Intelligent, beautiful and athletically strong best describes Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) petite, sixth year Chiropractic Master’s student, Hannah Lenka McKay.
McKay recently competed in the annual United We Stand (UWS) CrossFit competition, a three-day team event that takes place annually in October. During this event more than 950 athletes descend to Durban all determined to be crowned the prestigious title of the fittest team in Africa.
Cross fit is a sport which entails a fitness programme that combines a variety of functional movements into a timed or scored workout. It can include pull-ups, squats, push-ups, weightlifting, gymnastics, running and rowing, which forms part of the Paragon Fitness CrossFit Ried gym. McKay took part along with 11 other male and female team members, at the game.
“The great thing about the competition and being a mixed team event is that it gives you the chance to excel in areas of strength and skill as well as encourages you to work on your weaknesses so that the load of the workouts over the course of the weekend are shared equally between the team mates. Eight of us were competing in our first ever CrossFit competition,” she said proudly.
Having only started CrossFit training three months ago, the past few months have been an impactful time of growth for her (McKay) leading up to the games, as she learnt to push her fitness and trust her body, as well as respect her body’s limitations to avoid injury.
“Many people question CrossFit and the safety of it, the stress it places on your joints and the mindset to lift heavy weights very quickly. And yes, it is very dangerous if it is done in an incorrect form because it is coupled with lifting too heavy, too quickly, while not respecting your body’s limitations. The three things that are helping me find this balance are practice, respect your body’s limits and to get one’s spine checked and adjusted on a regular basis” added McKay.
Besides being active in sport tournaments, McKay is also the 2017recipient of the prestigious Abe Bailey Travel Bursary.
The Abe Bailey Travel Bursary is awarded to outstanding students who have shown exceptional leadership qualities with strong service ethics, qualities that McKay undoubtedly possesses and was clearly evident in her winning the award. She is now completing her Master’s thesis in the field of neurophysiology as well as completing her chiropractic internship. McKay leaves for the United Kingdom on 23 November 2017.
Pictured: Hannah Lenka McKay demonstrates her training for CrossFit.