I am Whitney Cappellucci, a native New Mexican, born and raised in the small town of Raton, NM. Growing up, I participated in several sports including volleyball, basketball and track (hurdles were my thing.) After graduating high school, I moved to Albuquerque and began working toward a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Science.
I chose not to pursue sports in college and to focus on academics, but I immediately missed the camaraderie and competition of team sports. Cue rugby. A classmate of mine asked if I was interested in joining the UNM Women’s Rugby team. I was reluctant at first due to the fact that I did not know what it was or how to play. I quickly decided that this was what I needed. My experience in rugby was a lot of trial-and-error, mostly error, but I loved playing.
Through that same rugby teammate, I was also introduced to CrossFit. I began using CrossFit to supplement rugby. After my first ACL tear in a rugby match, I took several months off. I spent plenty of time doing physical therapy, but even MORE time working on CrossFit skills. This was a perfect time to improve my upper-body strength in muscle ups, pull ups, etc. I rehabilitated hard, returned to play, made the All-Star team and tore my other ACL in the All-Star game. I decided that would be the end of my rugby career.
I switched my focus to competing in CrossFit. In 2010, the owner of CrossFit Albuquerque asked five of my friends and me if we wanted to give it a shot at qualifying for the 2010 CrossFit Games. Of course we did, although we did not realize what we were getting ourselves into. With a lot of training, some tears and a TON of communication and working together, my team and I took 4th place that year at the CrossFit Games (and later moved up to 3rd place after a team failed a drug test.)
In 2012, my coach convinced me to compete as an individual. The outcomes went like this:
2012, my rookie debut, 7th place at the South West Regionals
2013, withdrew due to injury at the South West Regionals (hyper-extended my elbow in an overhead squat)
2014, 9th place at the South West Regionals
2015, 6th place at the South Regionals (missed qualifying for the Reebok CrossFit Games by 1 spot)
2016, 2nd place and the South Regional, earning my individual debut at the Reebok CrossFit Games
I competed in Carson at the StubHub Center in July 2016 at the Reebok CrossFit Games and earned a 30th place finish. It was an amazing experience and I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity.
What am I doing now? I am currently a medical student at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. I have dreams of blending Western medicine, nutrition and exercise and improving the health of New Mexico. I still do CrossFit almost every day because I absolutely love it. I would feel like something is missing without it. Competing has taken a back seat to medicine, but I hope that I can find a way to compete again in the future. Right now, I’m enjoying working out with my friends at the 6 a.m. class at CrossFit Albuquerque.