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Alison Gardner

Age Group Champion >> Women 40–49

How many years have you competed in the fittest? This was my third year (2013, 2014, 2016).

How did you rank in the previous years? Top 10 in my age group.

Favorite test? Pull-ups.

Least favorite test? Battle ropes. 

If you could add your own test, what would it be? Handstand walking.

What’s your diet like? I’d say 90 to 95 percent clean and five percent “other.” I don’t feel deprived. I just tried all sorts of eating habits in the past and a lot of them made me feel like I was missing out on something. Now I’ve gotten to the point where if I eat something that isn’t good for me, I can almost immediately feel it. So it’s not worth it and then I don’t miss it. I stay away from bread and pasta, and I’ll have maybe one or two drinks a week. It’s basically your typical paleo diet.

Did you prepare specifically for the AFM FITTEST or did you rely on your regular training routine? Regular training routine. I go to CrossFit Jääkarhu six or seven times a week. On Sundays I’ll do an active recovery or drills for movements I’m weak at. I’m stronger now than I was in my 20s. And I’m certainly drinking the CrossFit Kool-aid, but it’s an incredible group of people who are incredibly supportive. I get about an hour to and hour and a half a day in the mornings. It’s the only time I have to myself without kids or work.

What goals did you set for yourself? I wanted to get more pull-ups than the past two times I’ve done it. Each year I go up by one, so we’ll see if I can continue to do that. I also wanted to win my age division.

How did you feel on event day? Curious to see how I would do compared to years past. One thing I’ve noticed from switching from running to CrossFit is that I’ve gotten stronger, but there are definitely some compromises with speed in my running. My running times have gone down but my strength has increased. For me, it’s about finding a balance I’m happy with.

In your own words, what defines a fit person? I think each person has to define feeling fit for themselves. If you feel good about the workouts you’re doing, and your body feels good, and you feel like you’re eating relatively well, that’s fit. 

What or who motivates you? My kids motivate me. I have three girls, ages six, nine, and ten. Watching their personalities and watching how they grow as individuals and athletes is really interesting. They do swimming and gymnastics, and I love going to their meets and watching their different sportsmanship come out. It’s motivating to watch them excel and learn and shape themselves. 
The other people who motivate me are all the people in my gym, which I consider to be an extended family. My coaches are just unbelievable athletes, and watching how they physically perform is amazing. Everyone there wants you to do well, so it’s a really encouraging place to be.

Keep Reading to see all of the 2016 AFM FITTEST Champions!

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