Everything to Gain: Eva Clarke

Mother of three, business owner and self-professed “fitness junkie,” Eva Clarke has just added CrossFit Games regional competitor to her resume.

Today, just six months after attempting her first workout, Clarke is sitting comfortably in second place in Asia after posting a score of 189 reps on Open Workout 14.4 and finishing 14.5 in 10:43.

“I am thrilled to have made it to the Asia Regional this year,” Clarke said. “It will be a new learning experience and I have nothing to lose by taking part. In fact, I have everything to gain, as I am still new to CrossFit. I can't wait to see where I am in a few more years with all the essential fundamental skills under my belt.”

With a background in a mix of ultra-marathons, soccer, bodybuilding, martial arts and other athletics, Clarke has made quick gains in CrossFit.

“CrossFit opens new doors of physical competence, which intrigues me,” she said. “Everything that I do leads me to new fitness challenges.”

A former colleague introduced the native Australian to CrossFit in September of 2013 during the Dubai Fitness Challenge, where Clarke went up against CrossFit stars Annie Thorisdottir and Lindsey Valenzuela. Amazed by the heavy lifting Thorisdottir and Valenzuela showed at the challenge, Clarke began to work out at CrossFit boxes three times a week.

“I love competing against myself, and testing how far I can push fitness boundaries,” Clarke said.

Holding a world record with 1,206 knuckle push-ups in one hour and 9,241 in 24 hours, she is no stranger to gritting her teeth and pushing past physical pain.

A combined 13 years of physical training in the Australian army and Air Force, coupled with years of experience as a fitness instructor has, without a doubt, given her a mental edge over the average rookie in CrossFit. Yet, Clarke ruminates that her fitness has not made it easier. Her endurance training has resulted in mobility issues that make Olympic lifting more challenging, particularly getting the barbell overhead.

“I have yet to master the specific skills needed in the technical aspect of CrossFit,” she said, “so I need to retrain my body to learn these movements and to transition between them while the body is under competition stress.”

Fitting her training into a typical day means practicing skills after sending her children to school, working on her Olympic lifts before lunchtime, mobility work at midday, more training in the afternoon, conducting boot camp, and then getting homework done with her children before heading to bed.

post-everything-to-gain-2All that commitment has paid off. She has gotten stronger and seen gains, particularly in her lifting numbers.

“Every Open workout has tested my coordination, strength and ability to strategize. In particular, 14.3 was not kind,” she said. “I found my technique failing me even at 155 lb.”

Far from being scared off, she said she enjoys the opportunity to pit herself against other athletes. She relishes the challenge—certainly a quality that guarantees she will keep coming back for more.

“Skills, skills and more skills—and some technical lifting,” Clarke said of her preparation for the Asia Regional.

On May 23-25, the Asian CrossFit community will get to see what Clarke has to offer when the weights get heavier and the movements more complex.

Published on Mon, 2014-05-05 21:00
By: Esther Leng