SALT LAKE CITY — As the only player at Utah State University to ever score 1,000 points and dish out 300 assists, Taylor Richards-Lindsay used her superior conditioning and athletic ability to become one of the best all-around women's basketball players in USU history. These days she's not only keeping active with CrossFit, she continued her training throughout her entire pregnancy before giving birth to a healthy daughter. Now, she's preparing to compete in the national CrossFit Games.
As a four-year starter for the Aggies from 2005-2008, Richards-Lindsay finished her career as Utah State's all-time assists leader with 371, while ranking second in three-point attempts (304), third in scoring (1,138), fourth in both steals (172) and free throws made (219), fifth in both three-pointers made (91) and three-point shooting (.299), and seventh in free-throw percentage (.693).
Since graduating from Utah State University in the summer of 2008 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education, Richards-Lindsay has continued to excel in life, this time as a dominant CrossFit competitor. Her team at Ute CrossFit in Salt Lake City recently placed first at the regional competition and is preparing for the Reebok CrossFit Games at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles this July.
Richards-Lindsay married former Utah State football player Joe Lindsay on July 17, 2009, and the couple has one daughter, Aleeyah Audrey.
On top of the responsibilities of parenting and training for the CrossFit Games in July, Richards-Lindsay took some time to talk about her life since graduating from Utah State and her involvement with CrossFit.
Deseret News: Talk about your life since your playing career ended at Utah State:
Taylor Richards-Lindsay: I graduated, got married and had a baby. Overall, my daily life is just training and being a mom.
DN: How did you get involved in CrossFit?
TRL: It was actually coach (Raegan) Pebley who got me started. She knew I'd be graduating soon and that I wanted to stay in shape. She knew I loved being active and wanted to stay strong. She suggested I try it and I was just like, 'No, I'm good. I'll work out on my own.' She finally got me in there (CrossFit Cache Valley) one day during the summer and the owner, Brad Thorne, said he wanted me to train for him. So I started learning the ropes of training as well as participating in CrossFit.
DN: What is CrossFit?
TRL: It's basically functional fitness. You get a little bit of everything — weight training, Olympic lifting, pylometrics, circuit training, interval training — there's a lot of gymnastics movement. It's basically this melting pot of fitness that you participate in daily. It's very formulaic. You don't get sick of doing the same thing over and over again.
DN: What is your favorite part of CrossFit?
TRL: Definitely the people you meet. I love competing. I'll compete all day long, but the people I've come across between Logan and here in Salt Lake are now some of my closest friends.
DN: What experience do you have with the CrossFit Games?
TRL: During my first year, I was starting to get ready for the CrossFit Games when I found out I was pregnant. I went ahead and competed at sectionals. I ended up qualifying but couldn't compete at the regional level, because I was about four months pregnant at that point. So I dropped out, but I kept working out. I did CrossFit daily until just a couple of days before Aleeyah was born. I had her in October and started training in November. I started preparing for the open and for regionals, making it to the Games. I went to the Games and tied for 24th place (out of 50 women). I decided 'OK, that was cool. I don't know how I did that with a baby, but we'll try again next year.' So this year I did the same thing. I just got back from regionals. This year I did it as a team, and our team took first. Now we're just preparing to go to the CrossFit Games in Los Angeles in July.
DN: What things did you learn playing basketball at USU that still apply to CrossFit?
TRL: We had a great strength and conditioning program. Coach Pebley was adamant about being sure we were in shape. We had the advantage of different teams coming to our high elevation, but she wanted to make sure we were always in tip-top shape. She let us spend a lot of time in the weight room, which was cool. That was just kind of my niche in the whole thing. We had this thing that 'if anyone beats Taylor, we're in trouble.' I kind of set the limit for conditioning —what we should be lifting, how quickly we should be doing everything and what kind of shape we should be in. I know personally from Raegan she kind of kept after that and knew how important it was to be in great shape.
Megan Allen works for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.