Being the mother of six kids, ages 3-15, the responsiblities are endless. Making time for yourself seems like an impossiblity for most parents, but Darcie Warren has found the time to become a CrossFit champion.
Warren started exercising after her first child was born and realized she had caught a bug. The perfect combination of Warren’s physical agility and her mental determination has made her a competitive athlete.
“My coaches say what has brought me as far as I have come is my mental game, which a lot of people lack,” Warren said. “They don’t want to take themselves to that dark place. Even though they have the physical capacity to do it, the mental capacity isn’t quite there. So I always say, it’s my six kids. That’s what brought me to the level that I’m at.”
Her fitness regimen included many different types of exercises — until she found CrossFit. She quickly found that she both enjoyed and excelled in the sport, rising through the ranks and winning competitions.
“CrossFit is a smorgasbord of different movements and different aspects of fitness,” Warren said. “It’s got strength, body weight movements, gymnastics skills, endurance tests, balance and agility — it includes a broad spectrum, so the idea is that you train for the unknown and to become the most well-rounded athlete you can become.”
She often competes on a whim, as she did this past Saturday. The thrill of competition excites and motivates her to become the best athlete she can be.
“There’s lots of technical aspects, too, where it’s not just strength or endurance or balance, but there’s a lot of technique that is involved,” Warren said.
Competing in events that involve squats, rings, presses and an Olympic lift, Warren is incredibly driven to become stronger and win. To qualify for nationals, Warren dropped her body weight so she would qualify in a lower weight division.
“The less you weigh, the lower the amount (it) is you have to qualify,” Warren said.
She qualified in the 58 kilo division, lifting 150 kilos total when combining the different types of lifts. That’s a little more than 330 pounds.
“I found the athlete within in the process of trying to get back in shape,” Warren said. “The first time I ran a marathon, I was like, I think I can do that faster. I just always wanted to see what I could do, not necessarily competing against others. I like that feeling. I’m a fitness junkie, and I like that high you get from exercising.”
She has inspired her family to become more active. Her husband has joined a CrossFit gym, and her kids are involved in CrossFit Kids.
“But I’m just like any parent,” Warren said. “I’m like, oh I need to be better at feeding them healthy food, or getting them to like to exercise or do active things. We’re not this picture of health family, but we have fun.”
Warren said when she has a minute to herself, she chooses to work out. She doesn’t watch TV or shop or go to the movies. Sometimes, she said, she even skips a shower so she can get an extra workout in.
Those who have seen Warren succeed in pushing herself to the top of her game are inspired by her. She said she’s developed a bit of a fanbase.
“Friends from the gym, family, different people follow that and say ‘I started CrossFit because of you’ or ‘man, if you have six kids I can’t complain about having two kids and using that as an excuse why I can’t get in shape,’” Warren said. “I’ve seen people around town who stop me and say, hey aren’t you Darcie? And usually I’m running around in gym clothes so it’s a dead giveaway.”
Her husband Darin is a photographer and posted a photo he had taken of Warren that showed her stretch marks. While she was embarrassed about them, she said the response to the photo was overwhelmingly positive.
“Other mothers said it was beautiful and inspiring,” Warren said. “Being strong and feeling strong and being able to do stuff with your fitness is what’s cool. I’m kind of empowering women to embrace and make the best of their body. I’ve enjoyed being a role model for girls with muscles.”
Warren will be competing in the National Weight Lifting Competition in Utah on July 18.