Saturday, 21 April 2018

12 Questions With CrossFit Athlete/Coach Amanda Allen

1) Who is Amanda Allen? (where are you from, what do you do, a bit about yourself (hobbies, etc)

I was born in Adelaide, I'm 47 years of age, now live in the beach side paradise of Byron Bay. I own Crossfit Byron Bay - I also run lifestyle and training camps and retreats, online coaching, online self-development programs, I've written 5 books, I ran 1000km for Suicide and Mental Illness in June 2016 and I do corporate speaking and a lot of writing for magazines etc! The dark side of my story includes battles with alcoholism and suicidal depression...

2) How many years have you been training?

I've been doing Crossfit for almost 9 years now...prior that I was a professional triathlete, I also qualified for the Paralympics for Track Cycling (I was the pilot on a tandem bike) with blind athlete Sarnya Parker. In June 2016 I ran 1000kms to raise awareness for Suicide and Mental Illness.

3) Whats been the most challenging/hardest part of your journey so far? and how have you overcome them (set backs, rejections, injuries, basically anything difficult that you have had to overcome)

There have been so many challenges...I'm like a magnet to obstacles. Alcoholism (I'm almost 14 years sober now), Suicidal Depression (that has been a life long journey, which I am mostly through, but the whispers of depression will always live in me, I just have the tools and health now not to suffer so devastatingly). I fractured the neck of my femur in 2012, which was a debilitating and extremely painful experience, this was 6 months out from Regionals, I still managed to train around that injury and finish 4th in the Pacific Regional that year. At Christmas in 2017 I was rushed t Emergency twice in one week with extreme pain, this was thought to be cancer, I ended up in Surgery 1 week later, 4kgs of tumours were removed from my torso/abdomen, I was cut from my pelvis to my diaphragm to allow access to remove the lesions and tumours, the whole experience was humbling, I was reminded at a deep level how delicate health is and how fleeting life can be. I thought my 2018 Crossfit year was completely over, however, 12 weeks post surgery I finished the 2018 Crossfit Open in 6th Place Worldwide in the 45-49 Division. Miracles do happen!I guess my greatest struggle has been on the internal landscape, learning to over come my own fears, doubts, depression and negative habits and thinking, but Crossfit and the 12 Step Program of AA has given me an extraordinary foundation to build resilience and positivity and new empowering habits from...the journey and the struggles never really end. 

4) What does your typical workout/diet routine look like?

I used to train double days, 6 hours per day, with a long run of 1.5-2hours every Sunday morning. Now I train 5 days per week for 2-2.5 hours, only in the mornings. I do my own programming, and have for many years now. My programming has seen me podium at Crossfit Games. My nutrition is based around Paleo/Ketogentic diet, with appropriate carbs appropriately (around training). I have struggled a lot with digestive issues, irritable bowel syndrome, haemorrhoids, and food intolerances, so my food choices today are extremely clean and healthy. I absolutely love food and I love feeling strong, resilient, energised and healthy, so I eat well as a major priority. I also take exogenous Ketones...Pruvit Ketones...they have radically improved my health, mental function, cravings, level of depression, body composition...the list of benefits goes on. My days are structured carefully. Everything happens at a particular time for a particular reason, primarily to optimise my training and life priorities...

5) What new knowledge have you learned over this past year regarding training, lifestyle and nutrition?

I guess I have learned about the benefits of being in a ketogentic state, but also what I have learned around this is that as a high performing and heavy training athlete I need carbs, so eating an 80% ketogenic diet, taking ketones and enjoying 20% carbs on a daily basis has transformed by performances, healing and recovery abilities, energy levels, mental function, emotional name it. Ketosis is a healing anti inflammatory state that I want to neb in for the rest of my life....

6) Whats your favourite cheat/Treat meal?

I don't really have cheat meals...but I do enjoy my favourite treats every day. I love Raw Treats...made with Coconut Oil as a base. I also have a favourite Chocolate Runny Comb Ice Cream that is organic, made with coconut oil and coconut milk and a whole lot of love!

7) one supplement that you could not live without? 

Ketones. Never ever will I live without them now that I have experienced the benefits.

8) If you had to start out from scratch with your physique what would you do differently and why?

I would never have been an alcoholic. Other than that, I love my body and its eccentricities and abilities.

9) Who do you look upto in the fitness industry and why?

I look up to all those people who have decided to overcome the obstacles before them. Those weekend warriors who have chosen to overcome childhood traumas and transform themselves despite the odds and setbacks - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. They are the truely inspirational people.

10) If you had to give one bit of advice to people starting out what would that be?

Be patient. Maintain a healthy sense of humour. Keep turning up. Love yourself and the journey - because that is all you have. Destinations come and go, the journey never ends. Love puppies and unicorns! 

11) What new goals are on the horizon?

At this stage I am focussed on the 2018 Crossfit Games, qualifying this weekednd at the Masters Qualifiers and then preparing myself to be in the best possible shape to potentially podium in Madison this year - 8 months after major surgery!

12) Where can people find you? (website, social media accounts)

I: AmandaCrossfitAllen
F Amanda Allen Crossfit Athlete
T: AmandaAllen101
Crossfit Byron Bay

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