Cheryl Brost : On Becoming a Professional Athlete

Contributor – Cycling, CrossFit, and Fitness News

Cheryl Brost is a three-time CrossFit Games competitor, a former two-time collegiate soccer national champion, official spokesperson for Altrient, a mother of two, and she’s stronger than most women half her age. At 43, Brost is fulfilling her lifelong dream of becoming a professional athlete by signing with the San Francisco Fire, one of the premier teams in the National Pro Fitness League (NPFL).

The Opportunity to Be a Professional Athlete Said Brost, who played soccer at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington:

I remember having dreams and aspirations of playing professional soccer and in college I really thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a professional women’s soccer league,” but this was before there actually was a professional women’s soccer league.
After kicking around the idea of playing soccer in Europe, Brost and her husband decided to stay in the states and her dream of being a professional athlete was put the on hold. That is, until she found CrossFit.

Brost’s CrossFit career includes a thirteenth place finish at the 2010 CrossFit Games, a seventh place finish in 2011, and a fifteenth place finish in 2012. In 2013, she suffered an Achilles rupture at the North West Regional competition and underwent surgery to remove a bone spur. Brost used CrossFit as her physical therapy and within a year she has regained “great” range of motion in her ankle and maintains a rigorous training program with her coach, CJ Martin.
Brost trains at CrossFit AllStar in Waimea, Hawaii and since her NPFL team is based out of Northern California, the decision to sign with the Fire was a family affair:
We had a couple of family meetings before we came to the final decision and everyone had a voice in the decision. It’s too good of an opportunity pass because we’re paving the way for this new sport and to be a part of that is pretty cool.
As negotiated in her contract, during the NPFL season, Brost will live and train in San Francisco but will return to Hawaii every few weeks to spend quality time with her family:
Going home will let me catch my kid’s sporting events and it’ll give me a good break from hard training. Our whole family has to be willing to give and take with it and I’m lucky that my husband is very helpful and my kids are very understanding.

The Secret Weapon of a Positive Attitude

Brost leaves for the mainland June and the inaugural NPFL season will run from late August through October. Joining the NPFL will give Brost the opportunity to work and compete with a team, something that she has never done in her more than four-year CrossFit career:
I see myself as a very uplifting player and I’m looking forward to blending all of the strengths we have as individuals and making the most of it. Doing CrossFit is bonding in itself, but I have never experienced it as being from the team aspect yet and I’m really looking forward to where that will lead us.
Her appreciation for a healthy team dynamic was fostered in her by her collegiate soccer coach:
My coach was so good at blending the strengths of all of the team to make us play stronger together. She was a mastermind of mental strength and peak performance and getting you to play over and above maybe what you’ve even capable of, and she was really big on team bonding and just had tons of fun.
In addition to working with a team, Brost is excited for the opportunity to train alongside exceptional athletes, which she hopes will elevate each of their games to a higher level. Brost undoubtedly trains hard and balances her family life, but perhaps her biggest secret to success is her positive attitude:
Now, here I am at 42 and I’m signing a contract with a professional sports league team. It’s just a wonderful way to show girls and young women that the sports world isn’t just for men, that they have a place in it too. Everything’s possible, so keep on dreaming and don’t give up on your dreams because someday it might just happen.
For the latest on Cheryl’s professional athletic endeavors, visit her website
Photos courtesy of Elin Kalaniopio

The NPFL and San Francisco Fire Breathers

Cheryl SigningMy big news came to fruition March 25, 2014, when I signed a Letter of Intent with the San Francisco Fire Breathers of the National Pro Fitness League (NPFL)!

The NPFL is “Introducing the world’s first professional spectator sport with co-ed teams competing in human performance races. This is a mainstream sporting event that is fan, TV, and sponsor friendly. Picture two 8-person teams (4 men, 4 women, with one of each being over 40 years old) going head to head in matches throughout a season that is not unlike an abbreviated NFL season. Two-hour matches with fixed but flexible rules that are designed to force teams to strategize. The competitions will be easy to follow, and a very smart team that executes flawlessly could outwit a fitter team in any given match. There will be consistent structure for every match, all events known ahead of time, and substitutions on the fly.”

I can’t thank my training partner and Owner of CrossFit Allstar, KC Stallsmith, in explaining what this means to my Allstar friends and family.  KC blogged, “Cheryl will likely leave for training in June, and the first event will be held in August and run through October. She’s explained that she’ll likely be able to do at least 3 return visits back here to connect with her kids and family. WHAT THIS MEANS TO ME IS TROY WILL BE PLAYING THE ROLE OF MR.MOM FOR ABOUT 5 MONTHS!!! Let’s all lend a hand to help him with the kids and anything their family need’s while Cheryl is away! We’ll all miss Cheryl around the box, but we have LIVE TV EVENTS TO LOOK FORWARD TO!!!

I’ll be sure to share any other pertinent, public information as it comes about, but in short Cheryl has been picked, out of all the people on this planet, to be the Master’s Athlete for the San Fancisco Firebreathers. It’s no suprise to me, knowing just how perfect she’ll be in that role.

But it is, however, quite a feat after having had a complete Achilles rupture repair and removal of a bone spur just 10 months ago. I don’t think she ever once felt sorry for herself….she appeared to move right into rehab, slowly start training again, and then surpass her previous performance levels! CRAZY!  WE’LL BE ROOTING FOR YOU CHERYL!!! I’M SURE YOU’LL HEAR US ALL (IN SPIRIT ANYHOW!), ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE PACIFIC FROM THE BIG ISLAND TO SAN FRANCISCO! HECK YEAH! GO FIREBREATHERS!”

Truly, I have so many people to thank for helping me achieve this dream … but a few I must mention.  Dr. Colleen Hacker, Jeremy Stecker, Daren Kromarek, KC Stallsmith, CJ Martin, Al Police, Rocktape, Progenex, LivOn, the SF Fire Breathers, and of course my family.

I am Ready for the Open!

The 2014 CrossFit Games season is here!  As I approach the “Open”, many of you wonder how I’m doing.  First, know, I deeply appreciate your well wishes, thoughts, and prayers for me and my family during my Achilles rehabilitation!  I am equally grateful for my sponsors who have walked with and supported me during my recovery.  The great news is I am at 110%!

I say 110% for these reasons.  My Achilles is ‘relatively’ pain free for the first time in years … yea!  As far as training is concerned … yes, I box jump as fast or faster than I did prior to my injury.  I have PR’d my snatch, jerk, power clean, deadlift x3, push press, muscle-ups for time, and the list probably goes on.

Cheryl KCI must also mention my fantastic training partner, athlete, and CrossFit AllStar box Owner KC Stallsmith.  Without doubt, KC is as dedicated to the sport of CrossFit, her Box, her improvement as an athlete, and to my personal success as well.  To give a little insight, considering my family moving to Waimea, HI, word traveled quickly.  Here are some excerpts of what KC emailed when reaching out to me:

“Holy smokes girl this is cool!!! We are super excited to meet you guys, cannot believe you’ll be here!  Let me know if I can do anything for you and your family, short of finding a rental:).  CANNOT WAIT TO MEET YOUR FAMILY! Please stalk my website.  Love to hear your goals after your surgery, rehab, full steam ahead girl!  I’ve got to say, I selfishly look forward to you being in Waimea so I can train with you.  Anyhow, I hope the rumors are true and we very much look forward to meeting you if you do in fact move to Waimea. There’s lots of love for you here:) Aloha! –KC”.  KC … you are a true friend; thank you.

Needless to say, I am blessed!  So … only God knows what is in store for me this 2014 Games season?  Rest assured though, I will always give every WOD my best shot!

Mom and Son Place 1 and 2 at the CrossFit Allstar Roundup

1047114_10202586420447863_1015538032_oAfter a two day action packed weekend, Cheryl Brost and her 15 year old son Alex place 1st and 2nd in their respective “Open” and “Scaled” divisions at the CrossFit Allstar Roundup in Waimea, HI.  The event was just 5 months and 7 days since Cheryl withdrew from the 2013 Northwest Regional competition after suffering a complete Achilles tendon rupture.  “After my injury I was disappointed, but I was and remain determined to compete in the 2014 CrossFit Games.  Although my recovery appears, ‘not normal’, I believe recovery is a choice which begins with lifestyle.  Anyone can choose to eat healthy, choose to exercise, choose to do more than your physical therapist prescribes, choose to utilize clinically proven supplements like Progenex and Altrient C, ME and GSH , and choose a lifestyle which makes the most of any setback … it’s just temporary”, says Brost.

“What a fun weekend!!!”  Following the competition, Cheryl said, “I Feel so blessed to have this opportunity to compete once again! Great job to all the competitors this weekend!  A big mahalo to all the work Josh and KC Stallsmith and CrossFit AllStar put into running such a special event, as well as to all the volunteers who pitched in and worked so very hard to make it all happen!  Thank you to Progenex and Altrient LivOn Labs for sponsoring the event as well! #livehealthylivestrongliveon”.

1458080_10202585520665369_946234639_oAs for Alex, at 15 years of age and 150lbs, he was the youngest and likely one of the lightest competitors in the competition.  Competing in the “Mens Scaled” division, Alex fought off fierce competitors and in the end, trailed 41 year old Professional Surfer and Actor “Shane Dorian” by 3 points; placing 2nd overall.  A young man of few words, Alex said, “This was my first ever competition and I’m really happy.  I did the best I could”.  Alex is a Sophomore at Hawaii Preparatory Academy where he plays Varsity football and soccer.  When not on the field, he spends his time at the CrossFit AllStar Oly club and WODing.  Keep an eye out on Alex … he has a bright future!

The Eve Before my Come Back!

CherylArmStretchSo … my family has moved and I now workout at CrossFit Allstar in Waimea, HI.  Although I miss my Eugene CrossFit family, I love my newly adopted CrossFit family!  Tomorrow begins the 2013 CrossFit Allstar Roundup and will be my first competition since my Achilles Rupture at the 2013 Northwest CrossFit Regional.  I can’t thank you, my fans, and my Sponsors enough for your encouragement, prayer, and support over the past 5 months.  I’m guessing I’m at about 90% of where I was last year at this time.  Considering the significance of my injury … I’m thrilled!  Rest assured, I will be safe and smart during this competition.