Friday, February 8, 2013

My first CrossFit competition

9 months ago I wrote about how scared I was to go to my first real CrossFit class. Today I'm writing about a new milestone--my first CrossFit competition.

There was a lot of anxiety in the weeks leading up to the competition. I've written about how I struggle with cardio and bodyweight exercises like pull-ups, and, while those things have improved, they still aren't good. I was afraid of failing.

When I wanted to bail, I thought back to my first gymnastics competition. I didn't have a bar routine, I didn't have a beam routine, I didn't know how to vault. I had a floor routine, thankfully (making that up on the spot is a little more difficult). I really had no idea what I was doing, and I was afraid. At one point, before the competition started, I walked off the floor and sat with my mom in crowd and told her I wasn't going to compete.

I'm the one in front, not smiling.

I can't remember who convinced me to change my mind, but in the end I decided to go for it. My coach made up routines for me during warm up.

I survived that first competition, and went on to compete in many, many more over the next 10 years. If I could muster up the courage to compete then, I could muster up the courage to compete now. (In the words of Jeremy Clarkson... how hard could it be?)

So I did it. I wasn't the fittest, the strongest, the fastest, the thinnest, or the most experienced. But I finished every single workout and I gave it everything I had. I learned so much and it was actually FUN. (and exhausting. Five WODs in one day can tire you out).

So, results. I was placed in the C division after what my coach kindly called a "slight rookie miscue" in the first event (read: I was nervous and I f*cked up. I went too fast, and ended up failing on a weight that I probably could have done if I'd taken my time). Because of my higher body weight and relatively low score in that event (a 1 rep max thruster), and my low score in the second event (a Tabata workout that involved all bodyweight exercises - pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, and air squats), I was placed in the lowest division, where I placed third. It ended up being okay - there was a lot less pressure - but the weights were scaled down a lot, and in most cases I could have done the A division weights. The one exception being a bodyweight front squat, because in order to squat it you have to get it up to the rack position from the floor, and I can't quite clean 177 lbs. (Yet.)

Event 3: 4 rounds for time of 5 snatches (45lbs) and 20 overhead lunges (25lbs)

I didn't get to take advantage of the things I'm better at (strength movements with heavier weights), but it really drove home that I need to work on my weaknesses - bodyweight movements and... ugh... conditioning.

I left feeling excited, energized, and motivated to attack those weaknesses. Watching the other competitors - including my coaches, training partner, and other athletes from CFW - was inspiring. You can see some great pictures on Facebook and you can read about their awesome results on CFW's blog.

On to the next challenge. I've registered for the Open, the first stage of the CrossFit Games. My expectations aren't high - I know I've still got lots to work on - but I'm excited to train hard for the next 3.5 weeks and then see how I stack up against the rest of the world. 

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