Where to start….
I walked away from the 2013 North Central Regional feeling lots of different things. I guess one word may sum it up, peace. As an athlete I know I never actually feel “satisfied” with what I have accomplished. I know I can always be better, even if I just performed my best. This felt different. I truly felt content with the way it all ended.
This year was filled with ups and downs. My season started strong, then I got injured. That was followed by two months of frustration and a lot of doubt. I didn’t think I would be strong enough to go individual again this year and do what I knew I was capable of doing. I thought on and off that maybe this was the year to go team, but something inside me kept telling me suck it up and fight.
The Open came and I started to feel like I was hitting my stride again. The first WOD started off shaky, I had been battling bronchitis…ain’t nobody got time for that! I was feeling more confident than I had in months and performing at a level that I thought could be competitive come game time. Watch out Chicago! A week after we declared individual or team, I got some extremely shocking and exciting news. I found out I was pregnant. (Kody claims he PR’ed 13.5) Unplanned…yes, but I was immediately overcome with excitement. My whole focus shifted. Competing was out of the question and I shut down training. I was already planning a Lisa Thiel type comeback for 2014. A week later I miscarried. Those two weeks were a complete whirlwind in my head. Now what? Competing seemed almost meaningless. I honestly didn’t know what I was going to do next. I was angry for so many reasons.
In the course of two weeks I went from only thinking about going to The Games to not caring at all about going to The Games. I didn’t understand why it happened when it happened. It was a like a cruel trick. This was something I had been working towards for years, then it is derailed with something even greater and then that was taken away. I was left thinking, “Now what?”. Five weeks until regionals….
I gave myself a few days to take it all in and process. Kody encouraged me to do whatever I felt was best for me. I decided to throw myself back into training. Not seeing the journey through until the end would have left me with too many “what if’s”. For me, making the decision to keep training was extremely therapeutic. I finally let myself off the hook. I quit putting pressure on myself. It was one of those “there is so much more to life than CrossFit” type of moments. I know we all know that, but I didn’t really know that yet.
Going into regionals I had a different mindset than I had ever had before. My one true goal was to leave it all out on the floor and let the cards fall as they may. That is exactly what I did and I have zero regrets. My amazing husband, Kody (I apologize if anyone reading this was standing near him during any events that featured an OKC’er) was incredibly supportive the entire journey. He knows how much I have wanted to stand on that podium. He wanted it for me because I wanted it for myself. He has believed in me every step of the way and always said he just wanted everyone else to see the amazing athlete I am. Wow.
I left Chicago sitting in fourth place for the second year in a row. Competing in a region with Elisabeth, Stacie and Deb is an a blessing and curse. (Love you ladies!) Going in I knew exactly what it would take for me to qualify…absolute perfection and a little help. I pretty much took care of the first part, but I didn’t get much help from the three of them. They were remarkable all weekend. I chased and chased and chased….
In the past five years I have finished in the top ten each year in two different regions. I am nothing if not consistent.
Here is a brief rundown of my weekend…
Event 1: Jackie. 5th Place
I hit a :27 second PR and placed 5th in the WOD. I knew I would be last off the rower, but I also knew I would makeup ground on the thrusters. The plan was to hold on for dear life on the pull ups. I knocked out 20 and 10 and turned in a time of 6:29. Thrilled out of my mind.
Event 2: Overhead Squat Tie for 3rd place
Yes, in this picture I am doing my little happy dance after nailing the opening lift. The overhead squat is by far my favorite lift. I opened with 175. I never missed it in training. I had no reason to be nervous, but I saw amazing athletes fail out of it in previous weekends. It made me feel a little uneasy. I hit 175 with ease and followed with an easy breezy 180. The plan was to attempt 185 once or twice and if I missed just chill until the time cap. Surprising to myself, I power cleaned 185 easily (that was a PR) and proceeded to OHS it two times. I failed standing up out of my third rep. I thought I had it the whole way. Thrilled out of my mind.
Event 3: 30 Burpee Muscle Ups for Time Tie for 6th Place
I had hit 28 of these in training. I made it through 26 on this day. I slipped out of my rings twice, but didn’t have any missed reps. I moved well the whole time. I started fatiguing out the dip a little faster than normal. Still….Thrilled Out of My Mind.
End of day 1 I was sitting in 4th place.
Event 4: The 100’s 4th Place
Holy Moly was this not everyone’s favorite WOD? I actually kind of liked it in a sick way. It all went exactly as planned. I really had to push myself on the snatches. They never felt heavy, but every time I took my hand off the dumbbell I wanted to rest. I made up a lot of ground on the snatches. I finished with 79 reps on the snatch. Thrilled Out of My Mind.
Event 5: Deadlift/Box Jump 5th Place
I finished 5th in 2011 and again this year, however, I was about :45 seconds faster this time around (3:45). Oddly enough, Elisabeth won this in 2011 and again this year and was also :45 faster. Pretty cool we all keep getting so much better. I simply love deadlifts. That is all. Super fun WOD. Thrilled Out of My Mind.
End of day two I was still holding a very strong 4th place.
Event 6: The Chipper 8th Place
I ran this twice in training. Seeing other scores in other regions I knew it would be one of my weaker events. Still, it went just as I planned. I broke everything up exactly how I practiced and just shortened my rest breaks. I finished in 11:38..about 30 seconds faster than I had ever done it in training. It was my worst placing (so far), but I was happy to stay in the top ten on this WOD. Still Thrilled Out of My Mind.
Event 7: Rope Climb/Squat Clean 27th Place…yes you read that correctly.
I don’t really have much to say about this WOD. I wore a RokFit shirt that said “No Excuses” during this WOD and I’m not going to make a single excuse. I trained this WOD three times and had a lot of extra rope practice. I had completed it in 6:09, 5:51 and 5:20. On this day I did it in 8:13. Again, no excuses. I had a lot of trouble with the rope. Kody took a picture of my rope to prove to me that it was about 12 inches shorter than every other rope on the floor. Not an excuse, but a fact. 🙂 For the life of me whenever I jumped to it I could not get my feet locked in. It was awful. Once I got my feet secure I was fine making my way up. It is what it is. Wearing my lifting shoes (which work amazingly at home) was a big mistake. Slick rope. Bad call on my part. Everyone handled it better than I did. I was sad to end the weekend like that, but I fought tooth and nail to get through that WOD. I stayed calm and tried to make the best of it. It didn’t change the outcome, but it could have if I had let up even an inch. I’m proud for hanging in there and gutting it out.
I want to thank each and every single person who made this year possible. My husband for being a great supporter and coach and for believing in me when I didn’t and making all of us train when we didn’t want to. The rest of my family for indulging our stories about my training and competing. My teammates: Kristen, Drew, Kameron, Brad, Kelsey, Laura, Leslie, Joey, A.J. and Taylor….wow. I can’t say enough about each of you. To every friend at the gym and to every friend who doesn’t even know what CrossFit is but still supports me, I couldn’t do it without all of you. This is fun because everyone lets me play in the gym even though I’m 30. Thanks to RokFit for all the awesome swag and support the last few years. I am blessed beyond measure with the best support system in the world. A most heartfelt thank you to my friends Breck and Nicole Berry and Jason and Kim Boag for giving me two of the best gym homes in the world and letting me be a part of your amazing teams…Breck and Jason are two of the BEST coaches in the world. I owe a lot to both of you!
Until next year…
This was my song for the weekend. I listened to it before every workout. It made me smile, it made me sing, it made me dance…we all know I’m better when I’m dancing.