Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mumfords The Word

I've competed as an individual at the regional level each of the past 3 years. Each year, there have been twists and changes to the format of the CrossFit Games qualifying process. Two years ago there was no qualifier to get to compete at regionals- anyone could sign up, show up, and throw down. Last year, the sectionals filter was added. This upped the level of competition. This year, the online Open format increased the level of sectionals participants by almost 20,000 people. We now have a bigger pool, thus we ideally catch bigger fish.

This year, one of the most notable changes in the format of regional competition is the change to 3 days of competition with cuts being made at the end of day 2. For teams, the pool of 30 gets cut down to the top 10 and for the individual competitors, only the top 14 competitors advance to the day 3 finals. All of the sudden, the stakes become higher and the pressure much greater for each event- Particularly the first four WODs.

This inherent increase in pressure actually influenced my training strategy leading up to the North Central Regional. Rather than practice all 6 WODs, I completely ignored WODs 5 and 6 and focused solely on the first four, cycling through them before competition. I knew WOD 1- the run/handstand push up/row event- would be my Achilles heel. But I also knew that the workouts would gradually begin to cater to my skill-set with each event.

After WOD 1, I was ranked 34th out of 40 individual male competitors. With an 11th place finish on WOD 2, my rank jumped to 25th. WOD 3 was heavy deadlifts and high box jumps. I placed 14th for the event. Going into WOD 4 I was ranked 17th, 3 spots away from the top 14 cut-off. Oddly enough, I wasn't nervous at all before my heat. I was more eager than anything else.

Everyone has their own thing when it comes to pre-game rituals. Some people like to punch themselves in the face repeatedly and listen to hardcore music. I prefer to embrace the calm before the storm. All weekend long in Chicago, it was just me and Mumford & Sons in my ear-holes. I had tested "The 100s" WOD once, going out of the gate hard only to crash and finish it in around 21:30ish. The last thing I wanted to do in competition was let adrenaline get the best of me and force me out of a "slow is smooth, smooth is fast" game plan. At the end of the day, my cooler head prevailed and it paid off. My time of 20:42 placed me 7th for the event and jumped me to 13th place overall- good enough to sneak into the finals.

I feel like I learned a lot of personal life lessons this games season...some silly, some are just a few:
1. Eating junk food every once and a while helps me to relax; and relaxing helps me to perform at a higher level.
2. Even when your down- I mean WAY down- you're only out if you start to believe that you're out. So, if you're gonna choose to believe otherwise- you'd better start fighting.
3. I love me some Mumford & Sons. Seriously. This has to be the most I've fallen in love with a band since I fell in love with The Wu-Tang Clan. I kidd (kind of). But seriously, Mumford & Sons: Awesome.
4. Note to self: Chicago is expensive...Save nickels and dimes before visiting. Along these lines...The W hotel in Chicago is over-rated. Sad but true. It's like they use two-by-fours for mattresses and sandpaper for bed linens. I've stayed at two other W hotels- one in LA and the one in New Orleans. Both were hands-down way nicer.
5. My sister is a GAMER. The event director, Eric Barber of Next Generation CrossFit in Tulsa, asked me about 5 minutes beforehand if my sister would be able to sing the National anthem to kick off day 3. His exact words: "Is she good?" and "Are you sure she knows the words?" God bless you, Eric. But, please. This is what followed...

Here is video of me taking on WOD 4 at Regionals...

Mumford & Sons song listened to most last weekend...


  1. Great post JM! I got to see you in your element and it was awesome. Also got to see M&S in their element at Coachella this year and yes, they too were awesome. Great work again!

  2. Great post Jeremy. Man, your sister has got some pipes. Very clean and nothing fancy. That's the way it should be sung. Your performance was very impressive to watch. Proud of you and you represented CFS and the local community well. You are the kind of athlete people chase. Keep it that way, and keep chasing the big boys (Speal, Khalipa, Orlando, etc.). Better than the man next to you, next to him. B. Hood