Anikha Greer will be heading down to Miami, Fla., for one of the biggest crossfit competitions in North America and the world.
She is one of only two teenagers in all of Canada going to compete.
Greer will be the only crossfit athlete from the Island going to the 2020 Wodapalooza on Feb. 20.
The 16-year-old athlete has been training since she was 12 years old
“It was really scary at first, I actually started taekwondo at the beginning at the old Holland College building,” Greer said.
A former gymnast, Greer said she was looking for a competitive sport to join. She said although taekwondo didn't suit her, it lead her to meeting CrossFit 782 instructor and co-owner Mike Ives.
“Mike said I should try crossfit. I came in the next morning and joined the teen’s class. The community was and is so awesome and supportive, I immediately fell in love with it.”
The Argyle Shore resident finished first in Canada and 8th in the world with over 1,300 other teenagers in her age group at the CrossFit Games Open this past November.
This will be Greer's first Wodapalooza competition, which draws anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000 spectators every year.
The make-up of the competition is largely unknown to athletes, up until the day of competition, so they are required to prepare for any type, style or combination of exercises.
Greer said the competition will be close to the beach and she anticipates there will be a lot of swimming and running exercises involved in this year's event.
Although her mom, a four-time Canadian nationals master, has been coaching her in the swimming portion of her training, Greer said swimming might not be one of her greatest strengths.
“I don’t think I’ve met anybody who sinks quite as bad as I do,” Greer said.
“There’s a joke that I will have to get a neoprene suit so that I can float. I’m not an excellent swimmer, but we are getting there.”
Greer also coaches Special Olympics weightlifting whenever she can at the CrossFit 782 Gym on North River Road.
In the online qualifiers for the CrossFit Games, Greer competed against nearly 1,500-1,600 other teenagers in her age group from all around the world. Greer said the difference between 15th place and 10th could be something like three seconds.
The online qualifiers take the top 200 worldwide in each age group from the open, which has a couple thousand people in each division. Greer placed 8th worldwide in age group.
From that competition, the top 10 in the world go to the CrossFit games
This qualifier has five workouts Greer will do in my gym, with a judge, a video, and then she submits her scores online. After that is when the top 10 get to go to the CrossFit Games in a totally separate event from Wodapalooza.
"Although completely separate from the CrossFit Games, Wodapalooza was something I had to qualify for, only the top 15 athletes out of a little over a thousand worldwide get to go, I qualified in 3rd," said Greer.
The competition will be a good benchmark for Greer to judge areas where she needs to work on and what she can improve.
She said she owes a lot to her instructor and co-owner at CrossFit 782, Brett Roberts.
"I owe literally all of my little bits of success to Brett Roberts, he is my one and only coach extraordinaire, he's built me from the ground up, believed in me when nobody else did and I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am now without him," said Greer.
Excited for the competition, Greer said she will be aiming to do her best, but ultimately, she plans on continuing in the sport for as long as she can.
Greer will be heading down to Miami for Wodapalooza from Feb. 20 to Feb. 23.