Where to begin?? There’s so much that I can say about my experience at regional’s. I’ll start with the thank you’s. Thank you to my children and my wife Malinda.
There were many sacrifices that were made to allow me with adequate time to train. Also, a huge thanks to my brother Abe for taking care of me at regional’s, my family and friends, and all my extended family at RSA CrossFit.
I can’t forget all the judges and volunteers that made regional’s possible. CrossFit HQ really hit a home run with the set up of the venue. Also kudos to Kurtis and Lori Bowler for organizing such a smooth event. The fans also deserve a big high five. They were loud and definitely pumped me up during the WODS, you were all bad ass!!!
Participating at regional’s gave me a taste of what it would be like to be a professional athlete. Athlete Village was amazing and had all the amenities. A paleo friendly food table, Reebok recliners, Ice baths, masseuses, and Chiropractors. Talk about being pampered. The Reebok recliners were definitely my favorite.
I wanted one for our box, maybe next year. The sport of CrossFit is legit and here to stay. While in Athlete Village I had the pleasure of meeting some of the best athletes the Northwest had to offer.
They were all very humble and down to earth. Every single one of them made me feel welcome. The feeling of belonging was always in the air. The conversations were mostly CrossFit orientated and eventually led to life outside of CrossFit. One athlete that stuck out the most was a gal from Montana. Her name was Jenna Dodge and we actually met in the Athlete check in line. We talked about where we were from and how many times we had competed in CrossFit.
We eventually became Athlete Village buddies. After I chatted it up with Jenna I realized that the CrossFit games website ran a story on her. Jenna had competed in the 2009 CrossFit games. She was legit, but you would of never known that she was a games athlete. She was very humble and never tooted her own horn once. I had the chance to meet Jenna’s son and her husband and found that most folks I had met at regional’s were from Montana, and were all super cool.
I found athletes like Jenna to be a common theme at regional’s. What impressed me the most about the other athletes was their willingness to help one another, even though we were all gunning for those coveted games invites. Everything that CrossFit embodied was on display in Puyallup this past weekend. I am so proud to be a part of CrossFit.
As far as my performance goes……….Let’s just say I’ve had better days. I didn’t rank well, but I can honestly say that I poured every single ounce of sweat, heart, emotion, and pride in to every WOD I attacked.
I know I’m not Rich Froning, but last weekend I fought and mentally prepared for each WOD like Rich. I have no regrets or excuses. I just simply lacked the size and strength that was required to be successful at the regional level. I definitely learned a lot about myself physically as a CrossFit athlete.
I need to get bigger and work on getting stronger. As far as mentally, I felt that I gained more mental fortitude than I had before. On event #2 those dang heavy hang cleans chewed me up.
My first rep sent me barreling to the floor. I heard all the ohhhs, but got right up and hammered out 4 straight. And yes 225# hang cleans are a new PR!! Event #3 wasn’t much prettier either.
Those 100# dumbbells were ridiculously heavy. I remember thinking “Joey you beat cancer, get this heavy shit up”. I ended up finishing the minimum required to progress to the wod #4. That was a moral victory for me. Overall, I fought and clawed my way to Sunday’s snatch ladder. I felt accomplished that I endured all 3 days of CrossFit competition. I would have loved to make it to the final WOD, but it wasn’t in the cards.
After my final event (snatch ladder) I found myself sitting in that Reebok recliner that I so cherished. I began to recount the last 3 days of competition. I thought about all the highs and lows. I didn’t want it to end and tried to remember every minute detail of what just transpired. I flat out soaked up every last second of my experience that I could because I knew that it may never happen again. I must of sat alone there for about 30 minutes. A sudden rush of emotions hit me like a freight train.
All the long nights at the box training, when I should’ve been at home tucking my babies in. Or the late movie nights with my wife that I missed. I thought about all the family time that was sacrificed and friendships that were put on the back burner. It was tough to think about all that, but I new it wasn’t in vein. My regional experience will make me a stronger, more appreciative husband, father, son, and friend.
My goal initially was to make it to regional’s and finish in the top 20. But after I began to pack up my gym bag, it dawned on me. Yeah it would have been nice to be in the top 20 or even win it all, but I realized that there’s more to just being successful. I had a blast and had the opportunity to share my experience with my loved ones.
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I had the chance to meet and create bonds with new friends that will last forever. And the big one…..I’ll never forget the sense of pride that my wife and son had for this old man. My son’s eyes would light up every time he saw me walk on to the floor to compete. I hope that he learned that no matter if you fail, never give up. As I sit here and type this blog a quote came to mind. “Live in the moment, because these moments don’t last forever and may never come again”
Things I learned from regional’s:
- Have fun.-If your not having fun you shouldn’t be doing it
- Kip your handstand push ups- I always thought kipping HSPU’S was for chicks, I WAS WRONG! The top 3 men all kipped theirs. Look who’s laughing now
- Get efficient at the SNATCH- The snatch leveled the playing field and kicked my ass
- Get stronger- The weights are going up and so should your strength
- Pace yourself It’s easy to get all jacked up full of adrenaline and go hard, but remember to leave some left in the tank to finish strong