While competing for the Portuguese National Swimming Team in Brazil, Hannah Caldas had been doing CrossFit for a few months and decided she did not want to miss a workout.
After doing some research, she found CrossFit Rocinha, the only non-profit Affiliate in South America. Because the Affiliate does not have a true Box though, she and the founder, Rogiero Rodrigues, did a workout on the beach.
“When I visited, he took me around the place. I got to see their reality. On top of that, he took me off to the beach and gave me an outdoor workout that was a wake-up call for me – dealing with the elements and the sand and the seawater, was very challenging,” said Caldas.
Remaining in contact with Rodrigues, Caldas occasionally visits Brazil and is an ambassador for CrossFit Rocinha. This is the title Rodrigues labels those who continuously visit the Box, as well as give time or equipment to the gym.
“I call her, when she isn’t here, Wonder Woman,” said Rodrigues.
Since moving from Portugal to the United States where she coaches at CrossFit Anywhere in Folsom, California, Caldas said that she has fallen in love with training methodology, a skill she has learned by trial and error.
“After I started training … I wasn’t at a Box and I didn’t have an in-person Coach, so everything was done remotely. And at a point, [my Coach] was deployed so the contact became a little more limited,” said Caldas. “I wanted to know more. So, I did my Level 1 so I could get a little more exposure. I started competing in competitions so I could meet people in the community.”
And that exposure has sparked her No. 1 passion: travel. While she was learning more about methodology, Caldas trained with “some people that are big references in the sport.”
But she’s beginning to change her own methodology. Now serving as a specialist with the Baltimore Anthem, she noticed a lot of her training had become centered on lifting a heavy barbell really quickly, which she believes has moved her away from CrossFit.
She is now looking to get individualized attention that is specific to her limitations. Her goal is to compete in the Games at the Masters level in 2017.
But that goal has not stopped her from traveling to workout or compete in different parts of the world. And she is able to do so because of the CrossFit community that reaches internationally.
“I’ve always loved to travel and I’ve always traveled as a tourist,” said Caldas. “Whatever country it is, I always find someone that makes me feel at home and shows me their country from their perspective. I have grown a lot by having those experiences and I would not be able to have them without CrossFit.”
She not only plans her travel to places she wants to go, but also by who she knows there and if she can spread CrossFit to an area.
“Israel, Jordan, Kuwait. Places that don’t really get a lot of American Coaches or a lot of top Coaches. Not to say that I am a top Coach, but I’ve had access to the teachings of fairly amazing Coaches and it gives me a chance to go to those places … and help them keep their CrossFit passion alive,” said Caldas.
Her words echo what she had already done with CrossFit Rocinha. And for her, that has been life-changing.