By Erin Scheele
I have been following Tasia Percevecz’s meteoric rise in CrossFit competitions since she qualified for her first CrossFit regionals in 2015. In only three years, she has managed to climb her way to the top of the sport, having won the CrossFit Games Affiliate Cup in 2018 with the team CrossFit Mayhem Freedom composed of Rich Froning, Matt Hewett, and Lindy Barber (shown below).
I found Tasia as inspiring one-on-one as she is during competition. Her gymnastics training, which created strength and body control, led her towards her eventual introduction to and love for CrossFit. She is truly an exceptional person and role model for all of us striving to train hard, compete, and live a good life to the fullest. She is both mentally and spiritually strong.
As a result of her sudden success in the sport, she has become a very busy person, but I was able to spend some time with her on behalf of SGPT which she credits for much of her success based on SGPT’s philosophy of working out and improving your mind and body to unleash the inner warrior in you.
Recently, I was able to sit down and finally ask Tasia the obvious we all want to know the answer to: How did you do this?
Tasia, first of all, congratulations on a spectacular achievement! We all want to know what your secret is and how you were able to advance to the top of the sport so fast?
After graduating (B.S. Biology, University of New Hampshire), I was searching for a way to stay fit and came upon CrossFit. What started out as a method of exercise, soon became a huge passion. I started coaching and competing in 2014. In the fall of 2017, I moved to Cookeville, TN to be a part of CrossFit Mayhem Freedom and we went on to win the CrossFit Games Affiliate Cup in 2018.
But to go from a novice to a professional in only three years—how did you accomplish that?
This was only possible because I had such an extensive background in gymnastics. When I started CrossFit I already had some upper body strength and good body awareness so that helped a ton!
Tell me about your motivation, what drives you every day? Where do you think you get that mental toughness? Did you ever feel like quitting?
I feel like I get my mental toughness from how I grew up. I was born and raised in Arizona, with two brothers (Caleb and Zach), a sister (Tamar), and my mother (Elaine). My mother raised me and my 3 siblings on her own and she taught me a lot about hard work and sacrifice. Then, starting in gymnastics helped me develop skills in perseverance and mental toughness. I will never quit. Almost to a fault.
Gymnastics, which gave Tasia the foundation for her success in CrossFit is still a huge part of her life.
I also feel very driven by my faith. I believe that my purpose here on earth is to spread love and joy and I truly think God placed me in CrossFit for that reason! It has been a huge blessing. I love what I get to do every day and I love all the wonderful people I get to interact with.
Why did you succeed and why do others fail to get to their goals. What’s the difference? How can a novice or someone who has tried and failed many times, succeed?
I believe my success comes from my perseverance and from enjoying what I do. Also, remembering that failing is part of succeeding. Qualifying for the games did not happen overnight. And I learned a lot from the times I went into competition and failed! And failed badly at that, haha!
Success also involves taking risks. I decided to uproot my life in a matter of days to move to Cookeville and it paid off big time! Not only did it help my life overall, but I also ended up becoming a world champion!
Tell me about Blonyx. What is your nutrition?
Blonyx is a company I started working for almost four years ago. Before I worked for them, I used their products consistently for years. I had such huge strength gains while taking their HMB + Creatine that I just had to be a part of the company. When you believe in something, it makes you want to be a bigger part of it!
As far as nutrition, I also work with Mike Molloy of M2 Performance Nutrition who does my macros for on and off season. Growing up a gymnast lead me to a lot of disordered eating and body image issues, so having someone in my corner for nutrition has been huge! I have learned a lot about eating for fuel, rather than food always being the enemy. It is still a process, but the more you know!
You say your passion is connecting with people. Tell me more about this. What is next for you? Tell me more about the ultimate Tasia! What does the future look like?
Currently I work as a sales rep for a supplement company, Blonyx, as well as writing programming for some of CrossFit Mayhem’s online programs.I enjoy exercising (haha! no surprise there) and generally being active. I love to hike and get outside to use my fitness. I also love getting to know people and connecting with them (I guess you can say I like to talk!). I believe that some of my life experiences has made me love connecting and empathizing with people even more! It is a huge passion of mine.
Tasia, far left, high-fives her teammates.
And that leads me to my future goals. Aside from winning the CrossFit Games for a second time with CrossFit Mayhem Freedom, I would love to open up my own coffee shop one day! I also want to continue living a healthy life and helping as many people as I can to live healthy lives as well.
I LOVE connecting with people. Like I said before, I truly feel like it is my destiny! From a young age I wanted to become a doctor so that I could help people. I pursued this path for a while, until I found CrossFit and became a coach. I loved being a coach because you have a chance to get to know people and help them.
Left, Tasia (second from right/top) with her CrossFit teammates. Right, Tasia in action.
I soon started to realize that my way of helping people might be different than I originally thought. Doctors are amazing, but they don’t get to know their patients at the heart level.
While coaching I was able to get to know people at the heart level and I loved it; it brought me so much joy and purpose! That is why I would like to own a coffee shop one day. So that I can connect with as many people and shine as much light as possible. And who doesn’t love coffee?!
What advice would you give someone who wants to follow their dreams?
Advice for someone following their dreams: Don’t give up. Find joy in everyday! And remember that success doesn’t happen overnight. Doors will open if you are true to yourself, if you work HARD, and if you are kind!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erin Scheele is owner and lead trainer at The WorXout in Fort Wayne, IN, where she lives with her husband and four children.
She trains police, military, Olympic athletes, and military personnel. She completed SEALFIT’s Kokoro (Class 46)—a 56-hour straight event based on the Navy SEAL Hell Week—the “best and worst” thing she has ever done.
Her mission in life is to changes lives by creating stronger, happier clients through her holistic approach to fitness by incorporating massage, nutrition, and yoga.