Archive 2008 - 2019

Lisa Mikkelsen Inspires Many with Second-straight Games Win

by Elaine Howley

For the second year in a row, CrossFit Never Doubt (CFND) owner and head coach,
Lisa Mikkelsen, 48, of Holliston, MA, won the 45- to 49-year-old Master
women’s age group at the annual Reebok CrossFit Games competition held in
Carson, CA, July 22 to 28. CFND is a competitive CrossFit gym based in
Milford, M, that also specializes in helping runners cross-train to improve
performance in their primary sport. In building up the “box,” (as CrossFit gyms
are dubbed) that she and husband Thomas co-founded in December 2012, Mikkelsen
decided she’d best lead by example. She opted to return to the summer Games in
July as a solo Masters competitor with the goal of repeating as World Champion.

She did so with a commanding performance at the StubHub Center, winning three
out of six events handily. She never trailed in the overall competition and
performed strongly throughout the grueling series of six workouts that spanned
three days.

CrossFit competitions—like the workouts that have attracted ardent fans over the
past several years—feature a series of highly-athletic skills intended to hone
elite fitness across a broad range of modalities. Strength, flexibility, speed,
and endurance elements are offered up in a constantly varied combination of
lung-busting “Workouts of the Day” (WODs). The Games uses these innovative
and high-intensity workouts to crown the fittest athletes on the planet.   

To help prepare for the July Games, Mikkelsen increased her running and
completed dozens of CrossFit endurance workouts—endurance-based training
sessions that CrossFit Never Doubt specializes in providing to runners and other
athletes looking to go longer and get stronger. “She’s still getting over an
ankle injury she suffered in the late winter, so there’s still some soreness
there,” says husband Thomas. “She’s also been dealing with some shoulder
problems and having to adjust there, but she trained hard.”

And aced the competition.

With characteristic joy of sport and competition Mikkelsen says, “This is my
second time competing as a Masters athlete, and I’m just thrilled to have gotten
back on the podium. This was also the first time I represented my new box, and
I’m very proud to have been able to do that. This is a great win for me and my
family, sure, but also for CrossFit Never Doubt.”

Having her very own CrossFit community backing her up on the journey made the
win all the more powerful and meaningful for the silver-haired mother of one.
“This experience was so much sweeter than in the past because of the community.
We were all in this together. It was humbling to walk off the field after the
win and see so many congratulatory emails and text messages and to read all the
wonderful and positive things,” posted online by members of the CFND family, she

Though Mikkelsen won the event this year neatly, she did not dominate the final
workout from the outset as she had in 2012, which increased the excitement and
anticipation among the athletes she coaches who cheered her on from the
sidelines at the competition and their computer screens at home. She came from
behind on the last sprint to the finish in that final event, making for a
nail-biting and inspiring close to the Games.

CFND member Chris Torres was pulling for Lisa from afar during the first workout
of day two when competitors were faced with a particularly difficult workout
called “Pullgatory,” which included barbell lifts, burpees, sumo deadlifts, and
high pulls, all broken up by a hand-over-hand pull of a heavy sled over grass.
Torres commented that her family thinks she’s “nuts because I’m screaming at the
computer, ‘Pull, Lisa, pull!”

Luke Spina, who says he also watched all of Mikkelsen’s events online “discreetly while at work,” commented that watching Mikkelsen perform at the Games reinforced what the sport of CrossFit is all about. “It was amazing to see the determination and grit it takes to be one of the fittest people in the world.” Judy Lotti agrees. “It is such an honor to be able work with Lisa. She inspires me with her determination and strength." 

Fellow member Vaughne Boroczky said that while Mikkelsen was thanking the
athletes she coaches for their support, they in turn wanted to thank her for
being such an inspiration. “I was looking for something to keep me coming back
and working out, and not only did I find something, but I found someone: Lisa. I
am so grateful for her inspiration and encouragement.” And so goes the circle of
inspiration that is the fortifying and close-knit community Mikkelsen has built
at CFND.

So where does that inspiration spring from in the first place? Carter,
Mikkelsen’s 11-year-old son who served as her ringside coach during the
competition, same as he did last year. Why change a winning formula, after all?

“Once again this year, he kept things calm and motivated me with his love and
now-squeaky voice during the WODs. I’d get a kiss and a hug and a ‘go get ‘em
Mama’ shot on the arm before each workout. Once at the starting line, I’d find
him in the crowd and focus on him for inspiration.”

It worked.

In addition to the two Masters age group wins Mikkelsen has claimed the past two
years, she previously found her way atop the podium in 2011 as part of the
winning Affiliate Cup team—essentially the relay division of the CrossFit Games.
That team also claimed a podium finish in the 2010 CrossFit Games, where
Mikkelsen first started turning heads within the sport as she competed
head-to-head against (and beat) athletes closer in age to her son than to her.
What’s even more astounding is that Mikkelsen’s birthday falls shortly after the
Games each year; in 2013, she won the games just six days shy of her 48th
birthday. So much for the middle of an age group being a difficult place to win

So what comes next for Mikkelsen, who is also a highly accomplished runner,
swimmer, and triathlete? After the tasty apple fritter and burritos she enjoyed
as her celebratory meal the day after the win, Mikkelsen began plotting. First
for a 100-mile running adventure she’ll undertake at the end of October with
husband Thomas, the 50/50 run from Mount Greylock to Mount Wachusett, and second
for the 2014 CrossFit Games. But she’s not eying the Games for herself, she’s
thinking about the athletes she coaches.

“We want to build a competitive team to enter team competitions in 2014. I’d
really love to see our athletes represent at Regionals next year,” she says.
“That would be even better than winning as a Masters athlete.”

Given Mikkelsen’s impressive motivation and selfless dedication to her athletes,
there’s no telling just how well a CrossFit Never Doubt Affiliate Cup team might
do. Never Doubt the heights they might achieve. They sure don’t.

The CFND community encourages anyone interested in trying CrossFit to join them
on Saturday mornings at 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. for introductory classes. CrossFit
Never Doubt is located at 231 E. Main Street, Milford, MA, in the Reuven Plaza
next to Acapulco’s Restaurant.

Link to YouTube video of the Games:

Comments (1)

Lisa.I'm so proud of you for your accomplishment ,your a strong and fit woman who lives the life of health and being the best you can be .....truly worthy for faces in the crowd ...sports illustrated its amagzing wow!!!! Your the American record holder, welcome to the family ...Dave ashford world record holder hurdles.???????????

david ashford | 2017-02-02 17:57:29