At 41, Cheryl Brost is a three-time Games athlete, mother of two and entrepreneur. She’s proof that age is not a deciding factor when competing for the title Fittest Woman on Earth. Making her debut at the Games a mere seven months after starting CrossFit, Cheryl placed 13th in 2010, 7th in 2011, and 15th earlier this year at the 2012 Games. Each time, she’s done it as the oldest female competitor.
“It’s all about everyone chipping in and doing what families do to make things work.” Aside from time spent training, Cheryl leads the usual busy life of a working mom. She and her husband, Troy, own a business, and that helps her set her own training hours. The couple takes turns at the office, while Cheryl gets in her morning workouts once the kids have gone off to school.
Cheryl is happiest when spending time with her family, watching her kids play sports. “I find joy in seeing what they’re capable of doing and how they improve.” When not playing football or running track, Cheryl’s son Alex, 15 trains at Eugene CrossFit and helps run the CF Kids class two days a week. Malia who’s 9 ½, is an avid soccer player and celebrates her mom’s maternal Hawaiian heritage dancing hula, something Cheryl and her own mother enjoy doing as well.
Prior to Cheryl starting CrossFit, her family led an active lifestyle but it was plagued with poor choices. She credits the nutrition education she received from CrossFit to exposing her family to the Paleo and Zone diets which now help her family make healthier choices. Once a year or so, she resets by tracking, measuring and weighing her meals. “It’s a good thing to do now and then as it’s easy for your mind to play tricks on you when you’re eating healthy; portion sizes count too.”
Keeping her family’s health and wellness as a top priority, Cheryl’s taken on a role as spokesperson for Altrient. “Altrient has great products. The vitamin C is a great antioxidant, great for cell restoration and muscle recovery. I credit it with keeping my family from getting sick for over a year. The kids haven’t missed school and I haven’t missed training. Altrient’s ME vitamin B is great for natural energy. It gives you an awake, alert feeling without the jumpy jittery feeling I’ve experienced from other supplements.”
A Good Foundation
Having grown up on a farm and competed in team sports since she was 6, Chery’s been accustomed to hard work from a young age. She and her sister took care of their seven horses while growing up. Doing so, they learned to manage responsibility at a young age and were taught lifelong skills. “I developed good habits, and a strong work ethic and I think that’s helped me now.”
Cheryl finds that her age, almost twice that of some of the women against which she competes, plays an advantage because she’s able to deal well with stressful situations like competing in the Games or even making it to Regionals. “My years provide me a good base for that. I’m able to keep calm and focused in a stressful situation.”
And she’s proven it. Cheryl had never completed a triathlon when she was put to the test during the first workout of the 2012 Games. “I came out of the water one of the very last few, but I had the mental toughness that didn’t let me quit. Some might say, ‘I’ll finish and just be done with this.’ But although it wasn’t my event, I gave it my all. I found motivation once I got to the run. I started chipping away. Every person I passed helped me count down in my head. I kept feeling stronger. I went from coming out of the water 35th to finishing the event in 12th. I was pleased in how I turned something not so great, into something pretty darn good.”
On New Year’s Resolutions
“You don’t have to wait until January 1st to make resolutions. Sit down with a pen and paper and get started. Leading a healthy life, especially as you get older is all about making a commitment. You have to put forth the effort and be consistent with your effort. Write down realistic attainable goals you can achieve in one month, three months and six months. Revisit them. Set-up a plan. Once you get in the habit of doing that, you’ll see the results. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Cheryl’s wrist wraps are stitched with these traditional Hawaiian phrases helping her keep her focus during a workout.
Ki Pai Pai: to encourage and inspire others “I believe you should live your life in a way that can inspire others.”
Holo i Mua: to move forward. “I translate that into the pursuit of virtuosity, striving to be better than you were yesterday.”