St. Helens, OR- Have you met Carleen Mathews? She’s not your typical business owner and owning a CrossFit business isn’t typical. One could say Carleen has CrossFit in her blood. She has always loved competitive sports, playing softball in college. She worked hard to get scholarships, graduating with a degree in Inter-Disciplinary Studies from Concordia University. When asked why she loves to compete, Carleen shared, “I love the challenge of making myself better every day! I always say, once it’s easy or I’m not improving there will be no reason for me to continue. That’s the amazing thing about this sport, it constantly pushes me to be better every day! I get to see what I’m capable of and then improve that!”
Competing and CrossFit go hand in hand. What is CrossFit? CrossFit is a type of exercise that consists of a daily class in four parts: Warm-up, Skill, Workout of the Day and Cooldown. CrossFit offers a variety of classes for groups , such as for 12-17, and any skill set can join. CrossFit is a long-term physical development that promotes health and well-being.
In 2010, when Carleen tried CrossFit, she was hooked. During her 1st year, she found herself competing in the local CrossFit games. For the past six years, she has competed at Regionals, and at the CrossFit Games the last two years. Carleen has many impressive accomplishments at the age of 33 such as:
2012 NW Regionals 18th Place
2013 NW Regionals 9th Place
2014 NW Regionals 4th Place
2015 2nd Place West Coast Regionals & 36th at CrossFit Games
2016 Fittest in Northwest, NW Regionals 1st & 23rd at CrossFit Games
2017 Fittest in Northwest- More to be determined with upcoming Regionals June 2-4th at the Expo Center in Portland. The Top 5 will move forward to compete at the CrossFit Games the first week in August in Madison, Wisconsin Please follow along on the Crossfit Reader board to cheer Carleen on at Regionals.
When Carleen isn’t training to compete, she loves to train and coach. Carleen shared, “We took over the CrossFit gym because my coach had previously owned it and I was coaching out here full time. When they decided they wanted to focus more on their other business, my coach offered for me to take over the gym. The community out here is the best part about owning the gym. I couldn’t leave them and wanted to continue to work with this community. The main reason we took over was the community. I never imagined myself owning my own gym. I love CrossFit and I love competing but it was never on my long term goals to own my own gym. But when the opportunity came up and I thought about leaving this community I couldn’t say no.”
When asked what her biggest challenge was for training she replied, “There are so many challenging parts to owning a business and training for the Games. It is my full-time job training for the Games, so I think balance is one of the hardest things because I need to balance my training, business, marriage, relationships etc. I am also training a lot alone and that has been very challenging.”
Anyone can take classes at CrossFit St. Helens – view schedule on their website. You can keep up with her events and coaching tips on their Facebook page @CrossFitStHelens. You can even google Carleen. She has been featured in several fitness magazines, on Instagram, Blogs and more. She is a local hero to many, especially those who work out in her classes. Help us cheer her on in the upcoming 2017 Regional CrossFit Games on June 2nd- 2017 in Portland. If you are downtown St Helens, you might just spy her training outside of her location.
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