Where do I even begin?
Regionals was way more than a weekend. It was the last 6 months, and will continue to be the next 6 months. I can’t believe that all the event’s build-up has come and gone: The training, the Open, the doctors appointments, the week before, the weekend of, and now the ride after. I want to hang on to as much of this as possible!
Before I can even start telling my side of the story, I have to start by thanking Bo. He was an amazing coach and supporter through and through. I have him to blame for a lot of my success and am so thankful he was willing to be my coach. I don’t think I whined too much…
I also have to thank my 3 Wise Men - Roger, Bill, and Rich - for always being there for me, asking what they can do to help, and seeing me through to the end.
Dr. Gina K., who I have visited every week for the last few months, saved me! Thank you for helping me not worry about mybits.
My amazing co-workers who put together a killer “Regionals Survival Kit”, and found ways to cover me when I was gone.
My loyal workout buddies who always show up and push me to do better, try harder, go faster.
And everyone around the community that has seen me through this amazing process. You guys are such an amazing community of people. I am so thankful to be surrounded by all of you every day.
I didn’t make it to Regionals last year. I was distracted, inconsistently training, and ultimately fell just short of top 60. I was pretty bummed, but what could I expect? I hadn’t been serious about making it because I wasn’t serious about training. I wanted to be - really really badly - but other things were in the way.
Later last year when I went down to the CrossFit games with Bill, I was truly inspired. Bill and I later had a conversation when he told me that he thought I could do great things. I don’t know exactly what it was, but after Bill and I had that talk, I realized I wanted to give it a shot–a real shot.
So I started training with Bo in the evenings. Nothing fancy, just regular CrossFit. Then, I asked Bo if he wanted to compete with me in September. This was the catalyst for things getting serious for me. We trained, at least 5 days per week and always did extras. The beauty is that there was no rhyme or reason to what we were doing. We would finish a workout and come up with something else to do on the fly. We had fun, and pushed each other hard. I’d like to think that we were pretty neck and neck for who was winning the most workouts. His strengths were my weaknesses, and vice versa.
By simply showing up every day, going to class and doing a little extra, I felt like I was on fire! My strength numbers went way up and I got faster at almost everything! It was crazy. All it took was an inspiring conversation and some old fashioned consistency. Compared to last year, I am a totally different athlete today.
As many of you know, Bo and I participated in a few more competitions and just kept training. Then, it was time for the Open. Bo told me that if I really wanted to, I could be top 20 in the region. No pressure or anything…
To reference some of my whining (found in previous blog posts), the Open did not go as I planned. I made mistakes, I ripped, I got no-repped…I even fired my judges, and then rehired them. It was not the Open I imagined. But, by some good fortune, I placed 38th at the end of it. At this point, amidst my frustration and disappointment, I just wanted my spot. I had left the top 20 idea far behind.
My goals for Regionals were simple: 1) Don’t finish last; 2) Do all of the workouts; and 3) Have a good time. I was satisfied with the fact that I was even participating.
Day 1 announcement: Hang squat snatch, handstand walk, Nasty Girls. I was so excited! I could do all of these things, and some I could actually do pretty well. I got REALLY excited.
Day 2 announcement: Strict HSPU, heavy front squats, legless rope climbs. Things I suck at! Things that might shut me down. I felt quite low…
Day 3 announcement: Chipper, pull-ups and overhead squats. Not so bad - a grind, but doable. I was uninspired…I just felt blah.
I had 2 months to train all of these skills. Some of it went well, and some of it not so much. I was able to learn how to do strict HSPU and legless rope climbs. My handstand walks were terrible. I felt I was just mediocre at everything else.
Then the first region competed. I did the math and started gathering trends. It looked like I could actually do relatively well if the trends continued throughout the other regions. But, I didn’t tell anyone my secret number because I didn’t want to disappoint myself if it didn’t happen. I predicted that if all things went exactly how I practiced them and slightly better, I could at best finish 15th. But, then I thought that realistically, I would be in the 20’s.
My nerves were tight until about 3 days before Regionals. I wasn’t nervous about competing, I was just anxious about being able to actually implement everything I practiced. My confidence was low because I had things like strict HSPU to worry about. I remember having a conversation with Kelly Starrett during our regular Monday afternoon chat, when his kids are in the gym. We talked about not defining yourself by your worst skill. ”Don’t define myself by strict HSPU” sounded like a great mantra to recite to myself!
Finally, it was the week of Regionals. People kept asking me if I was ready. At that point, I was just ready to do it…let’s get this party started! I had trained hard, rarely missing a day…it was going to be what it was going to be. The one thing I DID know was that I had an awesome support crowd. I could succeed or fail, and it would be okay.
I didn’t have to compete until after 12noon every day, which was relieving. I could eat, sleep, wake up, drink coffee, do some foam rolling and casually get ready. There was no stress or pressure to wake up early. I was ready…
Stay close, Day 1 recap is coming.