MAY Featured Athlete – Pam Eamranond Sport – Crossfit
When I started my business in 2011 and competed in CrossFit, I never thought being an elite athlete was a full-time job. I was committed to both my business and my training. I competed for 7 years, as the sacrifices to do so were taking a toll, I now only focus on my business and live a more balanced life.
The mental intensity of being a competitive athlete crashed and burned after all these years. I was emotionally and mentally exhausted from keeping it together. Day in and day out is a mental battle with external and intangible stressors. What am I going to eat, what time can I go to sleep, when do I have to wake up, where am I going to squeeze in training, when can I take a nap, what am I training today/tomorrow, when can I get into VFE, where are my thoughts during training, when do I have to go back to work, when do I get off work, and when are rest days…these are only a few questions I have to think about on top of running a business.
I push my body to the extremes. It takes a lot energy when you’re working on two big dreams simultaneously. In the one weekend of competition this energy is intensified. You’re out there relying on yourself to make the right moves. You have to ignore everything negative, from your nagging shoulder to your cramping foot, and manage your thoughts so you can keep on going. The pressure is on because you spent the entire year training for a spot to the final stage and it comes down to these three days. I have never felt as emotionally and mentally drained as my last year competing. The lifestyle required to be an elite athlete is not normal, and believe it or not, it is also unhealthy. But, it’s necessary to strive for greatness.
I have learned to manage myself more efficiently so I don’t hit a wall (as hard). It’s all part of my ongoing goal to become the best version of myself. All these things, and more, compiled over the years finally surfaced. That’s when I decided I needed a more balanced approach to life. I stopped competing in CrossFit and began taking better care of myself. I still train, but, with less volume and intensity. I have more time for hobbies, friends, family, and of course, to have a thriving business. I hope that all the elite/competitive athletes out there are able to balance their time between training and their life outside of that.