fitness and nutrition

Bring the Heat – An Out-Of-The-Box CrossFit Competition Story

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KT’s competition story:

What a day. What an adventure.

As I blog today I am going to start at the end just like I did in our first book. Why? Because every ending launches a new beginning and my life is full of new adventures every day. Today I will share my ending in hopes I will inspire somebody near or far to start a new beginning of their own.

The alarm was set for 5:50 am but of course I woke up at 3 am and again at 5 am because I was so damn excited. Was I going on vacation? Heck no! I was going to compete today with some amazing gym friends at Bring the Heat #2 hosted by Knockout CrossFit. 

Now my journey really didn’t start at 5 am, it started weeks ago when I signed up for the competition and swindled a few gal pals at the gym to join me in my shenanigans and compete. From there we picked our team name: Dainty Divas. Of course there is nothing dainty about any of us but that’s the beauty of the name. And the name was inspired by a fellow gym mate Shane who said I just needed to be a little more dainty when I approached my handstands. Ha that itself is so funny that it made the name a must!

From there we ordered custom shirts because badass attire is part of being a CrossFitter and added flair by adopting a motto: “Hot Mess Party of 3” and proudly plastered it on the shirts. The motto truly described us to a tee.

Then came the preparation. Extra squats, extra miles on the pavement, extra weight on the bar as the weeks turned into days before the competition. As the days turned into hours we looked at nutrition options and how to fuel our bodies for four WODs in the same day. Water, healthy snacks, energy drinks, nuts and the list goes on. We planned, we prepared, and we conquered. I don’t even think any of us said we were hungry and we had zero desire to eat from all the hydration we did.

After checkin we warmed up for our heat in the ‘athlete’ section. Ha! I hadn’t thought of myself as an athlete since my teen years but if I am competing then I guess I am an athlete. I might have been in the scaled division but I was competing as an athlete at my ability level. I was up early and knocking out movement after movement. And all the while each of my family members were tucked in under the covers at home. They aren’t lazy but they are not committed at the same level as me to accomplish more than most by 9 am.

I am a reflection person, no doubt. I write as a form of reflection. I crunch numbers for a form of reflection and I use the data to improve in all aspects of my life. A nerd of some sort. As weird as it may sound I also love to reflect on how others around me fare. These are my observations of my of my teammates:

I watched and cheered as one girl conquered her fears of being out of her ordinary box for the first time on a stage where others see her, where she had to push her mind and body to new limits, and to just get it done. It was amazing to see her grow and smile as she did it all. She did it all and she did a damn good job. Burpees, box jumps, rowing, among other daunting moves. 1.5 years into her Crossfit journey and she has made amazing strides. A dancer in her youth days but now an avid CrossFitter. So glad to have her as a box mate and friend.

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I watched another as she competed for the first time after an injury. Could her body handle the stress? Would she feel as competitive as she did in past competitions? I am sure many emotions ran through her mind but all I can say is she slayed all day. I was next up behind her most movements and she was fierce, dynamic and just badass and I wasn’t the only one who noticed. Every time I looked up the camera man was snapping away at her amazing form. From start to finish she put in work. I learned so much from her today. From how she moved the bars to how she transitioned quickly all while smiling.

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And then there was me. The almost-50-year-old CrossFitter. Two years into my CrossFit journey I can safely say I’m an addict. A CrossFit addict.

I mirrored my teammate before me as much as I could and I pushed my body to its limits on some movements more than others. I encouraged my teammates and I celebrated friends who came to support me in my first out-of-my-box competition. The experience was amazing. Nothing disappointed me and I would do it again tomorrow.

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The facility was awesome. The lanes were organized and the timeline ran smoothly. The judges were informative and the electronic scoring was on point. Then there were the value adds: the photographers capturing the moments, the overall CrossFit grind and the DJ getting the athletes pumped with the background noise. All around awesomeness.

Beth’s view from behind the camera:

Today was my actual one-year anniversary of starting CrossFit.  As I touched on in an earlier post, CrossFit has been a transforming experience for me both physically and mentally.  Of course, you might expect that I’d want to do CrossFit on my CrossFit-versary, and I certainly did want to attend a class and celebrate with an old-fashioned sweat.  But when I looked ahead at the calendar, I realized that a class wasn’t in the cards for me on that particular day.  Instead, I’d be CrossFitting a different way.

Today I went to support some of my closest friends at their first out-of-our-box CrossFit competition.   These girls have goals, and one of them was to start competing with teams in the region.

So, my CrossFit today was cheering them on, taking photos as they competed, and supporting them through the duration of their competition.

No, I didn’t sweat myself. But I did CrossFit because I cheered someone on as they pushed themselves physically and mentally, worked to achieve goals, and overcame obstacles to exceed what they had done before. And wow, did these ladies do all of those things! As much as we love to work out and the physical effort is common to us all, it’s the community that is also essential to the verb CrossFit.

So yeah, a sweat would have been nice, but it was just as much CrossFit to show up on a big day and support people who have pushed and encouraged me to get one more rep, one more lap, and exceed myself so many times this year. Just yesterday, as we completed Gator at our box, two members of this team were encouraging me as I pushed through over 200 knee pushups. The third member of this team was there to support me on my very first day of CrossFit one year ago. It’s only appropriate that I cheer for them on their big day.

As for the competition itself, it was exciting, loud, energetic, and pretty awesome to watch so many people who I don’t know push themselves to the limit.  I saw teams working together, encouraging each other, high-fiving, and doing incredible things.

The vibe was wonderful, and it was also inspiring to think of how many other people are dragging themselves out of bed or hustling after work to get to their box and do the same kinds of things that I do nearly every day.

KT’s final thoughts:

I have done 5k, 10k, and 15k races before as well as extreme mud runs or other adventure runs. All are fun and rewarding to complete but the adrenaline rush of competing in a CrossFit competition is like no other. Even if you can’t participate you should go to an event to cheer somebody on.

As I wrap up and head out on the town with friends I can say I had an amazing day and it’s not even over yet. I fueled my soul for weeks to come and I have skyrocketed my expectations for my next competition. I will continue to train and meet new gym pals who will inspire me to reach new highs and motivate me if I hit a low. As for the leaderboard, we didn’t focus on finishing in first place. Instead, we set goals, we trained hard, we put in the work and the results speak for themselves.

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And I said in our first book, every ending has a new beginning and today is just that. As I wrap up this amazing journey, I mean day, I will hit my pillow tonight knowing tomorrow the sun will shine and I will again set out on new adventures with whomever I interact with all while making memories.

Get out and enjoy life. Live fit. Embrace people and new surroundings. Get out of your box. Whatever box confines you, step outside that box for one day. Embrace the unknown and jot down your thoughts about that adventure. This may lead you to do it again and again. This is power we all have inside us.

 

Beth’s final thoughts:

The leaderboard, while interesting, doesn’t tell the whole story, or even the most important one. As you’ve read above, each of these women overcame obstacles to be there. This was a day of triumph for these women and this team. They trained, prepared, and executed. They achieved, even exceeded, their goals. It was inspiring to witness and I’m already excited to see what comes next. The close of one exciting chapter that launches them forward into the next stage of their stories.

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