Mid-Atlantic Affiliate Challenge

I really hope that this post captivates my feelings and emotions regarding this weekend and my experience with crossfit competitions.

Back in February, one of our coaches sent me an e-mail asking if I wanted to compete in this challenge.  She said that I had potential and with a few months of hard work, I would be more than prepared to perform at the Rx level.  I was immediately flattered and frightened at the same time.  I increased the weights on my workouts and tried to perform every workout according to the prescribed weights.

Then, the Open came around.  I was so focused on performing well on these workouts that I had fewer WOD’s, and got into my head a little.  I had some frustrating moments and began to doubt myself.  When the MAAC was right around the corner, I started attending the competitors workouts and realized the power of surrounding yourself with like-minded people.  Working out with people who had big goals made me perform at a higher level.  I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and realized that I could do it.  Despite all of this, I saw myself as the weakest link when I looked at my teammates for the MAAC, all three of them coaches and most likely members of our regionals team.

When Saturday morning came around, I felt anxious, excited, and nervous.  I didn’t know what to expect and was on pins and needles as the clock started for our first WOD.  I settled down a bit after the first one was finished and was thrilled with our performance on the first day – we sat in 7th place our of the 54 Rx teams.  (There was also a scaled division with about 45 teams.)  However, the moment of truth came on Sunday with the announcement of WOD 5.  The event coordinator made a statement and although there were 400 people in the room, I felt like he was talking right to me: “With each event so far, you were able to work as a team and could cover up the weaknesses of your team members.  That will end with this WOD.  Everyone will have to perform.”  He announced the WOD which contained 3 rounds of 5 deadlifts at 225# (yes, this was the women’s weight) and 10 wall balls to a 10 foot target.  As much as I knew the wall balls would suck, I was petrified by the deadlift portion.  Just two weeks ago I hit my 1RM for deadlifts at 225# and it was not easy.  I struggled to get the bar up and now I had to do 15 of those with my team depending on me.  I immediately panicked and the pressure began mounting.  We were sitting in 6th place and needed to remain in the top 10 to make it to finals.  I didn’t want to be the reason that my team didn’t make it, but worried that the weight was just so heavy that there wasn’t much I could do.  If I couldn’t lift it, I couldn’t lift it.

My teammates were so encouraging, but the thought didn’t leave my mind that I may seriously let them down.  I’m so grateful to my female teammate, also a coach, who helped me warm-up and work my way up to the 225#.  I did it three times and knew that although I may not finish, it would be because time ran out, not because I gave up.  When the WOD started, the plan was for my other teammates to go as fast as possible so I could have the time I needed.  I was still in “Holy Sh*t” mode when the ball was passed to me and it was time to go.  And then … I did it.  It wasn’t fast, it wasn’t pretty (think red face, puffed cheeks, and I’m sure spit flying out of my  mouth), but I got the bar up 5 times.  The wall balls were tough with a 10 foot target.  I’m only 5’3″ so I nearly had to jump to get the ball that high, but I did it.  Each deadlift went up for the second round.   Wall Balls, the same – a few no reps, but I got through 10.  I couldn’t believe I only had 5 deadlifts to go.  Unfortunately I got no-repped on my last one for not fully extended and it took every ounce of fight to get the 5th one, but I got it.  I finished those 10 wall balls – again, not slow, but I did it – and ran back to the line to finish.  I had no idea what the clock was, I knew that other people had already finished, but the moment I crossed the line my team engulfed me in a group hug and our entire box erupted in cheers.  They literally started chanting my name as loud as possible!  I was so exhausted that I didn’t fully realize the power of that moment, but every time I think about it now I am on the brink of tears.  That moment is probably the highlight of my ‘athletic’ career.

We enjoyed the fact that we finished, listened to the finals workout, and eventually checked to see if our time was good enough to make it … and it was!  6th seed!  In the end, we finished 6th which is amazing considering for two of us, it was our first competition ever and we just started 7 months ago.  I was also pleased to hear that one team member has never finished outside of the top 10 – a fact I’m glad I learned AFTER the competition, not before, but it’s great to know that you contributed to keeping his record.

Here are the WOD’s from the weekend with a slight recap of how we/I performed on each.  Note: All teams are made of 2 guys and 2 girls and included all team members.  I also have included the womens weights, but I don’t remember what mens weights were.  No event could be scaled.

WOD 1: Saturday

Suicide run (each team member much complete in relay style)
100 Overhead Squats (65 lbs)
Suicide Run
100 Chest-to-bar pull-ups
Suicide Run
100 Plate Burpees
Suicide Run

Our time: 17:43, second in our heat.  This went great and was an awesome workout to start the weekend!

WOD 2: Saturday

Clean and Jerk Ladder (started at 95 lbs and increasing 10 lbs each time)
The team (females only) had 45 seconds to complete the movement at the given weight and 15 seconds to rotate to the next weight.  The score was determined by adding the weights of completed C&J’s for both women.

I got up to 125lbs (a new PR on both clean and jerk), but failed to clean the 135lbs.  My partner got up to 175!  I need to work on getting under the bar which required a level of confidence that I will not be broken in half if I fail.  Our guys both did awesome! 

WOD 3: Saturday

8 minute AMRAP: Thrusters (75lb) & Sled Pulls

The men pulled a sled from the women’s box to the mens box while the women (one at a time) did thrusters.  Then the roles reversed (minus two weights on the sled)

The final score was calculated as the number of thrusters multiplied by the number of sled pulls.  We did 140 thrusters and 17 sled pulls.  This was exhausting.  75 lbs is heavy for me with thrusters.  I was able to do 3 sets of 7 and then only hit 4 on the last round so my partner took over.  

WOD 4: Sunday

12 minute AMRAP: 3 minutes per station – Snatch (95lb), Pistol Squats, Toes-to-Bar, Box Jumps.  However, one partner had to holding a 80 lb stone.

We finished with 351 reps.  I had only snatched 95 lbs once and it was not pretty so I held the stone for the first three minutes.  I rocked the pistols (a skill I didn’t know I had) and toes to bar.  This was probably my favorite workout!

WOD 5: Sunday

Each team member had to complete 3 rounds of: 5 Deadlifts (225 lbs) and 10 wall balls (14 lb ball, 10 ft target).  11 min time cap.

This is the workout I wrote about earlier.  I love my team for this one!  We finished in a respectable 9:40.  

Floater WOD: Sunday

There was a floater WOD each day for one male and one female had to complete.  My partner and I had 3 minutes to go as far as possible on handstand walks.  The score was measured by the number of yards you walked.

He is awesome and walked almost the full length of the space, twice!  I moved slow and steady, but together we did 39 yards.

Finals WOD: Sunday

2 members complete: Elizabeth (21-15-9 Cleans and Ring Dips) + Yoke Walks between rounds (one partner went down, one partner went back)
2 members complete Amanda (9-7-5 Bar Muscle Ups and Squat Snatches) + Yoke Walks between rounds (one partner went down, one partner went back)

I worked on the first part of this since the 95 lb clean was the only skill I could do successfully.   My partner could complete Elizabeth in 2:30 so obviously he did most of it, but I contributed to each set of cleans and  ring dips.  The Yoke was crazy.  It was just over twice my body weight and really required some balance, but I think I was able to move pretty fast with it.  We finished in 9:43 which landed us in a solid 6th place finish.

Most importantly, these are the lessons I learned from the weekend:

– You are far more capable than  you think you are.  The mind can be a limiting factor.
– The ‘Crossfit Community’ is a real thing.  People coming together with the same goal – to improve and achieve their own greatness.  You feel joy for other teams and cheer for complete strangers with 100% of your heart.   And when that community does the same for you, it’s indescribable … maybe the best feeling you can imagine.
– We are all athletes.  Size and age do not determine ability.  Men and women, tall and small, thick and thin were able to perform similar tasks at a high level.  Nothing about your body is limiting.  YOU can do anything you work for!
– Fitness doesn’t end with pregnancy or a child.  There were multiple women competing who had children under the age of 1.  They kicked my rear end!

I’m not sure what comes next for me.  I have already received a message from our coaches and owner asking me to reconsider participating in the regionals team.  I originally expressed that I didn’t want to ‘try out’ for the team because I believe that other people were far better and wanted it more and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to dedicate the time to training before the wedding.  While I’d like to consider the possibility, I’m not sure if it’s the right time.  We’ll see!

In keeping up with my goals, I am adding 2 miles to my weekly totals.  I did a lot of warm-up jogging and rowing, along with running in the WOD’s and cool down walks.  I didn’t measure specifically, but I’m estimating 2 miles.

#Weekly14: 10.53

#220beforeIDo: 99.8725