Yesterday I competed in a Crossfit competition as a full fledged
competitor. Last year I competed as a "scaled" athlete. This means
some of the workouts had to be scaled down because I could not
complete them as they were written. In Crossfit terms, doing a workout
"as Rx'd" is a big deal.
This year I competed as Rx'd. And I finished dead last. It's the
proudest dead last ever.
The competition was set up like a weird swim meet. There were only 3
events but there were several waves. We all received points based on
where we finished. Women and men are ranked separately. Much to my
surprise, I was not last after the first two workouts (Crossfit called
them WODs for Workout Of the Day). I was SECOND to last which was
something I was very proud of. I'm an endurance athlete amongst a
bunch of former gymnasts and body builders. Second to last is a great
place to be.
Fran. For the competition, they made it even tougher. 40-20-10
thrusters/pullups. 65lb is the standard thruster weight for women for
Now I'm 2 workouts in, set a new personal record for my deadlift
(235lb), extremely tired. The judges decided to up the ante on the
workout. Not only would I have to clean the 65lb up from the floor
before starting the thrusters, I would have to start the pullups from
a deadhang because I'm too short to jump up to the bar (normally I get
to jump up from the box). Some days I hate my short genes.
Suddenly I realized: I can't do it. It's not a matter of stepping up
or digging deep. My body is trashed. I can't do this within the 20
minute time limit.
So I start my final heat knowing that I can't finish. Now, I'm not a
soldier in battle. No ones life is on the line. But starting that
workout was one of the hardest things I've done. It's hard to push
yourself to the limit knowing there is no chance of victory. I will
be dead last. I won't even finish officially. Everyone will stop,
stare, and watch. They will know that I'm not as good as the rest.
They will know I can't finish.
But what they didn't know is...well let me show you.
40, 65lb thrusters felt so heavy, especially when you have to lift the
weight off the floor before you start. And I can only do 4-5 at a
time so it's like adding 8-10 extra lifts. At some point, I actually
made my husband bring me the coke from the cooler because I was
shaking so badly. In my head I told myself: 20 minutes. It's a 5K,
right? Just don't stop. 38..39..40! I headed to the pullup bar.
Each pullup felt like my arms were on fire. After the first few
pullups, everyone stopped, stared, and watched. I'm 2 round behind. It
was obvious that I'm not as good as the rest. They knew I
couldn't finish within the time limit. Sort of like my personal
nightmare. 50 uberfit weightlifters watching me struggle like fish
caught in the low tide.
And so they cheered. Celebrating every pullup I did make. The screams
of "dig deep!" and "two more" were overwhelming. After 40 torturous
pullups, done 2 at a time, it was time to head back for the second
round. There were 2 minutes left on the clock, the owner of the gym
reminded me. Thanks, like I can't read. Back off. I've got 20
thrusters to do. ONE (they scream)-TWO-THREE-4-5-6....and the time
You would have thought I just won overall. A standing ovation. They
cheered so long I actually took a bow. Group hugs. It was crazy. As
one of the trainers said "they loved the fight".
In fact, that DNF was the biggest victory ever in terms of the respect
I earned. As much as I tell them what it takes to be a
triathlete/ironman, they couldn't believe it until they saw me fail.
Funny how that works.
As for me, I had a great day. Not even that sore given all the
cleans, kettlebell swings, and pullups. Heck, I'm ready to sign up
for next competition in October.
9 times down, 10 times up.