REMINDER: Please be sure to check the schedule for class locations, as we have added and moved various classes for Fridays! ALL FRIDAY :45 and :15 BLACK BOX WODs are currently being held on the 3rd and 4th floors at 26th St. ALL FRIDAY :15 BEGINNER WODs are at 28th St.
“My 1st EVER CrossFit Competition–From Elation to Agony to PURE ELATION!” by Coach Heidi Jones
“Ok ladies, here are your final four athletes competing in the final WOD of the day. In 4th place, Nina Ivanovic, 3rd place from CrossFit NYC, Melissa Simson, in 2nd place also from CrossFit NYC…”
That’s when everything went haywire in my brain. Why? Because the name that echoed in the box at CrossFit Bell was…mine? Excuse me, did you just say “Heidi Jones”? I had a massive amount of confusion when I heard my name echo through the box at the Belle of Bayside CrossFit competition. So much so, I looked to my left and to my right to make sure I heard right, and apparently I did because all my teammates had the biggest smiles on their faces and cheers coming from their mouths.
So, I did what every good astonished person does, I started laughing. I said to my friends, “this is ridiculous.” In fact, I think I might have said it at least 20 times. Why? Because I just couldn’t believe I did well enough to make it to the ‘surprise’ 4th WOD.
But, before I continue on, let’s go…back.
This was my FIRST CrossFit competition…EVER.
I was so nervous before the first WOD of burpees and deadlifts, much to Coach Avery’s surprise, I grabbed her hand and put it over my heart and said, “Avery, do you feel this? I think my heart is going to literally leap out of my chest.” I mean my stomach felt like one of those animal balloon thing-a-ma-jiggys that clowns make for kids…all tied up and twisted into some sort of beautiful mess.
I have competed in literally every competition you can imagine from tennis, basketball, volleyball, adventure races, running through a Division 1 college to walking over glaciers, up treacherous ice walls, white water rafting class 5 rapids, to cliff diving. What I mean to say is that I am not new to the nerves that precede a game or challenging situation; however, this was a completely NEW kind of nervousness, one I couldn’t control or relate to anything I had ever done in my life.
All I could think of was, ‘come on…just say 3-2-1 Go, because I can’t stand the anticipation!’ Well, I got my wish and after the first WOD which was a 1-10 Deadlift (94#) 10-1 Burpee with an AMRAP of Burpees for the remaining time, my stomach on steroids diminished into the pure elation of exhaustion that results from 8 minutes of literal torture of my quads and shoulders. Ok, now I could relate. After years of marathon running, this was now a feeling I was comfortable with…pain beyond measure.
I had probably 30 minutes until the 2nd WOD which was a 5 min AMRAP Ascending Ladder of 3 wall balls (14#) 3 Situps, 6 wall balls 6 Situps, etc., until the 5-minute cap. I was looking forward to this because sit-ups and core work are my jam–this was a comfortable and much-sought-after pain for me and I got though that WOD with little damage.
Then it was the 3rd WOD: A 6-minute AMRAP of 2 min Max Effort Snatch (42#), 2-minute SDHP (53#), and 2 min of hell, er, I mean kettlebell Swing (44#). This was literal hell. Two minutes doesn’t seem like a long time does it? I mean, what can we do in 2 minutes? It seems at face value that we can get very little done in two minutes, right?
It usually goes by so quickly, that it’s never felt…never felt…UNTIL you are doing a single modality in CrossFit for those 120 seconds. 120 seconds people! Trust me, those seconds seem to linger so long that it seems like I could watch an episode of “Glee” during that time. But, persevere I and all my teammates did to the exultation of the FINISH. But, wait, that brings me to where I started this blog. I wasn’t finished. I now had one more WOD…the illustrious, unannounced final 4th WOD.
I remember looking at Coach Avery and saying, ‘this is so funny I can’t believe it.’ To which she smiled and said, “Heidi, I knew you were going to make it.” I just smiled and then literally raced to my gym bag because I realized I wasn’t remotely ready for this and scarfed down my final honey stinger waffle while she explained my game plan for the FINAL WOD of 15-12-9 Row (15 calories), Clean 75 lbs, Box jump, and 1 rope climb.
The 3rd and 4th place athletes went first and both struggled through the rope climb…which was the ONE modality I was itching to get to, so I patiently waited.
Finally it was my turn. The first place girl and I got onto our rowers and we heard, ’3-2-1 GO!’ and all I listened for after that was Coach Avery’s instructions through the WOD. I had a perpetual smile on my face because I just still couldn’t believe I was here!
By the time I got to the rope climb, my competitor, Amanda, was already there. However, all it took was me reaching the rope and in two pulls, I was tagging the top and sliding down to an explosion of cheers in the BOX as it was apparent no one expected that. In fact, the judge before we started said to me, ‘you can do 2 half climbs and that will count as one ascent.’ to which I just smiled…knowing that the rope climb was my jam.
When I got back to the rower for round 2, the judge said, ‘hey, you jumped onto the rope, make sure you don’t do that in the 2nd round.’ and I said, “OK!” with a giant smile, as I continued rowing to reach 9 calories. Again, Amanda just beat me to the rope, but in 2 pulls, I was up and sliding down and ready to race back to the rowers in FIRST when the judge said, ‘Up one more time!’ I had the ‘deer in the headlights’ look and said, “what?” He said, ‘one more time because you jumped onto it during the first round!’ I didn’t even think and said, “are you serious?” I thought this was a joke. At this point, the other competitor was already back on the rower.
Insert the annihilation of my mental focus!
But, I got back on my rower, raced, as much as my completely exhausted body could, through to the final rope climb which I ascended again, this time in 3 pulls for an 8 min finish, though well after my competitor.
I walked back to my team who was INCREDIBLE in cheering me on and was in mental anguish at the call of my rope climb. After Avery talked me off the ledge, the judge called me over to explain his call. He explained that the ‘jump’ was not allowed, to which I replied, ‘that’s ok, I am all for a no-rep, I just wish you made me do it over then or even pulled me off the rower to re-do it and not without explanation at the end of the 2nd round.’ He then said, ‘you wouldn’t have won anyway,’ which necessitated a quick response by me of, ‘whoa! That shouldn’t matter in terms of standards and re-doing a no rep.’ Of course it ended well with a smile from me and my usual massage-like squeeze of his shoulder and a thanks for explaining himself to me.
And it was lesson learned time!
Lesson #1: as my friend Cleo said, ‘shut up and just do it–ask questions later!’
Lesson #2: SHUT UP AND JUST DO IT AND ASK QUESTIONS LATER!
As I ascended the box jump podium to accept my 2nd place overall, I had the BIGGEST smile on my face! What an experience! The thrill of my 1st ever CrossFit competition! The agony of a mental collapse and a lesson learned that you just have to roll with the punches.
And finally, the elation of competing with a group of women who became more than CrossFit athletes from my Box, but an even bigger family! We rode the Long Island Rail Road back with a case of Sam Adams and burgers from Bare Burger, with massive smiles from ALL culminating with a final group huddle in the middle of Penn Station…all hands in…and a 1-2-3 count that ended with a boisterous ‘CROSSFIT NYC!’ cheer at 3:30 in the afternoon in that busy station in NYC!
What an experience! I am proud to have competed with one of the best group of girls I could ever be so lucky to know! And as for CrossFit Bell, well, that beautiful box will ALWAYS have a very special place in my heart! Thanks to all who organized a really great event that will, no doubt, have us talking about it all week!