Crossfit women: Empowering women one W.O.D. at a time

By Sina Filifilia Sevaaetasi 19 March 2017, 12:00AM

Mother, Immigration adviser, Crossfitter, Roberta Tiatia, of Nu’u, is one incredible woman.  

Although many of us seem to always find an excuse not to go to the gym, Roberta defies the odds and proves that if she can do it, anyone can.

Roberta is one of the oldest members of CrossFit Fatu Toa at Vaitele. 

And to add to her journey, she has taken her daughter, Luciellerose, who can be seen running right next to mom every time.  

For the past four weeks, the mother daughter duo has been competing in the CrossFit Games Open against thousands of other athletes from around the world.

Yesterday’s workout of the day (W.O.D) which involved deadlifts, wall balls, rowing and hand stand push ups is just an example of what the competition throws at the competitors but the Tiatias are unfazed by it. 

For Roberta, it is about challenging herself. 

 “Taking part in the Games was not an easy decision as I felt that I was not up to it or good enough,” she told the Sunday Samoan. 

“But the Crossfit family encouraged me to join with reassuring words that it is just a benchmark to better ourselves and to see how far we have come.  My personal goal is to be able to complete all five events and be satisfied with my results and doing it all RX’d (completed as written).”

The lessons she learns from the box (gym) don’t just help her fitness and health. 

 “I hope to achieve confidence in myself that I am strong and I can do whatever comes my way,” she said. “I am so glad that I registered for the Crossfit Games and I want to thank all the people that encouraged me to do so.”  

One of the most exciting aspects for Roberta is training with her daughter.

“She gets a bit competitive and tries to beat me,” she laughs.

“We spend more time together doing something that we now love and enjoy and I think we maybe addicts!”  

“It’s been a great experience working out with my daughter, we have our strengths and one is better at some things than the other and we encourage each other to do better, make sure we have good form and also helping other Crossfitters.”  

“It has been a blessing finding Crossfit as the people are very positive and encouraging - it’s a good place to be and helps my daughters socialise with genuinely positive, fun, healthy, fit and strong people.”

This year is Luciellerose’s second Open competition.

“She did her first games last year. After only three or four months of crossfitting - no hesitation - she said “mum can you pay for me” and I did because I saw something new in her - she had confidence and wasn’t afraid of doing new things and challenging herself and others.”

Roberta also dispels the notion that Crossfit is for super fit people. 

 “We both heard that Crossfit came to Samoa. 

“I didn’t know much about it but that rumour was, it was hardcore, only for the super fit and it was kind of scary.  

“I was looking for a gym and wanted something with weights as I prefer that to zumba etc as I’m a bit uncoordinated.  I made some enquiries, took a deep breath and just went - My first class was the 6am - my daughter actually came and sat in the car while I died inside.

“I loved it and made the decision to commit and that afternoon I went in and signed up - even though my body was sore, found muscles I never knew existed and I couldn’t move. I signed up.

“I asked the kind lady (Lupe) that I might not make it in tomorrow as I was really sore and couldn’t move the bottom half - she said, it’s a different muscle group tomorrow - so I was back that next morning and I haven’t stopped - this was November 2015.

“My daughter started a week after me - and we went through the pain together - we couldn’t complain much about our pain because someone might stop us lol.”

Apart from the challenge, the bonding time and watching Lucielle grow keeps Roberta happy.  

“She has grown so much confidence, she has become strong, determined and always finishes - I must say I am a proud mother,” she said. 

“I love it how my girls love muscles and being strong and it is a bonus that we are around positive and successful people.  We encourage each other and if I’m feeling lazy there is someone to say “come on lets go.”

As for the remainder of the 2017 Crossfit Open, Roberta said she can hardly wait. So far it has been four weeks of hard slog with one more workout remaining, to be unveiled on Friday. 

But she he is used to it and loving it.

“It’s always that feeling after a W.O.D.  Trying to find my breath, there is relief, satisfaction and knowing that I did it.”

By Sina Filifilia Sevaaetasi 19 March 2017, 12:00AM

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