Profile on Joyce Wang, CrossFit athlete. Interview by Tina Tang. Read time: 3 minutes
I love lifting and when I find other women who do, my attention perks. I discovered Joyce Wang (@Gauchogirlx) on instagram. I was instantly drawn to her feed for two reasons: she lifted heavy and she was a rare minority in CrossFit. How many Asian women do you see CrossFitting?
I wanted to know so many things about her: how? why? what? Tell me more about yourself!
This is the essence of my phone interview with Joyce Wang. Notably, she placed 69 out of 6061 participants in the SoCal region CrossFit Open this year.
1. What was your first lifting or CrossFit experience and what hooked you?
I was on the volleyball and track team in high school and have always been an athlete. In college, I played on our championship ultimate Frisbee team.
After graduating, I wanted to thrive in the same collaborative team experience. Instead, as I was starting my career in public relations at ESPN, I ended up falling into a cardio-body building routine.
In 2013, my search ended when I discovered the CrossFit Games. The games were my “a-ha” moment!
By end of 2013, I was going to CrossFit 4x a week doing the WOD (workout of the day). Once, settled into my job, I started going more.
2. What is it about CrossFit?
CrossFit is everything I’ve missed and wanted! It’s being an individual while on a team. When I workout, I love to feel the burn and leave the gym like I gave it everything. I thrive on it.
3. How old are you?
4. What other passions do you have (any other sports or non fitness related things you love to do) and why do you love it?
I love food. I’m strict Paleo and have allergies to gluten and dairy, but I just love food.
I’m also considering competing in olympic lifting if I don’t compete in CrossFit. Lifting is beautiful to watch. I’m a religious fan of olympic lifting videos.
When I started CrossFit, olympic lifting was my weakest skill. Thus, it has become my dedicated focus. I've worked with private coaches, practiced, and watched competitive lifters religiously.
5. Describe your weekly training schedule in detail.
I work a 9-6pm job so my training occurs before and after work. During the off season, I do two-a-day workouts: an hour in the morning before work and 1 ½ hours-2 hours after work. I do this 6x a week.
Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday, I train. Thursday I take an active rest which includes running, swimming or rowing. Friday-Saturday, I train. Sunday is a total rest day.
The “on season” begins in January. The CrossFit Open begins end of February and lasts five weeks until the end of March. It is then where I will shift my focus and train once a day with focus on conditioning. Qualifying for Regionals means placing in the top 20 athletes from each region during the Open. The Regionals take place in May and the CrossFit Games in July.
6. How far did you get in this year’s open?
I’ve been doing Crossfit for 2.5 years. This year, I ranked 69/6061 in the SoCal open. (Author note: Holy shit! The top 1.1% in the region!)
7. Will you be trying again next year?
I’m not sure yet. I may try strict olympic lifting competitions. I haven’t decided as I am also working on a career change. (More to come in later question)
8. What do your parents think about the lifting?
My parents hate it. They don’t know about my Crossfit training. They think I’m too bulky and too big. They’re blocked on my social media so that they don’t stumble upon my CrossFit photos/videos.
My parents are Chinese and while they love me, being muscular is not culturally accepted by them and their generation.
I figured if I got into the CrossFit Games, I would tell them and they would be proud then. They just don’t want or need to know what it takes to get there.
9. They sound old world traditional. How do they like you in PR?
They wanted me to be a lawyer and my sister to be a doctor. I’m a publicist and she’s a graphic artist.
10. Tell me more about your career path.
I’m in West Coast publicity for ESPN and I’ve been doing that since I graduated. Sports has always been my passion.
However, I am ready for a career change. My ideal job is one that is fulfilling and meaningful where I directly help others and change their lives for the better.
I am considering law enforcement and am researching my possibilities right now.
11. Name milestones in your life.
1. Discovering CrossFit through the 2013 Crossfit games on tv.
2. Now, going through a major career change where I am not sure where I will be.
12. When you feel down or tired, what gets you through? A coach? A mantra?
I always want to be the best I can. Every morning, I wake up and thank God for his blessings. I am grateful to have fitness, to have limbs and to move without pain. My faith makes me want to be the best version of myself that I can.