2014 Reebok CrossFit Games Perspective

It’s hard to believe that another CrossFit Games season has come and gone. The longer I’ve been competing the longer it seems to take me to process my thoughts and emotions after a big event. Every year not only does the level of competition at the Games rise, but I also gain a better understanding and appreciation for how much the organizers, staff, volunteers, and even fans at the CrossFit Games have stepped up their game as well. Such a large scale event would never even be possible without the hard work of the countless volunteers, staff members, and judges who give up their time to allow us athletes to compete, and every athlete on that competition floor is grateful for it. The fans this year were more involved than ever. This was the first time I was acutely aware of things like people cheering my name during the run on the Triple 3s, or the roar of the crowd encouraging me to try to make my last clean during the Sprint Clean Ladder. That in and of itself was an awesome thing to experience, and I truly appreciate every single person who was out there rooting for me. 

During the Triple 3's. Photo Courtesy of Hannah Hayworth Photography.

During the Triple 3’s. Photo Courtesy of Hannah Hayworth Photography.

 

Each of my 4 Games appearances have been unique in its own way. I’ve entered each one as a different athlete with different goals and expectations. Looking back to my 2013 Games experience, I recognized that I didn’t have as much fun or felt like I appreciated the opportunity to be out on that floor competing as much as in 2011 and 2012. I let my perception of the quality of the workouts as a “good” test of fitness affect my attitude towards the workout and also affect my performance. I remember thinking things like “This is stupid why are we rowing again?” or “Another event has a lot of running, but we already did that. I don’t want to do more” as the weekend wore on. I created this perception that the workouts were unfair as a scapegoat for the fact that I was performing poorly on them relative to the other competitors. As you might expect, that negatively affected not only my performance, but also my overall enjoyment of my 2013 Games experience. 

When I qualified for the 2014 Games I made myself a promise that I would not let what happened in 2013 happen again. The middle of a competition is not the time to evaluate whether you “like” a workout or not, or whether you personally think it’s a “good” or “bad” test of fitness. The middle of a competition is a time to put your head down and do the work. If you are going to agree to play the game then you have to also be willing to accept the nature of the game. In the case of the CrossFit Games, that means accepting that not every workout is going to be in your wheelhouse, you will probably have to do things you don’t really want to do or enjoy doing, and that until the competition is completely over you don’t have a full picture of what is being tested so it’s impossible to judge the weekend’s events as you go. Plus, just because a workout might not be a good workout for you personally, doesn’t mean it’s a bad test of fitness. Sometimes ego makes this a hard thing to admit to ourselves.

So going into the 2014 Games I promised myself that I would not respond negatively to the announcement of any workout and that I would not place any sort of value judgment on the nature of a workout. I would just do the work to the best of my ability, and I would make an effort to also absorb and enjoy the awesome experience and opportunity that is competing at the CrossFit Games while staying in a positive frame of mind the entire time.

And I have to admit I did a pretty good job on those goals, but I had two moments of weakness during the weekend where I started getting very down on myself. The first came in the tunnel waiting to march out for the OHS workout on Wednesday night. All I could think about as we waited to walk out was the clean and jerk ladder in 2013 and how I had failed to match my PR on that event; the first time I had ever underperformed on a strength event in competition. I tried desperately to shake those negative thoughts in my head but just couldn’t seem to do it. Yet when I walked out onto that floor Wednesday night, loaded my bar and hit my first OHS something clicked. Suddenly, it was fun again. The format of the OHS ladder was really neat and just being back in that tennis stadium competing was electrifying. I went on to PR my OHS by 7# and left with an entirely different attitude. 

photo

Overhead Squatting in the Tennis Stadium, my favorite venue to compete in!

My second moment of mental struggle came after the HSPU-sled pull workout. I was upset over the workout for multiple reasons, but mostly because I thought my handstand push ups should have been faster than they were compared to other people. I felt I went as fast as I could, but I allowed my perception of where I thought I should be compared to others to bring me down. I had a hard time shaking my disappointment after this workout, and come Sunday morning I was still upset. I was at the hotel packing up the car to head to the arena for the final day of competition when a little girl and her dad came up to me. “Gretchen, I know you are really busy but can she take a picture with you?” her dad said to me. “The only reason we went to breakfast at the hotel today was because we were hoping you would be there.” This just melted my heart and of course we took a picture. I think they thought I was doing them a favor, but really it was the other way around. Having that family come up to me was the thing that helped push me out of my funk, feel positive again, and focus on the last day of competition. At the end of the day it isn’t about the numbers on the scoreboard, it’s about trying your hardest, appreciating the opportunities you have, cherishing the people you meet along the journey, and hopefully being a role model for the next generation.

Do I wish my name was higher up on that scoreboard? Sure. But I competed to the best of my ability, and I can look back on my 2014 Games experience and say I had an incredible time filled with more highs than there were lows. 

I owe a huge thank you to all the people who support me not just on gameday, but day in and day out throughout the year. So a special shout out to all my sponsors and supporters: Reebok, Fuel for Fire, CustomFit Meals, Goat Tape, AtLarge Nutrition, and Normatec Recovery for providing me with the clothing, gear, food, and recovery tools I need throughout the season. I was very fortunate to have my coach Jeremy Gordon of CrossFit Hampton Roads with me at the Games, as well as my endurance coach Chris Hinshaw, and my weightlifting coach, Cara Heads Slaughter! Getting to the CrossFit Games as an individual is not an individual effort, and I am lucky that I have such a fantastic group of coaches guiding and shaping me as an athlete. And of course my family, friends, coaches, and everyone at CrossFit Reston who give me endless support and encouragement on my journey! Thank you all!!!

Onward and upward to 2015!!

2014 Mid-Atlantic Regionals

During our first athlete briefing the night before the first day of the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Regionals, Chuck Carswell told us there were three goals for the weekends competition: to run a tight competition, to foster community, and to tell a great story. I think everyone present at the event this weekend can agree that those three goals were accomplished.

The level of competition at this regional was arguably the highest I have ever seen it in the Mid-Atlantic. Some of you ladies I only get to see once a year at regionals, and every year I am in awe at how fast and how much you have improved over the course of the year. I love competing with each and every one of you and feel incredibly honored to be able to represent our region at the 2014 CrossFit Games. I am even more excited to get to share another trip to the Games with my close friend and training partner, Christy Adkins, who inspires me to work harder and push more every single day. I am so incredibly proud of her for her performance this weekend and am lucky to call her my friend. Anna, welcome to the region, and I look forward to competing with you in Carson.

The competition this weekend was not only tight between the competitors, but there was no slop in the timing, execution, or organization of the event either. A huge “Thank You” goes out to Chriss, Andrea, Mehdi, Chuck, Jason, Eric, and every single judge, volunteer, and support staff member who were present and working hard this weekend. You guys all made this a wonderful experience for the competitors, and we are so grateful for the time and energy you put in to making this a great event.

What really blew me away this weekend was the sense of community I felt every single day. I spend a great portion of my work hours dealing with people who are trying to steal and rip off the CrossFit brand name. A large percentage of the time these infringers are mean, disrespectful, or just plain rude. When you spend so much time dealing with these types of people you are sometimes left wondering where have all the good, honest people in the world gone. Well, I found them this weekend at the Mid-Atlantic Regional and was reminded not only why I work so hard every day to try to protect our community’s name, but also why I fell in love with that community to begin with. I don’t think there was a single person I passed in the hallway all weekend who didn’t at least shout out a quick “good luck” or “great job” even if they had no idea who I was.

To the CrossFit Reston crew, thank you all so much for coming out to support us this weekend. I was beyond thrilled to see so many Reston shirts in the stands and get so many messages and posts from you all. You have no idea how much your support means to me! I am undoubtedly part of the best box in the world. #littlebrotherbrad I am so incredibly proud of all the work you have put in over the past year (even if it means I can’t beat you on WODs anymore), and you deserved every bit of success you had this weekend. Kim, there’s no other way to say it but you are bad ass, and you more than held your own against all us young’ins this weekend. I can’t wait to see you take that top podium spot at the Games this year. Thank you to Jeff and Maggie for being so supportive of me and my goals since day one and for creating such an amazing community of people that I am so blessed to be a part of.

Obviously, a huge thank you to my coach, Jeremy Gordon. Without your unwavering help and support, I would not be where I am today, nor would I have accomplished all that I have. So many athletes struggle to find a coach-athlete dynamic that works for them, but I am VERY lucky to have a coach that I trust completely and a training plan I believe in. I have continued to improve year after year under your guidance, and I am very much looking forward to our 4th trip to the CrossFit Games!

And a special shout out to Chris Hinshaw and Cara Heads for all their help throughout this season. Chris has helped me make huge strides with my running and endurance work this year. While Cara has made me a stronger and more technically proficient olympic lifter.

Of course, thank you to my amazing family for always supporting my dreams ever since I was a child. And a special thank you to my mom for skipping the first day of Alex’s graduation from Cornell in order to make the trip down to watch me on Friday and Saturday (Congrats Alex!). And a very special thank you to my boyfriend, Brenton, who puts up with me and supports me not only on my good days, but also on my worst days. You are amazing, and I love you with all my heart.

Lastly, a big “Thank You” to all my sponsors who keep me fed, fueled, clothed, and able to continue to do what I love on a daily basis. Reebok, CustomFit Meals, Fuel For Fire, Airrosti, Normatec Recovery, GoatTape, AtLarge Nutrition: you guys are all awesome, and I truly appreciate the support!

I am still a little bit in disbelief that this weekend ended as wonderfully as it did, but I feel incredibly blessed to be heading back to California for the 2014 CrossFit Games! See you in Carson!

 

 

Getting caught up

I like to blog about topics I feel passionate about or things that I think are important, timely or interesting, but I also feel that I should occasionally write about what is actually going on in my life. Even if no one else finds it interesting I know my technology savvy grandparents like to read about what I’m doing ;)  However, it seems like my updates are becoming few and far between these days! I intended to write a blog post recapping my experience at the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games shortly after the Games were over. Well, it’s nearly October now, and I still haven’t done it. It seems a bit silly to go back now and rehash something in extreme detail that happened so long ago, so instead I’ll just quickly recap what has happened since the Games.

I’ve been doing a lot of traveling since the Games ended, but things have finally settled down. I’ve finally been able to get into more of a daily routine. The day after the Games ended my boyfriend and I flew to Lake Tahoe and spent about a week there just relaxing and unwinding. I’m far from an “outdoorsy” person, but it was an amazing vacation and highly recommend a visit for anyone who has never been. We even went parasailing, which was admittedly very cool, but I also found to be very scary

gretchen parasailing

This is my excited parasailing face

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe

After getting back from Tahoe, we were home for about a week before leaving for Big Sky, Montana and the CrossFit affiliate gathering. Having never been to that area of the country before I had no idea what to expect, but it too was very beautiful. We spent a day at Yellowstone National Park, where we drove approximately 1/10th of the way through the park. It’s huge!! It really is a vacation in itself, but we got to see Old Faithful go off which was really what we wanted to see. Plus we got to see some wildlife so it was a good trip. Back at Big Sky Resort we were able to do cool things like zip-lining and the high ropes course and of course attempting to workout at altitude.

IT might look pretty, but this water is very very hot!

It might look pretty, but this water is very very hot!

Old Faithful

Old Faithful

Once we got back from Montana it was time to visit family and friends. We spent 4 days with Brenton’s family in West Virginia, then headed off to upstate NY to see my family and go to my cousin’s wedding. Then it was back to UVa and the Charlottesville area for another wedding. We finished up our wedding season with Christy Phillip’s  (now Adkins) wedding right here in DC.

Even though I’ve been traveling around quite a bit, I’ve still been keeping up with my training. After the Games ended I took sometime to evaluate where I thought I did well and where I thought I needed improvement. After discussing it with my coach, we decided to add a couple of new elements to my training this year. Running has also been a huge weakness of mine, and that definitely hurt me at the Games this year. In order to really target this weakness, I started working with Chris Hinshaw who is an awesome endurance coach out of NorCal. I’ve been doing running workouts that he has programmed for me twice a week for about the past 2 and a half months, and I am already starting to see a huge improvement! I’ve never enjoyed running and in fact usually dread running days/workouts/any wod with running, but Chris programs in a very manageable way so that I am not dreading every run workout I do. It’s great programming that challenges me without overwhelming me, and I’m very excited to see where my running and endurance will be 6 months to a year from now!

I’ve also started putting more of an emphasis on Oly technique work. I’ve been meeting once a week with Cara Heads of CH Fitness and Performance to fix and refine my Oly lifts. I’m even competing in my first weightlifting competition this Saturday! Cara is super positive and energetic, and I love working with her. Plus every time I work with her my lifts magically seem to get better! Funny how that works. :)

Now that the fall is here it is time to do a pre-season competition or two. I always enjoying competing in local events, because it is a chance to see friends and the competitions usually have some very creative elements in them. So far this year I have competed at Beast of the East in Connecticut and Fall Brawl in Pennsylvania. Both were great events that I plan on returning to next year. Still left on the agenda, I plan on attending the Iron Clash in North Carolina, the Cold War 3 here in Virginia, and the OC Throwdown out in California.

Life sure has seemed busy the past few months, but it is definitely all very exciting and fun. I can’t wait to see what adventures the next few months bring!

2013 Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Regionals Brief Recap

After sitting through 3 other weeks of regional competition and watching scores pop up on the leaderboard, this past weekend was finally our turn! Having been the second regional to go the past two years, being the last weekend was a new experience. When I initially found out we were the final weekend it made me quite nervous. Knowing the workouts almost a month advance could potentially give an athlete who might not otherwise be competitive time to perfect a known weakness, turning that person into a legit contender, and suddenly the race for the Games becomes tighter.

On the other hand, however, knowing the workouts and having time to practice them was much more similar to my days of competing in gymnastics, and the preparation for Regionals this year felt very similar to that style of training. In gymnastics you more or less compete the same routines all season long, so you practice them over and over trying to make them perfect. That is what the weeks leading up to Regionals felt like. I did a full run through of Regionals first, doing all the wods in order exactly the way they would be performed in competition. This allowed me to not only get baseline times, but also to know roughly how my body would feel going into each wod. After that I went back and started working pieces of the wods and different variations of them, hitting each wod in its entirety one more time before the competition. I PR’d each wod the second time around in practice, with the exception of the burpee muscle-ups where I got the exact same score.

Going into regionals, one of my goals was to PR everything again. However, I only ended up hitting PR’s on 4 of the 7 workouts this weekend. Luckily, they were the ones I needed to PR most on. The other thing about being the final regional is you know roughly where your times need to be in order to have a shot at finishing top 3. Looking at the scores in other regions, I estimated that I needed at minimum to match all my top times from practice as well as get a 10-15 second PR on Jackie and a 10-15 rep PR on the 100s wod in order to have a shot at the Games. What I ended up with was a :12 second Pr on Jackie, a 1 rep improvement on my OHS, a 10 rep PR on the 100s, and a :26 second PR on the Deadlift/Box Jump Wod. I was one burpee muscle up below what I had done in practice, about :30 seconds slower than my best time in event 6, and about :30 seconds slower than my best in event 7 as well. Of course, you are always going to look back at things and say “oh I messed this up,” or “I should have rested less here,” but overall I am extremely happy with how this weekend went. I also am incredibly honored to be heading back to California and represent the Mid-Atlantic with Christy Phillips and Michelle Crawford.

So excited to go to the Games with these two awesome athletes and great people!!

So excited to go to the Games with these two awesome athletes and great people!!

Thank you again to everyone who helped make the Mid Atlantic Regional a great experience! Chriss and Andrea Smith,  Rob Gaines, Rob Miller, Mehdi, and Chuck Carswell– you guys ran a tight ship and great competition! Thanks to all the judges and volunteers for giving up their time to help out. And of course thank you to everyone who has supported and encouraged me not only this weekend but all year long. It means the world to me! It was so great to be able to have my mom and little brother there to watch me. And even though she picked to go watch Daniel Tosh’s show instead of coming to Regionals, my sister did a good job of providing support via text as well.

To my CrossFit Reston family, especially Maggie and Jeff Tincher, thank you guys for welcoming me a year and a half ago with open arms and becoming some of my best friends! We had the greatest cheering section this weekend and everyone looked awesome in their Superhero shirts!! Our team fought so hard this weekend and should be incredibly proud of themselves! Our box is awesome!!  And of course a HUGE thank you to my coach, Jeremy Gordon. It was a huge help having you there all weekend to keep me focused and sane!

And thank you to the best legal team in the world! Who not only understand and allow me the flexibility in my schedule to continue to train, but also support me like no other. Thanks for sending me tons of good luck texts and messages this weekend, and I was so happy to have Dale, Steve, and Natascha make the trip all the way across the country to come watch me. And of course I have to give a shout out to Brenton for being there not only this weekend, but by my side day in and day out, on my good days and bad, and loving me for who I am, even though I know he thinks I’m reckless and messy :)

Finally thank you to all of my sponsors, Reebok, Custom Fit Meals, and AtLarge Nutrition for keeping me clothed and fed and healthy and able to keep doing what I love!

See you in July!

The Open Aftermath

Around week 2 of the Open I started to think about what I wanted to write in my obligatory “end of the Open” blog post. To be honest, I still haven’t totally decided, but I’m just going to start writing and see what comes out.

I have a lot of opinions about the Open; some of them shared by others, but a lot of them I would venture to say would be highly unpopular in the CrossFit community. As a coach, I find the Open inspiring, and I love watching the members of our gym push themselves and each other during the Open workouts each week. As an athlete, however, I find the Open highly frustrating and to some degree highly confusing. I think this is partly because the online, all-inclusive, repeat-efforts-are-acceptable format of the Open goes against everything I have learned about sports and competition since I was six years old. And let’s face it, when you’ve been taught since you were a little kid that a “competition” means showing up in person ,face-to-face with your competitors, in an unfamiliar gym with unfamiliar equipment, and having one shot to give your best performance, it’s hard to break that mind set and accept some other definition.

Over the course of the Open, I have also managed to develop an argument that the structure of the Open is a vehicle for furthering the growing American societal trend of not allowing our children/adults to fail at their endeavors. And while I think my argument is well thought out and Will Ferrell in the debate scene in “Old School” worthy, my boyfriend would probably tell you when I get going on this rant it sounds more like Billy Madison in the Academic Decathlon (see below).

So with that in mind, I think I’ll skip expounding on this theory and move on to less theoretical topics.

I briefly considered writing a post about what changes I would like to see to the Open format in order to avoid some of the issues we have seen this year and in years past. However, I’m not a big fan of haphazardly spewing your complaints and problems on the interwebz. If I really believe I have valid ideas for improving the Open and the CrossFit Games qualifying structure, a blog,(or facebook or twitter) is hardly the place to suggest them. Rather, those should be presented to the people in CrossFit who could actually implement them. Internet rants get nothing done, but a well thought out idea presented maturely might. I’m not saying I actually have a fantastic solution just yet to work out all the little bugs in the Open, but maybe someday I’ll figure it out…

So what does that leave me with to write about to recap the Open? I could go through all my performances one-by-one and how I felt about each, but that’s kind of boring. Instead, I’d rather talk about creating confidence from the Open. I think one of the more frustrating aspects of the Open is not being able to see your competition perform, but instead just see numbers pop up online, especially when those numbers best your effort. It’s easy to get sucked into a negative mindset or get down on yourself with thoughts of “you’re not good enough”, “all these people are better than me”, “you’re not improving fast enough” trying to creep into your head. This happened to me last year. However, this year it didn’t seem to affect me as much, and I am actually leaving the Open feeling good about where I am in my training, and I have a positive mindset heading into Regionals. I think there are a few reasons for that.

First off, it helped to be armed with the knowledge that final standings in the Open were not very reflective of final Regional standings. I went back and looked at the 2012 stats, and only 19 of the 45 women who qualified to the 2012 Games finished top 3 in their region in the Open. Of the top 10 finishers in the WORLD in the Open only 5 made the Games (although one went team and one did not compete at Regionals). Extend that to the top 20 in the world and the numbers hold– only 10 of the top 20 Open finishers in the world qualified for the Games. At the end of the day, getting to the Games is what counts so I’m (slowly) learning to stop stressing out about where I am ranked in the Open.

Second, I heard TONS of stories this year about people redoing workouts 3 or 4 times and having huge jumps in scores. Having a strategy of “one and done” for the Open workouts served a couple purposes for me this year. One, it allowed me to practice for actual competition. In a real competition you only get one shot to perform at your absolute best. At the Games you don’t get to practice all the workouts before hand, so you better know how to deliver when it counts. In college, we had practices every week during the competition season which were designated “team event” days. We would go through our entire line-up and each girl got one shot to stick her routine. The coaches would use those in practice performances to figure out who to put in line-up for that weekend’s competition. It didn’t matter if you did 10 perfect routines after going through line-up, if you couldn’t hit your routine during the team event, the coaches weren’t going to put you in the line-up. If you can’t hit when it counts, then you won’t be very successful as an athlete. That’s one of the reasons we see such a variance in performance in some athletes between the Open and Regionals. The Open allows them to pick their best performance, whereas Regionals forces them to perform under pressure.

Taking a “one and done” approach to the Open also gave me a realistic sense of where I am in the region. Had I performed each wod multiple times and gotten better scores each time, yeah, I probably would have placed higher, but either one of two things would have happened. Either I would have had a false sense of confidence and gotten lazy heading into Regionals, or the more likely scenario for me– I would have started trying to figure out where I would be ranked had I only performed the wods once and used those scores and then got down on myself because I couldn’t perform well enough on the first try. It would have been a downward spiral.

Instead, I made it through the Open feeling generally happy with my performances and ready to work hard to tackle Regionals full force. This year more than ever I really believe in my training plan and feel like I am seeing progress and improvement in a lot of areas.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Well So Much For That Resolution

I made a New Year’s Resolution a little over a month ago that I would write a blog post once every 2 weeks. Clearly, that hasn’t happened, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get back on track starting now!

Luckily, my lack of posting hasn’t been because things have been boring, but rather because they have been so busy. Here’s a quick recap of what went on over the past month and a half:

CrossFit Reston Training Camp

The first week of January, Jeff hosted some of the top competitors from CrossFit Reston and around the Mid-Atlantic for a three day athlete training camp. It was a great opportunity to wod together, talk about technique, and hear lectures on nutrition and other topics. We did everything from long metcons to short metcons, oly lifting and even a swim lesson. A huge thanks to Jeff Tincher, Sarah Ellis, Josh Elmore, and Jeremy Brown for all their help over those three days. It was a great learning experience and lots of fun!

OC Throwdown

The very next weekend I traveled out to California with Christy Phillips to compete in the OC Throwdown. The first event was a 7k run, partly with a sandbag, which I knew would not be a strong event for me. However, I have been working on my running and was hoping that maybe it would go better than I anticipated. Unfortunately it did not. It actually probably went worse than I was hoping. Yet it’s moments like those that I actually can take and learn the most from.

If I hadn’t gone to the OC Throwdown I would probably gone along thinking my running was getting better and things were going swimmingly. Having the concrete evidence in front of me that I just wasn’t keeping up with everyone else, helped me realize that I need to focus even more heavily on running than I have been. Since then I have spent a lot more time working on my running technique and running more regularly. I still have a long way to go, and it’s something I will always have to work, but it’s better to realize it now rather than later.

Besides my lack of running proficiency, the rest of the competition went fairly well. The event was well run and lots of fun. There were tons of other Games athletes there, and since it was on the other side of the country it was a great opportunity to compare yourself to a lot of athletes you usually only get to see once a year at the Games. It’s also nice to get to catch up with people you haven’t seen in awhile. Two former Mid-Atlantic superstars Becky Conzelman and Jenn Jones, who have both since moved out of the region were also competing, so it was really nice to get to see them and hang out for a little. Between me, Christy, Becky, and Jenn it was a little Mid-Atlantic reunion.

Mid-Atlantic Games Competitors Reunion

Mid-Atlantic Games Competitors’ Reunion

After the OC Throwdown I stayed in California for a few days for some meetings. While I was there though I had the awesome opportunity to spend a morning lifting with Coach Burgener. It was an incredibly helpful session, and he might possibly be the coolest person in CrossFit. You can tell when you meet him that he just loves coaching and is a genuinely caring human being. It was great getting to work with him and have him correct my movements. I only wish I could get to work with him more often!

CrossFit Krypton Grand Opening

About a week and a half after getting back from California, Christy and I (and our wonderful boyfriends) took a trip down to Virginia Beach to be a part of the grand opening of CrossFit Krypton, Ben Smith’s new box. The gym looks great and the event was awesome! The wod was “Team Hammer” a 14 min amrap of 5 power cleans, 10 front squat, 5 jerks (all at 135/95), and 20 pull-ups. Athletes competed all day in teams of 2 for some cool prizes. Even our boyfriends got in on the competition and placed second in the afternoon session.

During the break between sessions Ben and I took on Christy and Jared Davis in the same wod. It was neck and neck the whole time, but Ben and I barely eeked out a win at the end (all thanks to him! I was the slow one). It was definitely an exciting wod to watch.

Christy and I doing pull-ups during Team Hammer. Copyright Greg Bishop Photography

Christy and I doing pull-ups during Team Hammer. Copyright Greg Bishop Photography

 

After the event was over we hung around and did a few more workouts together then headed out to a Seafood Buffet for dinner. The Smiths are an incredibly nice and generous family, and we had a blast hanging out with them all day. We all were so glad we got invited down and were able to be a part of the beginning of what is surely going to be a very successful box.

Between all that fun stuff going on and coaching some level one seminars the weekends I wasn’t at various other events, I feel like I have been on the go all of January! Hopefully things will settle down as we near the Open. It’s hard to believe that it’s almost time for the CrossFit Games season to begin again.

Wrapping up 2012 and Diving into 2013

The start of a new year is always a time to reflect back on the events, good and bad, of the past year and look ahead toward the future and the setting and achieving of new goals. Last December, I moved up to the northern Virginia area and joined CrossFit Reston. Now, one year later, I am easily the happiest I have ever been. I love my box and all the new friends I have made there. I made my second trip to the Reebok CrossFit Games. I am in a great relationship with a man I’m madly in love with. I am enjoying my training again and am loving coming into the gym every day, tackling my weaknesses, and slowly seeing improvements as I get fitter. And not only do I get to coach CrossFit almost every day, I now also get to protect the CrossFit faithful as an attorney with HQ’s legal department!

When I moved last year, mentally I was in a bad place. I had a lot of anger, sadness, and confusion in my heart. After I settled in at Reston, things slowly started to change for the better. I became a happier person, I started to enjoy working out again, and I smiled a lot more often :-) I finally started to hit my stride after the 2012 CrossFit Games. Suddenly I had a renewed motivation to train. The fun came back. And now, every day, I am enjoying the process of training and improving, and not simply relying on my numerical placing at competitions to make me happy.

                                                Ready for a great year!!

It also helps that I get to spend every day surrounded by fantastic people. Seeing everyone at the gym, from the trainers to the clients, brightens my day. I have made so many new and close friends in the past year, and I feel incredibly blessed and grateful to have all these people in my life.

Those two words, blessed and grateful, are the best way to sum up my 2012. I feel so blessed and so grateful for everything that has happened to me in the last year, and the best part is, I am looking forward to bigger and better things in 2013!

With that, I head into 2013 full of optimism and excitement. I have set new goals and made some New Year’s resolutions (including writing a blog post every 2 weeks), and so far it’s looking like a great start to a great year!