When Brooke Wells arrives in Aromas, California for the 2020 CrossFit Games, she will make her sixth consecutive appearance at the sport's biggest event. She already achieved a career-best finish simply by reaching the top-five, but this is not enough. Wells will not be complacent as she faces off with some of the fittest women on the planet.
Wells sat down with PopCulture.com following Stage 1 of the 2020 CrossFit Games for a discussion about her training schedule and fighting for her first spot on the podium. She explained during the exclusive interview that finishing in the top five is not enough. Wells won't simply show up to the iconic Aromas Ranch happy that she earned a spot in the Final Stage; getting to California was only the first step. She wants to win the CrossFit Games and is constantly training to achieve this goal.
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"I want to be on the podium so bad this year and I think this is the perfect opportunity and I'm not complacent at all," Wells told PopCulture. "I don't want to just be top-five. I want to be on the podium. I finished second in the first stage and I want to do that or better in the second stage. So I'm definitely not turning down how hard I'm working. If anything, I'm ramping it up. Just knowing that the opportunity for being on the podium is so close."
If Wells performs well throughout the weekend and secures a spot on the podium, she will have an opportunity to break a long-running pattern. No American female competitor has finished in the top-three at the games since Julie Foucher placed third in 2014. None have won since Kristan Clever in 2010. Three of the female competitors in Aromas this year hail from America (Wells, Haley Adams and Kari Pearce) while the other two (Tia-Clair Toomey, Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir) moved to the States from Australia and Iceland, respectively. Regardless of how the Games shake out, one female will break the pattern, but Wells wants to be the one to do so.
"That would be incredible. That's been in the back of my mind," Wells said. "I think it's so cool that there's a 100% chance that an American will be on the podium this year, but I want it to be me."
Part of Wells performing well and securing a spot on the podium is her training, but proper rest and recovery will also be a major factor. She will have to ensure that she sleeps well and doesn't show up fatigued. Fortunately for Wells, she has the nickname of "Sleep Queen" for a reason. She follows a consistent routine each night, which translates to critical rest no matter her surroundings.
"I have blackout curtains. I take Beam every night and I honestly think it's just my lifestyle," Wells explained. "I go to bed at nine o'clock, wake up at seven o'clock every single day. I mean, that's just kind of how I work now. So I think as long as you're consistent with it, then it'll start happening.
"I just have to shut my mind off at night. I think a lot of the times people are probably anxious [about] what the workouts are going to be or how they placed it in," Wells continued. "I mean, there are times where I go to bed just thinking of a million things, but you really just have to shut that off and not think about it in order to get some rest."
When Wells lines up for the start of each event, she will do so against familiar opponents. All five female athletes have previous experience at the Games and have competed against each other. Wells is also very close to Toomey and Davidsdottir due to sharing a common sponsor. They are the three primary athletes that represent the NOBULL brand and were the subject of a short film, Who I've Always Been.
"I think that is so cool. I'm so excited to be with those two," Wells said about competing with Toomey and Davidsdottir. "They're two of my best friends in the sport and to get to share such a unique experience with them is going to be so much fun. We definitely are competitive when we are in competition, but outside of competition, there's no one else I would rather have there with me.
"I just think it's important for people to know that even though I want to win, I also want the best for them too. And supporting those two doesn't take anything away from me. If anything, it just helps us all."
The Final Stage of the 2020 CrossFit Games takes place Oct. 23 to Oct. 25. The top five male athletes and the top five female athletes will compete in an unannounced number of events created by Castro. Pluto TV and the Games' website, Facebook and YouTube channels will provide streaming coverage while CBS will air a two-hour block on Saturday morning.