For the latest hockey edition of The IX Newsletter, I shared work by David Berri on the  #SheIs movement (Forbes), Emily Kaplan on A.J Mleczko in the booth for the Staley Cup Finals, and Hannah Bevis on Digit Murphy stepping away from her coaching duties in China.

I also spoke with Toronto Furies forward Carolyne Prevost about the world of competitive CrossFit and being a multi-sport athlete. My interview with Prevo is below, the full May 4th edition of The IX Newsletter can be found here.

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Erica L. Ayala: I read you will be participating in a regional CrossFit event. What initially got you involved in CrossFit competitions?
Carolyne Prevost: I initially started CrossFit after not making the centralized Olympic roster in 2013 and being released from the Hockey Canada program. The transition from a very structured University hockey team to the real world can be challenging as we are now essentially left on our own for workout programs. When I stepped foot into a CrossFit gym, it felt like I was part of this amazing team/community again and I was hooked on the workouts and the different challenges.

CrossFit allowed me to repurpose my competitiveness in a new activity. I always loved intense physical activity and would strive to be the best I could be in any physical test. Crossfit is not a specialized fitness program but wants to develop people in all aspects of fitness. As a multi-sport athlete, it’s exactly what I wanted. I started competing almost right away in the sport of it but for the regular population, most people do CrossFit as a workout lifestyle vs competing.

ELA: It seems you’ve always been a versatile athlete. Did you ever feel pressure to “specialize”? What are the advantages of being a multi-sport athlete?

CP: I have seen many of my friends specialize in a sport and I have to say it has crossed my mind a lot over the years. I always wondered what kind of athlete I would have been had I specialized in a particular sport. However, I believe I am the athlete I am today because of the experiences I have had in all my sports. I have learned to transfer different abilities from one sport to the next and it has made me a more complete athlete. I think it’s so important for kids to play a variety of sports and learn different skills. I enjoyed all the sports I did and I still do. I believe I have this ongoing love for all my sports because I didn’t specialize or get ”sick” of playing it all the time.

ELA: Do you recall your hardest workout, either in hockey or CrossFit? What made it such a difficult practice/circuit?

CP: I have done so many hard workouts in my life that it’s hard for me to pick one. I think you can take the most simple workout and make it as hard as you want it to be with the intensity level you attack it with. I love suffering in workouts and laying on the floor dead at the end of a workout. It’s a great feeling!

ELA: Are there workouts you’ve learned through CrossFit that seemed particularly well-suited for ice hockey or vice versa?

CP: I think everything I do in CrossFit is well-suited for hockey. I am constantly working on all aspects of fitness and trying to be great at all of it. I definitely don’t think I need specialized hockey workouts. I feel stronger and faster now on the ice because of my training. I am also able to recover between shifts or games much faster. It has only helped me in hockey. All of my experiences in sports growing up have also helped me in CrossFit as well. I was able to adapt to the sport much faster than most because I had a variety of training backgrounds.

ELA: What are your main methods of recovery between competitions and/or games? What are some of the more challenging aspects of staying fit and recovering since your college days?

CP: I get treatment done weekly (chiro or massage) to help with recovery. I also have a nutritionist I’m working with that makes sure I eat enough for the amount of activity I do. Sometimes recovery for me is playing another sport. I often workout on game days just as hard as any other day. However, I’ve built this volume of training over the years where I am able to train as much as I do. If I feel I need a break or if something doesn’t feel right physically/mentally, I know my body well enough that I take the day off. I typically take 1 day off a week and 1 lower intensity active recovery day.

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