Today was an eye-opening experience.
I observed my first Affiliate League Competition at CrossFit Balance in Washington, D.C., and I gotta tell you, it was fun, scary AND exhilarating. Those are three very different feelings, but at various times I had all three coursing through my body.
Competitors from four boxes, and family members, were all over the place. People were amped up, ready to rock and nervous about finishing their WODs. I saw my role as that of an observer, cheerleader and wannabe; as in “I wanna be” there someday. Chalk dust floated in the air as competitors chalked their bars and hands. The clock was set, the judges demonstrated the WOD (Snatches, Muscle Ups, Thrusters, etc.) movements, the difference between a “rep” and “no rep” and it was game on!
These Boxes competed in individual and mixed (men and women) partners events, on the Affiliate and Social level. It was pretty dope seeing so many people, but there were some very unique situations that I HAVE to mention:
- This is the friendliest group of people I have ever seen. Let’s be honest: everyone did not complete their WODs under the time requirement, but everyone and I do mean EVERYONE cheered, box mates and competitors alike, and encouraged competitors to give it their all and that was amazing to see. I met some funny and sarcastic folks, that were all too ready to introduce themselves and chat for a few. What global/regional gym do you go to that even remotely comes close to that type of atmosphere?
- The competitors come in all shapes, size, colors, types, body weights, and levels of expertise. No matter where you might excel in one particular event, let’s say box jumps (vertical jump onto a 20 or 30 inch box), there is always another event that will slow you down and “equalize” everyone (definitely “muscle ups”).
- By far the most awesome moment was watching a competitor that was a double amputee. His legs were amputated below the knee; with two metal prostheses and he went HARD in da paint on everything he did!!! More, he was funny as hell; cracking jokes that would likely offend a more sensitive person [blush level y’all] and doing it with aplomb. I barely noticed his lack of “legs”; I really didn’t even see that he was different until he decided to change the internal rubber casing that went over his stumps and help them fit/hold the prosthesis. I don’t know his story; to be honest, I can’t remember his name, but I sure as hell respect his heart and competitive drive.
- These men and women trained for weeks, if not months, for something that took less than 14 minutes in one instance and less than 10 minutes in the other. It takes a lot to dedicate yourself to something that takes so little time to complete.
Q: What the hell do I need to do to mentally and physically prepare myself for a potential?
A: Not sure yet. I’m going to ask my coaches; and focus on my weak spots (Muscle Ups, Kipping (butterfly and pull ups), and cleans. You have to practice what you’re weak in, so maybe try an active rest day, i.e. work on progressions vs. completely taking the day off. I’m also considering a Paleo challenge to lean out.
Consider this: How much time, effort and sacrifice you are willing to make to attain something that few people even recognize they are capable of achieving? Are you willing to be uncomfortable? Confront change? Sacrifice your hair? Study the mechanics of the movements to get results safely?