So I participated in the CrossFit Exclamation team competition this past Saturday. I told Stacey we should do it months ago as a reason to keep training hard. Then I just went right back to training not hard as I had been doing up to then until about 3 weeks before.
You only need 3 weeks to get in good shape right?
Leading up to the competition, and despite everything I wrote about last night, I still figured I could coast into the competition and we could hold our own. I mean my partner was one of the best female competitors in the region still, and I mean I haven’t lost THAT much have I?
The competitor in me, or the desire to not admit I was about to embarrass myself terribly, even saw through the fact I couldn’t clean 70% of what my max used to be for the first event when practicing during the week. I was always a game day competitor, surely I could turn it on and figure it out.
Needless to say…
10 seconds into the second workout, or part 2 of workout 1, so about 7 minutes and 10 seconds into the competition, I looked at Stacey and said “I’m dying”. About a minute later as our wonderful judge was doing his best coaching to get me to keep moving my response was “I literally can’t”. I am pretty sure we came in last. Yes, I came in last in a workout paired up with Stacey. How bad you are imagining it right now is not even close to how bad it was.
I puked for the first time from a workout.
I thought I was going to be “that guy” who puked in the corner of another person’s gym.
I nearly shit myself.
At the end of the whole thing I was just happy to be sitting upright, which I was only able to thanks to my hand holding my head up.
And here is where the rest of this all comes into play. I can make every excuse in the world for why I was what I was at the competition. I own 2 businesses and work as a full time high school teacher. I’m 36. I was mentally broken by a competition 8 years ago. I don’t have time to train, or I just don’t train that hard anymore. All of these things combined.
Thing is, there were Landos everywhere at the competition, some just as old as me or older. Our gym took the top 7 spots at the competition, but this isn’t a blog about how tough or awesome of a performance gym we are. This is about the fact that a bunch of “regular people” went in and dominated doing the same thing that I literally thought I was going to die doing. Yeah I guess I’m proud that they were all people I coach, Stacey coaches, all the other coaches coach, people who do my programming, but that’s only half of it, if that.
No what I saw on Saturday was special. What really got me was a conversation I sort of had with one of the Landos there about the first event. They were really talking with Stacey as I passed in and out of consciousness, but I heard what was said. What got me was their feeling of accomplishment doing a weight that was pretty damn impressive, but probably wouldn’t win. Actually, winning or being in first was never mentioned. They were just happy that they went in, kicked ass, took some names, and came out the otherside.
I’ll be honest the old me, the 2011 me before mental break, the one who would internally tell his own mother off for cheering for him, would have thought something was wrong with this Lando. But this past Saturday in 2019 I saw people doing what I tell everybody I love about owning a fitness space.
They were doing it just for the sake of doing it, because doing it made them better. That, I learn time and time again, is really what this is about.
Now I’m not going to sit here and make it like the rest of the competition was this amazing experience because I realized I was surrounded by people living their best life in the very image I imagined when starting my business. No, not even close. I wanted to die multiple times, swore at Stacey more times in 3 hours than I think I have in our lifetime together, and literally vomited almost immediately after the floater WOD. Doing that competition was hell on Earth for me.
Yet at the end of the day there were 3 teams of Landos standing on the podium cheesin’ for the cameras, and not a single negative comment out of any of them. A few of them won, a few of them didn’t, but every single one went out and did amazing things.
I have to say I was as proud as I have been as a gym owner and coach of people we call athletes as maybe I ever have been. I truly mean that. The reason I believed, and still in a way believe, that competing is good for anyone who feels they might want to is because it brings out the most in you regardless of what you might think you can do. Whether it’s in spite of or because of something, it will push you to ends you never thought you body and mind could go. The fact I was able to (somewhat) see so many of you do that last weekend and actually enjoy it, actually have chosen willingly to do it, was truly remarkable.
Congratulations to all of the Landos who competed. Usually I would have just said congrats to the podium finishers, but this is truly something different.
Strength: Push jerk
EMOM 10m : 2 Reps (from floor)
WOD: 5 Rounds
Row 15 Cal (12 Cal AB)
12 Deadlift 135/95
9 Hang Clean
Lift: Push Jerk
EMOM 10m: 2 Reps, from floor
Accessory: Push Press
2-2-2-2-2, done in 10m
Conditioning: 4 Rounds
Row 15 Cal (12 Cal AB)
12 Deadlift 135/95
9 Hang Clean
6 Shoulder to OH
1. Strength and WOD
2. 3 Rounds
30 Handstand Push-ups
3. 10 Minutes for Quality
10 Bent Over Rows (unbroken)
10 Weighted Situps