Sunday, July 31, 2011

Why CrossFit?

CrossFit is different.  It's unlike any sport I've ever participated in before.  If you have no athletic ability, you're welcomed.  If you're an amazing athlete, you're challenged to reach for the stars.  If you reach a goal, the whole gym will stop and cheer you on.  CrossFit is a sport where the top finishers cheer on those still working.  They don't seem to revel in their own glory, they go back for those behind.  Perhaps it is this mentality that makes CrossFit so unique.  CrossFitters praise the heroes, and anyone who is sacrificing and up for the challenge can be a hero.

This weekend we attended the 2011 CrossFit games.  This sport brings me to tears.  To say the elite athletes who competed are amazing is an understatement.  Somehow they are able to push themselves and their bodies to a level I've never encountered before.  They spend a weekend completing grueling workouts.  They do not even know what the workouts will be, so there is no preparation other than the countless hours, days and years they've invested at home, outside, or in the gym.  This weekend we saw everything from ocean swims, soft sand runs, handstand walking, softball throws, carrying water jugs, traversing monkey bars and more.  If it is outlandish and can be imagined, it might be a CrossFit event.

The last of the team events was tough to say the least.  The workout was:

Each member of the team will complete one of the following as a relay.
Female member 1
21-15-9 reps of:
Clean 95 pounds
Ring dips
Female member 2
21-15-9 reps of:
65 pound Thruster

Female member 3
Snatch 95 pounds, 30 reps
Male member 1
135 pound Clean and Jerk, 30 reps
Male Member 2
21-15-9 reps of:
225 pound Deadlift
Handstand push-ups

Male member 3
150 Wallball shots, 20 pound ball

The way 21-15-9 works in "Elizabeth" is, the competitor has to do 21 reps of cleans, then 21 ring dips, then 15 cleans, 15 ring dips, 9 cleans, 9 ring dips and then tags the next person. 

There were a number of teams, but Team Rocklin and the struggles they encountered really showed the crowd what CrossFit is about. 

The first female competitor from Team Rocklin struggled with the ring dips.  Although her strength was evident, she was just not able to nail them.  While other teams were advancing through the relay, she remained back on the rings trying to complete her leg of the relay.  Her teammates encouraged her from their stations.  The look of frustration on her face was painful.  She'd jump, dip and then begin pushing herself up again, again, and again.  Countless times, the judge  gave her the "No" sign.  She'd shake out her arms grab hold of the rings hit it again.  As she'd dip down and try to push herself up the crowd began to cheer for her.  After some time, her teammates soon moved closer and were cheering and offering her words of encouragement.  Occasionally she'd get another rep, but there were far more failures than successes.

This is what the dips looked like.

And the girls completing the cleans.

As time passed, other teams were closing in on the finish of the relay.  Team Rocklin was still on the dips.  Amazingly, she didn't give up.  She kept at it.  Her teammates stayed around her, offering support.  The crowd continued to yell and cheer.  Team Rocklin was clearly in last place.  Twenty minutes or more had probably gone by.  Each team was only allowed about 35 minutes to complete the relay. 

The 2nd leg of the relay.

I began to tear up watching her, the crowd, and the other competitors.  It was truly moving!  Finally, she finished her dips and tagged the next person.  In the mean time, the first team finished the relay and rather than go off to celebrate their win, they surrounded Team Rocklin and began cheering.  The first gal sat on the arena floor.  I think she was crying.  She endured! 

Go Team Rocklin.

We all watched as Team Rocklin began chipping through the relay, but time ran out.  In CrossFit, I've learned that even when time runs out, the race is not finished until it's finished.  The crowd was going wild, cheering every victory they made.  It makes me cry just thinking about this.  They competed to the finish.  It would have been so easy to just give up and throw in the towel because they were so far back, but they were surrounded and encouraged to finish the race.

The other teams cheering on Team Rocklin.

There are so many life lessons to be learned by watching an event like this.  I love that CrossFit honors fallen heroes.  We complete workouts named in honor of soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.  I think of them when I don't think I have it in me to finish.  If they could die for something they believed it, I surely can endure a few minutes of challenge.

When I think of the athletes I saw compete today they understood the pain and suffering their fellow competitors were going through.  They had been there and were going to support the others through it.  In life, when we've gone through a tough time and see another friend going through it, we should offer support. Come alongside your fellow man/woman and stick by them until they get through it too.  What a beautiful life lesson.

I read one comment tonight on this team event.  I think it was from CrossFit Centurion, "Seriously, Rocklin Crossfit showed amazing heart. When all the teams gathered around for RCF's final wall balls, I had a renewed faith in humanity." 

Couldn't we all use a little renewed faith in humanity.  Offer your support and walk beside someone going through a tough time.  You will not only be blessed, you'll bless all those who witness it.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

CrossFit Games 2011 Day 1

I feel so blessed to be able to go to the CrossFit Games this weekend.  These athletes are completely amazing.  The photos speak for themselves.

The Stadium

Handstand Walk

Lindsay Valenzuela

Lindsay Valenzuela- She makes it look so easy.

Katie Hogan
Rope Climb/Clean Team Competition



He made the lift prior to this one.  This weight was a no go.

Hi Girls!

In between events.

Great Day!