Tia-Clair Toomey finished up the 2023 CrossFit Open back in early March. And while there’s nothing inherently newsworthy about a six-time CrossFit Games champ taking part in the weeks-long fitness event, this year was different. Toomey not only went through every event, but she did so while pregnant, finishing in a respectable 2,831st place out of a worldwide field of over 100,000 women.
So what groomed the mind of this champion? Toomey took to her YouTube channel recently to discuss her journey to creating an ironclad mindset that helped her become the best. Watch it below:
Questions Champions Ask Themselves
In the video, Toomey explained that she started training early in life, eventually learning to master the Olympic weightlifting that CrossFit requires. And the whole time, goals started forming in her head.
“I [saw] myself being the best sportsperson in the world,” Toomey said. “That’s how I interpreted the way I wanted to be.”
Despite her training efforts, she wasn’t getting her desired results — winning.
“It gets to a point where you’re like, enough is enough,” Toomey said. “When I thought I came second for a third year in a row [at the CrossFit Games], I wanted to freaking blow the place up.”
Toomey looked inwards and asked herself a series of questions:
- “What is your why?”
- “What are your priorities in life?”
- “What are your goals?”
- “How do you see yourself?”
- “What are you afraid of?”
After running through the list, she discovered what was barricading her success. Toomey knew her why, was putting in the work, had a good team around her, and had sound goals. But she knew she was lacking when it came to self-image.
“I realized I was not utilizing my mental capacity to the most potential,” she said. “I was relying solely on my physical ability.”
From Good Sportsmanship to Winning
Toomey never doubted her athletic abilities. But her focus was always on sportsmanship rather than winning. Her lightbulb moment came when she realized she needed a paradigm shift in how she saw herself. So Toomey flipped the script from wanting to focus solely on showing respect to other competitors and set her eyes on winning.
“I realized that I deserved more than just being known for good sportsmanship […] Nah, f%&$ that. I actually deserve that gold medal because I know I’m capable of being the best, and I can have both,” Toomey asserted. “I also want to be a champion because I freaking deserve it. And instead of handing it over to people, I’m actually going to take it for myself.”
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Once she made that mental shift, Toomey said she was out for blood. “Ready, fire, aim” is how Toomey says her friends describe her demeanor. Instead of seeing herself as an ordinary athlete, she started to view herself as a champion.
“The day you change the way you think is the day that your whole future opens up.” Toomey added, “I really believe that 90 percent of our success comes from mentality. And that extra 10 percent is our physical being […] It’s the way you’re thinking and the way you’re interrupting things and starting to understand things that are going to be the one [thing] that’s holding you back.”
What’s Next for Tia-Clair Toomey?
Though she’s taking this year’s CrossFit Games off and hasn’t yet publicly announced her 2024 plans, Toomey is still training hard and eating like an athlete. And if her new home gym is anything to go by, her elite-level training will continue for the foreseeable future.
Featured Image: @tiaclair1 on Instagram