The Incredible Shrinking Krista

Monday, January 28, 2013

I am a CrossFit Athlete

I have been writing this post in my head for 2 full days and I'm still not sure where to begin.  2 showers since I finished my first CrossFit competition, and my number is still showing up on my hand.  The fact is, even once it's gone, the pride I have for having done what I did this weekend will take a whole lot longer to be washed away.

I spent this weekend at my first ever CrossFit Competition, War of the WODS.  I signed up and immediately questioned my sanity, but it was done, and I was locked in.  I have decided to start pushing myself out of my comfort zone this year, and that totally happened this weekend.

So, we woke up at 6:35 on Saturday morning, got our breakfast in at the hotel, and headed off to the competition.  We got checked in, walked into the athlete baggage area and I knew I was in well over my head.  These people looked like beasts, fit, strong; both mentally and physically, They had nutrition routines that they were already following, specific stretches to do, they were taping up, drinking certain shakes, and I felt like a total fake.  I didn't spend much time in that area for that very reason.  It is intimidating, to say the least.  So I spent my time watching the competitors.  This is a double-edged sword.  It is intimidating as hell to see people kill the WODs, but I could fade into the audience as just another spectator.

By the time I was going to do my first WOD I was intimidated, but resigned.  I was going to do the best that I possibly could, whatever that meant.  I had attempted this WOD at our box the day it was released and was surprised at how much it took out of me.  The WOD was 30 reps of cleans at 45#, 30 reps at 65#, 30 reps at 85# and the remainder of reps in a 7 minute time frame at 105#.  When I attempted it at the box, I finished 66 reps total, and was hoping for more the day of the competition.  I approached the WOD differently, but the outcome didn't change much.  I was jumping up and down, literally, due to cold and nerves.  A girl named Kristin from CrossFit Sanford approached me, told me she was scared too, and wished me luck.  Sportsmanship at its finest.  Once the clock counted down, 3-2-1, GO I was in the zone.  I heard NOTHING but my judge counting for me.  I had realized before we started that when I practiced, I loaded the bar one way, but at the competition, that wasn't possible.  In practice I used a 45# bar, added 10# weights to each side after the first 30, then added 10# more and never got beyond the 85# set.  When we got there, we had a 35# bar, a 5# plate, a 10# plate, a 15# plate, and 25# plate for each side, so I had to change how I loaded my bar...not easy to do on the fly.  I ended up completing 67 reps, 1 better than I had gotten in practice, but still was proud of how I did.  I didn't check standings for myself for a while, didn't want to be discouraged.

The second WOD, while it is my forte, was very scary.  We don't have a Yoke at our Box, and the WOD was 5 minutes to find your 1 rep max Snatch.  Before each attempt you had to carry a Yoke to the other end of the parking lot and back.  My intent was to make 3 attempts, starting at 65#.  My best ever snatch before the competition was 70#.  I should have started at 70 or 75#, but you know what they say about hindsight being 20/20.  So I carried the Yoke down and back, by the way, it weighs 100#.  I got back and threw the 65# Snatch up like it was nothing.  Down and back with the yoke, and did 75#, again, no problem.  Now, this is when the weather started to get the best of me.  It was a whopping 26* outside overnight, and the bars were freezing cold.  After 2 rounds, having numb hands makes it incredibly difficult to squeeze the clamps and unload/reload the bar.  So I come back from my 3rd trip with the yoke, and threw up 85#.  This wasn't so easy, but I did it still on the first attempt.  Went down and back with the yoke, and the 4th time getting the clamps off the bar was nearly impossible.  I added 5#, to put me at 90#, and I really think if I had had time for 2 more attempts, I would have gotten it, but the first attempt, I barely got it above the bridge of my nose, and it has to be above your head, so I got no-repped, and only had 15 seconds left to attempt down and back w/the yoke and get it again, not nearly enough time so I was done.

At this point I heard that standings had been posted and I went over to peruse them, finding myself in 18th place after the 1st wod out of the 22 people who showed up, and tied for 10th in the second wod, again, out of 22 people.

Next we headed inside to the Samurai WOD.  This WOD was incredibly difficult for me for a couple of reasons.  It was a LONG WOD first of all.  Secondly, we don't have rowers at our box.  Thirdly, The last thing in the WOD was hand-stand push ups.  I can't do hand-stands yet, so HSPU are pretty much completely out of the question.  I asked about doing them with my knees on a box, and they offered me the option of putting my knees on one of the weight benches.  I accepted, not wanting to take a 0 on the last round.  I was going to beast out as much as I could do in the first 4 rounds, but still didn't want a 0.  So the Wod went like this, Row for 2 minutes for maximum meters, rest 1 minute.  Bench press 75# for max # of reps in 2 minutes, rest for 1 minute.  Jump rope for 2 minutes, (double-unders counted for 3x what single-unders did), rest for one minute.  Squat Jumps to a 45# plate for max # in 2 minutes, 1 minute rest.  2 minutes for max reps of HSPU.  I rowed for 375 meters, (the least of all scaled female competitors), I did 24 bench presses, 134 single unders, 31 squat jumps to the plate, and I think it was 27 push ups.  I say I think because since I scaled it an no one else did, I got no credit.  I got a 0 even though I did 27 push-ups with my knees on the bench.  It was very painful, but I pushed through every single rep, every single second.


The final WOD had me completely nauseated just thinking about it!  I had watched my workout buddies finish in 8 minutes, and we had a 10 minute max.  The WOD was 8 rounds of 8 sumo dead lift High-pulls with a 35# kettle bell, 4 burpees over a 20" box and 10 wall ball shots with a 10# ball over the 8' line.  Now, the thing is this, I have only ever worked out with a 26# kettle bell, I've only ever worked out with a 12" box and I've always used an 8# med. ball for wall ball shots.  My hands are sweating just typing this.  When the clock started, so did I.  The thing is, I zone out when I work out.  I don't hear anything, I just focus on what I'm doing and need to get done.  The only thing I could hear was my judge Karen counting for me and encouraging me, and unfortunately, I heard the words "no-rep" more times than I would have liked, but I would have been pissed if I hadn't heard them when I wasn't meeting the standards.  I think I was about 3 rounds in and was seriously struggling with the burpees over the box and one of the judges who wasn't judging anyone that heat came running over and started to encourage me.  I found out later that his name was Jon Ingram.  He was amazing for coming to encourage me.  Out of nowhere he was telling me to push, to keep going, to not think about it.  I couldn't hear the crowd at all, I couldn't even hear my CrossFit APX buddies, who I am certain were screaming their heads off with how much we were screaming at everyone else.  So at that point I had 2 things in my ear, my buddy Karen counting for me, and my new found cheerleader, Jon screaming in the other ear all kinds of encouraging things to push me.  I think it was the wall-balls during the 3rd round and continuing on that I felt like I was going to lose the lunch I had eaten a few hours before.  I told Karen at one point, "I'm going to puke" she put her hand out and said, "I'll catch it, just keep going!!!"  That, is a true friend.  I heard them call time as I was getting ready to do one of my round 5 burpees, either #2 or 4, and I literally just melted into the floor.  I collapsed and just started bawling.  The next thing I knew, I had people rubbing me on the back and hugging me.  They were telling me how awesome I did, and how I had rocked it.  The pictures made it very evident that I had absolutely given my all.

The Awesomeness that is the CrossFit community is unparalleled.  I had gone into this weekend completely terrified of embarrassing myself.  I was so afraid that I was going to be the elephant in the room that everyone was talking about.  They would be wondering who let this fat chick sign up, or even feel like a side-show freak at a circus.  This is why I felt so uncomfortable in the baggage area at the competition.  What I found was amazing folks that encouraged me, athletes that competed at the RX level who took the time to stop me and tell me how proud I should be of myself.  There were women in the crowd that stopped me to tell me that they couldn't do what I had done and how incredible I was.  It was humbling for sure.  Even yesterday, when I was there as a spectator, people would stop me and say, "Hey, you competed yesterday, didn't you?  You were awesome!  I have never believed that I could inspire anyone, but this weekend showed me that I might be doing just that.  Those folks didn't have to encourage me.  Jon didn't have to come over and help me in the middle of the workout.  I am humbled, I am inspired, and I am IN IT! I feel so confident, a completely foreign feeling for me.  I am so ready to really hit this, and continue doing what I have been, but at a way higher level.  I need to get my HSPU, I need to get this weight off, and I NEED to continue this journey.  The funny thing about this weekend was the unbelievable number of people who commented on my "Good form".  I have always wondered if I was doing things right, were my coaches going easy on me because my weight has limited me to a certain level, but with the comments I heard this weekend, I'm thinking that I may actually have a body that moves well naturally, so the weight is truly the only thing holding me back.  The mental part is no longer holding me back, I feel a strange confidence I have never before experienced.  

This is what it looks like when you have given you're all you have nothing left in the tank, but you are surrounded by amazing friends who love you, even when you are sweaty, threatening to puke, and crying.  I love you girls!


  1. That is so awesome,. Got very emotional reading that... in a good way! Inspiring!

  2. Damn girl! I am whooped just READING those WODS! You are incredible. You look great in the pics. Get it!

  3. You are AWESOME! I have been doing CrossFit for 3 years and haven't had the courage to enter a competition. You ARE an athlete, an amazing one at that.

  4. Krista - you are amazing! I am so very proud of you for stepping outside of your comfort zone! I can't wait to see you again! Until then... keep rockin' it babe! YOU GOT THIS!! <3

  5. You are an inspiration! Truly. Not many people can find the courage to do something that not only tests their physical limits, but their emotional ones as well. Keep it up!

  6. Way to go!!! You are an inspiration for sure! Proud of you for pushing though!