Sunday, March 28, 2010

CrossFit Sectionals: DC/VA/WVA recap

I honestly don't know where to begin this post. So many good things came out of this weekend that I don't know that it's possible to list them all. I'll do my best to write you a good write up, but my arms still don't work really, so please bear with me. I won't lie. Going into this weekend I was a wreck. Waiting all week for the wods, then finding out my sisters couldn't come, then getting them in... whew. The week was an emotional roller coaster. Add into that that on Friday night the nerves hit and I think it's easy to see that I was a bloody hot mess.

I haven't participated in any type of competition really since college. I mean, I did the half last year, but that for me wasn't a competition. That was between me, myself, and I to prove that I could actually complete a half. This was personal as well... I wanted to prove that I could complete this type of competition. But, it was also about the competition itself. I wanted to do well. I wanted to beat people. And I didn't realize how badly I wanted to go to regionals until I was at the sectional. Up until that point, I had the idea that it wasn't possible for me to go. Once I was there and it was within my grasp, I have never wanted anything more.

Teammates, coaches, and fans who were there can attest to the fact that the first WOD out of the gate, weighted Cindy, was by far my worst event of the games and extremely challenging for me. The push-ups slowed me to the point of barely moving and I had to fight for those reps. Lots of folks online bashed Jeff and Maggie for this programming and called it "vanilla", but I'd love to see them strap on a weight vest and go do Cindy. It's not fun. But I didn't quit and I didn't give up, and that was important. I have to say though that one of the best things about this weekend had nothing to do with my place or the wods. It had to do with our fans and our team. Not once during that Cindy did I ever give up because behind me I had people pushing me through. They were cheering and giving me advice, and just in general being wonderful. They were in my corner and that made all the difference. My team would not let me quit.

After that destructive Cindy, I had to refocus. I knew that if I wanted to do well, I had to hit the Clean and Jerk wod hard. There were no ifs, ands, or buts about it. It was go time. The second wod was max reps of clean and jerk at 115 for 3 minutes. 3-2-1 and go. I got 8 in the first minute, but was only able to get out 8 more in the next two minutes. I had #17 in the air at the buzzer, but I couldn't hang onto it to keep it locked out, so I finished with just 16 reps. Those 16 reps were painful, but they were enough to move me into 22nd place after the 2nd wod. With just two wods remaining, I knew I still had my work cut out for me.

I tried to rest and eat plenty of carbs on Saturday night, but I awoke Sunday at 0300in a state of sheer panic. My left arm would not bend. Apparently Cindy took more out of me than I thought. I immediately grabbed ice and some drugs and went back to bed. When I woke up again at 0500 due to the pain, I knew I was in some serious trouble. I rolled out on a foam roller and a tennis ball, iced again, stretched and took more drugs. En route to Annandale, I stopped to buy Icy Hot to try to calm down some of whatever was going on. As soon as Dr. Bills, the volunteer onsite doctor, arrived, I had him look me over. His diagnosis was that I either a) strained my tricep severely, or b) gave myself an isolated case of rhabdo where it only affects a certain part of your body. He put some biofreeze on me and told me to call first thing Monday AM. Of course he gave other recommendations to get me through the day but those are really boring, so we'll keep moving.

Anyway, we were sort of in luck since the first wod of day two was OHS, so I didn't need to bend my arm, but I just needed to keep the bar locked out. Our wod was 20 reps and run 2 laps, as many rounds as possible in 12 minutes. I had a hard time supporting the bar, but fought through everything and came out with 4 rounds +15 reps. This earned me some more big points and brought me into the top 20 at 17th place. While I was pleased with that, knowing that top 20 advance to regionals, it scared me a lot. The final wod was a metcon with sdhp, which involved bending my arm, and not to mention, it was a 7 minute metcon. I'm not a metcon girl. I like to slog through things or throw heavy weights. I'm not a girl who likes to just keep going and going and going. Regardless though, I had to do it, and I had to do my best to hold off the girls behind me.

To describe the last wod is hard. I was nervous, scared spitless would probably be a more accurate description actually. I was so close to regionals, I didn't want it to slip through my fingers, and to be honest, I didn't want to let my team down. They were with me through those middle two wods where I put myself back in the fight for the top 20 and I didn't want to let them down. I didn't want them to feel like their work, as well as mine, had been for naught. Going into that wod, I knew what I needed to do. I knew I had a job and I needed to get it done. It was just a matter of whether or not my body would cooperate and whether or not I could. My oldest sister was there to watch on Sunday, and unbeknownst to me until after the WOD, she had flipped my camera to the video function and recorded the whole thing.

As I was moving, all I could hear was the group of people from CFOT. Everytime a minute went by, they told me. Everytime I dropped the bar, they told me to get back on. The last 2 minutes of that wod were perhaps the craziest thing I have ever heard. The noise level in that gym was unbelievable. I went back and watched the video, and caught the last two minutes. I know why I got through that wod, and I know why I placed 18th and not 21st. Because those people got me there. They got me back on the bar with 15 seconds left to finish my final round of high pulls, and they got me back on the box with 10 seconds remaining to bang out 6 more box jumps. Those final 6 jumps were excruciating. My legs were fried, my lungs were done. But they were the final deciding factor. The difference between me and 19th place was 2 points. That's one box jump more. The difference between me and 20th place was 4 points. That's literally 2 reps. Had I not gotten back on that box, things would have been very different. And I totally credit that to the people who were behind me all weekend.

I have said from the get go that the one thing that I love about CFOT is the support that we give each other. This weekend was no exception and the folks that were there at the sectionals went above and beyond anything I have ever known or seen before. In my life I have never felt so loved and supported as I did during those four wods. For the first time ever, my family got involved with CF and both sisters were able to see me hit some wods, which was so unbelievably amazing that I'm not sure I can even put in words how great that felt. And in addition to my real family, my CFOT family didn't leave my side for two days. I can't think about this weekend without starting to tear up a bit. I got so many hugs and high fives, and so many people stopped to tell me how proud of me they were. It was perhaps the single most amazing weekend of my life. The way I felt after finishing all four of those wods is not something I have ever felt before. I've been happy about performances and glad that I've done well, but there was never this sense of pride or of shared accomplishment, and that's what I felt. Those wods belonged to me just as much as they belonged to every person who cheered for me, has worked out with me, or has coached me. It was a victory for me, but that doesn't make it any less a victory for everyone else. Everytime someone was in a heat, there were CFOT folks there cheering them on. Everytime someone came off, there were CFOT folks to congratulate them. Whether or not you agree with the idea of the games, one thing is for sure.... they show you what you're made of, and they show you what your team is made of.

And for the first time in my life, I am SURE that I am made of pretty tough stuff and I already KNOW that my team is. For the girl who two years ago was overweight and couldn't do a pull-up or a push-up to get 18th place in the DC/WVA/VA sectionals shows just how powerful CrossFit (and this community) is... and to that I can really only say one thing.... Hooah!

Here is the video of the final minutes of the best weekend I've ever had....

For a full list of the DC/WVA/VA scores, go here.


Sean said...

*SNIFF, SNIFF* She's all grown up!

Mark said...

Rock Star!

Jerry Hill said...

heck yeah!!

Emily said...

Fantastic - congrats!

Katie said...

Thanks guys... I'm slowly recooperating... hopefully we'll be back to full steam by regions...

tarynrom said...

You're an inspiration. I haven't ever competed but am in May just in a local spring challenge, and I'm nervous as heck. You truly are an inspiration!