“Mama, when are you coming home?”
I can’t believe that another CrossFit Games has come and gone. SO much has transpired over the last week, I’m really on sensory overload. I debated writing this now (on the plane home) because there’s still so much raw emotion, but perhaps against better judgment, here goes. First off, I’m not pleased with my final overall standing. It was a weekend of ups and downs, and many weaknesses were exposed. It’s a very hard reality to face when you have trained hard and committed all of yourself to reaching a goal only to fall short. I believe it takes guts to set high goals and take the risks in an effort to reach them. I have to admit I’ve asked myself at times, “what if you commit everything to your goals and you don’t succeed? Then what?” Right now I’m figuring out the ‘then what?’ Turns out it’s not as bad as I thought. The bottom line for me is that in every moment this weekend I did everything I could, and frankly I feel blessed that I was basically healthy and had the opportunity to give it a shot. I felt that the programming didn’t play to my strengths at all, and given that, improving 6 spots from last year’s 13th place is huge for me. It wasn’t the programming I would have loved to see, and I think the balance of what was tested could have been altered somewhat. I did love the many, many scored events that made it possible to shake out who is the best. How well each person’s skill set lines up with the programming is somewhat luck of the draw, as we all have our weaknesses, some more than others. In the end, though, my wheelhouse is too small, and I believe that on a certain level I just need to CrossFit more. I know I worked very hard the last six or seven months with Rudy, but plain and simple I haven’t paid my dues in the sport. Every girl who finished above me has significantly more time put in. I’m more than ready to keep working and I’m really excited that this year’s Games provided me some insights on where I stand among the best in the world. I have established myself as a serious threat on any workout requiring power and explosiveness. My gymnastics has come a long way, but with movements like the deep deficit parallette handstand push-ups the ante has been uppped. I need to continue to become more comfortable with endurance events, and my conditioning overall will be a huge focus this year as will precision in my movements. I won’t get into the details of the events that left me somewhat embarrassed about my performance, but I know I have a lot of work to do and I certainly have a lot of new motivation.
One of the highlights of the weekend for me was running the clean ladder, finishing with a 235lbs lift plus five deadlifts. Come to think of it, running a ladder of lifts is really my preferred type of running. After kicking off with the triathlon, the track triplet and the sprint I was certainly ready for what would turn out to be the only heavy barbell work of the weekend. Anyone who has followed me at all knows that this type of event is like home to me and lifting heavy is what we do every day. (At one point during our long run I started fantasizing about being back at the gym, music on, and lifting weights.) The crowd was phenomenal during the clean event. It was such fun moment, and I love that all the competitors remained out on the stadium floor to watch the completion of the event. My Outlaw girls Candace Hamilton Hester and Alicia Gomes may have actually been more excited than I was that I completed enough deadlifts to surpass Lindsay Valenzuela (who also ran the ladder) for the first place finish. Lindsey Smith gave me a congratulatory hug and comment that along with the excitement of the crowd just brought out a flood of emotions. Those kind of moments are what makes the Games for me.
The interactions with everyone at the Games were fantastic. I got to meet and chat with CrossFitters from all over the world both at the venue, and at the CrossFit Tours After Party. I was so honored to meet a young CrossFitter named Kate Foster, a cancer survivor and fundraiser for CrossFit for Hope. I felt such respect and fellowship with all the athletes. There is a good deal of diversity in the field with respect to occupation, background, etc., but we have all made a common commitment to excel in our sport and I respect the work and dedication of every athlete who was out there this weekend. There’s always a special place in my heart for the mothers in the field. Angie Pye, Annie Sakamoto, Lindsey Smith, Becky Conzelman, Cheryl Brost, Heather Welsh, Val Vorboril- I may be missing some, but these are all ladies I admire so much and really enjoyed the conversations about kids and balancing the demands of family and training. It’s a constant effort to achieve balance, which, along with my actual training goals will be a huge focus for me this coming year. One of the toughest parts of the 2012 Games for me, and something I don’t remember struggling with as much last year, was missing my son immensely over the course of the week being away. I found myself choked up many times missing that little guy a whole bunch.
With all that pent up emotion what is the perfect event? Give me a sledge hammer and ask me to pound some stuff. Double Banger, baby! Double Banger Women’s Final Heat
Big props to the 2012 podium finishers: Rich Froning Jr., Matt Chan, Kyle Kasperbauer (Yes, a parent on the podium!), Annie Thorisdotter, Julie Foucher, and my very own training partner Talayna Fortunato. I’m also very proud of the strong North Central Women’s representation, as Stacie Tovar and Deborah Cordner Carson (Spirit of the Games winner), and myself all finished in the top 13 worldwide.
I don’t have the necessary words to adequately thank all the loved ones and supporters who have encouraged me, gone through the ups and downs and continued to show enthusiasm for this pursuit. My family has sacrificed, my friends have believed in me and many people have stood by me this year. Pretty amazing. I’m so appreciative of CrossFit HQ, Reebok, the many other Games sponsors and the volunteers, staff, and fans who made the 2012 Games such an incredible experience. Finally, my coach who has been just as passionate about my improvement this year as I am. I came to him 7 months ago because I wanted to win. He actually told me I might be a multi-year project, which I disregarded and pushed for this year. I’ve never been patient. At any rate, I’m excited to see where we can go with more than half a year of training together, and I’m honored to work with a coach who is contributing so much to our sport.
After a humbling and enriching competition I’m ready for reflection, rest, enjoying summer days with my son, watching the Olympics, and planning for next year (for some reason my coach wouldn’t discuss programming with me on Sunday after the final workout. Shrug). I have some really exciting things coming up, I can’t wait to share with everyone as things unfold!