I signed up for this competition back in July of 2013, and I signed up for it as soon as I found out about it! Russell, my coach, tagged me in this photo on Facebook:
|I’m in the top right corner. I was thrilled to make the ad that Caution Crossfit sent out!|
and this is what sparked it. Turns out, Caution Crossfit in Hialeah Gardens (where Russell and I had done my CF Strongman Cert) had created the graphic and posted it to advertise for the upcoming event. Jacksonville, where our event tonight, was actually the first stop of the tour in the US!
When we had done the Strongman Cert last November, I was instantly impressed by how Rob O. had conducted himself, and taught the class. He spoke to us in plain English, and in a way we could all understand. The demonstrations were great, and best of all, they were hands-on. Which for me, is how I learn most effectively.
Basically, I was really looking forward to the competition. I wasn’t sure where Crossfit Ragnarok was, which is where the competition was being held, what time we should be there, etc so earlier that afternoon I took a drive over there, as it was right around the corner from the office, just to double check. When I walked in, I saw the Ingham Twins who are seemingly famous all alone within the CrossFit community, and looked to the right, and there was Rob Orlando. Oh HI!
|Rob Orlando and me at Crossfit Ragnarok|
We talked for a few minutes, I re-introduced myself to him, as well as to Jason, and then I handed Jason my phone and said, “do you mind taking a picture? I might as well get this part out of the way.”
Because I had gone by Ragnarok early on, I was much more comfortable knowing where I was going, what time I needed to be there, and what the WODs were. So per the instructions, I showed up at 4:30, got settled, did some stretching, met some cool people, and got ready for the competition.
The first WOD was
6-4-2 stone thrusters
18-12-6 pull ups
5 min time cap
I used the scaled weight of 35lbs for the stones, and then a green band for my pull ups. I did them all unbroken, which I was excited about! I don’t think I’ve ever done that many pull ups (even banded) unbroken. When I finished, I got the high five from Rob and a “Good job! Way to be strong!” and a pat on the back. I was beaming because I had finished, and it was a quick workout, it did the trick, and yeah! I was allowed to do banded pullups! Why not allow athletes to do banded pull ups?? Seriously, when I found out I could do banded pull ups, it became ‘doable’ in my mind, and I was able to keep up with everyone else, and not worry about being stared at or judged.
|A little sequence of my banded pull ups. Check out my braid!|
Second WOD was:
Grace with a Log, 6 min time cap
(30 clean and jerks for time, so log from the ground, to the shoulders, to overhead)
Girls RX weight was 95lbs and scaled was 65. I went with scaled weight because the logs are so bulky and awkward. So glad I did!
|Grace with a Log|
The final WOD was:
Stone over Bar/Burpee Ladder; 4 min time cap
1 stone over bar/1 burpee
2 stones over bar/2 burpees
This one was the kicker. Scaled weight was 95lbs, which I was planning on doing the entire time. As I went to get my 95 pounder, Rob himself came over and said, “ehhh the other two girls are going with the 115, why don’t you just do the RX weight?”
Holy shit, who am I to say no to this guy? Am I going to let him down? He knows I’m strong now, he knows I’m capable, and I definitely can’t tell him no NOW.. the WOD’s starting in 20 seconds, I had no time to change my mind.. Okay! Fine.. I’ll do the RX weight.. holy shit…
I had only done 115 once I think. 135 I had tried and failed, but that was last year. So here I was, about to do an Atlas Stone WOD with a weight I had never really worked with before. Awesome. I joked with the camera guy who was standing with the camera in my face, that he could film someone else instead, and please.. and he said something along the lines of, “don’t worry, girl.. I’ve got a lot of footage of you!” oh great. haaa.. no pressure.
The first one I did no problem. And then 1 burpee. Easy peasy. Then I felt the rash start after the next few.. All I could do was brush off my arms and kept going. I couldn’t believe I was doing this with the 115lb stone!
At one point, towards the beginning of the WOD, as I was getting ready to scoop up the stone, I realized Rob Orlando was standing right next to me, cheering ME on, encouraging me to keep going.
He commented that my form was “perfect, PERFECT! Just keep doing it EXACTLY like that!!” I could hear him yelling this at me and it was surreal. I can’t let him down. I can’t believe that this guy, who is so widely known in the Crossfit world, is standing next to ME, telling me my form was perfect and pushing me to keep going. And then I thought, “Well shit, dude.. it’s cause I took your cert last year and you taught me how to do this!” Basically, I was doing everything I could to not to focus on how fucked up my arms were going to be afterwards.
And then everything went in slow motion. Each hurl of the stone over the bar, and everyone cheered me on. I could hear myself yelling as I heaved the stone over the bar each time. And more cheers, more encouragement. And this man was standing next to me focusing on me. He noticed I was looking at the clock every now and then, so he started calling out how much time I had left, helping me stay focused on what I was doing, and not the clock. Wow. I feel like I keep saying this shit over and over.
The last set.. my time was running out! I finished my 5 stones, and then dropped to the floor. Had 9 or so seconds and banged out 4 burpees as fast as I could. I landed on the ground for my 5th burpee as time was called. DAMN. But I was done. And when I got up off the floor, he was still standing there, BEAMING at me. He reached his hand out to give me a high five and then pulled me in for a hug. (OMG I’M SO GROSS, NO!!)
|A happy hug! So glad I used the RX weight Atlas Stone!|
Finishing that WOD was such an accomplished feeling. I don’t even know how the other girls did, and I don’t really care. I’m sure they beat me, but whatever. Those girls are Regionals material, something I don’t really aspire to be (and not to sound negative, but I just don’t ever see myself ever being THAT good…)
|He was right there next to me the entire time.|
I was driving earlier today, and thinking about my experience. Everyone was texting me and congratulating me and whatever, which always throws me off; I’m terrible with compliments and stuff like that. But I was thinking, holy shit.. Rob O took his time to stand there with me and keep me going. How fucking cool is that? I think about how busy I’ve been lately at the office, and how I struggle just to make time to get my workouts in, and even so, I haven’t really felt like going because I’ve been so tired. And here he is, married, two kids, maintaining a Strongman site with daily WODs, owns a CF business, teaching certs all over the world, organizing and hosting strongman competitions, has a film crew following him around. Mr. Awesomely Strong and Famous Crossfitter who’s been around in the Games since the beginning, and he made time for me last night.
I don’t know how else to describe it, I still feel like I’m not using the right words. The feeling brings tears to my eyes. The support and love and encouragement from this incredible CrossFit Community, no matter who you are, is just so fucking cool. I am SO GRATEFUL to be a part of this. I am so thankful that I made the decision to try Crossfit way back when (Jan 24th, 2012, right after my 31st birthday) and even more importantly, that I stuck with it. I have never been so healthy, happy, and it sounds weird, but mentally stable and sound. I’ve never had such a healthy outlet to relieve stress. I’ve never had something so hard to work and focus on. I have never had such an awesome group of people to surround myself with, never experienced a community where I felt so welcomed. It’s so awesome. It’s just SO AWESOME!
|The “After” Picture. 🙂|
Another big thanks to Dom at Caution Crossfit, to my friend Shannon at www.flyczekwraps.com, who stuck around the entire competition to cheer me on, and to take pictures! To Jared, Gina and Dave for coming out and supporting us. To Jacob, who’s like a little brother to me. and to Rob Orlando, for helping to make Crossfit more fun and doable for us ‘quad-dominant’ people. 🙂
For anyone who’s considering doing this, I totally recommend it!! It’s nothing but fun and sweat and friends. At least go and support the community and have a good time. You can find out the tour dates here: http://hybridathletics.net/crossfit-strongman-florida-competition-tour/ 🙂 (and nobody paid me to write this!)
|I need sleeves.|