I was sucked in. Sucked in to the leaderboard. The invitation. The competition. The unknown. The opportunity itself.
What could I possibly be talking about? I made it to the national leader board for the Masters of the Masters competition. The #2 spot. Who me? Yes you! Boom. The invite hit my mailbox just before the holiday hustle and bustle went into full swing. Should I travel to compete? Should I just be happy with where I made it to? So many questions.
I was on the fence for days. Should I? Should I not? At the end of the day, I took the plunge. I went for it. I signed up for round two of competing and the training. This time in the grand state of Texas. A plane ride away. A different dynamic for round 2.
An unknown location and facility. A new state which requires a day of travel. Sleeping in a bed aside from mine can impact my preparedness. No community cheering me on. So many variables.
I thrive under pressure. I live for new experiences. I meet new people all the time. I learn and grow when I’m out of my comfort zone. For all these reasons I said yes. Yes to the comp! Now I need to prepare for the unknown.
I need to dial into my nutrition and commit to working hard the next several weeks. I can do it. I will do it. No matter where I end up on the final leaderboard I can say I took a big step in just showing up.
I’m not fearing the competition movements or my competitors.
I’m not giving into self doubt. I know I can do my best and be okay with the results. Showing up is half the battle.
I don’t know how to quit. That means I will push through even the hard stuff.
At my age, I’m lucky I can move to the extent I do. I’m even more happy to say I’m a competitor. I don’t worry about others judging me because if it was easy everyone would do it. Even if you are not built to compete. You can get moving.
I hope this post inspires someone to start moving to a fitter self. The first step is the hardest, but anyone can move. Look for updates next month on my big adventure.
It’s the Garage Games Competition time. Master’s division/scaled for this girl this weekend. I wrote about the preparation for this comp a few weeks back but so much has happened in between that post and the actual competition itself.
Corona waves hit some of the competitors I knew, making their prep come to a halt. The recovery for COVID and its impact on one’s lungs will make competing extra grueling for these folks. They will get it done at their best level for that day. I will be cheering for them between rounds as I can.
The comp itself changed some setup rules to accommodate for more social distancing due to waves hitting the area. Only active athletes competing can be inside the gym for their heat. No fans cheering. No warm ups in the gym. No watching the heat before yours. So many changes. These workouts are non-forgiving so that extra cheer will make a difference for some who want to give up in the moment.
Warmups are outside but it’s freezing out. So very cold at 6am, 7am and so on. The bars are cold. The chill is in the air. So that’s a whole different element of warming up your body and then performing in a different temperature inside.
Talk about added stress for me. It’s also stressful to know I will immediately be shuffled outside as a sweaty mess to cool down in the elements. That’s a recipe to get sick as in a cold. Not COVID but a cold. Unfortunately, now days a cold is like COVID where you have to be locked up if you have the slightest cough or sniffle. So yeah I’m not thrilled.
The reality is also hard to think about visualizing how you compare to others on that big board outside of your home gym when you might feel like a big fish in your pond but when you go in the ocean you seem so much smaller.
The leaderboard is part of the experience. The measuring stick. How you measure up to others who are CrossFit junkies in your age band of 5 years. There is no asterisk next to your name that says competed under duress. For me the comp is a challenge of myself. The will to push through and thrive as a party of one in hard times. In today’s crazy climate which is a shit show on most days. The temperature elements in the environment. The COVID restrictions. The lack of cheering. It all dials back to just me. Which ironically has been what a lot of 2020 has been for me.
Self discovery. Finding hope inside of oneself. Pushing through individually. A party of one it literally is. My daughter and friends are coming to cheer me on through the windows. Thanks to COVID they have to stay outside in the cold for the safety of the athletes participating. I get it but that’s part of the competition. The crowd. The cheers. The roars. As a competitor I feed off that. There will only be silence and the silence will kill your performance if you let it!
This is a battle I wasn’t expecting when I signed up. I guess I could just celebrate that’s it’s not canceled but I can’t. The reason for this is I did a few virtual races already this year and I again missed the chaos of the crowd, the cheers and the small touches that make those events fun.
When will the world stop snatching all the fun things from us? How long will the madness of isolation, separation, and masked life and more go on? My pals improvised. They made signs and yelled through doorways. I loved their efforts.
My mini group will have fun in our outdoor parking space of solidarity. Socially distanced. Bundled up in warm onesies and blankets. No hot cocoa. No fire barrel but maybe we will have a makeshift heater. Here’s to parking lot madness on a Saturday with good people getting their fitness grind on. This is what masters do. They master adversity. It’s a sign of grit.
(drum roll please) Comp results:
I completed all three taxing workouts.
I didn’t die although I was exhausted.
I changed outfits three times so I wouldn’t be sitting in sweaty clothes in the elements.
I wore a hat during a comp for the first time ever!
I met a cool competitor today and we took a ton of pics together.
I had fun with all the parking lot shenanigans.
I munched on comp snacks from the darkness of the morning through the day.
I put up my best efforts given the environmental challenges.
Now I get to see where I fall on the leaderboard. Took the gold for the local comp. Let’s see if I make to the big board.
It’s time to move on. A new day. A new week. A new month. A new year is on the horizon. On to bigger and better things as this event is now history.
The next event on the chopping block is sunrise yoga with the girls for a fun holiday gathering since we can do this distanced. How are you ringing in the holidays this year?
Ah I signed up for a solo CrossFit comp. Masters age group. Local venue, national footprint. Just wanted something to do before the end of the year. I wanted to say I squeezed in another event to end the year with a bang instead of boredom.
Why? Because I guess I had nothing better to do. I guess I’m a bit neurotic. I guess I’m a bit curious. The list goes on. I guess I hang with some crazy friends who like to do weird things like me.
I do a little practice session on event one. It was just 6 minutes but I wanted to die at about 4 minutes but I somehow pushed through with the help of my workout buddy Kim. I’m still here to write about the escapade so it wasn’t that bad. The event is above if you want to test the workouts yourself and see how you fare.
We opted to try another comp trial wod the next week. It was equality shitty. This time it was 9 minutes and another lung burner and sweat fest. I finished. I recovered but ugh it wasn’t pretty. Not feeling successful after two events. The photo below shows my pal after her efforts. She wanted to kill me for pushing her in the moment but she got over it quick. I think.
Fast forward a couple weeks and I practice wod 3 with another friend. This one was a whopping 7 minutes long and I took yet another beating. Now the reality is I have to do all three workouts in one day. Limited rest. Competitive environment and just me, myself and I to rely upon to get it done. Just me cooling off outside in the cold using the cement to cool down my body temp rapidly. Just 7 minutes to wipe me out. And I thought a masters competition would be easy!
Part of my issue could be that most of the events require body weight movements, some of which I do but not fast. I’m a thick fit type of body which equates to moving a lot of body weight in comparison to others that might be a bit more agile. Another could be I’m just not in the top shape I was a year ago. This happens.
I will do all events regardless because that’s what I signed up for. The measuring stick. I can’t always win and I may lose big. It’s okay. Part of the process is how to learn from the opportunity.
How to show up.
How to rely on myself.
How to push forward when times are tough.
How to set an example for anyone watching.
How to celebrate my willingness to try.
How to celebrate me in general.
In life I rely on myself. I have others whom I can lean on from time to time but when push comes to shove it’s me. Competing on any level allows me to reignite the fire within, to keep on trucking day to day to get through whatever life hurdles I have to face.
Less than 3 weeks until the event. Lots of hard work in my sights to prepare myself. Wish me luck. I probably need a little for this comp.
The showdown took place today. A competitive event. A grind session of sorts. A last-minute change-your-weekend-plans type of gathering. Of course, sometimes the best ideas and memories are made on short or no notice. I mean you really can’t guarantee fun, it just happens when I have a bad idea. Like this one, of course.
Really, it was just a local CrossFit competition but there were friends that were teammates and competitors. That’s kind of the thrill of the event. The more. The merrier. The crazier. There was even family competing against family. Talk about a shit storm and I didn’t even mention the judging. Those judges that you know who no rep you for your error and you get mad about it. They are just doing the job they volunteered for.
No matter which way you look at it, the group was getting their fitness on. No matter who was on each team. Recharging their competition batteries. They were putting Corona and all its cancellations in the back seat. A much needed mindset for me anyways.
99 Problems and a Lift Ain’t One of them
Cheet Cheat Never Beat
The crazy names above are three of the teams I’m highlighting in this post. My friends and family. We all showed up and we worked our asses for four grueling workouts. See below for proof. Close to 30 teams participated overall. A great turnout with today’s restrictive environment.
We all battled hard to overcome injuries, movement challenges and our minds. Our minds are a powerful tool and I have written about its power and complexities in the past. Today I saw both in action across many people.
The power of I can vs. I can’t. The power of persevering. The power of overcoming self-doubt. The power of taking action when you really don’t want to. I saw personal firsts. Personal bests. Injuries-some temporary, some sidelining and some just irritating. Wherever my fellow athletes fell on the spectrum there was always somebody there to pick them up.
A hug, a high five, a fist pump, a sign, a cheer, a roar, and so much more. This is what CrossFit is about. Community. Challenges. Digging deep. Mental toughness. Pushing yourself beyond your perceived limits. Why doesn’t everyone do it? Because it’s hard. It’s physically hard. Emotionally hard. Mentally draining. All of those factors are magnified in a CrossFit competition! Magnified beyond recognition.
You are physically fatigued. You are mentally weak. You are low on gas in the emotions tank. None of that matters though. You are an athlete. You are competing for a spot on the podium or some other significance. Whatever your reason, you are there competing. Doing your best. No time for excuses. You are on a stage. No matter how big or small the stage, you are in the spotlight as a competitor.
I loved this competition. Not because I won because I didn’t. I watched my daughter compete in her first competition. I watched her achieve things she didn’t think she could. I saw her embrace new relationships and partner through adversity. I saw her cry when she felt defeated. I heard her say at the end of it all that it was fun. I can’t wait for the next one. I’m going to be better next time. How awesome is that? The lessons she learned today will springboard her in many parts of her life and I get a front row seat to watch that growth. Simply amazing!
Whenever I can compete with my kids in a CrossFit competition, race, or business I will jump at the chance. I will put so much to the side to do it. It’s memories like these I will cherish for a lifetime. It’s an opportunity that everyone has. An opportunity many won’t seize. An opportunity I desire.
My fitness journey is a work in progress. It has been for most of my life and it will be for many more years. In light of the recent passing of notorious RBG, I hope to still be CrossFitting my way when I’m in my 80s. Hats off to some of my competition pals. This photo isn’t all-inclusive but it is a glimpse. All warriors in a way battling their own fitness journey and I’m happy to part of their story as much as they are a part of mine.
My emotional tank is overflowing.
My mind is dancing to an amazing anthem.
My physical aches are temporary and none required a bandaid.
Big win here. Today was a success and then some.
Last minute decisions do indeed make for amazing memories.
As of yesterday I was anti-competition as in I didn’t want to sign up for anything competitive in 2020 because so much disappointment had been in my rear view this year.
No 10k in November (postponed from July). No mud run in October. No Triathlon in July. No Wonder Woman run in May, had to do virtual instead. Just a bunch of blah in 2020 and I didn’t want to waste money on events that were not going to happen and and and.
The above picture was supposed to have a Nashville backdrop and a fun girls trip but instead we went virtual. We were distanced. No crowds cheering. No hydration stations. Just overall boring.
That’s why I was stomping my feet and pouting. I had told myself it just wasn’t worth it and I could revisit in 2021 my competition goals. Tick tock the clock won’t stop. It’s September and a comp is being hosted at a local CrossFit box. Still not doing it. I don’t like one of the movements so it’s easy to say nope not doing it.
It’s the Monday of the event. My body feels good. My mind feels good. What the heck let me find a partner. I can still make the end of the year one to remember. Let’s do this. Good thing I have crazy friends who won’t turn down a bad idea on short notice!
Here we are cramming for the event Saturday. It’s all for fun but we are also competitive in nature, well that is for our age. We should be Masters but this comp doesn’t have a Masters division so we battle for reps with the kiddos. From teens to twenties to thirties and then there is us. The oldies but goodies. The Masters. The 45 years and beyond. The achy body group. The full time workers. How will we do? Only time will tell. Until Saturday, we will be grinding it out waiting for our chance to hit the podium or die trying!