GALLIPOLIS — Many parents start telling their children at a young age to reach for their dreams. One Gallia County teen is doing just that, one steel bar at a time.
Alex Truance, 17, a River Valley High School student and crossfit athlete, is doing just that.
“At first, I didn’t want to start crossfit,” said Truance. “My mom and dad kind of dragged me into it. I hated it.”
Truance told the Tribune that after a few months of working out, however, the movements associated with the fitness program were quickly becoming ingrained into a lifestyle with which she intended to continue into adulthood. She said she was potentially at CrossFit Gallia on Third Avenue every day of the week, save Sundays. Her workout schedule shifts with her work and class schedule. Truance estimated that she exercises roughly 20 to 25 hours a week while dividing her time between homework, friends, class and a job. Truance said her mother is also a crossfit athlete.
Truance said she started in a crossfit program at the age of 14 in Athens with Mark McAdoo, CrossFit Gallia owner, as her trainer. She eventually moved with him to the Jackson Pike location and then to the facility’s current location on Third Avenue.
“I’m really strong in pull-ups and body weight movements like handstand push-ups,” Truance said. “I’d say I’m good at all my lifts. I don’t like front squats, though.”
Truance said she had placed 51st out of roughly 1,400 other teens worldwide in her age division in last year’s Reebok CrossFit Games Open. She looks to improve her placing for the 2016 season.
“This year, I’ll be competing with the big dogs,” Truance said. Her birth date places her in the 18 to 39 age division this year.
This year’s open will take place over a period of five weeks, which started Thursday, and is a recorded online competition where McAdoo will verify Truance’s scores before they are reported back to the competition’s administration. Truance said she and two other teens with CrossFit Gallia would be competing in the open.
“I like coming in and being able to have the community in the gym,” Truance said. “The community is awesome. Everybody’s supporting each other because we’re all dying in the workouts together. It makes it a lot more fun to have everybody there cheering you on.”
Truance said that McAdoo was one of the most influential people in her continued participation of crossfit programs.
“He’s always had a big belief in me,” Truance said. “More and moreso over the years as I’ve gotten better. He’s always there pushing me and helping me get better. I don’t think I would be at the point I am at without him. He’s helped me a ton.”
Truance recommended crossfitting to everyone. She knows other young people her age who have taken up the training program, as well as individuals in their 70s.
“It’s not all about your ability,” Traunce said. “It’s about getting fit.”
Sarah Traunce, Alex’s mother, said she and Alex’s father started their daughter in crossfit programs to help with her vertical jump in volleyball.
“What’s it turned into? She (Alex) fell in love with it,” Sarah said. “She’s pretty much given up volleyball to do crossfit. Really, we think it’s great for her. It takes a lot of dedication. She gets good grades and keeps up with (crossfit) five to six days a week and her job.”
“Teenagers are the future of the sport,” McAdoo said. “Alex is an extremely hard worker. She’s a good athlete. She’s a good person and she’s a good representative of what student athletes should really be.”
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.