My Road to the CrossFit Games

Jo Marley

By: Jo Marley

Not too long ago, CrossFit ABQ put up a chalkboard at the entrance to the gym and everyone was asked to write done their goals. I was bold and stated for the world to see that my goal was to “get to the Masters CrossFit Games”. You see, I had been working towards that for the past two years, but somehow, writing it down for everyone to see made it real. And what do you know? I achieved that goal! Yessiree bob, I am going to compete at the end of July in the Masters CrossFit Games! Woohoo!So, how did a relatively ordinary person manage to get there? It all started out of fear.Way back in 2007 I was in line to be promoted to be a fire captain in AFD. Having not really been in a house fire on a hose line since I was a pipeman in 1998, I was understandably a bit (read- a lot) nervous about my physical capabilities. Enter CrossFit ABQ. At that time I could not do a pull-up, pushup, or anything else, save run long distances, as I used to do triathlons. My first day at the box, all I did was the warmup. That was enough!But over time the fear went away and I became stronger and fitter and mentally tougher as well. There is nothing like being in the “black box of despair” during a workout, thinking it will never be done, but plugging away and finally finishing it, to a great sense of accomplishment. That determination to finish what I had started carried over to all aspects of my life, whether at the job, at home, or in the gym.

In 2011CrossFit HQ decided to hold the first Open. I was familiar with the Games themselves, as CFABQ had sent a team to the CrossFit Games in 2010 and they came home in third place! But to be able to go to theCrossFit Games myself? No way, José! However, that year I ended up in 14th place in the Open and went on to the Masters CrossFit Games and placed 15th overall. Doing that made me want to go again.

But, as time progressed and CrossFit became more and more popular, the caliber of my fellow competitors rose dramatically, and getting to the Games became increasingly harder. I started to look into the “black box of despair” of ever getting back there. What does it take to get to the Games? Sound nutrition, great WOD programming, and dedication. I signed up with a diet specialist  to work on getting lean, the programming at CFABQ was spot on to get me faster, and all I needed to mix in was the commitment and dedication.

I have to say, the support and cheering and coaching that I experienced during the Open and the Masters Qualifier all added up to achieve that coveted spot at the Masters Games this year. Getting to the CrossFit Games is no longer easy…each person earns his/her spot from the Open to the Regionals (or in my case Masters Qualifier) and the Games themselves.

I am looking forward to competing and showing everyone what a great place CFABQ is!

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