African Regionals

What an amazing weekend. I saw some things I will never forget, and some things I wished I could unsee. I saw one dear friend go from the depths of despair when cramping up in WOD 4 to the heights of elation in getting three muscle-ups to remain the only woman in competition in WOD 5. I saw another go from ecstatic Friday night to devastated Sunday morning.

The CrossFit Games website has enough description and analysis of what happened that I don’t feel the need to repeat it here. What is missing, of course, is the raw human emotion and exertion. I must say, as cool as it was in a way to chill out on the team I really feel like I missed out on a lot of the weekend. But what the hell, we’re going to the Games. And let’s face it, I wasn’t anywhere near mentally or physically ready for the individual competition.

I was, however, on a bit of a personal high Friday morning. I’d had a great day at work Thursday (all day negotiation but I shine in those sorts of environments) followed by an awesome dinner with Justin Beswick (Jason Grignon, he reminds me of you!!), and then a business networking breakfast Friday morning. Well, the food was not awesome in any way shape or form, but the company certainly was and Andy from icologie & I had a nice long chat with the speaker. He’s from the UK and in some ways we are similar in that we are both big fish in a small pond and are have an aspect of the exotic here, but I think we were even saying how the likes of me is a solid Director or VP level back home but here I’m one of the most credible people in the room. As long as the focus is on accomplishing something and not just playing to your ego, that’s ok.

But after I left the breakfast I saw a sign for the CrossFit Games (Road to the Fittest). To cool to see your world invade Buitengracht Street! So by the time I arrived at the venue I felt like I could do 9 muscle-ups. But sadly for me that WOD was not until Sunday by which time I hadn’t slept well and wasn’t in the right mental state (never mind that I couldn’t get the false grip right, despite great assistance from Andrew in getting me up to the rings). But damn it, I need to get these things before the end of July. I will, though. That’s the problem with not being under pressure: you don’t actually have to perform.

Speaking of which, Friday was actually the only day that I felt like I performed even close to well. Our team workout was 4x750m row followed by 50 handstand pushups in rotation, followed by another 4x750m row. I did pretty awesome here (if I do say so myself but the other athletes were commenting to me all day!); I think I did something like 10 handstand pushups in my first rotation then by the time it came back to me we needed to do another 11 so I just finished it off. Then I went out too hard on the final row and kicked my own ass, but that was fun. Saturday my kip was way off and my chest-to-bar pullups were quite terrible I thought, then my kettlebell swings were only average and it seemed like half my overhead squats were called as no reps. Sunday was better in a way as I got to coach the team through the chipper WOD 6 and yell at them from the sidelines.

Here’s a quick rundown of the memories from the weekend:
• Taping my team’s hands before the 250s workout (250 team chest-to-bar pullups would have ripped all of our hands open). Now I have no tape left – I can see what my bag is going to be full of coming back from the States!
• Yelling directions at Mona, having her acknowledge me and then listen in the workout
• Telling Hermann to keep his damn back straight during the deadlift workout
• Telling Lauren how many overhead squat reps she needed to get second place in the workout (and having her get it! – hey the girl came all the way down from Tunisia and didn’t know anyone so I loved cheering for her!)
• The thruster-off between Rika and Mona
• Screaming my heart out for Chris on multiple occasions, and seeing that he saw and appreciated it
• Fearing for Brett’s shoulders on the muscle-up workout
• Watching Graham the entire weekend as an athlete, sportsman, and cheerleader
• Having my heart in my throat as Frank took forever to do his first thruster (if he’d failed to do it in the time limit the team would have been eliminated)
• Having my heart in my throat again as I watched Andrew almost dislocate his shoulder prior to the muscle-up WOD
• The never-ending video interview I did in my brand new Reebok outfit (including the famous question: “Have you ever been unfit?”)
• Watching Julian and Chris do WOD 6 (Julian because he was blazingly fast, Chris because he gave it his all even though his heart wasn’t in it any more)
• All the ripped open hands
• Mona cramping in WOD 4, having to clear her father off the arena, and telling her while she was getting physio that she was still in it (because that is the only thing an athlete needs to hear at that point in time)
• Getting in the ocean at night in Camps Bay for something between 5-7 minutes depending on who you ask [ice bath], the immediate aftermath, and having my hands stay numb for like 2 hours!
• Watching Rika after WOD 5 and wanting to cry
• Seeing the concern when I over-pulled my arms on WOD 5. God that was painful, and damned if my elbows don’t still hurt!
• The game faces during warmups
• The Inov-8 collection on display
• The surprise of getting a whole free outfit from Reebok (the sports bra & top are pretty awesome but the tights ride up) and hearing that they are going to give us eight different outfits for the Games (I will not have to buy athletic clothes for like a year! This is awesome!)

…. And then there was the afterparty where I had a bottle of wine instead of dinner and the night continued at Caprice. Although on the plus side I didn’t buy a single drink the entire night but then again that was probably part of the problem … you keep putting tequila shots in my hand and bad things are going to happen.

This week is a rest week and I do need it. I actually kind of lost it around the time of that /A Word of Art party a week and a half ago, and I haven’t had my head in the right space since then. But I’m accepting this for what it is, and I’ll be back on my game on Monday.

I know it’s strange to be talking about next year before the competition season is even complete but when it comes to the CrossFit Games, I’m really much more into the team vibe. I might change my mind in a year, who knows, but I think first of all that team workouts are more fun than individual ones, and secondly I think that a team who is serious about going to the Games should be training together as a team for months leading up to the Games. It may make sense to reserve a single slot for the best male and female athlete in the gym should they want to compete as individuals and then not win. But it’s not right either to send a sub-par team or to swap out most of the team members between Regionals and the Games, either. After all next year we may have some real competition!

Oh, and another shout-out to L2. Yes, you created a monster babe. And yes, we’re going to have some serious fun in LA in a few weeks!

• “Once you see a more attractive girl, your girlfriend doesn’t look so good anymore.” – Peter
• “Ellie probably eats three quarters of a cow every week.” – Max
• “Oh, you’re one of those.” – Carey [workaholics]
• “We definitely will!” – Justin
• “look what I created” – Laa-laa
• “In any fight with nature we will lose.” – Jason
• “We are on a race between education and disaster.” – Jason
• “You distracted me.” – Jeremy
• “That was legend.” – Andy
• “That’s because you were too fast.” – Lauren
• “Your legs are huge!” – Pieter (I said thank you, because it was a compliment coming from him)
• “Oh, you’re one of THOSE.” – Lauren [weird people who like burpees]
• “When you’re happy, good things happen.” – Mona


One comment

  1. i laugh at your memorable quotes section every time.

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