She seemed to almost come out of nowhere. Tia-Clair Toomey had only been training in CrossFit for two years when she took second at the 2015 CrossFit Games. People called her Rookie of the Year, but she was set on proving her podium finish wasn’t merely a fluke. And she did. The next year, she took second once again, effectively showing the world she knew what it would take to get to the top, and she wasn’t scared of it.

Her consecutive second-place finishes were impressive, to say the least; but that wasn’t the end of it. Not nearly. Toomey, a former track and field athlete, would go on to win the coveted title of Fittest Woman on Earth at the 2017 Games. She also represented Australia as its top-ranked female weightlifter in 2016 and competed at the Summer Olympics in Rio. She is the only athlete to have competed at the Games and the Olympics in the same year, becoming perhaps one of the first athletes to prove that it is possible to excel to the top in both sports simultaneously.

But wait — there’s more. Most recently Tia competed at the Commonwealth Games as a 58kg Olympic weightlifter and walked away with a new personal best and the gold medal. It was an awe-inspiring event that gave all of us the chills. She won the 2018 Pacific Regionals, and we can’t wait to see her crush it at the Games.

A post shared by Tia-Clair Toomey (@tiaclair1) on

It isn’t just her athletic prowess that’s captured the attention of millions. It’s also her quiet but fierce ambition. Toomey has always kept her head down and eyes forward, focused on what’s in front of her. This is one gal who’s not afraid to roll up her sleeves and get dirty. Through her social media, she has selflessly invited all of us along on her journey, sharing her best fitness tips, her success, and the lessons she’s learned along the way.

Tia-Clair Toomey has done Australia (and… the world) proud, and The WOD Life was thrilled to get to speak with her one-on-one via email. Here’s what she had to say about her athletic career, regret, and thoughts moving forward.

The WOD Life: What’s your greatest memory of your career thus far?

Tia-Clair Toomey: This is hard, because going to the Olympics and winning the CrossFit Games were both an unreal experience. However, the greatest memory of my career thus far is hugging Shane (my husband and coach) in the crowd after I was announced the fittest. It wasn’t that I won. It was because we had set out to achieve a goal together as a team and in that moment, it finally became a reality. Embracing Shane was by far one of the most amazing memories I have ever had because it was so personal and very special. Something we will always keep close to our hearts.

TWL: What was your biggest lesson?

TCT: My biggest lesson has been to believe in myself, even though so many people say it on a daily basis. It wasn’t until after the 2016 CrossFit Games that I realised how true that saying really is.

TWL: If you could go back in time, would you do anything differently?

TCT: No. Of course, there are experiences I wish had gone differently at the time; but because of my journey, I believe those experiences are what helped guide me to where I am today. I truly believe you learn more from losses than you do wins, and my goal is about seeing how far I can grow as an individual.

TWL: How do you find balance in life?

TCT: By surrounding myself with good people. My friends and family are what keep me grounded and if it wasn’t for their support throughout my journey, I wouldn’t have achieved my goals. They make training fun. When I feel down, they pick me up; and when I lose focus, they remind me of how good I really have it.

TWL: What is your #1 goal at the moment?

TCT: To be the best version of myself in everything I do. As long as I am trying to be better than what I was yesterday, I am confident that I will grow into a very satisfied individual.

TWL: What’s the best piece of advice you have for your fans on finding success?

TCT: Don’t overcomplicate life. Try and look for the positives and enjoy the experiences you have.

Main image: fitnesshq.com