So, Bob and I had the amazing opportunity to help with the media team this past weekend for our regional CrossFit games in the North East. We both ended up out on the competition floor assisting people that help run the production, so that was really neat.
Bob helped guide the videographer around as he filmed the competition — he kept him from running into equipment and athletes out on the floor. I helped the “red hat” — person who handles timing of the production. I helped hold her cables from her headset and also keep an eye out for the top competitors of each heat as she related back to the producer & videographers so they knew who to be filming.
What this meant was that I had the opportunity to be up close to many incredible athletes over the course of a few days. Two of which were competitors from our CrossFit box, Jess McNabney and Eric Schenck. They were AMAZING to watch.
Jess ended up 19th in the region and Eric was 11th. Out of the entire North East. There were many times I had tears in my eyes as I watched them finish, knowing how hard they must have worked to get themselves to that point. They completed 7 grueling WODs in 3 days. They are my role models. My heros. And I get to learn from them every day at the box. I’m really fortunate.
So what did I take away from the Games?
A few major things:
Athletes come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the women who competed were tiny and ripped and their arms were pure muscle. Some of the women who competed were average size and average looking from all accounts. You would have never known by looking at them that they can overhead squat 135 pounds. 3 times. (For reference, my max overhead squat is around 70. And I can only manage that once.) Some of the women were larger than what you’d typically think of when you think of CrossFit but they could lift more weight than I thought was humanly possible and jump up on boxes 21 times in the amount of time it would take me to jump 5 times.
And all of them were INCREDIBLY athletic and obviously good enough to make it to the top 48 spots of women competitors in the North East. That was encouraging to me because sometimes I feel like to be a good CrossFitter I need to have arms the size of my legs and people need to be able to tell from a mile away that I squat a bazillion times a week because my butt is so amazing. But that’s not true. I learned this weekend that to be a good CrossFitter, I just need to give every workout my all. And it doesn’t matter what I look like, because I did the best I could do.
Also, I love CrossFit. It makes me cry. Seriously. Watching athletes who had finished the WOD already cheer on those still working was amazing. And it made me think about all of my wonderful 5-am friends that have asked about the in the last two weeks as I’ve been recovering from my bruised rear end. I doubt that if I went to Planet Fitness I would make friends who would be concerned for my well being. I also doubt that if I was having a particularly terrible workout, the other gym goers would crowd around me and finish the workout with me and cheer for me. You can’t find that anywhere else. I love this community.
Finally, of course, watching the Games made me so excited to work harder this year at CrossFit. Stop half-assing it. Start going regularly. Get those damn double unders. Get my toes up to the bar. Maybe even attempt a pull-up or two. Who knows what could happen? Maybe I’ll even join in the Open WOD fun next spring!
What an incredible experience. I can’t wait for next year!