I’ve competed in all 3 Opens, 4 Regional events, 1 CrossFit Games, and at least 9 other throw downs that I can think of, some major and some small. This is my sport. That being said, I want to share some insight to competition. I will cover specifically the events in the recent OC Throwdown and why you should sign up for the 2014 Open.
I have competed in the OC Throwdown 3 years in a row and I’ve enjoyed each of them. This year was different. It was most challenging on my skills (swimming, handstand walks, agility) and not as much on normal CrossFit suck tasks. I didn’t finish as successfully as I was hoping. I placed 26th, coming off of a 5th place finish last year. Yes, this year had a stacked group of girls, but I had several holes in how I prepared.
One of my worst events was the lifting event. I scored the best in the 1 mile run event. For those of you who don’t know me well, I love to lift. I self-select into lifting heavy things and out of running. I’m not very good at running, but if I want to be good in my sport, I can’t have that big, gaping hole in my training. So Ben made me run… a lot, but within reason of what I am training for. Lo and behold, it paid off.
So what happened in the lifting event? I was eliminated because I did not snatch enough weight. After I hyper-extended my elbow last year at Regionals, I have been a head case about overhead squats and snatching. I felt sorry for myself and had a bad attitude every time I saw those movements in my programming. My training on those days was poor. And guess what, it showed. In that competition, nobody cared that I have an old elbow issue. It doesn’t score me more points and it doesn’t grandfather me into the next round or save me from elimination. I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself. I learned from that experience and now look forward to a session of snatch work and that opportunity to improve with my new insight.
What I learned.
If you watch the athletes’ faces, you can tell who wants to win and who wants it to be over, who just wants the time cap for Triple Fran to hit and who wants to kick that time cap’s ass. I learned that I want to have the “ready” face all of the time and not so much of the “Aaahh I’m dying!” face. I train alone often. There are some advantages, like building your mental strength. If you can push hard when no one is watching, your mental game will get stronger. It can’t NOT get stronger in this scenario. I do, however, really enjoy having training partners and it is hard to match the intensity when you are racing someone compared to when you are solo. I want to have that kind of intensity in my training more often, and with others who also want that kind of intensity in training. It will pay off, come game day.
What I know.
I am not the only one who can benefit from being a little faster and more audacious in training. To add intensity to your training, sign up for the Open. You will be doing vanilla CrossFit, but I guarantee that it will be harder and faster than your typical day. This will make you better. If you are nervous and/or scared, how is NOT signing up for the Open strengthening your body and your mind? The common denominator in all CrossFitters is a drive to challenge yourself and become a better human being. It can just be you against toes-to-bars, or you against your performance from last year, or maybe you against your friend in Florida. There are only good things that will come out of this experience for you. Let’s all get better together during this unique time at CrossFit ABQ. In the words of Coach Joe, “PRs for days!”