WZA Stories: Emma Cary

Emma Cary is a 2019 CrossFit Games Champ in the 14-15 age groups. Without a doubt, teens are the future of the sport, so we asked Emma what she’s hoping to show the youth who look up to her.

Emma: I hope to show the youth we shouldn’t limit ourselves. I mean, even in this year’s Open, I didn’t want to look at the leaderboard cause I felt like I wasn’t going to do very well in the adult division. Just because it didn’t seem like I could. And that was a limit I placed on myself. And once I took that limit off myself, I did some really cool things.

You can surprise yourself when you’re not worried about failing. And I’ve learned that failing teaches you and that you shouldn’t be afraid of it because if you don’t fail, you’re really not going to learn. And if you don’t learn, you can’t get better.

And as for where Emma hopes to see the sport go?

Emma: I love competing. I love the community of competition and I hope to see the sport have more people competing and not even just competing at the high level, but competing even at local competition shows you where you can go.”

To compete at this level, Emma has to dedicate herself to hours of training, recovery and specific nutrition intake. We asked where she finds the drive to pursue her goals with such laser focus at only 14.

Emma: I like to be a better version of myself. That’s what I ask myself, ‘Is this making me better?’ Whenever there’s a day when I might not want to train, I ask myself, ‘Will just sitting here make me better?’ And then it’s like, no, so I need to get better, because everybody else is getting better. And I want to win. Winning isn’t my only goal, but I know if I’m not the very best version of myself, I won’t win. And if I am the best version of myself, I’m going to try really hard. And if I don’t, I still can’t complain cause I did everything I could.

Wondering what a typical day looks like for an athlete like Emma? Same. So we asked her.

Emma: I usually wake up around five to hit an hour and a half-ish of conditioning work before school and then I go to school, come home, have a quick snack and then train from about four to seven, do some homework real quick and go to bed. I try to get all my homework done that I can at school by managing my time well. So if I finish something else early, instead of playing a game or looking at Instagram, I look at what I can do now that I will be happy I did later.

Is it possible for her to squeeze anything else into her busy days?

Emma: I coach a kids class at our gym. I love working with kids, I want to be a pediatrician. We have about 14 8-12 year olds. I just love helping people, whether that’s inspiring them or coaching them or just encouraging them. That is what I like to do.

So, what is Emma most proud of in her young career as an athlete?

Emma: I am most proud of being dedicated to improvement. I don’t chase being perfect. I used to, but I know that I’m not going to be perfect, so instead of quitting because I’m not perfect, I relentlessly chase improving. I’m just going to believe I can do it. And if I believe with everything I have, I’m going to work with everything I have and then I’m going to do it.