A long time ago, I remember having a conversation with a friend about whether or not bootie shorts were required attire at crossfit competitions. It was a VERY long time ago. We were crossfit newbies. I don’t think I could do a single pull up at that point.
“If I go to a competition, I would just wear my normal old workout clothes,” friend explained, gesturing to her hacked up tee-shirt and baggy boys’ shorts. “That way, it would look like I’m not good at anything. So then, when it turns out I’m not good at anything, nobody will be surprised.”
I remembered that conversation while I was packing my bag for Saturday’s competition, and even though I chose a cute crossfit-themed tank top that Alea had given to me for the next morning, I also stuffed my favorite old tee shirt into my gym bag, armpit stains, rips, and all. You never know.
I had refused for the longest time to sign up for a crossfit competition because, for some reason, I feel as though I am not very good at crossfit. I know this is actually not true, and it doesn’t stop me from loving the sport; I just thought, “If there’s no chance of winning, why would I compete?” But I somehow got signed up for this one more or less by accident. When a friend texted me a couple of months ago to ask if I would be his partner for this two-person team competition, I responded less than enthusiastically.
“Umm I dunno, let me think about it.”
“Come on, Why not do it? I thought of you right away. We would be great!”
I gave my most common (and highly valid) excuse: “I’ve spent too much money on races lately. I can’t afford it.”
“Oh, is that all? Don’t worry about it. I’ll pay for you.”
Well, firstly, I seriously have the nicest friends. I mean, I would not have offered to pay for me. And secondly, I had played my hand and he beat me. What could I say to that? I let him sign us up.
So anyway, that’s how I ended up in Virginia on Saturday, competing against 35 other two-person teams in the Rx division, several of whom were other pals from the box. And, even though I had a fairly bad cold going into it, I really can’t complain, because it turned out to be a shitload of fun. (Btw, my word processor just informed me that crapload is not a word. So I changed it to shitload, which is, apparently, acceptable. Just fyi.)
The day proceeded more or less uneventfully through the first three wods, which were spaced fairly close together. Predictably, I performed brilliantly in the first, strength-based wod; a good sight less than brilliantly in the second, cardio (read, too-many-burpees) wod; and pretty well in the third wod that was designed in a way that allowed the faster teammate (this was my partner Lawrence, not me) to compensate for the slower—and sicker!—one (guess who?).
At some point in the fairly long break before the fourth (and last) wod in the competition, my body remembered that it was sick. Suddenly, the only thing I really felt like doing was taking a nap. Gosh darn it! This was very unfortunate timing, since this workout required each partner to do equal amounts of work, including 30 chest-to-bar pull ups a piece. My stubby fetus fingers can barely hang onto the bar for regular pull ups! Apparently, I was not alone in my anxiety though, because when I went out to the car to change into my baggy old tee shirt (the judge can’t tell if your chest REALLY hit the bar when you’re in a baggy shirt), I found two of my friends in the parking lot, adding extra padding to their bras. I’m not even kidding. This, my friends, is what we call planning ahead. Even with a little extra padding, most crossfit ladies can hardly be called buxom.
I tried to get myself psyched for the wod by drinking a bunch of caffeine. This turned out not to be the best solution, as I was now simply someone with shaky hands who STILL wanted a nap. While our judge was going over the movement standards with us right before the start, I told Law not to worry too much about the stuff in the second half of the wod because there was a good chance I wasn’t going to get through my 30 pull ups in the 12 minute time cap. He told me to stop being silly.
Shockingly, 11 minutes and 45 seconds later, I found myself with only two reps left to finish the workout. Two more #115 hang cleans and we would actually have completed the entire thing, a feat that not many teams had managed to do. I had two reps left, when the bar slipped out of my hands. My short little fingers just couldn’t hang on any longer. I knew I’d never get both reps in now, but I could see my friends yelling their heads off in the crowd, so I tried to get one last clean in before time ran out.
I didn’t manage it. But in those last ten seconds, when everyone was screaming for me to pick it back up, I thought, “Ah, this is why everyone likes to compete.” On my way out, I got a few hugs from people I didn’t even know. It was awesome.
A little while after that Law had to come wake me up, because, back in my sickness stupor, I had fallen asleep against a pile of floor mats in one of the quieter rooms. He told me we were in seventh place. And I said, “Thank God,” because if we had made it into the top six, we would have gotten into the day’s ‘playoffs,’ which meant MORE wods.
I hadn’t moved from that same place when, a couple minutes later, another friend came over to inform me that we were actually in sixth place. I’m pretty sure he thought it was good news. I almost cried.
In the end, Law ended up doing the bulk of what was meant to be a two-person wod, so it’s no surprise we didn’t make it through the first round of playoffs. Still, sixth place was nothing to complain about. Imagine how much fun a competition would be if I wasn’t sick. I’m totally hooked now.