The Train is about to leave the station.
The train or rather the training is about to reach its destination. Its been a long time since the Crossfit Open competition in February and March that resulted in my getting invited to compete in the World Games in Los Angeles.
Initially competing in your own gym and submitting a score was pretty comfortable. You did the best you could and watched the scoreboard to see how you compared to other athletes from all over the world. After 5 workouts I’d secured 15th place and knew I was California bound. For younger athletes the next challenge would be the Regional Games in Vancouver and as our two teams and two individuals prepared for that event I joined in their training. It was great to train together and enjoy that common goal to get ready to compete although their window of training was going to be quite short.
The Regional Games arrived and I was there to cheer on our athletes. They all did fantastic and proved themselves to be serious contenders but unfortunately did not make it through to the Games in L.A.
Their training was finished but mine was about to get more serious. Thanks to Dave Kitchen and Chris Schallo I was now being programmed for 3 extra workouts a week. These would be done on days that I was already doing the crossfit.com workout of the day. I was also just starting to get instruction in the Olympic weight lifting from Mike Cartwright one night a week. So I began a training cycle of 10 workouts a week that continued for seven weeks.
As my technique improved with the lifts from the instruction I received from Mike, I was gaining strength from the programming Dave & Chris provided and improving my stamina through the volume of workouts I was doing. It started slowly at first but soon it was happening every week. Whenever I was faced with a workout requiring me to achieve a Max weight on any lift I was setting a new personal record.
With each PR my confidence grew and I was ready to push harder.
A lot of this effort was done with the support of our athletes and coaches in the room encouraging me but a good number of those workouts were done alone, just me and the bar and a set of instructions for the next workout.
The training has now run its course and its time to taper down. Today I did my last double workout. It was actually more like a triple because after doing our workout of the day that I’d programmed because it was a rest day, then it was a strength workout focused on the Snatch and to put the final touch on the training my programming said I was to finish off with Fran.
Like most Crossfitters I have a love/hate relationship with this short but brutal workout. 21, 15, 9 repetitions of 95 lb Thrusters and Pullups is over quickly but it takes absolutely everything out of me. While I can be awestruck by those incredible athletes capable of completing this in less than 3 minutes, my own time has more often been around 6:00 +, it wasn’t that long ago that I finally got below that mark and then later set my PR for it at 5:37. Today, after having been in the gym for over two hours I faced Fran again and 5:27 later I was done. Completely done. On the floor panting like a dog on a hot summer day. But it was one more step in my journey.
That journey will reach its high point in just a few days. I will get on a plane and fly to L.A., arriving there two days before the Games begin. Hopefully that will be enough time to acclimatize to the surroundings and weather.
It’s been a long road but now its show time. I head south knowing I have trained hard and done what I could to prepare myself for this competition. No matter what the results I will be proud of my willingness to step way outside of my comfort zone and to compete against a group of my peers. I will do my best but I will also enjoy the moment and try to take it all in.
I’m grateful for every bit of encouragement and support I’ve received from so many wonderful people.
Ready, Set, Go…..