An Interview with NZ CrossFit Teen Athlete - Renae Millar

An Interview with NZ CrossFit Teen Athlete - Renae Millar

At just 17 years old, Renae Miller has been CrossFitting for the last three years. 

Not the average teenager, this girl fills her weeks with heavy lifting, muscle ups and handstand walking in an effort to again compete at the CrossFit Games.

Renae competed in her first international CrossFit event, the Teen Gauntlet at age 14, an international competitive event for athletes, ages 12-18, featuring a combination of functional fitness workouts and skill tests.  Her next goal - getting to the CrossFit Games. 

This girl is one to watch, with a big grin and clear determination we have no doubt she will continue to make strides towards her goals.

Below is a brief interview with Renae talking about her CrossFit experiences so far. 

1. What keeps you motivated to wake up every morning before school and grind it out at the gym?

One of the reasons why I wake up at 5am to train is because I'm willing to get better and grow mentally and physically stronger for the future. CrossFit is a big part of my life and has helped shape me into the person I want to be which is determined, focused and successful.  

2. What is your favourite and least favourite CrossFit movement? 

My favourite CrossFit movement is definitely Muscle Ups (both Rings and Bar) because it is such a technical skill. My least favourite CrossFit movement are Deadlifts because I've never really been any good at them. 

3. What would you tell girls your age if they were thinking about giving CrossFit a go?

I think one of the biggest reasons why girls my age aren't too keen on trying CrossFit because they're scared of getting "big muscles" and "having a mans body" but if it's what you really love you'll learn to be proud of the muscles you have. I always get told at school that my body isn't feminine but do I care? No. I work my guts off to be where I am now. Girls are too caught up in societies views of a perfect body. They should just give it a try and who knows, maybe they'll really enjoy the process and the outcomes. 

4. You placed 34th in this years open and competed in the CrossFit Games Qualifiers - how did you find that experience this year in your new age category?

Competing in the 16-17 year old category this year was so much harder as every workout was exactly what RX men and women were expected to do . They made us do anything from lifting really heavy weights to doing extremely technical movements. Although it was very challenging this year I enjoyed being able to see how far I could go and breaking limits I didn't think I could reach. This year I proved to myself that anything is achievable if I am determined enough to do the work. 

5. What advice would you give those wanting to compete in CrossFit?

Make sure you have fun! A lot of people forget the whole reason that they do it is because they enjoy it and I'll admit I've done that too but everything is better when you're having fun. 

6. Do you have any pre-competition rituals? 

The night before, I'll go to the grocery store and buy baby food, mixed nuts, bananas, chocolate and bumper bars. I have never been to a competition where I have not bought those exact foods so I guess it's a bit of a ritual. 

7. What was the biggest learning you took away from competing at the CrossFit Games? 

The biggest learning I took is that I shouldn't care what anyone else's score is or how well they do, I have to compete to the best of MY ability. I can only control how I perform and not anyone else so putting it all into perspective and seeing the bigger picture by reflecting on my outcomes was definitely a big milestone for me. 

8. Who inspires you to achieve your CrossFit goals?

With no doubt, my Dad. He is one of most inspirational people I have ever met. He is incredibly hard working and super determined. I look up to him because he is my motivator and constantly reminds me that he believes in me and the goals I have planned for the future. I truely would not be who I am today without the drive he gives me everyday and I am blessed and thankful that he plays a major part in my life. 

9. What does a typical week of training look like for you? 

Mondays to Fridays I usually do the 6am class at CrossFit Mana and then after school I'll train at home from about 4pm till 5pm and focus on technique based movements. On Saturdays, I train from 10am till 12pm and do some Olympic Weightlifting followed by high volume workouts and stamina styled EMOMs. 

10. What is next for Renae Miller - what do you have planned for the next 12 months?

Next month I will be getting surgery on my right hip so after that I plan to recover, build my strength and fitness back up and become a full time athlete. 

Thanks Renae! We love seeing you compete - best of luck with the recovery and we know you will be back in action in no time!


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