Use Your Gifts Faithfully

I’ve been surprised by my reaction to the North Central Regional last weekend. I was preparing myself for a very emotional competition. This year has been an incredibly challenging one for me as an athlete (more on that another day) and leading up to the competition I was feeling really reflective and grateful for the people who have gotten me through this year. I was super emotional and even tearing up over silly things like listening to that song from “Frozen.” Turns out at game time I didn’t feel emotional at all, even upon reaching the goal of qualifying for the Games. I was flat in part because I was so torn between being excited and pleased about qualifying, and simultaneously disappointed with not winning the event- it was really more disappointment in not executing in a couple of key places during the weekend. At the end all I really wanted was to be with my family, especially considering it was Mother’s Day.photo-50

 

Having a couple of days to reflect, I’m really grateful for how things turned out. Second place feels like a gift from the Universe. Something I need, but certainly didn’t ask for or want. Losing by a point sharpened my attention to detail, and leaves me even more amped up to prepare for the Games. It makes my skin crawl when I think of all the places I could’ve gained a point.  Last year after winning the Regional I left the competition feeling pretty satisfied and thinking I could keep plugging along training the same way (WRONG!). The disappointment of a loss and the highlighting of my errors is more valuable than a win would be to me at this point. You learn so much about yourself when things aren’t going your way.  This year, I feel good about the work I’ve been putting in, but I see some specific things I can do to keep improving over the next ten weeks before Carson, and that is really exciting to me.

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For the first time in three years, the North Central Region is sending some new female athletes to Carson. Alexandra Lachance is a first year individual competitor, coming off teams, and Kelley Jackson is an athlete I’ve competed along with since the 2011 Regional. It was really fun to see how excited these girls were to qualify. There’s something glorious about your first rodeo. Around the world last weekend, only two of the nine female Games spots went to veteran Games athletes (Talayna Fortunato of the South East Region, and myself) which makes me feel even more fortunate to have achieved this goal. I’m proud to be in the company of all these women in July at the CrossFit Games!

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I’m so incredibly grateful to my family and friends for all the unconditional support. CrossFit and its staff and volunteers put together an amazing event, the Regionals get better and better every year. I was honored to compete with all the ladies of the North Central and perform for the awesome fans who came out to support the athletes. Shout out to Chicago Bulls College Prep for coming on Saturday even though some of you were recovering from your prom!  Huge thank you to CrossFit ConstructRxSmart Gear, EasyGo Dispenser, Chicago Sports Medicine & Chiropractic, and Performance Training Systems for providing the financial, and physical support that allows me to continue to live my dreams and do what I love.  I’m humbled, grateful and honored to head to Carson for my fourth consecutive trip to the CrossFit Games!

 

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Author: Elisabeth Akinwale

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  • The competition was fierce this year….so many incredible athletes. But watching you dig deep and go was so inspiring.

    Your strength inside and out is what makes you my favorite to cheer for. You’re realistic, yet super determined in spite of set backs. You know what you can do. You push yourself and don’t settle for anything less than your best. And that’s what I’m training for. I know I’ll never be a Games athlete, but I do want to be a strong competitor and athlete inside and out. I want to push myself and have faith in my training and strength to achieve the goals I set for myself.

    And while I’m not there yet, I still put on my gear and go as often as I can. Because only hard work gets you there. You’ve shown that to me. So thank you. And a HUGE congratulations!!!

  • Congrats on earning another trip to the games! You are an incredible athlete! I have been following your crossfit career through youtube videos, the games site and your blogs since your first trip to the games. I love your approach to this sport. I’ll be rooting for you to win the whole thing! Beating the likes Briggs, Thorisdottir, Le Bazinet and Fortunado will not be an easy task, but you are just as talented, tenacoius and prepared as they are. Believe in yourself and your trainng and get to the podium!

  • The road to the podium in Carson will be neither smooth or straight. Think you are better prepared to make the journey then ever before. Wish you continued success and personal growth during your travels.