Royse City teen impressing local CrossFit community with weightlifting skills. Brooklin said healthy food gives her strength so she can work out for an hour to an hour-and-a-half almost every day, except for the days she rests to let her muscles recover. Jeremy Correll-Smith, her father, said Brooklin competes and works out with women who are three or four times her age, but it doesn’t phase her. 6 of 6
By LIZ FARMER
LIZ FARMER The Dallas Morning News
For 13-year-old Brooklin Smith of Royse City, lifting 60 kilos — more than 130 pounds — is just another day at the gym.
Brooklin is training for the USA Weightlifting Youth National Championship on June 13. She’ll compete against weightlifters from around the U.S. She qualified for the competition at the College Station Classic in April.
“I like to be able to compete,” Brooklin said. “I’m kind of a competitive person, so I like to push myself against other people.”
Brooklin just finished 7th grade at The Fulton School, a private college preparatory in Heath, and practices Olympic weightlifting at CrossFit Rockwall, where her parents work out. The family plans to move to Austin in the near future.
CrossFit is a high-intensity fitness program that incorporates various exercises into one workout.
Brooklin said she found that CrossFit encompasses elements of sports she enjoys, like gymnastics, volleyball and basketball.
“You get all of it just mixed into one,” Brooklin said. “It’s not that you’re just focusing on one thing.”
Jeremy Correll-Smith said his daughter started the CrossFit kids class a few months after he began in August 2012.
“She just immediately liked it,” Correll-Smith said. “We stopped going to gymnastics and just had her doing the kids class.”
Brooklin said the CrossFit kids program emphasizes the movements and proper techniques of weightlifting. Kids start out by lifting PVC pipes and then bars without weights.
“I did the kids class for about a year, and then some of the coaches that teach the kids class said ‘You’re really good, you shouldn’t be held back,’” Brooklin said.
She then moved into the teen program and quickly moved again into the the adults program.
“The teen class is kind of like the adult class only they don’t do intense weight, they’re not maxing out as much,” Brooklin said. “Maxing out means you go to the heaviest weight that you can for that day.”
Olympic weightlifting consists of two types of lifts. The snatch lift involves lifting the bar from the ground to above one’s head in a single move. The clean-and-jerk lift involves lifting the bar up to shoulder height and going into a squat. The weightlifter then jumps and puts one foot in front of the other as he or she raises the bar above the head.
Brooklin’s trainer Mike Woodruff, co-owner of CrossFit Rockwall, said he suggested that she take her skills to the competitive arena.
“I saw the potential that she could qualify for youth nationals,” Woodruff said. “I thought that could be a really cool thing for her to do.”
Brooklin’s competing is not only a unique experience, Woodruff said, it’s an impressive one.
“You do these lifts in front of a whole group of people watching you,” Woodruff said. “It’s a lot of pressure, and she went out there and made all of her lifts.”
Woodruff said she’ll be competing against people who are her age and weight class, 48 kilograms or about 106 pounds, at the upcoming championship in Port Orange, Fla., but that wasn’t the case at College Station.
“She was the only youth girl who was lifting,” he said.
She’s used to being the odd one out.
At school she’s the only person who routinely eats the same thing everday — vegetables, sweet potatoes and a portion of meat.
“Sometimes I get like picked on about what I eat,” Brooklin said. “They’re like, ‘Ew, you bring the same food everyday,’ but it doesn’t bother me. Actually there’s so many things to eat out there that nobody takes times to find it. We’ve made so many creative foods.”
Her favorite creations? Mashed cauliflower, turkey burgers and a chocolate cake made without sugar.
“I used unsweetened cocoa and I made my own frosting,” Brooklin said. “It’s cool to see how many things you can make that are healthy.”
She said healthy food gives her strength so she can work out for an hour to an hour-and-a-half almost every day, except for the days she rests to let her muscles recover.
It’s a challenge that she enjoys, she said, in part because of the people involved in CrossFit.
“The community is amazing. They’re good about supporting you and inspiring you,” Brooklin said. “Outside of school it’s fun to make new friends while doing something you love.”
Correll-Smith said Brooklin competes and works out with women who are three or four times her age, but it doesn’t phase her.
“She can look at them respectfully and have a conversation with them,” he said.
He said such moments show how Brooklin has benefited from CrossFit in more than just physical ways.
“It really helps with confidence,” Correll-Smith said. “She’s a lot more mature than many 13-year-olds. ...She’s kind of blazing a new trail as she goes along.”
Rockwall/Rowlett editor Liz Farmer can be reached at 214-977-8027.
Posted on Fri, June 27, 2014
by Malcolm Cook