Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Yes its over...the 2009 Northeast Qualifier is done.
There was 250 men and women that showed up to compete againest each other to battle for rights to go to Aromas to fight for the title "Fittest Human Being in the World"
Friday night the event staff went over range of motion and rules for the movements that were going to be performed on Saturday. All the athletes got to meet each other, size each other up, shoot the shit and chill. It was hard falling asleep Friday night knowing what was ahead of us, the pain, the pressure to perform at the best of your abilities. We have trained for 1 year, blood sweat and tears for the ability to prove ourselves worthy to represent the Northeast in Aromas.
Saturdays first workout was as many rounds in 12 min as possible. 1 round was 5 thrusters with 135# and 10 burpees. For those that dont know what those are, look them up on crossfit.com, they are not fun. I completed 8 complete rounds and 2 thrusters in my 9th round...I collaspsed at the end....
3.5 hours later we had to row a 2k. To someone who doesnt row this seems like an easy task...it is...if you take your time and are a slow rower...a 2k can be summed up as "Marathon runners talk about hitting 'the wall' at the twenty-third mile of the race. What rowers confront isn't a wall; it's a hole - an abyss of pain, which opens up in the second minute of the race. Large needles are being driven into your thigh muscles, while your forearms seem to be splitting. Then the pain becomes confused and disorganized, not like the windedness of the runner or the leg burn of the biker but an all-over, savage unpleasantness. As you pass the five-hundred-meter mark, with three-quarters of the race still to row, you realize with dread that you are not going to make it to the finish, but at the same time the idea of letting your teammates down by not rowing your hardest is unthinkable...Therefore, you are going to die. Welcome to this life." -- Ashleigh Teitel
I rowed a 6:57:2 which was a PR. I had 2 crossfit friends screaming in both ears the entire row...I knew I had to go sub 7 to be competitive in this event...at the 1k mark I realized how bad this was going to hurt keeping this pace...i slowed for 100 meters and then I realized I was currently in 2nd place...i started my final kick with 300 meters to go pulling as hard as a 1:26 at one point, knowing what my body is going through, we are trained for this...we are comfortable with pain...the last 100 meters seemed to move in slow motion but the roar of the crowd was enough to make us pull harder. Finish line. I had to have someone unstrap my feet and i fell off the rower, the lactic acid in my legs was something almost unbearable...within seconds i knew that i just completed all of Saturdays wods and I had to start focusing on Sundays.
Saturday night they announced sundays workout..
155lb power clean
chest to bar pullups
55lb kettlebell swings
I knew in my head that my coach OPT prepared me for this workout, this one moment to shine, to crush this. I was ranked 15th at the end of day one out of 180ish competitors, that was good enough to put me in the final heat on sunday, the last heat of the day. Saturday night consisted of foam rolling, PNF stretching, lots of mono fats and protein, water, cold shower, and an hour or so of reading, bed at 9:15.
Woke up at 6:00, and my heart rate was already elevated. I was sore as shit but not injured, we are used to being sore, we are crossfitters, just another day. I got on the internet and saw my name on the cf.com mainpage as one of the top ranked athletes from saturdays workouts. I knew i had to come up big with this workout to jump 10 spots and get my ticket to Aromas.
My heat was scheduled to start at 2:20..I arrived at 12:00, geez the crowd was huge, over 300 spectators...i watched a few heats...competitors were not completing the wod in the allotted amount of time 15 min...i knew this was going to be tough...so i walked to the warmup room...started my normal routine and i get a tap on the shoulder...it was my wife and Rondax...they drove from Old Forge, over 2 hours to Albany to watch me compete in what was the biggest athletic event of my life...i was pumped. The womans final heat just finished...we were next to take the stage...all 16 top competitors gathered under a tent, hand shakes were exchanged giving each other good luck, we reminded ourselves that this is what we came here for, to compete againest the best athletes on earth. They announced us 1 at a time in front of a crowd screaming as we entered the arena, i was the only "garage crossfitter", no coach, no training partner...just me. We were greeted by our judge, and he asked if we understood the rules...the music got louder and then the famous 3...2...1...GOOO was announced... and we were off....everyone blasted through the first 10 power cleans, pullups and swings unbroken with ease. Then the round of 9 started then 8 then 7....the pain increased with each rep...then the hands tore...blood soaked the pull bar making it slippery to hold on too, the barbell was bloody which soaked my chest on the catch, my right thigh was raw from pulling the barbell up it 55x. We were a mess. Gasping for breath your body tells you to slow down...but you brain is trained to keep pushing...i had no idea where in the pack i was, there is no time to look around...we finished the round of 3 then 2 then 1, holy shit its over....on my back starring at the sky, 12:42, its over....i kept telling myself its over...you finished...and you left nothing in the tank, no regrets.
At the end of the weekend I was ranked 11th. The top 5 go to Aromas, I was not disappointed at all...the top 5 were phenomenal athletes...and it was an extremely tight race...
It was an amazing weekend...a weekend filled with memories, tears, sweat, blood, emotion, and heart...I didnt witness any egos, any guys flaunting their big arms, and anyone looking for a mirror to look into. I watched athletes 15-65 years old spilling their guts for something they love. We didnt complete movements like the bench press, bicep curl or a leg press. Our movements are functional, hard and yes they kick your ass. We are crossfitters, we are the best athletes alive, we live for moments like these...
2 weeks off...rest, relax, family time...back to business June 5th...on the path to Aromas 2010.