Interview with Athlete Becky Pykett

Interview with Athlete Becky Pykett


Athlete Interview

Name: Becky Pykett

Age: 30

Occupation: CrossFit coach and gym manager

Regional years: 2013, 2014 and 2015

Hi Becky. So great to have the time with you to ask you some questions, I know you are super busy managing two gyms and with training. After seeing you take silver at The English Championships weightlifting competition in January, I can’t wait to hear how you will be tackling the Open and what you have been up to.

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I've been doing CrossFit for just over 5 years. I started in January 2012 after watching The London Throwdown at Brunel University. 

Did you start it with the intentions to go regionals?

Definitely not, although, very soon after I started I really wanted to get involved with the competitive side of CrossFit. After watching the amazing athletes at The London Throwdown in 2012, I made it my goal to qualify for The London Throwdown in 2013, which I did, and which is the same year I happened to go on to qualify for Regionals 2013.


What was your first experience of The Open like?

My first Open in 2012 I had only been doing CrossFit 2 months. This was the year the first workout was 7 mins of burpees! I lived and worked in Oxford at the time and each week, I can just remember being so pumped to leave work and head over to my box in Reading and test myself and see what I could do. I didn't know what half the movements were and for many, it was my first time trying. I can remember spending 10 mins trying to get a Toes to Bar in my first attempt and couldn't get one. I went back to my work at David Lloyd and spent my lunch breaks practicing ready to try again on Monday. I ended up going on to score and getting rounds of toes to bar. I had pretty much the same experience with the chest to bar workout a couple of weeks later! I can also remember not really understanding the leaderboard but one of the workouts I placed quite high. One of the coaches Gareth Doody, who went on to taking me under his wing, told me how well I had done and that I had potential to do well. From this moment, the competitive edge got inside me and I've loved the competitive side to CrossFit. 


After being a three time regional athlete, what does The Open look like for you this year?

My Open this year will be very different to previous years. I've been carrying a shoulder injury for a number of years now and I had been 'managing' it for quite a while. After working my butt off to get to Regionals in 2016, which would have been my 4th consecutive year, I didn't qualify, finishing 52nd in the Open. I decided at this point to take time out and rehab the shoulder. I took approximately 6 months out of any overhead work and limited gymnastics but continued to do what I could. In October when I could start training properly again, I then got given the opportunity to manage another box (CrossFit Maidenhead) so I'm now managing two. Whilst this transition happened, my training had to take back seat whilst I concentrated on getting the community to grow and focusing on the members and coaches. So this year will be my year to test where I am at now. I'm obviously worried about the result as nobody wants to see themselves going backwards, but who knows, I may not! But, I see it as a test of where I am at this moment so I have a point of which to grow and improve. I also remind myself daily of the reasons why I do CrossFit; to get fit, make friends and have fun and the Open brings this to light. 

With being a CrossFit coach yourself, how will you be motivating members to participate and celebrate The Open?

At Reebok CrossFit Reading and CrossFit Maidenhead, we're encouraging everybody to take part. We believe it brings the community together by cheering on your fellow training pals and wanting them to do well, to achieving far more for yourself, that you not believe was possible. At the end of the Open we have an end of Open party to celebrate success and the camaraderie of all those who took part. 

After coming to support your athletes at The Barbelles Ladies Only Competition, I really enjoyed your passion towards everyone encouraging one another and bringing back the fun in competing. How did you come up with this idea?

Barbelles was set up to bring ladies of the CrossFit community together, to make lifelong friends. Myself, Gina and Aneta all met at a CrossFit competition back in 2012 and have since become the best of friends sharing our successes together both in training and in competitions. This is what CrossFit is about. We run ladies only training days suitable for all levels, competitions and we're also launching a training holiday to Majorca in September! Watch this space! 

Proudest moment: My proudest moment in my athletic career was a recent one at the English Championships in Olympic Weightlifting.  /react-text

react-text: 132 I've been known to doubt myself and my ability in the past which normally results in me under performing, missing lifts I'm perfectly capable of hitting or under selling myself and hitting lifts too easy having chosen weights too safe. When it's time to lift under pressure, I normally crack and I start panicking that I can't do it.  /react-text

react-text: 136 Since not making Regionals in CrossFit last year, I think it's taught me to accept failure and I've learned that it's part of the process. I've practiced positive visualisation and belief in my training and I've practiced going for it, knowing that it's ok to fail.  /react-text

react-text: 140 Once making weight at the English Championships,  (which was the most stressful thing ever!) I had nothing but belief that I could do what was planned. I've never had such confidence before. Not allowing negative thoughts in and telling myself I could do it over and over until it was time to lift. The result was me achieving a silver medal with an 8kg personal best on my previous competition total. This has been a huge turning point in my training and my outlook on my athletic future! Even with age against me, I'm definitely not done yet...and I'm definitely not satisfied!


Most embarrassing moment:


I have loads of embarrassing moments, I regularly make a fool of myself! But one that was embarrassing but so funny was when we had Samantha Briggs running a Ladies Only Gymnastics Workshop at our box in 2013. She was teaching us HSPU push-ups and was showing us the importance of bracing in the kip. We were in small groups and it came to my turn to have a go at some deficit HSPU. I kicked myself up, with Briggsy helping me in position. She was speaking through my positioning to the others in the group. Just when it was my time to kip my way up, with all eyes on me, I let out a huge fart, which caught me by surprise! I fell back down on my head and pretty much had the whole group in stitches. Luckily Sam found it funny too. Not my most graceful moments!

Ha, you’re a great sport Becky! We wish you all the luck for this years Open and really hope you enjoy it.


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