The final day of the CrossFit Games is kind of bittersweet. Your body and mind are totally drained, but you don’t want the experience to end. One of my fellow competitors announced, “final day, ladies” and it hit me. This is it. This could possibly be the last time I am fortunate enough to step out on this stage. While I have no plans on choosing another path anytime soon, I know that another appearance is far from certain. You never know what the next year will hold. Above all else, I am proud that I can appreciate the beauty of the gifts and opportunities I’ve been given. You better believe I appreciated every moment, even those damn lunges…
A punch in the kidney by Mike Tyson may have been a more pleasant experience than the three rounds of 25 GHD situps, 50ft. handstand walk, and 50ft. overhead walking lunges with 115lb. A lunge without any weight hurt my hip pretty badly. I winced at the though of holding that heavy barbell overhead and attempting to descend to the ground. At this point, the range of motion in my hip was terrible. The surrounding soft tissue had tightened up like I’ve never experienced before. I don’t think I could actually open it up all the way. To add icing to this pain cake, Dave announced that the handstand walk had to be done unbroken. Immediately my mind started worrying about not breaking the walk and naively dismissed the fear of the lunges. I guess it was good to have that mental distraction from my hip.
As the event began, I calmly completed the 25 GHD situps and took my time before kicking up to the handstand. I think everyone in my heat attacked the handstand walk immediately. I just chilled for a second, knowing that I shouldn’t attempt it until there was zero dizziness and I had collected myself. My strategy worked! I actually went unbroken on all three handstand walks! It was a little nerve wracking to walk through the divots in the grass but it didn’t prove to be a problem.
And the lunges… I clean and jerked the weight up. Snatching seemed out of the question at the moment. I tightened my core and gave it go. I could barely get my right knee to the ground. I felt a slight shift and quite a bit of pain but it seemed to work. I got about a third of the way through my first 50ft. and had to drop the bar. It was then I knew that this was going to be a grueling fight between what my body wanted to do and what I wanted my body to do. The weight of the bar crushed me. My shoulders were smoked and my right leg kept failing when it was the trail leg. When the right leg was the lead leg, it still hurt but at least I didn’t collapse like it did when it was behind.
I managed to make it through the situps, handstand walk, and a couple steps of the lunge in the third round before time expired, giving me a tie for 21st in the event. I was happy that I made it as far as I did and that I didn’t place too poorly in the event.
Sunday Afternoon in the Tennis Stadium
I have been here before. I have also been cut before, left to watch the final from the stands. Again, an example of the special moments I take in.
Thick ‘N Quick
More heavy-ass squats! Crap! Hip don’t fail me now.
The super high rope climbs with thick ropes were definitely a fun little twist. Given the 165lb. barbell that awaited me, I didn’t rush though the climbs too quickly. Climbing with my legs was a nice little change of pace from Regionals as well. On my third climb, for some reason (a momentary brain fart), I hit one of the inside beams that were just as high as the side beam we were supposed to hit at the top of the rope. I descended a couple of feet with a weird feeling about getting no-repped and decided to peek down at my judge for approval. She shook her head pretty forcefully, indicating that my actions were not okay. I laugh as I write this. It reminds me of my mother shaking her head at me for my antics as a kid (and adult). It was if I knew I had done wrong but was hoping that I could get away with it. Busted. So, I climbed back up the couple feet and hit the correct beam before coming down. Whew, I dodged a bullet there! No-repping a rope climb sucks!
I took my sweet time approaching the bar. Three reps were going to be a stretch and I needed to make sure that I was ready to do it. I got the weight locked out overhead and braced myself as I went to squat. My first rep was pretty solid… painful but solid. I started to shake on my second rep as I was coming up from the bottom and didn’t show control at the top for a no rep. The bar came crashing down. I looked at the clock to find that I had about a minute left to try to get another rep. I stared at the bar for 30 seconds and then failed my power clean attempt to get the bar up. Ha… oh well. I tied for 17th in the event with one more mystery event to go.
When Dave announced that the final event would be Grace, my initial thought was that it was going to be fast and sting a lot, a nasty way to cap off the Games. But, no… With less than a minute before go time, he said we were actually doing Double Grace. My thought was now: that’s really going to sting but let’s do this.
A test of will, as CJ calls it, was exactly what this event was. And, will I have. Plus, I didn’t have to squat! The bar felt so light at first, as I strung five reps touch-and-go. Awesome, only 55 reps to go! At that moment, I realized that connecting reps like that was going to make me crash and burn. The weight started to feel heavy too. So, I went with a fast-single rep strategy. Pick it up. Drop it. Pick it up. Drop it. Just keep picking it up. Simple.
Around rep 30, I heard the announcer saying my name a lot and wondered why. Was I in the lead? Was I close to the lead? I had no idea. I was surprised to find that I started to pull ahead and eventually won my heat.
Afterwards, Elizabeth Akinwale asked me how I broke up my reps. I responded, “5 unbroken then 55 singles.” Her response: “Really!?” It was a funny moment as we were directed back under the tennis stadium for holding.
This was the only heat I won and my first piece of hardware I’ve ever earned at the Games. I got third overall in the event which landed me a 12th place overall finish for the 2014 CrossFit Games.
I shared a beer or three in celebration with some of the competitors as we waited for the final heats to finish. We all laughed and talked about the things we look forward to in the post-Games world that awaited us. For me, some of the things that I look forward to are enjoying some lower key workouts, healing my hip, traveling, playing outside, drinking beer, and moving to Denver.
Quest for 2015 coming soon.