When it comes to modern strength training greats, Sara Sigmundsdóttir is well up there. From an insecure, exercise-averse teenage who took up spin classes to lose weight, it’s safe to say that the Iceland-born, three-time CrossFit Open worldwide winner has come a long way.
Now, age 29, she boasts a deadlift PB of 155kg, a whopping 1.8million followers on Instagram and her own collection with activewear brand WIT - dropping in full come January 2022.
At the launch of the pre-release capsule (think: barbell-proof leggings and asymmetrical training essentials) she chatted to Women’s Health about her injury recovery, why being muscular doesn't preclude women looking feminine and the mindset she adopts to get her through personally challenging times.
1. She starts her days off right
‘I wake up at 7:30 and then train from 8-10am. Then I read over breakfast and then do a five minute journal.' This helps me be present, especially on those days where I wake up and there are so many things to do in my mind.
It will prompt me to write three things that I’m grateful for and then one ‘I am…’ affirmation. I’m always working on: “I am calm”.’
2. She works out for her self
‘How different types of training affect different people is personal. It doesn’t matter what other people think; what’s important is that you’re honest with yourself about what is best for you to reach your goal.'
'Maybe that’s three months of the year with no-pressure training, where you just do you your thing? Or maybe you give your best when you’re under pressure? Do what works for you.’
3. She celebrates her body for its strength and beauty
‘I’m going to show up in the gym and be a beast. And then I want to put on a dress and feel great.'
'I was shamed for being too muscular but, once I started coaching, I fell in love with the idea that the more you push yourself and the harder you work, the more attractive you are.'
'When you see people enjoying and loving what the do, it just makes them so much more beautiful.’
4. She directs her own narrative
‘Back in March I hurt my knee in training. I felt a click in my knee during a split jerk and MRI scan results showed a ruptured ACL [which meant Sara had to miss the 2021 CrossFit Games].
'So I think: that can do I do about it? Well, I can have surgery, recover and then I can achieve the best come back.'
'For me, it’s all about finding a story that can motivated me. I’m the person in CrossFit that’s going to show the most epic comeback in history.’
5. She looks for lessons in her losses
‘This past year has been a lot. Just before I got injured I came out of an 11-year relationship and then my beloved dog, Morley, was hit by a car.
'It’s been tough, but I remind myself that everything is teaching me something and it’s like: I’m still going through this in a positive way and I'm learning to enjoy every day instead of thinking ahead.'
'It’s been a hard time, but it’s teaching me to be present.’
6. She embraces life’s busyness
‘The way I see it, I can either whine about all the pieces of paper I have to sign of the appointments I have to attend - telling myself things are hard.'
'Or, I can just be in the present moment - maybe stick on some good music - and just get it done.'
'I remind myself that I’m choosing to do what I so; that I’m thankful for it. It’s so important not to lose sight of that.’
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