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Camille Leblanc-Bazinet On Competing As A Team In The CrossFit Games
Her final CrossFit Games will be her first as a team athlete.
How do you walk into your final CrossFit Games appearance, and your tenth showing in a row? Well, if you’re Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, just about as calmly as possible. “This year I’m feeling really good, and a lot more relaxed,” she says. “At this point, I think everything is more chill. I’m not as nervous and stressed. It’s mostly fun now.”
Sure, part of that is her veteran spirit. But another side is that for the first time in her competition history, Leblanc-Bazinet is in the middle of competing as part of a team. It’s been an adjustment so far, but one that she has really enjoyed. “The training is really different, because you want to be more of a high powered athlete rather than an endurance athlete,” she says. That means that she spent a lot of time working on sprinting on machines, or heavy sled pushing (which certainly came in handy yesterday), to make sure that her power output was where it needed to be. “It’s been grueling,” she says with a laugh.
All those adjustments have come with a serious advantage now that competition is ramping up. “It’s easier to really go in a pain cave for other people than it is for yourself, and doing your best and being able to hug a friend right after is really special,” she says. As for what she worries about, it’s the fact that in some tests, she will be the weakest link, and will have to rely on her teammates to help her through it. “Individually, the only person you let down is yourself,” she says. “With a team, you have to give your all, be the best at what you’re best at, and know that you won’t be the best at everything.”
There’s also an element of being on a team that can make the challenges of the workout feel like you’re not alone. “Having three other people to bounce your emotion on is really reassuring. When you say, ‘I felt like this, did you?’ and have that person say ‘Me too!’ It’s so different than thinking, ‘My legs were blown up. I wonder if everyone else felt the same way.’ It’s really reassuring and makes me feel more comfortable.”
That comfort is something that she didn’t even realize that she was missing. “As an athlete, I’ve been to the games nine times as an individual with great finishes, but being on a team made me realize that I’m tired of training alone. And I’m just tired,” she laughs. “I’m really grateful and enjoying sharing the load and the experience with other people.”
While she’s sure that this is her last CrossFit Games, that doesn’t mean that she’s not looking forward to some things in her future. “ I’m very excited to travel the world,” she says. “We’re making plans to go to Israel and Egypt and Europe and go around the world and meet the fitness community. I can’t wait. And I can’t wait to party with a couple of the girls on Sunday night, too.”