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At I am… Athletics, our message is simple: Let go of your limiting beliefs and redefine who you are; Create your own Story. We recently met up with someone who did just that. 

Shellie Edington, of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, is the reigning champ of the Reebok CrossFit Games in the Masters 50-54 Division. The 51-year old mother of three, wife, business owner and dog rescuer can deadlift 301 lb. But this is a recent milestone. 

While she has always had a competitive spirit, competing in gymnastics from age 12-18, she walked away from two college scholarships after the pressure got to her. After that, she took her life and career in a different direction.

When her children were young, she recognized a gap in physical education for their age group (first grade and below) and started working with pre-schools and recreation centers to teach running, jumping and tumbling skills. Then in 2000, she launched her mobile gym business, Tumblin4Kids.

In 2010, when Shellie turned 45, she realized that even though she led an active lifestyle, she had really let her fitness go. Her knees and shoulders ached, and she was ready to do something about it.

That’s when the parent of one of her students introduced her to CrossFit. She was not immediately hooked, in fact, she hated it. But her competitive spirit was reignited, and she started training regularly. After some encouragement from her coach, and CrossFit614 owner, Mitch Potterf, Shellie competed in the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Open and improved dramatically over the next four years.

Q: Shellie, how would you finish the “I am…” statement?

A: I am…Strong!

Q: No argument there. Strong in body and mind. The power of mindset. It can have a negative effect, like when we let fear and doubt creep in. Or, it can have a positive effect. How do you work on your mental game?

A: I really felt like my mental game was lacking, after my placing 5th in 2015 due to run away negative thoughts and nerves. I found a sports psychologist about two months before the 2016 CrossFit Games. I thought let’s give this a shot. My training was on point, diet, recovery but I needed help with the anxiety of going back to Carson [California]. My doctor helped me tremendously! He is the author of, Sports Psychology for Dummies and my mind just soaked it all up. The phrase ‘mindset dictates outcome’ is the absolute truth. I also learned to control my emotions through meditation and deep breathing. Whenever self-doubt creeps in, I tell myself, “You are stronger than you know.”

Q: How has competing in CrossFit affected your self-image? 

A: I am so muscular, but I don’t think of myself as that big, but I do get a lot of stares when people haven’t seen someone like me. I love my body and am proud of it. I don’t really care what people think.”

Q: What has been the most significant change you have experienced since becoming more focused on your health and fitness?

A: All the wonderful doors that have opened because of my CrossFit journey. I’ve gone from coaching children to coaching adults, and now doing corporate wellness. My dreams have changed but have gotten better. I thought at this age I would start to settle down, but I find myself reaching for more opportunity.

Q: I am… Athletics is a brand built on empowerment, encouragement, and inspiration. We know you have a similar mission. Why is it important for you to be a role model and encourage people, of any age, to take care of themselves and get fit?

A: Because they are worth it, and everyone deserves the best version of ourselves. Don’t settle for mediocrity strive to be your very best every day! I want to be remembered as someone who encouraged people to strive to be their very best physically and mentally. Sometimes people don’t want to take the time to exercise and eat right. You’re a different person when you take care of yourself. We need to invest in ourselves to become the people we are meant to be. Focusing on yourself for an hour is amazing for your mind, body, and attitude.

Q: Who inspires you? 

A: The people I train, the people I workout with. Seeing their grit and determination. Their athletic ability encourages me to keep trying. Sometimes I ask myself why am I doing this, and I tell myself it’s to inspire others and represent God in what I do, to use this body as well as I can and take care of it.

Q: We have to know, what is your favorite “cheat”, that certain food that you either crave or let yourself have on special occasions?

A: Iced Grande Americano with Mocha from Starbucks.

Q: What is ahead, as far as the next challenge or goal you are working toward?

A: Well, my coach Mitch and I are going to work on some online Masters and CrossFit programming for people who don’t necessarily want to do CrossFit, but who need a plan and a guide. Maybe I’ll make it back to the Games again and defend my title.

To read more about Shellie’s CrossFit journey, you can follow her on Facebook at Shellie Edington Athlete, or on Instagram at Shellie_Edington.

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