Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends.

What an unbelievable weekend at the 2012 CrossFit Games North Central Regional! For four consecutive years I've competed as an individual at the regional level. If you had told me in 2009 that the talent level of competitors and size of the event would be as great as it has become, I'd have never believed it. The excitement and intensity of the event was palpable. As I mingled with many of the athletes behind the scenes there was an urgency in everyone's voice. It was blatantly apparent that no one was there to just "see what might happen." Everyone was expecting great performances from themselves and from their fellow North Central competitors. And we were witness, many times over, to athletes pushing themselves to their absolute limits.

The first demon on my list to exercise would be the Hand Stand Push Ups in WOD 1: "Diane". My PR for the WOD going into regional weekend was 4:59. I chose to straight up game the work sets in each round. My strategy was 8,7,6 on the round of 21, then 6,5,4 on the round of 15, and finally, 5,4 on the round of 9. It was a conservative split but it allowed me to not have any missed reps and also got me a 45 second PR with a time of 4:16 which ranked me 28th.

The second event was one I knew I could excel at. My strategy was to pace the row, push through the pistols, and go HAM on the 225lb Hang Clean. My 14:06 time placed me 5th for the event.

On the DB snatch WOD I made a couple of critical mistakes. ONE: I shouldn't have worn gloves and TWO: I spent too much time worrying about the positioning of the DB each time I reset to lift it. It never felt heavy - I just felt awkward the entire time because I was over-thinking things and adjusting too much.

For me, WOD 4 was my break through workout due to the drama leading into the final minute of the event. As the MC announced there was only one minute remaining, I still had 5 pull ups and 30 push presses to complete. I was feeling as though I was at the end of my rope; no more gas in my tank. As I completed the final pull ups and turned from the pull up bar to run to my barbell, the crowd surged. I heard people cheering me on, most pleading with me to hustle across the field to get to my bar and bang out the final 30 push presses. As I approached the bar self doubt came over me. At this point there was around 40 seconds left and I began to resign myself to the fact that I'd most likely only partially complete the reps. Then I grabbed the bar and cleaned it to my shoulders and began pressing. "One, Two, Three, Four, Five!" the crowd began counting, their cheers seemingly willing me to finish. In that moment, I suddenly felt restored - as if everyone in the event center was lifting the bar overhead with me on each and every rep. A surge of energy came over me and my pace became even more frantic "Twenty Five, Twenty Six, Twenty Seven, Twenty Eight, Twenty Nine, THIRTY!!!!!"

I finished WOD 4 in 21:46 which placed me 16th for the workout - I ended up finishing the weekend tied for 11th but lost the tie-breaker and took 12th Overall for the second straight year. Although my performance on event 4 wasn't record-breaking and by no means earth-shattering, it was like no other moment I've ever experienced in my 6 years of CrossFitting. To me, it really was super natural in that I know I didn't lift the bar under my own power alone. I know the Lord gave me the strength and the ability to finish AND...I know I got by with a little help from my friends.