West Lafayette woman competes in global event from her garage

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Dr. Erika Ugianskis works 10 to 12 hour days. She is a wife and a mother of two. At 5:15 every morning she is up getting ready for her daily workout.

She does not have to travel far because her gym is in her West Lafayette garage. When she is done, she gets ready and heads to work at IU Health Arnett Hospital.

“When I’m heading into the hospital I feel like I can take on anything. Because if I can rise to the challenge of a workout, I feel like I can rise to the challenge of what waits for me at the hospital,” Ugianskis said.

Along with doctor, wife and mother Ugianskis can add CrossFit competitor to her her list of titles.

Right now she is competing in the Reebok CrossFit Games Open. It’s the first round before the top 43 men and women in 17 regions move on. Then, the best will compete at the Reebok CrossFit Games in California in August.

Ugianskis is one of more than 200,000 people around the world competing in the open round. She knows she is not going to advance to the games, but she said that is not her goal.

“It’s an opportunity for anybody in the world to participate in this competition with the elite athletes,” Ugianskis said. “The elite athletes have to go through this whole process as well.”

CrossFit takes varied, everyday activities like squats, running, pulling and pushing, and has athletes practice those activities at a high intensity.

CrossFit gyms are becoming popular, but because of Ugianskis’ busy schedule she turned her garage into her CrossFit gym. Along with her husband, she is trying to help others who work out of their own gyms by creating Red Bar CrossFit. The web site allows people to come together and plan a CrossFit program.

“This allows for someone to have that structure of a CrossFit program instead of blindly going online and finding some random workout,” Ugianskis said.

The Reebok CrossFit Games Open ends Monday night. Even though she may not end up competing in the games this summer, Ugianskis will be there. She will be one of the games’ volunteer physicians.

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