Written by Ashley Dier | Academy of Lions Media Team | Toronto
You need only watch Leann Lapp for a few seconds before you notice one thing, this woman has DRIVE. Insanely talented and sweet, Leann Lapp is a natural athlete, an elite athlete. I was nervous to meet with her, I've seen her train at the Academy and watched her compete in the CrossFit Open*, I've seen how gifted she is and I felt inferior, intimated. However, after a few short moments with her I realized how ridiculous my nervousness was, kind, warm and attentive, Leann is the kind of person who you want to chat with, the kind of woman you can't help but be inspired by.
Naturally athletic since childhood, sports have alway come easily for Leann. She began in gymnastics, what she calls "perfect foundational" sport. A
Her first CrossFit Open was in 2012. Leann noticed that there were workouts that she had the athleticism to do better than she had, that was her "all in" moment and she began to train very seriously after the Open that year. Leann describes CrossFit Open 2012 as being very formative in her CrossFit career. Leann is goal based, her athletic life proof of that, the following year her goal was to try as hard as she could and see what happened. The results of that Open placed her in a position where she could see that Regionals were within grasp, becoming her next goal. The top 20 athletes from each region (Toronto is Canada East) compete in the Regionals, the top 5 go on to Big Show, the CrossFit Games in Carson, California. Leann has competed in Regionals twice and in just 5 short weeks, it starts it all over again with CrossFit Open 2016 Edition.
"My time swimming varsity was sort of like my "career", I loved swimming but I didn't really like competing, I got really nervous and felt so much pressure. And this (CrossFit) is like round two, it's the bonus round. I'm older and I've worked out the jitters. At the end of the
Leann is not only incredibly gifted in sports, she is brilliant. She has an undergrad in biology, and a masters in neuroscience (yes, neuroscience)! After working in the research world, Leann shifted her focus and began a clinical psychology program. She is currently interviewing for her
The goals Leann sets for herself have always been clear, "career is one, CrossFit is two." I let the statement linger a moment and address the obvious elephant in the room, "CrossFit is your second goal, and this is how well you do," I say, shocked.
Leann thinks for a moment and answers, "when people talk about potential, that other piece, that motivation, it's a big part of it. Sometimes I wonder if the fact that because I'm focused on this other thing (my career) maybe in a way I have a bit less pressure off of CrossFit, allowing me to do better. Maybe this is the necessary condition, the perfect formula."
A few days later I see Leann training. I'm in the middle of a MetCon and have been whipping myself senseless attempting double
*The CrossFit Open is a five-week, five-workout, ultimate fitness competition held in professional and non-professional gyms all around the world. Each week an official work out is posted, those entered complete the workout, upload their score, and earn a ranking relation to your peers in your age division, competition region, province and country. Workouts are released online each Thursday and athletes have until the following Monday to submit their scores. Entry is $20, more than 272,000 athletes from around the globe competed in 2015, ranging in age from 14 to 86 years old. You can complete the workouts at a participating CrossFit affiliate in front of a judge, or film your performance from anywhere you want and submit a link as proof. (Games.crossfit.com)