WOW. I had an AWESOME TIME this weekend!!!!!!
I wasn’t really nervous going into it.. this is mainly because going to an event in South Florida is like going home, especially if it’s in Broward County. This year, the Crush Games were held at the BB&T Center (formerly Bank Atlantic Center, formerly National Car Rental Center).. the giant arena next to Sawgrass Mills. The giant arena I spent 3 years looking at while I worked at Bahama Breeze across the street. I’m VERY familiar with the area! I loved it.
So.. let’s start from the beginning. Thursday morning, (yes I usually pack the day of) I got all my shit together. All my cold meds, pillow and baby blanket (don’t judge), my BCAAs, a couple bananas for the road, 300 pairs of lululemon pants and crops, and about a dozen crossfit shirts, cause you know, you just DON’T know.. my oly shoes, 2 pairs of New Balance shoes, my athletic tape, my gym bag with my gloves, wrist wraps (3 pairs), gymnast straps, 3 jump ropes (they’re in my gym bag!) etc. You get the idea. I was a crossfitter on a long distance drive!
I made great driving time. What I thought would be 5 hours ended up being about 4, and that was going between 70-80 the whole way. I even got there early enough to stop at my old school, McFatter Tech, where I used to teach at the magnet high school. (shout out, go Fusion!) After my hellos and visits, I got told by one of the other educators (I’m being vague to protect identities!) that I was feeling rather firm, and that he wanted to hug me again just to make sure of the hardness that he felt on my back. It was so typical of him, but so funny! And we all joked that it wasn’t harassment in the workplace since I didn’t work there anymore. He then went on to compliment my new (to him) physique and called me a brick house. And then he looked me up and down a few times. And then it got awkward and it was time for me to go. 😀 Actually it was time for me to go.. but it was perfect timing!
So.. I headed over to the Arena, worried about traffic but whatevs. Typical 595 traffic, I’m just not used to it anymore. Got there, parked, and walked right in. I was probably one of the first 10 people to pre-register, got my bag, and headed out. Wooo! Swag bag complete with an American Apparel shirt. Bonus Points for Crush Games for not skimping out on the shirt brands!
I was enjoying my South Florida rush hour time so much, that I opted to take Sunrise Blvd the whole way from Sawgrass to the Beach. I was enjoying it so much (I’m being serious) that I remember actually saying to myself, wow, it’s so pretty out here! (I would’ve never called anything between Sawgrass and 95 pretty in all the years that I lived down there!) But yeah, it was so nice to be in the area and just not needing to be anywhere at that moment. No hurrying, no rush. I was good to go!
My hotel was AMAZING. The Crush Games had all sorts of partnerships with your typical standard hotels in Plantation and Sunrise, to which I said no thanks. I opted to go near where I used to live.. BEACH SIDE! Yes please. I did some searching in this one particular area that we’ve stayed in several times.. It’s called North Beach Village. Basically, the part of Fort Lauderdale Beach just south of Sunrise between A1A and the Intracoastal. It’s INCREDIBLE! So, what they did, from my educated but unverified guess, is this investment company came in and bought up all of these old run down properties, abandoned, condemned, whatever, and completely gutted them and did entire overhauls to each of the properties. Giving them their own character and uniqueness. So, now they’re hotels, but they still feel like apartments and condos and efficiencies right out of the 60s, except modern and fresh and new! And they’re incredible.
I stayed at this one placed called Tranquilo. So perfect! It was an efficiency with a kitchenette and a VERY COMFORTABLE king sized bed. It was absolutely perfect for me. 500-600 square feet, if I had to guess? Nice and roomy, comfortable, clean, and just great. I was thrilled.
|Tranquilo Hotel, Fort Lauderdale|
So, for what, $110 a night? I got this. I got to prepare my own meals, cook when I wanted to. Have cold water straight from the fridge. Fresh eggs, etc. Beats eating out every single meal, especially when I’m competing! I ended up cooking breakfast all three mornings I was there, and was able to snack on my yogurt and grapes at will. Fresh pot of coffee every morning, it was heaven.
|Breakfast Saturday Morning. Sweet Potato Hash and Chicken Sausage.|
So yeah, I got all checked in to my hotel, and then met up with a good friend of mine, Lori, for a delicious pre-workout meal at Chipotle. Hey-o! We then checked out one of our favorite old shopping areas, The Galleria Mall, and then she tagged along to Publix with me as I needed to stock my little kitchen for the weekend ahead. I naturally stuck to the outside of all the aisles, as I always do. chicken sausage, eggs, coconut milk, fruit, sweet potatoes, and yogurt. water, butter, olive oil (yes I use olive oil, yes I know about the whole high temp thing. I dont care..)
Again, because of my familiarity with the area, and where I’d be going the next day, I really wasn’t worried or nervous about the competition itself. It was really nice to just NOT be nervous about it. I was more concerned with traffic on Friday morning than anything else. I also wasn’t really that concerned that I was going to be doing 5 WODs with having taken almost a week off of Crossfit. I felt really good, despite recovering from my cold still.
Up at 6a Friday morning, breakfast cooked, coffee made, shower taken. I was ready. Let’s do this! I walked into the BB&T Center with a big smile on my face and a boat load of confidence. Just happy to be there. The WODs were hard, but doable. I wandered around, got my stuff together, had my numbers drawn on me, did my warm ups, and went after it.
|My panorama of the arena, first thing Friday morning.|
1st WOD consisted of 3 minutes of Lateral hand release Burpees and snatches. I finished 13th place for those, and went into my 2nd WOD immediately following that 3 minutes. 25 KB swings, 35 box jumps, 55 wall balls, 15 kb swings. I got through 45 wall balls when time was called (8 min) and my throat was so dry! I wish I had brought my water out with me. I left the floor happy with my progress, but shaking all over. Quads, hands. I couldn’t hold my phone still enough to send a text, nor walk up the stairs very well after gathering my things. I ended up placing 49th place! for that one.. (these are the final scores/standings, after Saturday’s group had gone too. Out of 86 total athletes)
|Got to spend time with Streaky!|
3rd WOD I didn’t do well on, but I did it! The toes to bars slowed me down, but I did them! The WOD was 3 rounds of 500m row, 20 jumping lunges (got a couple no reps cause I didn’t want to slam my knee onto the concrete, ouch!) 20ft balance beam walk, 15 T2B, 20ft balance beam walk. I got through 3? T2B in my 2nd round. final standing for that one was 72. Ouch.
4th WOD was max Clean, which I placed 7th for, and I PRed my Clean! I got 165lbs. 10 lb PR!
We went right into the 5th WOD, which was 3000lb shoulder to overhead. I opted for 65lbs, at 47 reps. I blasted through those and finished at 1:38, which got me 19th place.
In between the WODs, I got to have lunch with some old friends who go way back! Fred and Sandi are like 2nd parents to me, and I know them back from our Car Club days! We both had Camaro SSs and used to hang out on the weekends, and they totally treated me like their kid. They have two sons around my age, so it just worked. They came by the BB&T Center and picked me up, and even bought me lunch at Grand Lux! Had great conversations with them, and just an all around good time. 🙂 They were going to come and watch, but spectator tickets were $25 each and that was just ridiculous, IMO. They brought me back just in time for me to do my max clean and shoulder to overhead WODs. They were good luck!
After my final WOD, the shoulder to overhead, I headed back to my hotel. I was so excited to be done for the competition. I had placed 17th out of 41 and assumed I wouldn’t be moving on to Sunday. I was pleased with my results, and that was that. We had to place top 36 to move on to Sunday, but while I thought that meant top 36 COMBINED men and women, it actually meant top 36 men, and top 36 women. I found out Saturday evening, after indulging in some ice cream with my sister at Aventura Mall of course, that I placed 35th overall for Womens Amateur and would indeed be competing again on Sunday.
WHAT THE HELL?!?!!!??! I MADE IT?? I MADE IT TO SUNDAY?!?! I actually did better than more than 50% of the other competitors in my division. I have never done so well to advance to a final or semi-final round. I couldn’t believe it. Even Dave was excited for me! (It’s a big deal when Dave gets excited about something..) The WODs were definitely a good balance for me. They showed my strengths and really highlighted my weaknesses. But what I was super thrilled with was, I did this while I was still somewhat sick, and after not working out for almost a week. I just came to have fun, and I FUCKING ADVANCED TO THE NEXT ROUND.
NOW I was nervous… Why?? Why am I nervous now?? Now the competition was actually ON for me. I knew I’d be going up against the best of the amateur group, and jesus they were good. Again, I woke up at 6a, made my breakfast, nervously browsed through Facebook while eating, showered, and jittered all the way to the BB&T Center again. Holy shit, holy shit.. why am I nervous?!? I do this every day. Chill out, Alicia.
I walked in feeling proud. I knew that my being there on Sunday meant that I’d truly accomplished something I had never done before. I had done better than 51 or so of the other competitors in my division. I was calm now. Walked to the warm up area, started stretching, taped up my hands in preparation for the Toes to Rings, and tried to focus on just doing my best.
21-15-9 Toes THRU Rings and Deadlifts at 145lbs: 10 min timecap
I did my 21 and 21, 15 and 15, and then got through 7 of my 9 Toes thru Rings when time was called. My athletic tape had pulled off during the set of 15 and my hands hurt so badly. I watched other girls finish and call time just as I was starting my set of 15 deadlifts. Holy fuck these girls are tiny and fast and strong. I am not these girls. Ran back to the rings to start in on my set of 9, chalked up, and willed my arms, hands and core to be strong enough to get me through as many as possible. It was one other girl and myself, and the other girls came over to cheer us on (thank you!) I got no-repped a few times, because my toes didn’t go through the rings, they only touched them. By this time though, I just wanted to be done. I knew I wasn’t finishing, but I just wanted to do my best. and OMG MY HANDS HURT. When time was called, I made sure I hadn’t ripped any skin and wasn’t bleeding. Nope! Good.
Some of the girls gave me this sympathetic “Hey girl, nice job! You did great!” thing, like I was disappointed in my performance, to which I wanted to respond “Hell no! Don’t feel sorry for me!! I fucking made it to Sunday! Are you kidding me?! I’m THRILLED with what I’ve done today!” I was shaking and sore and my hands were burning, but I was smiling ear to ear. I fucking did it. No I didn’t advance to the 7th WOD, but I had made it to Sunday. 🙂
I knew I hadn’t advanced, so I went to the bathroom (shaking!), washed my hands, my face, got my stuff together, and headed to the parking lot. I had to keep refreshing the scores to make sure I didn’t advance to the 7th WOD. I was hoping not! My mom confirmed it for me by checking the scores again online. I was done. With that, I headed back to the hotel. I had done my best. 🙂 So happy. My hands hurt so badly I couldn’t grip the steering wheel with my palms, but I was still ecstatic.
I accomplished way more than I had expected to, and got to experience competing by myself. It was actually really nice and not weird at all. At these Crossfit competitions, you end up seeing so many of the same people over and over, especially in South Florida. Everyone says hi and is friendly. I was completely overwhelmed by the number of text messages and Facebook posts I received from friends and family while I was down there. People wishing me luck, cheering me on, giving me words of encouragement. I was alone, but in spirit, there were so many people who were cheering me on. That’s something else that’s never happened before. I’ve never had this kind of support or community to back me up before. To truly want me to do well. Whenever I feel down or crappy, I’ll need to think about this weekend and what it meant to me.
|The skylights at Aventura Mall|