SOM enthusiast and four-time World CrossFit Masters Champion, Mary Beth Prodromides is competing for a possible fifth gold medal at the 2022 World CrossFit Masters Games this week (August 3rd through the 6th). She’s been wearing her SOMs through the qualifiers and training sessions and is prepared for the main event. Follow her workout journey through pictures and videos and learn from her first hand what physical and mental toughness goes into one of the most demanding athletic competitions on the planet.
Road to the Main Event
For this year’s CrossFit Games, Mary Beth is competing in her new CrossFit category: 60-64 age group. "The challenge is there and real with ferocious women who have the same goal as her," she said. This is what she loves, competing against women who have the same drive as her. “There is nothing better to improve what you do day after day.”
Her SOMs have helped her qualify for the Games, and everyday she trains in them, her feet feel better and better. “I just ran almost 6 miles in my SOMs! Never once did I think about foot pain. That is not how it used to be in other brands.”
One of the greatest challenges in the CrossFit Games is that athletes don't know what events they’ll be competing in ahead of time, so they must prepare for anything. SOMs lightweight grip on her feet don’t hold her back or slow her down when she switches between upper and lower body workouts. Mary Beth loves weightlifting in her SOMs because their zero drop soles with wide toe-boxes allow her feet to be comfortable and level for safe and confident lifts.
From week to week, she found a safe and effective balance between current capacity and workout load. If these two elements were out of sync, it could lead to injury, so it was critical for her to find a healthy dance between the two. She said, "It is challenging. But every workout, my SOM shoes meet the challenge."
Over the month of July, from weights to sled drags to box jumps, she trained every part of herself for the 2022 World CrossFit Masters Games, but one of the most important areas of focus that athletes like Mary Beth must never forget in their preparation is the mental endurance that travels a road so demanding.
“The mental side of training is the biggest challenge,” says Mary Beth. “Belief in oneself must be earned by embracing hardship. In the thick of a workout that you are falling behind in, it is quite a tough obstacle to overcome. This battle between her ears can make or break an athlete. “Challenging your mindset when this happens is crucial. Self doubt and discouragement must be seen by your awareness and then told that they will be dealt with at a later time,” she said, thinking about that internal battle that occurs in a matter of seconds.
“Shifting from that spiral of thoughts must be replaced with a phrase that gives your inner person hope. Many use scripture, others use mantras, and I commonly use phrases that are short and sweet. For example, I am one rep closer, and I am more than halfway, and I can see the finish line! Feelings and thoughts are just that. They are not who you are or who you are becoming.”
We can be our own harshest critics. We can second guess or convince ourselves we can’t succeed, but when we can take an “objective view of the challenge we are facing, it then becomes conquerable.” She reaches back to her first CrossFit Games and remembers how she felt like it was Christmas when it came time to compete.
After all the obstacles she faced over the past three years, she couldn’t be more excited to be healed and able to show her determination, dedication, and fortitude in the hope that people who are discouraged by their obstacles can see that with smart training and hard work, feeling alive and healed is possible.
The Perfect Shoe for the Ultimate Workout
CrossFitters like Mary Beth know the importance of stability and strength when competing at the CrossFit Games level. They need footwear that matches their movements, flexing over every obstacle and disappearing under every weight.
Only SOM Footwear delivers the zero-drop balance and lightweight, barefoot-feel shoe made in America to strengthen feet with every step. From smoothly transitioning from one exercise to another without slowing down, to providing space for toes to breathe, freeing the rest of the body to adapt to new challenges, SOM’s athletic trainers, like the Nutrail Air, give athletes the confidence to perform at their fullest level in a sport that measures their truest potential.
We’ll be cheering her on and if you’d like to join us and send your messages of support to Mary Beth, you can post to her social media:
UPDATE: Mary Beth Prodromides is now a 5 TIME World CrossFit Masters Champion!
You can follow her workout videos and training journey in her SOMs by clicking here and see how she won her 5th Gold Medal.