is truly most important in life.

A Challenging Balancing Act

Based purely on my own limited experience, here is my best advice for achieving balance:

  1. Identify your goals and what motivates you, deep down, to achieve them. Why do you want to compete in the CrossFit Games? Or pursue a particular degree, or job? Will this reason be enough to sustain you when the path toward this goal becomes dark and windy?
  2. Decide how much time you have to dedicate to each goal. No matter who you are, there are only 24 hours in a day. My engineering degree is more than a year old now, but I can still do this math: the more goals you have, the less time you have to spend on each one. Family, friends, jobs, etc are all important – prioritize and make sure you spend time on the things that matter most to you.
  3. Work like crazy with the time you have dedicated to each goal to reach and surpass it. Give 100% effort to whatever you are doing in each moment of time.*
  4. Have reasonable expectations. If you only dedicate 3 hours per week to training, no matter how hard you work during those 3 hours it might be unreasonable to expect to stand on top of the podium at next year’s CrossFit Games (but hey, who’s to say?).
  5. Avoid the temptation to compare yourself to others who have completely different lives and sets of goals. If you are dedicating 3 hours per week of training it would be hard to compare yourself to another athlete in the CrossFit Games Open or Regionals who has the luxury of putting in 15 hours. Stand firm in your original motivations and the goals you set for yourself and celebrate each of your personal accomplishments.
  6. Take time to reflect. As you work steadily toward your goals, it is important to periodically stop and notice your progress. Notice whether your goals or motivations have changed, and re-direct as necessary.

     *Note: This in itself is a lofty goal and one that I struggle most with!

Making a Difficult Decision

Rather than giving half an effort to medical school and half an effort to theCrossFit Games this year, I must shift my focus to dedicating a full effort to school and the board exam.
Now comes the hard part: it is time to take my own advice. As I look toward the upcoming year, I again must define my goals and ask myself why I am choosing to pursue each one. This second year of medical school is a critical one in my program, with increased classroom commitments and a significant demand to prepare for the first medical board exam in June. As I pursue my goal of becoming the best physician I can be, this year stands out as one that will lay the groundwork for caring for patients in the future. Recognizing the importance of this goal and the time commitment  necessary to pursue it, I know that this year it must be prioritized above others, including competing in the 2013 CrossFit Games.

As much as it pains me to consider not competing in the sport I love, that has become a part of who I am and who I aspire to become, I know that in this particular year, I have another goal that has to take precedence.
I have considered every possibility (believe me, every possibility), and I have decided that rather than giving half an effort to medical school and half an effort to the CrossFit Games this year, I must shift my focus to dedicating a full effort to school and the board exam.

But don’t you worry – I’ve still got my eye on the top of the podium in 2014, and training for that particular goal starts today.
It is important to set our goals high and to push ourselves beyond what we think we are capable of so that we may ultimately reach our full potential. I believe it is also important to remember that we are human – and that some goals are just too important to sacrifice. I would never want to look back on this year and my career and wonder whether I could have done better had I not been distracted by training for the CrossFit Games. This year my goal is to crush the USMLE Step 1 exam, and in order to reach my full potential in this endeavor I know it requires me to sacrifice training for the 2013 CrossFit Games. But don’t you worry – I’ve still got my eye on the top of the podium in 2014, and training for that particular goal starts today.

This article is re-published from Julie Foucher’s blog, “Comfort in the Uncomfortable: Musings of Medicine & Muscles.” Originally posted on October 27, 2012.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Printable Version

We Are Scouting Top Writers

Are you passionate about fitness and have something to say? Reach a huge online community and get the discussion going - start writing for Tabata Times today!

Share this post
@TabataTimes on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook 

Contribute to this story by commenting below:

Advertise Here

Most Popular of All Time

Ballston CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Mark your calendar! http://ballstoncrossfit.com/tuesday-november-11-2014-630pm-veterans-day-wod-with-warriors/

Ballston CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Foundations special (only $99 for 6 classes over the next few weeks)! If you have friends interested in joining BCF, encourage them to do it soon! Please share this graphic on your Facebook wall to help promote BCF around Arlington! Next course starts October 28, register before it's full! http://ballstoncrossfit.com/get-started/

CrossFit Focus shared an image on Facebook

It's Thursday, ladies!

CrossFit Pittsburgh posted on Facebook

I just wanted to say a special thanks to everyone for yesterday's Hero WOD. Thank you for remembering my Brothers. Special thanks to everyone at the 5:30pm.

CrossFit Iron City shared a link on Facebook

Thursday 10/16/14 http://wp.me/p2Jf7S-18Q

CrossFit Iron City posted an article
CrossFit Focus shared an image on Facebook

Now that's teamwork right there!

CrossFit Focus shared a link on Facebook

Only as high as I reach can I grow; Only as far as I seek can I go; Only as deep as I look can I see; Only as much as I dream can I be.

Salvador published the post To cheat or not to cheat? The "misscounting disorder" on Tabata Times
You hear the signal "3-2-1...go!", the adrenaline starts pumping, you are fully beast-mode. You...
CrossFit Prime posted an article
CrossFit 77 posted an article
CrossFit 77 posted an article
CrossFit LKN posted an article
CrossFit Shadyside posted on Facebook

http://crossfitshadyside.blogspot.com/2014/10/thursday-101614.html

Oak City CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Members of the OCCF Rowing Team are at the box RIGHT NOW getting those last meters in before the Concept2 Fall Challenge ends. Nice work y'all!

Fearless Athletics CrossFit South Philly posted an article
CrossFit Athletics posted an article
CrossFit Invoke posted an article
paleobutter published the post Sicilian Stuffed Peppers on Nutrition WOD
[yumprint-recipe id='124']
Ballston CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit Invoke shared an image on Facebook

Emily is putting in work with sand bag thrusters! #getit #workout #workhard #cfinvoke #cfiathlete #cfibootycamp #relentlesslife #crossfit #strong #barbellbabes #fitness #fitlife

Outlaw CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS! http://outlawcrossfit.com/2014/10/15/bring-a-friend-promotion/

CrossFit Novem posted an article
CrossFit Old Town shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit Love shared an image on Facebook

LV III – 10.16.14 Competition Programming Swim Intervals 50 meters x 15, Rest is :30 - :60 between each Inflammation Maintenance Mobility Weakness Work - spend 20:00 improving range of motion "Optional" - Performance Upper Body Strength Programming

CrossFit Focus shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit RTP shared an image on Facebook

The community keeps you coming back! Check out our community at our FREE intro class this Saturday at 10:50 am!! Tag a friend who wants to try crossfit. #CrossfitRTP #Crossfit #DurhamNC #Community #TeamPlayer

CrossFit Gastonia shared a link on Facebook

Thursday's WOD http://www.crossfitgastonia.com/w-o-d

CrossFit Arlington shared a link on Facebook

Thurs 16 Oct 2014 http://wp.me/p2SUDs-1fh

CrossFit Pittsburgh posted an article
CrossFit Wilmington posted an article
Trident CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit Integrated Fitness shared a link on Facebook

http://if-fit.com/workout-of-the-day-october-16th-2014/

CrossFit Arlington posted an article
CrossFit Harrisburg posted on Facebook

Barbell for boobs. Sunday, October 19 at 3:00pm Deload week, will max next week. Thurs Squat Clean and Jerk (5x5 @ 60%) Touch and go Speed and technique stay light Metcon (AMRAP - Reps) 12 min Amrap 3-6-9-12… slamball 30/20 box jump 24/20

CrossFit Main Line shared an image on Facebook

Our 6am class took on a 20 minute AMRAP loaded with lots of fun movements today! 14 Oct 2014 WEDNESDAY 10.15.14 W.O.D. WEDNESDAY 10.15.14 W.O.D. Explosive Strength Skill: Seated Box Jumps (Max Height) ** Sit on box at knee height WOD: 20min AMRAP 50 Wallballs (20,14) 50 Dubs (x3) 40 Box Jumps (24,20) 40 T2B 30 C2B 30 Burpees 20 Power Cleans (135,95) 20 Push Jerks (135,95) 10 Snatches (135,95) 10 MUs

CrossFit Main Line posted an article
CrossFit Main Line posted an article
CrossFit Main Line posted an article
CrossFit Main Line posted an article
CrossFit Main Line posted an article
CrossFit Center City shared an image on Facebook

Woohoo! These dumbbells now have clearly labelled homes and are also much easier to find to use. By our powers combined we can keep these organized! Jordan, Meg, and Perrin are the heroes responsible for this little project! #captainplanet

CrossFit Wake Forest posted on Facebook

10/16/2014 WOD: A single set of Strict Pull-ups for max reps. Then: Helen 3 rounds for time of: Run, 400 m 21 Kettlebell Swings, 1.5/1 pood 12 Pull-ups

Raleigh CrossFit posted an article
Raleigh CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit Old Town shared a link on Facebook

CrossFit King of Prussia shared a link on Facebook

Come watch the area's best compete at Team SuperFit this Saturday at CrossFit King of Prussia!http://www.superfitgames.com/1481/team-superfit-philadelphia-competition-information/

CrossFit 77 posted on Facebook

***Attention: Vida and Michael Cox, the 5pm crew misses you and demands you show your face!*** For every class that you miss from this post till the end of the year, the 5pm class will do 1 extra burpee. This starts tomorrow.

CrossFit 77 shared a link on Facebook

"@khalward: @CrossFit_77 I made a sweat devil!

CrossFit Delaware Valley shared an image on Facebook

The 4 pm class hitting it hard in today's Triple-Girl Monster Mash.

CrossFit Durham shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit Wilmington shared an image on Facebook

Who's in your gym posse? At #CFW, everyone is! #crossfitfamily #teamwork #fitness #homies #trainhard #havefun #accountability #supportsystem

CrossFit Main Line shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit Main Line and R5s Master and Scaled teams finish up the CrossFit Team Series with top rankings! Masters: 11th in the WORLD Scaled: 6th in the Mid Atlantic

CrossFit Coastal shared an image on Facebook

Happy Humpday! Noon class working on 10 x 30/30 row sprints.

CrossFit Exchange shared a link on Facebook

We supplement our eating typically because we are nutrient deprived. What about preventative supplementation? We know protein is the building block of life and in effect should get that intake of protein post wod but here's something to consider: http://www.sfh.com/blog/1/post/164

CrossFit King of Prussia posted an article
CrossFit Local shared an image on Facebook

Comet's enjoying #doublebarley #gourdrocker for her birthday! #kegishere #feelthelove #bringafrienddays

tamarascull published the post Why "Strong is the New Skinny" is Here to Stay on
I don't remember when I first heard the phrase "Strong is the New Skinny," but I remember vividly...
CrossFit 77 shared an image on Facebook

Bostic and his son giving directions to the gun show!

CrossFit Coastal shared an image on Facebook

Rainy morning didn't stop the 9:15am crew from getting up and pushing through the longest day of the week! Great job everyone!

@TabataTimes on Twitter

Watch the latest episode of GPTV