Athletics, Motherhood and Other SuperFantastic Subjects

“Where did my body come from?”

Over the course of the Crossfit Games North Central Regionals weekend there were a number of competition related things that I thought I might want to blog about.  The incredible nerves and underperforming on “Diane” (Yes, I have a 2:22 “Diane” and messed that up), the extra excitement I had for WODs 2,3, and 5, the mental flubs, the thrill of winning a muscle up workout.  None of that feels very significant right now.  What feels meaningful is that my mother saw my sister and I compete for the first time.  The little girl who wanted me to sign her shirt.  The moms I met who feel like I’m a role model for their kids.   Seeing the Crossfit Construct team out there on the competition floor.  The amazing judges, event organizers, and HQ staff whose commitment allows us the opportunity to compete.  Watching all the athletes get it in.  Seeing how the sport has evolved and grown in just one year.  The feeling of community and support throughout the weekend.   And I’m so grateful to everyone who has reached out to offer their encouragement and support. 

Now that it’s over, when I think about the Regional workouts I don’t feel the need to re-cap, I simply feel ready to train.  It was three fun days of work and camaraderie that help to balance out those 20-hour days when I come home late from the gym and decide which I need more, food or sleep.  I didn’t win/PR/world record everything, but the event was perfect in its imperfection- exactly what it needed to be.  The fire is lit and fueled and I’m looking forward to kicking off this next two months of training.

Oh yeah, and big ups to Dave Castro whose programming put a few inches of muscle on my quads in one weekend.

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16 responses

  1. Shalawn

    Awesome job! You are an inspiration, you never know how much you encourage other Crossfitters to push out an extra rep or speed up that run…. thank you! Wishing you nothing but success and fulfillment….

    May 21, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    • Thanks Shalawn! I love that about our sport, that we all inspire and encourage one another on a daily basis.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:28 pm

  2. Doreen Rice

    The friend who pointed me to your blog wrote this yesterday: Was thinking of you this weekend of Regionals – Elisabeth Akinwale kicked some major ass and took North Central…… Chicago represent!!! Was so happy to see her win!!

    Woot woot from a Candian admirer :) Ad passing on from a fellow Chicagoan who has yet to explore your world.

    May 21, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    • That’s awesome, thanks for taking the time to share that Doreen!

      June 7, 2012 at 12:31 pm

  3. erinunbroken

    It was so exciting to watch you compete at Regionals! I think you’re amazing and I can’t wait to cheer you in CA in July.

    May 21, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    • Really? Thanks! It’s always nice to hear, but isn’t it kind of surprising how exciting it can be to watch people exercising? That’s what we do! Thank you for the support, as always Erin.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:33 pm

  4. Betsey Tallon

    So cool that your mom was there to see you and your sister compete. You were both amazing! Congratulations. You can add my little Henry to list of kids who think you’re pretty damn awesome (you, and that dude with the long hair–“Thor”, we’ll call him).

    May 21, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    • Yes, it was nice Betsey. I was just thinking about that because my mom won’t be in Cali, so I’m very happy that Regionals was local and it was easy for her to come. Little fans rule!

      June 7, 2012 at 12:35 pm

  5. Maria

    Elisabeth, I think you’re a wonderful inspiration! I have loved reading your blog, I appreciate SO MUCH the bad training day video you shared a while ago, I have loved watching the updates available through the games website! Ohmygosh you made those dumbbell snatches look easy. I think you’re amazing…

    A fan DownUnder
    (if a Masters athlete comes up to you at the Home Depot Centre and says he knows someone who admires you, it’s me who sent him ;) Peter, I’ll give you a kiss if Elisabeth gives you a tee shirt for me!)

    May 22, 2012 at 5:26 am

    • Thank you SO much Maria! The beauty of the internet, people connecting all over the planet. Hmmm, do I want to help Peter get a kiss???

      June 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      • Maria

        Peter’s a honey – and so pleased he doesn’t have to provide a 25m swim cert (I think he’d sink; but hey, he’s been on notice for a year. Shame Masters seem to be treated as a second-class competition… and that’s just my humble opinion from the other side of the world). DH and DD (Ms 9) will be at the Centre come July and I’m hoping they’ll drop by the Re-Evolve stand. Good luck! Work hard, play fair ;) I’ll be watching from here and hoping our crusty slow broadband keeps up.

        June 24, 2012 at 4:54 am

  6. Alisa (Sarge)

    Elisabeth, I just want to say that you are a complete inspiration to me. I volunteered at Regionals this year, and being only 5 months in to Crossfit, it was so motivating to see the feats you accomplish with your body. I am of similar stature to you, and it gives me a new jolt in my training to know that maybe (MAYBE!) some day I can get a muscle up. :)
    I’ve been playing professional roller derby for 4 years and found Crossfit as an “off season” training program in the fall. It has changed my life.
    Your positive attitude shows in your work, and you win with grace.
    Thanks for being a role model for women who love strength, challenge, adversity, jumping obstacles, and competition.
    -Alisa aka Sargentina of the Windy City Rollers

    May 23, 2012 at 10:48 am

    • Damn right you will get muscle ups. We all have advantages/disadvantages based on our body type, but there’s no ideal. That’s one of the things I love about Crossfit, honestly, striving to be good at all of it.

      So great that you found CF as a supplement to another sport you love. Awesome! I need to get my son out to see the Windy City Rollers, he’d love it! Thanks for your kind words and support.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:45 pm

  7. Shauniece

    Hi Elisabeth! I am SO excited to find your blog. I’m located in Maryland and just started Crossfit 2 months ago and Crofton Crossfit, in Crofton, Maryland. I was talking to one of my crossfitter about the lack of Black girls I see doing Crossfit. She immediatley sent me a Facebook video of you and said “see there are black girls who are really good at Crossfit”. I just wanted to let you know that you are an inspiration and I love seeing Black Girls Rock! Crossfit has been the most challenging thing I’ve and I love every minute of it. I will be in Chicago on business next week, and I am going to try and make it to your box. Continue having fun, being strong, and living in the moment! Good luck in Cali!

    May 25, 2012 at 6:46 pm

  8. I wish I had something profound to say, I can’t pull nothing out. I will say you are the most beautiful scary woman I’ve ever seen since ever. You rock, you set a wonderful example for women everywhere (as a mom and a machine) you just keep doing you…and you better win the next games. We salute you in atlanta, and don’t beat me up!

    October 1, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    • Hmmmm, “scary”? I guess we’ll let that go since you said beautiful scary. Thanks so much for the positive feedback :-)

      October 2, 2012 at 10:11 pm

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