On this episode of the Get Better Project I have the honor of interviewing Tia Wright! Tia is a multi year CrossFit Regionals athlete with one of the most determined attitudes of anyone that I’ve met!
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If you would like to read instead of listen… here’s the transcript
Joe Bauer: 00:39 Okay. Welcome to the get better project podcast today. I have regionals, athlete Tia, Wright? Tia, how are you doing today?
Tia Wright: 00:49 Wonderful. Thanks for having me.
Joe Bauer: 00:51 Yeah, I’m excited to have you. I know you’re a local athlete here in the northwest and tons of people said you gotta hear from Tia Wright. So I’m excited to get you on the podcast here and give you some questions that you can answer.
Tia Wright: 01:04 Yeah, I hope I, I hope I can share it. Whatever one wants to hear.
Joe Bauer: 01:08 Yeah, definitely. So first off is just, you know, for those people that don’t know who you are, can you give us a brief background of who you are and how you got into CrossFit?
Tia Wright: 01:16 Yeah, thankfully and fortunately I guess started back in 2010, so it’s been eight years. Um, I know we all like joke about how like, we wish we could’ve started CrossFit when we were like 10 years old, we imagine where we would be now. Um, so I’d say, well, I actually started when I was 18. Wow. I know, thankful. Um, so I’ve just kind of got to grow up in the sport, watch my body transform and watch my, my wife’s, I’ll transform and watch my mind to transform and see how the sport has challenged me and forced me to grow. And it’s been really neat. So I qualified for my first regionals in 2012. Um, when I quit volleyball for college. Oh yeah. I like, I just wasn’t really feeling the team and you know, I, I felt like I had so much more left in me athletically. Um, so I quit college ball and that was the first year I qualified for regionals.
Joe Bauer: 02:21 Did you know that that’s what your path was going to be? Or was it just, hey, I qualified, let’s do this?
Tia Wright: 02:27 Um, I, there was like this unconscious awareness that could be really good at this. But at the time I was like, what are the CrossFit Games? So then I went and watched the CrossFit Games in 2012 and 13 with my family and I was like, Oh yeah, I want to stand on that floor like that. I can do that. I have that ability. And ever since then I’ve just been like saying my life up for that. I guess I’m just graduating school, getting a career that will allow me to train, um, and I have just jumped up the leader board as the years have gone on. So from 2012 to now have qualified for regionals every year and improved and it’s been pretty fun.
Joe Bauer: 03:18 So we’ve, we’ve kind of gone over, you’ve been doing CrossFit for quite a while now, which is fantastic. And your current goals are obviously sounds like to reach the Games. Is there any more that you’d like to elaborate on? Like how you’ve come up with your current goals and what you do in order to set those?
Tia Wright: 03:37 Wow. Yeah, I mean I feel like goal setting is like, it’s like it’s a skill in itself. People, there are people in the world that are goal setters for other people, like that’s all they do for a living is help you determine your goals. Um, so I feel like it’s kind of a complex one, but I, this, my goal is off of things that I realize are tangible goals and things scared me a little. Um, when both scare you, it means that there’s a limitation and you want to push through those limitations. And so like, for example, this year, um, this year I wanted to win the open and I was like writing that down on my goal list and was like, oh my gosh, is that even possible? And it’s like a little nervous, but that’s the goal that pushes you the most. So that’s, that’s the one that scared me and that’s the one I wanted to do.
Tia Wright: 04:41 Um, and, and I think that sometimes that’s how it goes anyway. So then I also knew deep down inside back however many years ago that I could stand on the floor at regionals at the Games and I can win regionals to, and it would be epic. And that is something that I didn’t necessarily know if it was possible, but it was something I wanted and I just went after it. So I think a lot of the times if you have a goal or if you set something and you think that you can, you probably can. And if you’re going to set it, you better just stay to it. Like it’s not going to happen next year. Um, so if you’re going to set a goal and you want it, like just know that it could take you eight years.
Joe Bauer: 05:32 How do you dig into that? Some people are, at least in this society, we want things fast. So how do you stick to those goals?
Tia Wright: 05:39 Oh Gosh. Yeah. Tell me about it. Everyday. I, I, I sometimes feel bad for people, but um, you know, they, they work on, they work on stuff every day and I see people work so hard and they’re like, ah, I’m just not what I wanted it to be. And I’m like, dude, I wish you guys could see where I started I was doing with the green band and I didn’t know was I had never done it all in the process and they, win little victories, you know, you need to cherish the moments that you do conquer something and that you do and that really just encourages like the progress for an eight year goal or whether it takes that long or not. Um, you know, like you PR in something and that happens a little bit quicker than maybe something else, like I’m getting your first Muslim. So whatever it is in life, whether it’s in CrossFit or in your job or in being a mom or in your marriage or whatever it is that you’re working towards, those goals can be far away and sometimes they should be, but there are little goals that are along the way and that those little victories you’d have to celebrate in order to keep you persevering. Does that answer the question?
Joe Bauer: 07:13 Yeah, definitely. Do you set up any systems where you’re recording these little things, these victories, or is it just in your mind and you’ve done a really good job of noticing them?
Tia Wright: 07:27 Yeah, maybe I’m just blessed in my organization for them. I’ve never written them down. Um, which probably is like something I should do. Um, but yeah, I, I just, it’s like one thing. Then the next, you know, I remember when I, when I appeared by clean for the first time and it was like 135 and I was like, awesome. And now I look back, I’m like, really? That was your claim and now I’m cleaning like 230. So almost 100 pounds.
Tia Wright: 08:01 I didn’t necessarily ever think I would do that. I always like I look back at cleaning 200 back then and that would crush me. Um, so you just look at those little victories in the moment and then the next one just pops up Wright in front of you. You know, you, it’s like all the sudden there’s a new goal, you get your first muscle up and then people are like, well, now, now I want to put two together and then all of a sudden you’re doing sets of fives and then you’re a Games athlete and you’re looking to do sets of genes. So I think the natural progression, especially in CrossFit, it is awesome. I don’t know how that is in other, in other careers or other goals in life, but you just have to be aware of the ones that are just the next step in front of you and you just have to push the timeline for them.
Joe Bauer: 08:48 Sure. And it’s. So it seems like you have a really good positive attitude around types of things. Do you have any, is this just come natural for you or how did you get to that point?
Tia Wright: 09:04 Oh man, that’s such a loaded question. You know, ideally believe that people at a high level of competitive sports are naturally more positives than others because of the intensity and the challenges that they face. Um, however I was nowhere near positive enough or forward thinking enough or encouraging enough of myself to go anywhere that I wanted to go. And this year I focused a lot on mindset a lot on, like valuing my own abilities and being competent and I’m seeing where that takes me and it’s been transformative. It’s been so cool. Um, but the cool part is that it takes conscious effort all the time, learning how to determine between the little phrases that are slightly negative or if they’re purely positive people, people could say it. So you get, say your, your training and you’re lifting. Everybody knows that little weightlifting and it’s like a love hate relationship.
Tia Wright: 10:23 And so it’s really easy to get frustrated and it’s really easy to like be really analytical of every list and focus on the negatives that you did because those are the things you need to change or you can focus on all the things you did well. You can love every lift, you can be proud of every lift and it just boosts your session and makes it awesome. Um, so that’s like an example of things that happen in the gym that, that change your mindset or things like when they merged the region, when they went, they took all of the west coast and made one region, so they took the northwest and combined it with California and Hawaii and um, you know, they did that and a good athlete would say, cool, bring it on. Yeah, let’s face this, like, let’s go. I want to win now. More competitive. I love it. Um, whereas someone that was negative or not negative, but someone who thinks they’re being positive with say, we’ll see how it goes. I’m okay with it. Let’s see how it goes. There’s just like a slight difference in someone who is so positive that it is, it is building versus just staying the same. Awesome. Awesome.
Joe Bauer: 11:39 Yeah. Did you learn that from somebody or a book or how did you figure that out?
Tia Wright: 11:44 Yeah, I actually, there’s a family friend who is a sports psychologist and we have been working with him and he has been very, very powerful in my change in mindset. So it’s really cool. He’s been training me on how to control my own energy, how to, to control my own day. I was kind of going throughout the day based on like what other people needed from me. And he was like, no, we’re putting you first. So you prioritize your training. What do you need to get done? Uh, you, you don’t need anyone to make you successful except you, you, um, and he’s taught me a lot.
Joe Bauer: 12:25 That’s super cool. I love it. I think that what people need to realize is that they need to take a page out of your book and start doing that. Start listening to what they’re saying to themselves and see how they can improve it. So that’s super cool. And next up everybody wants to know how much time you spend training?
Tia Wright: 12:52 Yeah, which I think is a variable question because I know a lot of people that spend a lot of time in the gym and aren’t doing a whole lot of work. They dabbled between workouts or it takes a lot of time for them to recover in the prepare for the next one are setup and breakdown and whatever. But um, I trained from 8 in the morning till about 9:30 sometimes I add it till 10:30. Um, so sometimes it’s two and a half, sometimes it’s only 90 minutes. And then I go home and I do other preparatory thing. So food mindset, calmness, recovery, um, and then I go back to the gym and I trained for about an hour, sometimes a little more. Um, so really it’s only about two and a half to three hours a day. But when I’m there I’m going like can’t talk to me because I’m on the clock and it’s rolling and there’s no distractions.
Tia Wright: 13:47 So like I’ve hardly warm up. I just get ready, get warm, get stretched out and then go. And pretty much every piece is on a clock and it helps you stay connected to that intensity and your performance while you’re training and your focus. And so I do work out about three hours a day. I would say if they add in some like longer and, like training where it’s just like a 10 mile run, like obviously that’s going to be a significant amount more time. But for the most part it’s just about three and a half hours a day.
Joe Bauer: 14:22 And how does that usually broken up between like accessory work, Metcon, strength?
Tia Wright: 14:27 Yeah. I always look at my programming and I’m like well do this at this time and kind of work around the gym schedule or the equipment and it usually is about 30 minutes of strength in the morning. Um, and then I usually do my skill work and accessory work in the morning. So things like gymnastics skills or midline strengths or just like some dumbbell accessories. And then when I come back, metabolic conditioning pieces and I do those on the afternoon.
Joe Bauer: 15:01 Okay. So did you say three metabolic conditioning pieces?
Tia Wright: 15:05 Yeah, like Wright now I’m like, when we’re getting into regional training their, their can be, say it’ll look like today we did the 21015 Regionals event with the one mile run chipper. Um, and then I have like a combo which is also a conditioning piece. And then sometimes they’ll add in like a bar side thing. So it’s metabolic conditioning is, it feels like a CrossFit workout, but it’s a part of my strength stuff. So there’s usually about two or three that are on the clock for time that you were working for, but again, like it, it varies a lot. Like last summer we did a strength cycle and all I was doing was like back squats and running. So yeah.
Joe Bauer: 15:52 Okay, cool. And because you’re training a lot, you’ve got to recover from that training. Unless you’re superhuman, maybe you are, you can tell us, assuming that you do have to recover, what are some of your favorite recovery methods and what do you think are the most benefits beneficial for you?
Tia Wright: 16:09 Oh Man. Okay. Number one is my chiropractor. I was just there, we were on our call, see, ask the body exactly what it needs. And I’ve found the most recovery from that because if your nutrition is on point and you’re sleeping well and you don’t have a whole lot of emotional stress, your body will recover. Fine. Honestly, like people at my gym are always like, I feel like you’re never sore. And sometimes I am, but for the most part I feel amazing. My body never aches, um, or is in some serious pain if it is, I go and see her. And then, um, so, um, I give my chiropractor a lot of my credit for my recovery, um, but other than that, um, I just keep my stress really low and when I go home in between sessions it’s just chill if we’re roommates and I are not cleaning the bed and we’re just hanging out and it’s calm and I do have like a Compex that I love and my Sidekick, which are two tools that you can use to help recover. But um, for the most part it’s just a lifestyle that kind of helps you recover.
Joe Bauer: 17:24 Well, cool. How many times a week do you see your chiropractor?
Tia Wright: 17:29 Um, sometimes only once a week and sometimes only one maybe once every two weeks. Yeah. So like Wright now I’m fighting through a lot of, like weird emotional stuff which is kind of personal. And so we’re, I’m going to see her again next week just to make sure that it’s not affecting my performance or my ability to push through my body because some people take their emotional stress out on their body and get injured and so we’re going to, I’m going to go back and see her next week and just make sure that I’m not doing that. Um, and I think it’s one of the reasons I haven’t been injured in this sport. Um, but I, um, I see her probably once a week or once every two weeks.
Joe Bauer: 18:11 Okay, cool. And leading into the next question, what would you, how would you explain your dietary habits?
Tia Wright: 18:20 Um, I will put a lot of work into this. I am a way better now. It just gets more and more focused as the season progresses. So like right now I’m going to try and do a 60 day, no ice cream challenge, leading up to regionals I have no promisses on my successes. But I am going to try my hardest. I, I really do eat whatever I want as long as it fits into my macros. So I work with nutrition. They also do my programming, so part of his performance dispenser and bill and Joe and they all do my programming and then they also have nutritionists and um, all my coaches were like, if you’re going to get your new program for this year training you have to get on with our nutritionist. So I’ve just set out my macros and they help me hit my macros every day. And sometimes it’s pizza falls into those macros, then you just do it. It’s tough. Uh, as long as it’s not like making me retain water or be bloated or feel to fall or give me headaches or inflammation, then I’m going to eat whatever I need. So I’m always making real observations about things that are affecting me in certain ways and those things. Skin change, it’d be one week, pizza is fine, and then maybe the next week the pizza’s not fine. So, you know, you’re making in real time, uh, uh, observations about what is going on with your body. And, and I honestly, I live by that from a nutrition.
Joe Bauer: 20:06 Do you know what your macros are right now?
Tia Wright: 20:09 Yeah. Do you want to hear him? Oh yeah. 340 grams of carbs a day. A 125 grams of protein and about 80 grams of fat. But I never hit my fat. I probably, I probably like 50 grams of fat a day.
Joe Bauer: 20:25 Okay. And do your macros changed over the year?
Tia Wright: 20:28 Yeah, so like we did an endurance cycle with like so much running summertime and they were a lot of different and then like going into regionals, they’re going to pump it up a little bit, but again, it’s observation based. So she’s like, hey, how are you feeling? Mike will probably change them or if I’m like, oh, I’m recovering really well, then we’ll probably keep them the same.
Joe Bauer: 20:54 Okay, interesting. How, how often do you check in with theory nutritionist?
Tia Wright: 20:58 Well, when you shoot for like every couple of weeks, but sometimes it’s only once every three weeks. I’m sure now that regionals is coming in, I’ll, I’ll be texting them a lot more.
Joe Bauer: 21:07 Okay, cool. And you mentioned that you eat pretty much whatever fits into your macros. Do you ever schedule any cheat days or having an epic cheats that you do?
Tia Wright: 21:18 No, I, I, I’d like to say that I don’t really crave unhealthy foods that often, so when I do I just go for it and then I’m like, okay, I don’t really need to have that again, you know? Um, and I for my schedule is such that I have to eat like meat grains, veggies pretty consistently. So like I get to work and I’ve prepared my food and it’s protein and carbs and vegetables and like there’s not really a window of opportunity to like go get Dick’s hamburgers or go get pizza. Like I like my lifestyle is such that I don’t have the opportunity to go just like eat with people at restaurants. I don’t, I can’t do that. I don’t have time. So in a, in a lot of ways that’s super helpful. So I don’t really program cheat meals. If I have friends and family that are going out and I want to eat a hamburger, fries, I just do it. Cool. I like it.
Joe Bauer: 22:19 Have you ever done any interest in experiments with your diet or training or anything like that?
Tia Wright: 22:25 Um, uh, one of the things that was really helpful for me was making sure that I eat a certain amount of protein and carbs before, but then 60 minutes of training and then after, within 60 minutes, and that’s just called nutrient timing and that was so valuable, um, because it just means that your body has enough energy for training and then it has enough to recover. So basically you set yourself up for the value of training and then you make sure that the value stays there as you’re recovering, you’re gaining everything you can. And that was a really cool experience that was transforming. That was really cool.
Joe Bauer: 23:08 Awesome. Awesome. Um, what aspects of being a high level athlete are the most difficult for you?
Tia Wright: 23:24 Um, when I started, uh, I had to make a lot of decisions to train alone and I kind of had to learn how to like bring my own energy. So it’s not really a challenge anymore just because I knew I needed to conquer that. And so, um, I actually prefer training alone now, but I think that for anyone else who’s like trying to do this, um, it’s, it’s hard to train alone because you’re going to do so much. That’s so self specific that you are on your own. Um, what else has been really challenging? I was just really love what I’m doing so it’s not like super challenging. I’m just, I really love the work I love.
Joe Bauer: 24:17 What are the things that are the most fun that you’re like, man, this is just awesome.
Tia Wright: 24:23 Yeah. Oh, I just like, I love seeing my training for the day and just like checking it all off the list. Frigging productive. I was, you know, and I just have so much trust in my programmers and my coaches that like when I get that all done, I’m like, Oh, I’m better today. You know? So probably that, like it just makes you want to work. It makes you want to work hard and it Jean.
Joe Bauer: 24:58 Awesome. Have you ever been injured?
Tia Wright: 25:01 No. Um, I had this like random shoulder thing once. I just like woke up one day and I couldn’t move my shoulder and so I like coach with my arm by my side and like couldn’t move it for like a week and then it was like totally fine. I was like doing this ellipse and ring dips and stuff, so it was like totally fine, but I think that was more like a, like a den slowed down. Um, so no I haven’t and people are always like, oh, knock on wood, I’m good. I don’t need to knock on wood. Yeah.
Joe Bauer: 25:40 Awesome. That’s no more to be said about that injuries. Yeah. Do you ever feel like giving up? I mean, you’re doing. A lot of people have had this question asked and said that they wanted to know about this. Do you ever feel like giving up? If so, what keeps you going when you feel like quitting?
Tia Wright: 26:03 No, no, no. I never feel like I want to give up. I think if, if you want something enough like that never will enter your mind ever. It’s a negative thought and I just. Yeah, no, you know, you set a task out in front of you. It’s the same as a workout, like there’s just stuff in front of you to do and you just do it and, and when that task doesn’t get accomplished, like your own guilt should be enough to, to not want you to give up. Yeah, I honestly have never thought about that. I don’t know. I guess so. I think giving up as a negative mindset.
Joe Bauer: 26:47 Totally. I love the answer. I love it. What do you do outside of the gym? Do you have, do you work? Is this a full time thing? What else fills your time?
Tia Wright: 26:58 Good question. Um, I worked full time at my gym. We have several other full time employees and we just, we just work, I coach full time so I’m there at the gym, working for 40 hours and then I’m training the rest of it. So I really look at my training, like another full time job training in the morning, work at night, do that all day every day. Um, and I think that that’s the best environment. Like I have like family, like people from the gym that are my family and we hang out every once in a while we’ll make dinner, go to family dinner or whatever. Um, but like, especially at this time of year when it’s regionals time, I’m like, I don’t even feel like I need friends or family Wright now. Like I’m just so focused and my family and my friends are at the gym and I’m coaching there full time. So when I’m there I get that dose. I get to see my friends and get to see my family. So when I come home it’s like sleep, eat, hang out with my dog and that’s it.
Joe Bauer: 28:02 Wow. I love it. Awesome. Very. Is there anything else that you think that listeners should know about you or your training or your lifestyle that I haven’t asked you?
Tia Wright: 28:21 I think that being a contender for the Games is like a super glamorous lifestyle. Like everyone sees it as something really cool because everyone wants to work out everyday, all day long like I do, but it’s not a reality for many. And so what I gleaned from that is just that what I’m doing to push myself to get to the Games and what I’m learning about myself in this journey are things that people will push themselves in the same way to achieve their goals. And that’s all I want to do with people. I want people to come up to me, asked me what they need to help them on their journey and whatever I can help them with. That’s what I want. Um, I just, I think that being, being this level, this level of an athlete is inspiring to people and that puts the spectacle on us and that gives us the opportunity to help people however possible.
Tia Wright: 29:23 And, and that’s all I want. I want this thing, all this stuff I’m learning to pour back into people. So that’s, I mean, that’s kind of what’s inspiring me and it’s why I’m doing what I’m doing and why I just keep going because as long as I’m a contender for the Games and as long as I’m going to the Games and competing, I, I have access to helping people. And, and that’s what I love, so that’s just kind of my why and I think a lot of people need a why. So if you don’t have one, maybe start experimenting for one or just really digging deep. Um, but that’s what I want people to know and, and that’s what I want to share with people.
Joe Bauer: 30:10 Very cool. Very cool. And if people, if people want to find out more about you, um, is there anything that, how can they do that? And is there anything that you’d like to promote?
Tia Wright: 30:22 Yeah, um, I have my website and I do write pretty infrequently, but I, I do Wright. Sometimes they come out in bursts and then they just go away for a while. So you can send that just tri.org where I share all my writings and my instagram really is the feed for that. So I pictures and videos are irrelevant to me. Like read the content, read the comments, I’m created an online community there. That’s the best way to follow. Um, I really, I’m wanting to create more from that, but I’m, and learning how I think podcast, it’s a really great way to do that. So thank you for having me. But um, yeah, I, I obviously am very thankful for my coaches power, grace, performance, nutrition. I’m a chiropractor and then like my entire industrious community. So those are, those are the big shout outs.
Joe Bauer: 31:22 Cool. Well I’ve loved having you on the show and I’ve loved getting to know about you and your training a little bit more and I’m sure that everyone has, you know, gotten a wealth of knowledge from you. So thank you so much for being on the podcast and a, I will talk to you soon.
Tia Wright: 31:39 Thank you for having me. It’s good stuff. Yeah.