Today was the CrossFit Northwest Regional Qualifiers held at Hangar 30 in Magnuson Park in Seattle. The event was 140 plus competitors and hundreds of spectators, judges, and other folks who all came together to help advance the top four of both men and women to the CF Games in Aromas, CA. It was a mightily impressive event and one that left me with a lot to reflect on. I post this as simply a way to share what I experienced in my participation at the Qualifiers.
As a participant I have been training for the past couple months, both mentally and physically, to prepare for what was up until a week ago two random workouts that all the competitors were anxiously awaiting to see what they would be. As the days flew by the constant thought of “what will the wrkouts be” led to more varied workout programming, higher intensity, and a real focus on my weaknesses. Things I typically avoided more often than not started to move to the forefront. Other qualifier and previous Games WOD’s became the staple for me. Not enough rest (bad) and stricter dieting (good) was the norm. Injuries crept in. Over-training became a fear. Above all though was the consistent desire to simply see it through, give it my best, and hope to do well enough to satisfy my own personal goals while having as much fun as I could. I made a few goals both before and after the workouts were published. I PR’ed all the lifts and my time for the second WOD. I was able to place tied for 29th (30th with the tiebreaker of body weight) out of all the men who completed everything as prescribed. Today was the culmination of my training that saw all of my goals met.
There were two workouts. The first was a two part strength event from the CrossFit Total. It was three attempts each of a one rep max of the shoulder press. The press was strict and you had to clean the weight off the floor. The other part of the strength WOD was a one rep max of deadlift. Some amazing amounts of weight were lifted by some strong competitors. Not being particularly strong in either of those events when they were published last week I thought “Oh great, two more weaknesses I should have trained more of!” Setting PR’s in both lifts however exceeded my goals for that event.
The second workout was 5 rounds for time of: 3 muscle-ups (women did 2 muscle-ups), 30 wall balls (20# M / 12# W at 10 ft. target), and 6 sumo deadlift high pulls (135# M / 95# W). This WOD was tough. I had done this the day after the workouts were published last week and I knew going in what sort of time I should take. I was fairly confident I could do well enough at it but was unsure of how the crowd, noise, weather, and previous heavy lifts would effect it. Stepping out to setup when it was my turn I had the customary jitters but what struck me was how focused I felt. Having already done it helped as I went through my strategy over and over in my mind. I was also lucky enough to grab the spot I wanted that put me in front of the two people I wanted to see the most during a hard workout (Michelle and Ashley sitting next to me). As the 3-2-1 GO countdown echoed I settled in and everything kind of blurred out. The WOD seemed tougher this time around and my legs were on fire a lot faster than when I did this workout last weekend. As the world went gray around me and all I saw was a wall ball falling back to earth simply hearing the cheering of the crowd helped push me to just get it done and beat my previous time and PR this WOD.
After our second workout I was talking with fellow a competitor named Israel from CrossFit Tacoma. He struck me with a simple observation that drove the impact of the day home for me. As we watched the 15 year old Kallista Pappas in her heat push hard through her final WOD we spoke of how inspirational her performance and the pverall event itself was. He then noted just how cool the CrossFit community really is in all diversity that it represents. And that is what hit me as I drove home across the floating bridge watching a sun drenched Mt. Rainier over the water.
CrossFit is an amazing collection of people who represent all walks of life in occupation, nationality, beliefs, age, physical skill and limitation. While different in so many areas we all share a common bond that brings us together. A passion for true fitness. A willingness to chip away at a hard physical challenge and not stop until we are done or told we are done. Every CrossFitter there today whether they participated, judged, coordinated or watched all shared the same “been there done that” bond. We all understood at some level the effort, pain, intensity, desire, willpower, success and even failure that all the participants did. That is what made this day cool.
Was it worth it? You bet. I was able to compete and measure myself against some impressive athletes from the Pacific Northwest region. I was able to feel what it’s like to CrossFit in front of a large scale audience. I was able to see the effects of my workout programming. I was able to see friends and make new ones. I was able to share it with my family. Most of all I was able to have fun.