Short, Fast, and Deadly

I spent last Saturday and Sunday in Boston at CrossFit Southie. It was the final event of the Garage Games New England Series. It was huge; 275 competitors, multiple divisions, multiple heats for each of the five WODs, VERY well run and organized. What an epic weekend. I wish I’d taken notes for all the amazing things that stuck out in my mind, but here I will do my best to remember and recap. These are some memorable moments that were inspiring and have some sort of take-away message.

Dana butterfly kipping like a boss. This was Dana’s first major individual competition. She was in the women’s scaled division. For those of you who know Dana, you know that she is a beast and she works very hard in the gym and outside of it. She has been CrossFitting for less than 6 months and she already possesses an extensive tool bag of skills and great movement. The first WOD of the weekend, “Queezy Baby”, was an AMRAP 8min of 6 burpee up-and-over the box and 7 pull-ups. Scaled women had the option of using a blue band for pull-ups. I was unsure as to what Dana was planning on doing for the pull-ups since she can do prescribed pull-ups, but after finishing her first set of burpees she jumped up to the bar and started banging out butterfly pull-ups like it was her job. I just started laughing; you could see her determination. It was a great way to start the day, watching her destroy a WOD. Cannot wait to see where she goes from here!

Almost missing my heat and going HAM in “Short, Fast, and Deadly”. This WOD was exactly what it sounded like. It was 5 rounds for time of 10 thrusters and 10 toes-to-bar, with a 10-minute time cap. I didn’t practice this WOD so I had no idea what it was going to feel like. I definitely wasn’t expecting it to feel good. My heat was supposed to begin at 12:24. I was in the athlete warm-up area and I looked over and recognized all the girls from my heat already in their lanes for the WOD. I ran over to the judge to ask if this was Heat 4. “Yes” he said, “2 minutes until the WOD starts”. Oops…no warm-up for Ashley. I had no time to think about what I was doing before the 3…2…1…GO! Right on the bar for thrusters…unbroken, over to the bar for T2B…unbroken, back to the thrusters…unbroken, T2B…unbroken. Despite my hand ripping more than it already had, I kept a decent pace. Thrusters felt light. I was happy about that. I actually think that jumping right into this WOD helped me to just get after it. I didn’t think about it, I just moved. This was my last WOD of the weekend; I was tired and I could have let it get away from me mentally. Glad I didn’t!
Feeling bad about Jameson not having a legit jump rope for the Chipper, but thinking about his evolution as a CrossFit athlete. I didn’t get to watch Jameson do the WOD called “Awful Waffle” because I was in the other building getting ready (more like not getting ready) for “Short, Fast, Deadly”. Awful Waffle was a chipper that started off with a 40 calorie row and continued with 35 double-unders. He was the first one off the rower, no problem. The rope he was using was pretty much a weighted rope that didn’t lend itself to getting double-unders done quickly. Sh*t. This SNAFU certainly affected his WOD time, and I assume that this was a learning experience and J will always bring his own rope from now on. It’s a minor blip on the radar when we’re looking at the big picture, though. Kyle and I often discuss the evolution of the athlete and Jameson’s evolution has been pretty incredible. From a deconditioned college guy to a beast athlete putting up big numbers and holding his own among the top men in our region in about 2 years – makes us proud. As an athlete, I look up to other athletes, like Jameson, who are motivated, committed, focused, and confident.

The amazing support crew from The Fort. It never surprises me that we have such an amazing community; I get to witness it every day at the gym, and I am always in awe of the support that our people give to others. It was great to have so many Fort Monsters come down to Boston to watch our competitors and enjoy the atmosphere. Watching a competition is a great way to motivate yourself to get after it in the gym. Despite being exhausted from doing 5 WODs in 2 days I feel energized to keep going strong with training (after a good rest day, of couse!). We have an unbelievable group of people who truly care about each other. Use it to your advantage; lean on others for help, inspiration, and support. 
After my last competition, the Garage Games at CFNE, I felt very defeated. All but one of the WODs involved a heavy barbell and I felt out of my league  I looked at the positives and took this as a learning experience; realizing that I need to get stronger and keep building my engine and work capacity. With this past weekend’s competition I had a lot of FUN. I felt like I worked really hard, but I didn’t have the feelings of defeat like I did last time. I’m pretty sure the WODs had something to do with it; they were well-programmed, classic CrossFit, all movement I am comfortable with, for the most part. Each time I compete I learn more about myself as an athlete and I gain experience to make me better; a better coach, better competitor, better CrossFitter. I know that Dana and Jameson also learned a lot over this weekend. I appreciated having others there competing to share the athlete experience with. It was just an all-around great weekend. I wish they could all be that great. 
Thank you to everyone who came out to support us and cheer us on and for all the support our fellow Monsters gave us in the weeks leading up to the Garage Games. Our next competition will be December 1st at Champlain Valley CrossFit up by Burlington, VT. We have 10 athletes signed up to throw down. It’s going to be a great weekend. 

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