Julie Foucher: “My CrossFit Games 2013″

Love to Eat? Introducing

Are you passionate about food, nutrition and recipes? Unleash your inner foodie and check out our brand-new site - share your favorite recipes at Nutrition-WOD today!

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.

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

Molly Eledge published the post Paleo Churro Ice Cream Sandwich on Nutrition WOD
Paleo. Churro. Ice Cream. Sandwich. WAAAH?! Yeah- you read right! And don't let the whole "paleo"...
Kristy Parrish published the post King Kong Apparel: Generation Gym Bags Are Built for a Lifetime on Tabata Times
How many of you have gone through more than two gym bags in the last year? Or three? Or even four?...
Beaverton CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit Train shared a link on Facebook

http://crossfittrain.com/blog/2014/7/2/likeagirl #likeagirl

Beaverton CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit 101 shared a link on Facebook

http://crossfit101.com/waiting-exhale/

CrossFit Los Gatos posted an article
Berkeley CrossFit posted an article
mindcoach published the post Confidence and High Intensity Performance on
I know we just moved out of ski season, but skiing has so much to teach us about mental strength...
Morgan Hill CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

week5 wod4 http://wp.me/p3Bc8L-jj

CrossFitOfFremont posted an article
Berkeley CrossFit posted an article
Tracktown CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

7-3-14 http://wp.me/p4qBhj-bm

CrossFit 101 posted an article
CrossFit Potrero Hill shared a link on Facebook

WOD- Thursday, July 3 SKILL OF THE MONTH: MUSCLE-UP Weekly Homework: do this before class, after class, or at open gym to improve your muscle ups! Week 7/1-7/6/14 1. Swing Hip to Rings 3×8 2. Ring Supports 3×8 3. Ring Rows 3×10 4. False Grip Hang 2x …

CrossFit Oakland posted on Facebook

Thursday is a Recovery Day!

Telegraph CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Thursday 7/3/2014 WOD http://www.telegraphcrossfit.com/thursday-732014/

Telegraph CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit Ashland posted an article
Beaverton CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Announcements Fourth of July schedule! Friday - 8:30 AM and 11:30 AM Saturday - 8:15 AM, 9:30 Burn, 12:00 PM Main - Mobility with Roskopf Guest Mobilizer this evening! This guy knows how to have a good time! View Public Whiteboard: http://bit.ly/1vzh78F Metcon (No Measure) Expect some smashing, rolling, twisting, turning, laughing, crying and overall goodness happening to your crusty tissues!

Max Fitness CrossFit posted on Facebook

7/3/14 Come in, work on a skill! Make up a WOD.

CrossFit Dark Element shared a link on Facebook

http://cfdarkelement.com/whiteboard/

CrossFit Dark Element shared a link on Facebook

http://cfdarkelement.com/daily-wod/

Beaverton CrossFit posted on Facebook

Mobility Thursday night. July 3rd. 6:30pm - guest/substitute mobilizer! This guy's gonna tear you apart! Have a blast gang! RWR.

CrossFit Sweatshop posted an article
San Carlos CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

CrossFit Oakdale shared a link on Facebook

http://cfoakdale.com/2014/07/03/kevins-climb-completed/

San Carlos CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Lots of snatches tomorrow #crossfit #snatch #fit #fitness #exercise #lift #wod #pr #crossfitgirls @mjett74

San Carlos CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Working on our base. #crossfit #rowing #fit #fitness #wod #lift #exercise @mmaclean01

CrossFit All Terrain posted an article
Concord CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Welcome some new faces :-) great job tonight Courtney, John and Megan!!!

CrossFit West Santa Cruz shared a link on Facebook

Matt http://wp.me/suz1A-matt

CrossFit West Santa Cruz posted an article
Beaverton CrossFit posted on Facebook

Great work at the track tonight....tough session

CrossFit Potrero Hill posted an article
Beaverton CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Announcements Fourth of July schedule! Friday - 8:30 AM and 11:30 AM Saturday - 8:15 AM, 9:30 Burn, 12:00 PM Main - CrossFit View Public Whiteboard: http://bit.ly/TQiSCw Main WOD Around the World (No Measure) 5 movements @ 70% 1 min each for 30 min Olympic lifting Clean and Jerk (1 clean + jerk each 90s ; add 10# until fail ) Perform 1 clean + jerk each 90s, add 10# ; until fail...rest 5 min , repeat...try to meet or beat it Men start - 135 Women -95

Telegraph CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Working on Jerk Balances for warmups and position work in tonight's Weightlifting Class

Eugene CrossFit posted an article
Westside Bend CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

There is a limited schedule for the 4th of July. We are going to be shut down for the evening classes (4, 5:30 and 6:30). Morning schedule will be the same. Have a great 4th of July!

CrossFit Mill Valley shared an image on Facebook

Worlds colliding to save lives. Juggling for Jude #poweredbymammoth

CrossFit All Terrain posted on Facebook

Unfortunately the game has been canceled tonight everyone

CrossFit West Santa Cruz posted on Facebook

Athletes, remember that the Firecracker Race will be running on July 4th at Harvey West. You'll need to park a couple blocks away and walk or run to the 9am class. :-)

Anonymous shared a link on Facebook

7/3/14 http://wp.me/sWAja-7314

CrossFit 209 Sport shared a link on Facebook

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=735577119822185&id=163071317072771

CrossFit 209 Sport posted on Facebook

What will you be making for your 4th of July BBQ??? Let's hear it!! https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=410308475776149&substory_index=0&id=271313329675665

CrossFit 209 Sport shared an image on Facebook

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=284606848385040&id=148284738683919 More info on knee pain!!

CrossFit 101 shared a link on Facebook

Scamper Pics are up!

CrossFit West Santa Cruz shared a link on Facebook

Super short read with great tips.

Anonymous posted an article
saulj shared a link on Facebook

Not saying anything, just saying...

The Shipyard CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

And today, we met Kalsu....

CrossFit All Terrain posted on Facebook

Alright guys just got off the phone with the other softball team and we're gonna wait until 5pm to make a decision on the game. Looks pretty gnarly out there but we'll see what happens! Stay tuned....

San Carlos CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Back in action #thrusters #crossfit #fit #fitness #exercise #lift #wod

CrossFit Oakdale posted on Facebook

http://www.playbuzz.com/erikw/what-crossfit-exercise-are-you

CrossFit Cypher shared an image on Facebook

It's the new planking? AM crew helds it down!

CrossFit Cypher shared an image on Facebook

It's the new planking? AM crew helds it down!

CrossFit Cypher shared an image on Facebook

It's the new planking? AM crew helds it down!

CrossFit Cypher shared an image on Facebook

It's the new planking? AM crew helds it down!

CrossFit Cypher shared an image on Facebook

It's the new planking? AM crew helds it down!

CrossFit Los Gatos shared an image on Facebook

Noon class finishing strong today! Kb's, push jerks and C2b pull ups! Oh ya ;)

@TabataTimes on Twitter

Watch the latest episode of GPTV