"How do spiders not stick to their webs?"

As we close in on the climax of the 2012 CrossFit Games season I keep finding myself reflecting on what this year has meant to me thus far.  Training is going great, what a ride it is.  This time of year you get to key in on some of those more specialized skills that aren’t as likely to be seen in the Open and Regionals- swimming, strongman, longer runs, and some really high skill elements.  It’s such a contrast from pre-Regionals when we knew exactly what the workouts were.  I’m not much one for speculating about what will be programmed at the Games. I actually think that’s a bit crazy making, and not my job to worry about.  My job is to put in work day in and day out so that I’m prepared physically and mentally to adapt to whatever is thrown our way.

Species adaptation as depicted by my son after a visit to the Field Museum

This morning’s reflection was triggered by opening my workout log and realizing the entire book has been filled with my work from the year. Page one reflects work day one after getting on board with Rudy.  Can I just say, what a debacle.  I was horrendous.  I was terrible at the movements, totally out of shape, confidence in the toilet, and questioning everything about my abilities.  People have criticized The Outlaw Way for not programming long workouts.  You know what, turns out if you suck and do Outlaw you will go long.  I consider myself the queen of turning a 8-10 minute metcon into a 40 minute disaster. I recall a day I could not do a single muscle up.  Another day, I couldn’t complete a workout properly because I couldn’t do 50 unbroken double unders.  I guess just going to the Games doesn’t mean you’re good at stuff.

Through alot of sweat and working smart all of that has turned around.  I’ve come far physically and I almost can’t grasp all that’s happened this year, but what stands our most is not the physical development, it’s the amazing experiences and people.  All the people I met through Barbells for Boobs, Reebok, Outlaw Training Camps, getting to train with other Games athletes at Westside Barbell.  The interactions with my coach, my gym owner, my chiropractor, nutritionist, friends and family- I may be competing as an individual (LA in a week!!) but none of the athletes do this alone.  I’m thankful every single day for a healthy body, the opportunity to train, and all the people who have given their time, knowledge, skills, and heart to support me.

Fast-forward from the mess documented in my log book to now, and the skills, strength, speed and confidence have been built up.  What a journey, and one that never ends.  Sometimes it’s hard to fathom how my life has changed in the year and a half since I found CrossFit.  The other day I was talking to a friend about a period not too long before I had even heard of CrossFit when my nightly routine consisted of putting my son to bed followed by curling up with some ice cream (preferably strawberry cheesecake flavor) and watching a couple episodes of Golden Girls.  I’m not kidding.  I am a life long athlete, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had my own hills and valleys.  One night I sat and wrote a list of 5 goals, one of which was, “compete in something.”  I had no idea what that “something” would be, but I knew I would be a better person if I could develop the courage to stand up and give my best in a competitive environment.  Next week I get to compete on a world stage putting all the efforts of the past year to the test.  No words could adequately express the feelings that come along with that.

I asked my friend and fellow CrossFitter Jay Rhodes to make a video for me as part of a project I’m working on.  I really appreciate his work, and wanted to share it here as well.

Author: Elisabeth Akinwale

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  • The title of this post made my mind explode and I don’t even smoke weed. Really bummed you didn’t answer that question. Besides that, I’m pumped to see you own those bitches out in Cali.

    • Turns out spiders are clever buggers. They make sticky and non-sticky threads and they know which ones to step on. They also secrete oils so they’re less prone to being stuck. Anywhoo, thank you!!!

  • Amen!!!! Congrats — I’m really proud of you — such an inspiration. You keep it real when it comes to Crossfit. It is not easy but it’s worth it.

    Good luck to you — I will be rooting for you while wearing my Akinwale 2.0 shirt!


  • Your posts are always inspiring! But this one so far is my favorite. It was great to see the small clip in the end. It gave me a reality check. I have to admit when attempting to do my wods or lifts and I might fail at something. I get discouraged sometimes and I think that I could never be like these unbelievable CF athletes that we all see at the games. But reading your posts and seeing the clip at the end brought it home for me. It gave me a reality check that we are human. And some if not most must work hard an most times harder than most.
    I just registered for my first sanctioned Olympic Weightlifting Open. I am a beginner at this of course and no I can’t even come close to popping up over 300# over my head. On top of that the squat snatch isn’t treating me well. So I have a lot of work to do. I was having doubts about this comp bit after reading your blog and seeing your clip I have to keep doing what I’m doing and get after it even harder!!!
    Thank you again your light is strong.
    My prayers for you, your mind and body as you march into that arena as the gladiator you are and SLAY those wods!!!!

  • Very nice! Had a great time writing about you at Regionals and look fwd. to next week! Thanks for being a great example! Good luck and go hard!!! 🙂

  • I am so proud of you my friend. I am proud of the athlete, woman, mother, and person that you have found through this year long journey. I will be rooting for you all the way. Go show them how it’s done. :=)

  • Elizabeth, I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again – you’re an inspiration. I shall be rooting for you from here, and I’ll get my DH and DD (Ms 9) to introduce themselves 🙂 Go well.

  • How many years has this journey been?
    It leaves the impression that you have achieved success somewhat quickly?

    good stuff and good luck!

  • You had me at that monkeybar WOD last year. Your blog with its honesty, humor, realness, and total lack of pretension has kept me your #1 Fan. From one mother to another, go get it!

  • F-YEAH!!! You killed it on that Double Banger I just watched. It’s been SO COOL to watch you in your YouTube oly lift vids leading up to The Games and to now see you completely OWN it in these events… wow. You put yourself out there, whether it’s the candor in your blog or the tenacity in your hammer swing and that’s what is so FREAKIN’ AWESOME.

  • F-YEAH!!! You killed it on that Double Banger I just watched. It’s been SO COOL to watch you in your YouTube oly lift vids leading up to The Games and to now see you completely OWN it in these events… wow. You put yourself out there, whether it’s the candor in your blog or the tenacity in your hammer swing and that’s what is so FREAKIN’ AWESOME.