WELCOME TO HELL’S HALF ACRE! YOU’D BETTER HOLD ON!
Two weeks ago at this time I was standing in the Texas heat amongst some of the best CrossFit athletes at the South Central Regional Qualifier at GSX Athletics in Fort Worth. 60 men and 60 women from Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arizona fought their way to earn a spot at their sectional competition to compete here. I am proud to be one of four women from Crossfit Texas who qualified at the South Central Sectional held here in Austin and earn a chance to compete in Fort Worth. This was my second year to compete at GSX at Regionals but it held a completely different weight than in 2009. Last year I had only been doing CrossFit for 5 months when I headed into my first competition. It was all about gaining experience and trying to improve. This year the competition had qualifying events so the level of competition was loaded with top athletes.
I can still remember how amazing it felt at Sectionals when I heard my name called that I had made it into the top 30 and was able to move to the next level. This was already a WIN for me! The fact that I am not able to train “full-time” like so many of the athletes can do has always weighed on my mental game. My full-time jobs are MOM and Nurse. I get to train other CF athletes at CrossFit Texas as much as I can and I usually sneak in a WOD on my days off or crash the good ol’ garage gym across town as often as I can. So making it to Regionals was a feather in my hat!
I left for Regionals with something missing in me. I had a rough time finding my HELL YA..GO GET ‘EM attitude the days leading up to the competition. I was preparing to leave my daughter for a solid 3 days… and the only thing about that is that it SUCKS not being with her! I had a really hard time understanding and actually believing that this weekend was about me. Yeap. ME. I was going to compete in a sport that I love, one that I think I’m pretty good at, and with a great group of people who I train with everyday. SO WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME? Well, I decided to not worry about outside junk and put some blinders on. Again, Mark told me the same advice he told me before Sectionals… “Have Fun”, it worked that weekend so I bought into it again.
ROAD TRIP—– GSX or BUST!
The gang from CrossFit Texas loaded up and headed North to GSX. Robert, Ashley, Lauren and I were all competing individually and the CF Texas Team of Brannon, Rob C, Howard, Terilyn, Becca and Heidi were geared to compete against 27 other teams for one of 8 spots going to THE GAMES in California.
The buzz started the minute we checked into the hotel. Strange how a hotel lobby full of crossfitters just makes you feel like a badass. HaHa. No one was puffed up, no one was cutting eyes across the room at the competition (ok well, maybe we were all checking each other out, but in good spirits). Now it was off to GSX for packet pick up and standards, gotta know what they want!!! It was 6pm and Crossfitters from all around packed in under the red tarp to hear what Tucker and Matt had to say. Details of exactly how we needed to perform each rep of each movement in order to be scored and continue. Thankfully the WODs had been announced two days prior and I had a chance to let them soak in.
It’s Like CHRISTMAS EVE
How did you spend your Friday night? I searched the hotel for an ice machine that had not been emptied out yet. Going into competition with injuries is not ideal. I have gone thru hours of Pin & Move work from Susan at Therapy Central of Round Rock , sat in ice baths to decrease the inflammation and trained around them to the best I could. (Training around an injury meant I did a lot of deadlifts… the thought of the 10rnds of 10 DL’s at 155# and 10 pushups is still PAINFUL. But you snapped me into place didn’t you! ;->) Tonight was no different. In a few hours I had to do some of the exact movements that targeted those injuries dead on. Sitting in a quiet hotel room alone the night before competition was not what I needed. It let all the junk sneak in. I talked before about how the smallest cracks in your mental game can open up like the Grand Canyon…. and it did. All I could do was just block it out the best I could and find some distraction… oh maybe I should SLEEP!!!
Ice bath – check ADVOCARE supplements – check, bags packed : lifting shoes, running shoes, the good ol’ “go to shoes”, yeah a girls gotta have choices!!! – check, NERVES – double-check. GOOD NIGHT.
Click here for a Video of the Womens Competition at SC Regionals
Day 1 -WOD #1
Starting at 75# -Ending at 135#
Each athlete has 45 secs to complete
1 Power snatch and 3 Overhead squats or 1 Squat snatch and 2 Overhead squats
First WOD of the weekend. 10th athlete to hit the ladder of bars. I knew I could snatch 105# and I was hoping that with the hype of competition would PR on this lift. A little rushed start on the first bar, but I knew it was only 75# so I just whipped it up and took the remaining 30 secs to rest. 85# again no problem. 95# for some odd reason, nerves maybe it didn’t sail up as it did in the warmup area. At least it went up and I didn’t have any wasted reps. Next bar was 105, I knew I could snatch it I just needed to stick it and get the OH squats done. 1st attempt fail.. DAMN. I had run through this same lift in the garage with Mark to see how long I would have if I failed my 1st attempt. So I didn’t let it get me down that I missed this one. Step back, shake it off and shins on the bar. 2nd attempt I went to what I know works and split it. Split snatch and then 3 overhead squats. DONE! The next bar went up by only 5# but damn it was not dialed in. I again went to the split but I was not dropping under it enough. I could feel the bar float to my shoulders but it didn’t turn over. I was not about to give up! Every attempt I rapidly ran thru technique cues just as I hit the bar. I actually go it over head in a split then got stuck… Another day maybe. Happy to at least get my max and I ended the day tied for 19th.
Day 1-WOD #2
Weighted Half “Cindy”
As Many Rounds As Possible in 10 minutes
wearing a 10# weight vest
5 Pullups (chin past vertical plane of bar)
10 Push Ups (full plank at top)
15 Squats (hip crease below knee)
This was the WOD I was dreading the most. “Cindy” is not my favorite, and I knew I was gonna have to push through every ounce of pain to get as many rounds as I could to stay close to the top 20 girls. The challenge today was that in our pullup we had to have our chin pass the vertical plane of the bar. Basically without it officially being a chest to bar pullup…. it was a chest to bar. I knew I could do chest to bar, but I wasn’t sure how it would feel with 10 extra pounds strapped to my chest. The big square of metal outside GSX was lined with men and women weighted and ready to tackle the second WOD of the day. I realized that I was in the exact spot I had been in during the 2nd WOD of the 2009 Regionals. That was a beast! 50 Chest to bar pullups THEN 50 burpees… I had not been training my pullups C2B last year so when fatigue set in I had more “no counts” than one would ever want….ohhh and it was raining. So this year I was not worried, heck, give me the 50/50 and I’d be fine! My goat on this WOD was the pushups, always is. So after I gutted out chest to deck I popped up for my squats. I see Rob H. right across from me and I focus in on his face. It was a familar feeling of seeing one of my training buddies, my Coach, my friend in the same place I was. I could hear his motivating “goofy” cues he usually tells me when I’m sucking in a WOD… Rob- Thank you! I only pulled off 7 full rounds then 5 more pullups and 5 pushups before the time cap. TOTAL = 7.5 rounds. The best part was actually the pullups. I felt strong and determined. EVERY rep I made sure was chest to bar and EVERY rep counted. 7.5 rounds and all solid reps… no wasted reps! Now, try to breathe after that and be cinched up in a weight vest… I couldn’t even reach the straps to get out and had to have my judge unhook me. Didn’t finish as well as I’d hoped but I knew I had left it all out there. WHEWWWW
DAY 1 is a WRAP!
Day 1 is done and the 90 degree Texas heat has drained every bit of ummpphh. What else would Paleo eatin’, CrossFittin’ fools do but go get a steak dinner….. the crew heads out for some grub. As we all return to our rooms, we each carry our bags of ice for that oh so necessary ice bath and of course some night-time recovery.
Day 2 … On to the next one.