Posts Tagged ‘Crossfit Competition’

I’m here at Mickey World in Orlando for the Disney Fitness Challenge. I signed up for this event months ago after a long deliberation about the worth of paying a $175 entry fee. I have never paid that much to compete in an event.

When I was doing triathlons years ago you could do a race for $50 or $75. Most of the 5k and 10ks I ran were even less. I also ran three Disney marathons and even they didn’t cost that much. But, hey, it’s Disney, it’s got to be spectacular, right? Plus, I have a Disney timeshare, which I purchased when my daughter was a toddler and I haven’t used it much lately.

Disney ShirtBefore I go any further I’m going to confess that I have a wee bit of an ax to grind with Disney for destroying some of the most beautiful natural habitat in Florida and creating this phony never-never land where – if they could figure out a way to do it – they would charge you to blink your eyes.

Owning a timeshare here makes it even more teeth grinding because everywhere you go there are these people with frighteningly sincere smiles saying “Welcome Home.” They’re everywhere. In the parking lot. On the phone. In the lobby. Who are these people? Don’t they know that this is a freakin’ timeshare?

This is Disney’s first CrossFit event. It’s at the ESPN Wild World of Sports Complex. I figured with Disney’s obsession with perfection and ESPN’s muscle behind it, this would be the best organized CrossFit event in the universe. Wrong.

At first Disney told us it was a three day event – Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So, I book my timeshare/home for four nights – Thursday-Sunday. Then, about six weeks before the event, Disney decides it’s just going to be a two-day event. Ooops. Sorry to all you folks who made HOTEL AND PLANE RESERVATIONS FOR THURSDAY!

The event has a Facebook page – actually two FB pages – but it was rarely used to disseminate info to the athletes. When the WODs were finally posted, there were no details or video explaining the movements and standards. Now, I know CrossFit is about being prepared for the unknown but when you put the phrase “25 yard hurdles” in a WOD for Masters Women, you really should follow up by telling us HOW MANY HURDLES THERE WILL BE IN THAT 25 YARDS AND HOW HIGH THEY WILL BE!

I picked up my packet tonight – something I always look forward to because there is usually some nice stuff – samples and coupons – in the swag bag along with the shirt. I get my bag, look in it and there is a shirt. Just a shirt, nothing else. It’s a nice shirt but at this point I’m looking at it and thinking, this shirt cost me $175. A pair of Mickey ears would have been nice.

They have a lot of rules here at Disney. Only small coolers are allowed. No dogs. If you are not in the athlete briefing area 15 minutes before your heat you will be given last place.

I fear there also will be no expo – which means NO SHOPPING FOR COOL CROSSFIT STUFF. Oh the humanity.

I’m going to bed now and try not to have a nightmare about jumping over hurdles.

 

 

 

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Welcome back to Season Two of It Ain’t Over: A middle-aged mom’s attempt to make it to the CrossFit Games!

We ended Season One in 72nd place – exactly 52 slots away from Carson City. That’s a few slots less than my age, 55. This year I’m changing things up. My training partner, Lynn – a 45-year-old badass firefighter/physical therapist/single-mom – moved back to Australia, her homeland, leaving me wondering what the hell I was going to do to train for the games.Lynn&I

So, this year I decided to put together a team of experts to help me train. I have a coach and a chiropractor. I’m also seeing a PT and a massage therapist.

First, let me introduce you to my coach: Zach Caswell. Zach is my Olympic lifting coach. Why am I focusing on Oly lifting? Oly lifting is exclusively about the snatch and clean and jerk but if you can do these two lifts well, your overhead squats and thrusters will rock and you will vastly improve your balance and strength.

Zach is a former professional rugby player, which explains his total indifference to inflicting pain. He also played college football. He’s this huge bearded mass of muscle and I’m easily old enough to be his mother. But he didn’t laugh when I asked him to train me’ Turns out he’s one of those teddy bear kind of guys. He actually feeds his cats ice cream with a spoon.

MeZachEvery Sunday morning Zach holds an Oly lifting class at CrossFit CityPlace. I attend religiously. It’s like church but with cussing and sweating. After a few classes I concluded that Zach knows his shit and he’s passionate about making athletes who can lift efficiently. In my world, it’s all about efficiency. I may not get a lot stronger at this age but efficient movement will allow me to perform longer and avoid injury. So, Zach’s my man. (more…)

After last Sunday’s embarrassing performance at the RAID 4 Games – especially those 75# snatches – I needed something to lift my spirits. I got it yesterday.

A two-mile run for time in the blazing South Florida midday sun: 16:03. Thank GOD I’m still good at something – running. Too bad Crossfit competitions don’t have more running and less snatching.

I took a couple of days off after RAID and eased back into it on Wednesday. While doing a ladder of back squats at progressively heavier weights, I felt a sharp pain on the left side of my back while coming out of a 125# squat – heavy, but not exactly a PR.

I was so ticked off that I walked it off, put my belt back on and tried again with 95#. Again, sharp pain that made me yelp. Never should have tried it again. Don’t know what I was thinking. I was just frustrated and still stinging from RAID. I figured I was going to be out for awhile with a back injury.

Weird thing was, the next morning my back actually felt better. For the last couple of months the lower left side of my back had been extremely tight. I stretched and stretched and stretched but I could not seem to get out this strange, deep knot.

It felt like it just needed a good crack and everything would again flow. Crazy as it sounds, I think that back squat did the trick and opened it up.

Something similar happened about 10 years ago. I was walking my dog, a big, manic Weimaraner, and was not paying attention when she suddenly bolted after a squirrel. My neck snapped, I heard a crack and the next morning it hurt like hell. Weimaraner whiplash.

I went to the chiropractor and did all the exercises and stretches I was told to do but still, it hurt. About a year later I went skiing. I raced on the high school ski team and sometimes I forget that I graduated in 1977 – in the last millennium!

I was skiing way to fast and fell. CRACK. My neck snapped. Visions of me in a neck brace filled my head. Oddly, though, my neck felt much looser. I got up the next morning expecting to be in pain and unable to ski. Instead, my head was as loose as a bobble head. It felt sore, but great!

I don’t advise being your own chiropractor. Yes, it’s cheaper and you can do it at the convenience of your own box or ski slope, but I could have been hurt very badly.

I tried a few front squats on Thursday after 30 minutes of hip and back stretching. Viola! No pain and a very deep squat. I am staying away from the heavy weights for awhile. My coach wants to work on strengthening my obliques and core. Still, the unhinging of my back coupled with a 16:03 two-mile run in the hot sun and I’m feeling much better – at least in my head.

 

There’s something to be said for finishing in damn near last place.

Something such as “F#@K” or “Let’s go eat some gluten-free pizza with bacon on top.”

I said both.

Had there been a 50+ division I would have taken second – out of three. But, it was a 45+ division and I took 8th out of nine. I beat the 60-year-old lady, Lynn Johnson, who finished 25th in the world open in the 60+ division. Look for her next year at the games. That girl is going places.

The important thing is that we had 13 ladies over 40 competing in the Master’s division. Of those, 9 were over 45. Three were over 50.

Ditto for the men: Of the 15 men competing in the masters division, 9 were 45+. That’s 60 percent. Of the nine in the 45+ division, three were over 50.  (Shout out to Ira Spector, who just started Crossfit in December and blasted through the snatches)

Which just goes to show that if race organizers would masters divisions that recognize a 40-year-old and 60-year-old should not be lumped into one masters division – WE WILL COMPETE!!!

RAID 4 showed immense progress in the battle of the ages. It is the first regional competition I am aware of that had two masters divisions: 40-44 and 45+. Seventy percent of the masters women were over 45!!!!

Let’s keep the momentum going. Now we need a 50+ division – or scale the weights for the 50+ athletes.

Anyway, I got my ass kicked by a bunch of really great ladies – most in their middle 40’s. The exception is my friend Mary Hallman, who will be 54 in a few weeks. Mary is not only a beast but has a great laugh and is the kind of competitor who will cheer on her competition. Love that about Mary.

I learned a few very important lessons competing in RAID 4 this weekend:

1. Do not do 6 hours of cutting hedges, mowing the lawn and weed whapping the day before a competition.

2. Listen to your coach, especially when he’s giving you good advice while you’re in the middle of a WOD. He knows what he’s talking about.

3. There is a good reason why Crossfit boxes do not have mirrors. (See picture)Nasty photo

4. Losing is valuable. It shows you exactly what you need to work on.

5. Do not be a sore loser. No one likes a whiny, self-absorbed, self-flagellating Crossfitter. Man up. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Take your loss on the chin and then go out to dinner with your buds from the box and eat gluten-free pizza with bacon on top. Crossfit is about working hard AND playing hard.

Remember, your are a masters Crossfit athlete and even when you finish second-to-last, you have still accomplished what only a tiny fraction of people our age can do.

Now, where did I put that ibuprofen?

I swam competitively as a kid and I loved going to meets. You swim an event, then you goof off with your teammates for an hour or until your next event. Your friends and family show up to cheer everyone on. You swim your last event, go out and stuff your face and go home and sleep like a baby.

Forty-plus years later CFCP Peeps I’m doing the same thing when I go to a Crossfit competition. Maybe that’s why I like competing so much.

Yesterday was Clash of the Fittest – a 4-member team throw-down. I didn’t know my other three teammates. They were from another box and I was just a substitute for a masters woman who couldn’t make it.

Wonderful folks and we kicked ass. We didn’t podium but I had a blast.

My box, Crossfit Cityplace had two teams – 8 athletes besides myself – and a small, mostly sober army of supporters. Unlike 40-plus years ago, when you licked your finger in stuck it in a box of jello for extra energy, we now use all kinds of weird powders, gels and ritualistic meals before competing.

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