Wednesday, April 10, 2013


3/31/13 Sunday

This month has been something else.

 There are days where everything in life makes sense...

Days where you realize why you were born the day you were born, days where you understand why you were sent to the city you grew up in, days where you come to terms with why certain people, certain events, certain accidents and struggles were thrust into your life?

Those days don’t always occur in a lifetime.

For some people, they occur once or twice in life, perhaps after pulling through an adversity, sometimes people never enjoy realizing that everything has happened for a reason until the day they die.

This month has shown me why every fucking thing has happened in my life.

March 2013 is one that will forever be the month that changed my life, my whole perspective and provided an answer to my purpose on this planet.

I have so much to write about as far as Crossfit has been for me the last month. It has been one incredible journey. I wasn’t going to do the Open. I figured it would be pointless. I wasn’t going to Regional’s or the Games, so why bother. I was only persuaded by another Crossfitter who trains and teaches at the other Crossfit gym. Tanya suggested I do it, so I signed up. And I am so thankful I did.

13.4 looked like my wod.

I love Clean and jerks and I love Toes to bar.

Unfortunately, my first practice attempt did not go as I hoped. I finished the 7 minutes with a total of 72 reps, meaning I had made it through 12 reps of the 15 C&J’s. My goal had been 90 reps. Infuriated with my score, I immediately re-did the wod and as I had expected did less than the 72 reps. Still fuming, I gave myself a 10 minute break and then went to work on another wod that consisted of 150 burpees with a 115lb C&J EMOM. I failed on my first jerk but hit every single one after that for the next 18 minutes of torture.

The next day I was invited to join a group of our top crossfitter’s at my gym for another practice run of 13.4. The atmosphere as our elite group prepared for the wod was amazing. There was a humble excitement that surrounded us as well as a competitive aura that hung in the air. Rich S, Terel, Heidi, Zane, Danielle and I waited in anticipation for the sound of Joey’s voice to call out 3…2…1…

We went hard at it. I wasn’t able to watch most of the group because I was near the front of the room with only Terel in front of me but I knew I was planning to push ahead. I was the first on the bar for 3 T2B and the first one off. I surpassed the group by our second round of 6 reps. Thus I began focusing solely on my performance and on keeping my C&J’s as well as T2B’s in sets. 

I was much happier with how my sets were going this time round as well as how I was feeling. I did my c&J’s and T2B’s all in a row up until the 3rd set where the number went up to 9 reps. I pumped out 3 sets of 3 C&J’s and T2B’s. On my set of 12, I began to tire quickly and began breaking my C&J’s into sets of 1. My T2B were still 3 at a time. Suddenly, there wasn’t much time left on the clock. I had to get through my set of 15 C&J. I did! I also made it to 4 T2B. I was still not real happy with my score but I was much happier with how I felt through the wod and likewise, that I had kept my reps in much better sets this time round. 

I took a rest day between my trial day with the group and my final testing day and used it to write down some goals and wods for the rest of the week. I thought for awhile about my initial goal I had set for this wod. Had 90 reps been too out of reach for me? And then I began to think about my life. I thought about my constant failures one after another. I thought about how my fear of failure had driven me to always try to keep my goals much too easy to make sure I attained them. I hated failure and I didn’t like not achieving something that I thought was in my reach. But I needed to believe it was in reach. I am an incredible athlete and human being. I am in the 1% group in the entire world that has reached level 9 in gymnastics. I was currently in 204th place out of 3,900+ crossfitter’s in our region. I was in 2,000 some place out of over 100,000 crossfitter’s in the world. Lori Kline who was the top crossfitting woman in our town was in 20 something place out of the 3,000+ crossfitter’s in the Northwest. She had some time on me as far as crossfit goes and thus was better physically than I was. She had made 93 reps for this wod. But I wanted this more than anything. I wanted to prove to myself that I could risk such a goal. The worst that could happen was that I didn’t reach 90 reps. No. Big. Deal.    

Easter Sunday, I took to the challenge before me. My judge would be Doc. He’s a phenomenal lifter from the other Crossfit gym. We talked about the wod and how my goal was to keep my reps in sets of 3. He asked if I had practiced the workout and what I had scored. I told him, in which he responded that 79 reps was still a good score. I figured that much but I knew I could do better and I told him that.

He let me go first of the crossfitter’s that had entered the gym. I took a couple of seconds to pray to whatever power existed in the universe and prepared myself. I couldn’t let myself down.

10 seconds on the clock and then I was going.

I pumped out my sets of 3 and 6.

I did my set of 9 C&J in sets of 5 and 4 reps.

My T2B’s felt off but I think I pulled off 3 sets of 3.

I was going much faster than I had the last 3 practice attempts.

And I was fatiguing more quickly.

I did my first set of 3 for the 12 reps and then began breaking the sets down into set of 2 and then 1.

I couldn’t catch my breath, my lungs hurt.

I jumped to the bar.

My T2B were in sets of 2.

I still had over 2 minutes left.

I did another set of 3 for my set of 15 and then began going one rep at a time. It took me over a full minute to complete the 15 but I still had 45 seconds to get my T2B’s done. I could hear myself breathing, groaning & dying.

I jumped to the bar for T2B’s, I did 2 reps.

I could hear Doc telling me to go and that I didn’t have time to rest. 

I jumped back up and did 2 more.

I had matched my last score and I still had around 30 seconds left.

I kept thinking to myself, I just need to get 15, just 15.

I did 1 rep.

“GO! Get up on the bar! Common!” He was sternly pushing me on.

I did a set of 2 or 3.

“You only have 15 seconds left!” He yelled fervently.

I couldn’t catch my breath.

1 rep, I had hit 10 T2B of my 15.


I jumped up and pulled out 3 more, the last one hit at exactly the 7 minute mark.

My total was 88 reps.

 I was shaking, my eyes were watering, my forearms seemed to be instantly swelling, I couldn’t catch my breath and my lungs hurt. I hadn’t felt this miserable in a workout for a long, long time. And it was only 7 minutes long.

I kept thinking to myself.

2 more and I would’ve hit 90 reps.  

I don’t know if I could’ve gotten 2 more reps but I do know one thing, I am freaking thankful I kept my goal at such a high and seemingly improbable number. I am so glad I didn’t give into my fear of failure and instead embraced the thought that 90 reps was possible because it truly was within my reach and if I had settled for anything less, my total number would surely have been lower.

One more WOD to go; bring on 13.5!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Competitive Spirit, Reborn and Alive Once Again.

            I was on my final Crossfit workout. A brutal 12 minutes of as many reps as possible of 5 tire flips, 10 wall ball shots and a 150 m sprint and to top it off, it was the last of 3 work outs. Each horrendous workout had only a 3 minute break between and going into my final one, I had nothing left to give… or so I thought. I had never pushed so hard in my life and it took everything out of me to simply keep going. There was one girl in my heat and thankfully she was rx-ing and she was pushing me onward. I had managed to stay ahead of her in the first two work outs. It was only entering the final event that she had slipped ahead of me.

I was bent over the 100+ lb tire that I was supposed to be flipping over. Instead I stood, staring dejectedly down at the pavement in the middle, trying to catch my breath, trying to convince myself to bend down and lift the object. I looked hopeless as I remained motionless above my tire. Time was passing but not quickly enough. It was the longest 12 minutes of my life. Suddenly I heard a man in the crowd, I didn’t recognize the voice, yet the words were the most motivational I had ever heard said out loud. He screamed over the drone of voices:

“Don’t stop! This is what you live for! This is why you get up in the morning everyday! This is what you thrive on day in and day out!”

He wasn’t yelling at me but he may as well have been. The words hit me like a rock, awakening something that I had forgotten deep inside my soul. Where had that empowerment gone? It was the same enlightening feeling I had felt as a gymnast. Since leaving the sport, I had felt an undeniable void in my life. It had left me feeling miserable and empty. Gymnastics was my “God”, my religion and my first true love. Yet in an attempt to return to the sport, I found to my complete dismay, the joy and passion that had driven me to continue had long since left. I no longer belonged in that arena anymore. It had become a part of my past. As quickly as I had jumped back in, I quietly stepped back out and returned to the monotony of my life.

And yet standing over that tire, there was suddenly a familiar feeling in my heart. It’s hard to put into words exactly what I was experiencing internally. A flame that had been burnt out years before seemed to come back to life, only this time, it was in a different place, time and moment. A determination, a passion and a desire I hadn’t felt for a long time and never like this, never so strongly. It was a feeling of needing to survive, to rise above and to thrive in this new world I had entered.

I glanced up at the girl who was just ahead of me. I took a deep breath, gritted my teeth, narrowed my eyes and bent down to pull the tire up from the ground.  A sort of power that came from deep inside me pushed me onward. I no longer felt human; overcoming a fatigue unlike anything I had ever experienced had brought out something divine in me. My drive for competition, for sport and most of all, for life, had returned. I had been re-born in that moment.