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A day with Annie Sakamoto

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If there is one person who embodies everything explored on this blog so far, it’s Annie Sakamoto.

Annie is the winner of the 2011 CrossFit Spirit of the Games Award.  At 5 foot 1 and 115 pounds, she can do a perfect 155-pound clean and jerk with a beaming smile.  She has been CrossFitting for eight years - is married with two kids, coaches and is one of the owners of  When she placed as one of the top ten Crossfit athletes in the world she wasn’t driven by a training schedule – she didn’t really intend to compete in the first place – but by a love of the workouts.  In person, she radiates a fresh and honest energy of hard work mixed with a healthy dose of fun.

Annie joined Ganbatte for a team WOD last Saturday, March 17.  She led us through “Annie Are You OK” – 12-9-6 reps of pullups, a calorie row, burpees, power cleans, situps, box jumps, and dips. Everyone on the team had to complete each set before moving to the next one together.  It wasn’t a WOD built for the strongest members of each team to shine; it was built for each of us to take responsibility for doing our best while encouraging the person beside us.  It was about creating the space for a group to maximize its potential. It was about collective effort.


Annie is one of CrossFit’s most recognizable and celebrated women, and despite her individual accomplishments never fails to talk about the importance of the CrossFit community and how appreciation of that community has strengthened over the years. CrossFit started with a small group of people dreaming up workouts in one particular space.  It has since expanded to hundreds and hundreds of spaces, each one with its own particular feel and its own interpretation of what a community is.  In Annie’s case, it’s fair to say that her particular community played a big role in getting her to where she is today.


In the Ganbatte community we have stressed the importance of setting realistic goals, of getting enough rest, of being attentive to form, and of understanding the “why” behind what you do.  Annie does each of these things with a sense of balance and unfailing good humor.  She proves its possible to throw around some serious weight while having a great time, and to nurture family and friends while being dedicated to meeting remarkable athletic goals.


Balance your workouts with rest.  Balance your individual goals with attention to others.  And, in honor of Annie, every once in a while balance your “game face” – the grunty/scrunchy face we all put on more often than we’d like to admit – with a smile.


Having some fun!

Telling us her secrets

Hanging out with the crew

With Ganbatte Coaches

Showing us how its done.


Her new Mantra - " Ganbatte!! " =) ( btw, shes not flexing!)

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