Pamela joked about being a ‘Type A’ personality when she turned around this fantastic interview in record time, despite being one of the busiest Masters about! Not only is she a Games athlete but works for HQ as a CF Gymnastics lead Coach. She recommends you ‘learn it to earn it’ and one of the best places to do so is by following her Instagram account.
How old are you, Pamela?
43 years old
How long have you been doing CrossFit and how did you end up working for HQ?
I started CF in 2011 and fell in love immediately because of the gymnastics like movements and the daily competitive factor to “beat the clock”. After college gymnastics, I felt lost in my athletic endeavors and so thankful CrossFit’s methodology believed in making gymnastics skills a part of their program. Greg Glassman really understood the strength and power gymnasts had and that their training was essential to the Hierarchy of Development in Sport.
The owner of my first CrossFit gym, Andy Hendel worked on the HQ staff and introduced me to Jeff Tucker at the Games in 2012. Coach Tucker was the original creator of the CrossFit Gymnastics Seminar. I was lucky to connect with him and honored he believed in my coaching abilities and saw my passion for the Gymnastics side of CrossFit.
What are the other commitments in your life?
I’m kind of a Jack of all Trades. First and foremost, I am a mom to two teen boys who have a drive to succeed in school and have found their own passions along the way. I’ve been married for 18 years to a husband who is a dedicated dad and entrepreneur as well.
I have owned a promotional apparel business for 8 years, but that took a back seat when I started working weekends coaching the CrossFit Gymnastics Seminar and heading up our social media for CrossFit Gymnastics.
I am a CrossFit coach at Rising CrossFit in North Carolina and do a lot of small group CrossFit Gymnastics.
I have also written about a dozen articles for the CrossFit Journal and feel so fortunate to be able to share my passion on this platform, as well. I am currently working on a great series with Jeff Tucker and plan for many more articles in the future.
So basically I have 2 hours free out of 24 lol…but really, I love everything I do – ok…not laundry, but clean clothes are a must when you are a mom.
What keeps you coming back for more?
The community, the daily challenges each wod presents and how CrossFit makes me feel both mentally and physically.
What achievements are you most proud of?
Besides being a mom (which is definitely top of the list) I would have to say winning 2 wods at the CrossFit Games. When I think about the unbelievable athletes I compete alongside, at the Games, I never would have imagined I would be 1st in the world in two separate wods. Hats off to all my Masters Games competitors because they truly challenge me to push beyond limits I think I have.
What are your strengths?
Anything gymnastics related, handstands, ring or rig work
What are your weaknesses?
Front squats, I’ve worked hard at them but the number just doesn’t seem to budge (ugh). Funny enough, I have overhead squatted 15lbs MORE than I can front squat! That either means my front squat really sucks or my overhead squat is really great lol….
Can we find you on social media? Who do you follow on social media that you’d recommend to others?
YES! Instagram @pamelagnon
I post a ton of content that can help so many learn to scale or learn proper execution.
And make sure you are following @cfgymnastics for our daily content, too.
I love following @crossfitwod because it is the root of what CrossFit was founded & @coachkeithpettit has been a gymnastics coach for 30+ years and just really believes in building strength as the foundation for everything.
What supplements do you swear by?
Believe it or not, I use zero “supplements” daily. I love Quest Protein Powder to get my protein in after my wods…but just try to eat clean but still enjoy ice cream with my kids 😄
What’s always in your kitbag?
Reebok Oly & Nano shoes, RPM speed rope, WodnDone Grips ALWAYS, extra hairbands, Sandbar Handcare to keep my calluses healthy, my iphone tripod to take videos of movements at any given time of day & some extra socks (I wear flip flops 365 days/year to the gym so sometimes I forgot socks).
What advice would you give to a Master just starting out in CrossFit?
First, age is just a number! Second, focus on where your journey is starting, not where someone else is next to you. We all start at different levels, have different goals, and various strengths. Finally, be patient and build solid strength and technique as your platform, then you will advance in your journey more injury free. Keep your training in perspective, dedicate time each day to wod but get outside the gym and enjoy other physical activities too.
What’s the key to effective recovery for you?
Being flexible, stretching lots…and listening to my body. If I’m not feeling it that day, I just rest.
A quote I use each weekend I teach the CrossFit Gymnastics Seminar,
“Learn it to Earn it.”
Basically, things aren’t just going to happen…but when you put the time in to learn it correctly, earning it feels so great.
What would you advise CrossFitters to stop doing? What should they start (if they aren’t already!)?
This goes along with my favorite quote…I’d advise them to stop thinking they should have a skill without putting in the hours/days/months to earn it. Build strength, learn technique and be patient in the process.
What question would you have asked yourself that I missed? (& answer it)
MY FUTURE GOALS:….
After competing for 6 consecutive years in CrossFit (and 14 years in gymnastics), I am probably going to take a year off, or more, from the competitive stage. My kids are going to be in college before I know it, and I want to spend more time with my family right now. Training for the Games, even at the Masters level takes an enormous amount of not only physical time, but mental preparation as well. I want to make sure I have the time to dedicate to training. For now, I am going to enjoy daily wods, healthy living, my career, and my family.
You can read Pamela’s CFGymnastic biog here.