The Bull and the Horns

On Saturday, December 7th, 2013, I participated in my second ever CrossFit-inspired competition. No Baby, Leave the Stockings On was an all-women’s event with an Rx’d and Scaled division; the competition was held in Oregon City, OR for our region and was also run on the same day in several other locations throughout the country. One of my HEL teammates alerted several of us to the competition, and I agreed to sign up for the Scaled division. Another teammate joined in, and the three of us started gearing up. I even traveled down to Portland over Thanksgiving break so we could workout together and run through the competition WODs.

When our assigned heats posted, my stomach dropped. Even though I’ve competed in dance and piano and tried out for dance and cheer teams, seeing my name posted like that elicits a strong response. I was doing this for real, and I had no idea what to expect from my competitors. I was also excited, though, to be competing alongside my friends, testing out my progress yet again.

The day of the competition, I was tired and feeling far from ready. Even though we’d already done a “dress rehearsal” the week prior, I had no idea how things would go. Would I drop the bar? Would I miscount? Would I start cramping up in unforeseen ways? Would I be severely out-WOD’d by the other competitors?

I worked through my adrenaline by telling myself I knew the WODs. I knew my goals, and I knew my weaknesses. It was time to buck up and go out and give it my best shot. I warmed up with my most standard routine, starting with a row and some dynamic stretching.

WOD #1 was my most dreaded workout going into the competition. It consisted of only two movements: overhead squats and burpees over the barbell, and it was only 8 minutes long. WOD #2 was a clean/front squat/jerk complex, and WOD #3 was an AMRAP 10, consisting of 40 air squats, 20 kettlebell swings, and 10 deadlifts. But #1 was the one that felt the hardest during the run-throughs, and as such, was the one I was most nervous about.

When the clock counted down and the first WOD began, I focused and reached for the bar. I stabilized it overhead, and worked away for the full 8 minutes. I wouldn’t know until later that I was #11 in my division for WOD #1. I wouldn’t know until much later that I was #66 out of 500 Scaled competitors for that particular WOD.

WODs #2 and #3 went fine for me. I set a new personal record (PR) on my clean and jerk (115lbs.), as well as a new PR for my power clean (120lbs.). There were quite a few people who were putting up heavier weights, though, and WOD #3 burned out my back. I finished a bit more towards the bottom of the top 1/3, but I was happy with my performance.

Overall, I came in 20th out of 69 competitors in the Scaled division for our location. Nationwide, I finished 105th out of the 500. It was reaffirming to see that I held my own, but it was even more so inspiring to see the women who competed in both divisions come out and test their own strengths. I’m also incredibly proud of the work my friends did–and we’ll be competing as a team (with one more Belle we roped in!) in January.

When the fear I face is internal, it makes no sense to turn and run. I’m learning to stand firm and to take control.

And to be honest–I’m having a complete blast doing so.

HEL's Belles

HEL’s Belles

Train for Chaos (and really cool leggings)

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