Hari is a real-life Amazon who got hooked on CrossFit and now coaches others. She’s aiming to be top 200 (30-35) in the next Open.
What’s your name?
Hari James (short for Angharad)
How old are you, Hari?
How long have you been doing CrossFit and where do you train?
I train at Atlantic Way Crossfit in Barry, South Wales and I have been doing Crossfit for 3 years.
What are the other commitments in your life?
I coach at Atlantic Way and also PT from there. Until recently I was a Police Officer for 15 years with South Wales Police but took a career break after the chance of some filming and I haven’t gone back!
MtB: One of Hari’s films was Wonder Woman and you can see her in action with some other Amazons, below:
What keeps you coming back for more?
I have trained and competed in sport since a young age. Firstly athletics where I represented Wales and GB as a sprinter and then later in rowing where I was part of the Welsh squad. Crossfit provides the variation that I need in training after so many years in sports where the training was very similar day to day. Also, having to learn so many new skills later in life means that I am always being challenged.
What achievements are you most proud of?
Representing my country is one of my proudest moments but more recently I would say it is the decision to leave my career and try something new. It wasn’t easy to leave the security of my job but I have a new look on life and believe in taking your chances to make you happy. No regrets!
How was this year’s Open for you?
This year’s Open had its ups and downs. I started very strongly and still had my highest placed finish since starting CrossFit but I still have so much work to do, especially in the area of gymnastics. My goal is to make the top 200 in my age group and I was about 50 places off this year. But I am getting better so it’s not all bad news!
What are your strengths?
My strengths are my strength and power. My background has meant that these 2 areas have provided a good base and are continuing to improve. I enjoy Oly lifting and the rower, ski erg and assault bike are good pieces of equipment for me, although they still hurt a lot!
What are your weaknesses?
Gymnastics. I find this area the hardest. My mobility when I started was poor and this is something I have worked on a lot and it has improved my overall skills in all of my CrossFit. I have recently started doing Yoga to continue working on this and have noticed it helping all ready. I find it harder than doing a wod though!
What are your current goals?
My goal is to make the top 200 in the open this year but also to continue to improve in the sport.
Who does your programming?
I am lucky to have some amazing training partners at Atlantic Way Crossfit. Laura Prosser and Cara Mifflin (who own the box) have become great friends of mine since I started Crossfit and we train together on a daily basis. I tend to be directed by them and their training. They know me pretty well by now and know what I need to be doing! I also do a class with all the members as much as I can. I love doing class, its what got me hooked to Crossfit in the first place.
Can we find you on social media?
Who do you follow on social media that you’d recommend to others?
I follow the usual Crossfit pages and favourite athletes but away from that I also follow a few Whippet sites/pages! 🙈 I have a 13-year-old Whippet called Stick dog and I love the breed so I am often scrolling through pics and stories about them and fighting the urge to adopt loads of them!
What supplements do you swear by?
GLC to help with my older joints!
What’s always in your kitbag?
JAW hand wraps. I swear by this bit of kit. I love that I can wear them on the rig and continue on other movements without them annoying me.
What advice would you give to a Master just starting out in CrossFit?
Accept that you are a master. I think it is tough to stop comparing yourself to younger age groups. I struggled with that concept but the reality is that I personally cannot compete against them at a level that I would like to. The categories are there for a reason and they allow us to remain competitive and focused. It emphasises what a phenomenal athlete someone like Sam Briggs is to be able to compete at that level in RX. The master’s area of Crossfit is only going to get bigger and that is great for the sport. It is by no means easy to compete in these age groups and there are amazing athletes doing amazing things at every competition I go to.
What’s the key to effective recovery for you?
Take time to recover!!! This has been the hardest change to make. We have an idea that more volume is better but this is not sustainable for everyone. I know how I work and when I need to rest and whilst my heart is telling me to skip a rest day or do an extra session my body and head will be telling me to take a day off! Listen to your body, you know it inside and out by now!
I don’t really have a favourite quote but this year I have definitely reminded myself of the obvious statement that you only live once. I have made big changes to my life this year and all because they make me happy. They have not been easy and they may not pay off but you have to do what makes you happy.
What would you advise CrossFitters to stop doing? What should they start (if they aren’t already!)?
Remember why you started the sport and what you want out of it. Competing is not for everyone so never feel pressurised into doing it. Have your own goals, they are no more or less important than anyone else’s and stay focused on them.