About 5 months ago, I signed up for a CrossFit competition as part of a team of 4 (2 girls and 2 guys). And this started a whole journey unto itself. The goals I set with my trainer were all focused around being able to perform to the best of my ability, at this competition. We signed up for the amateur division based on the “criteria” of what you needed to be able to do, such as pull ups and weight amounts for things like cleans and deadlifts. But, I had A LOT of work to do.
I knew I was going to be the weakest link of my team. I had two badass guys (whose biceps looked like they had grown every time I saw them) and an amazingly strong girl who was a powerlifter (dare I say turned crossfitter now). And then there was me, all of 100lbs, who had been doing CrossFit for approximately 6 months. But off I went, day in and day out, training as best I could, to be able to keep up with my team.
Preparing for this competition, I knew that physically, it was going to be hard. Heck, I die doing one WOD at the gym and these would likely be more intense and, not only one WOD but, several in one day. So to prepare, all I could do was train hard, every time I was in the gym. But I wasn’t sure how to mentally prepare for what I was about to do.
Over the past year, I have been through some life changing situations that have made me second guess who I am. I have been treated, by some people, like I am lesser or not as good as them. So in my journey to remodeling my life, I have been working on myself and making sure that I don’t feel lesser and that I feel confident with who I am. All this work has been for me and within me. I haven’t yet put myself into a situation where, if I failed, I would be held accountable to others such as on a team.
My CrossFit training has made me stronger mentally and physically but it has been all for me. If I fail at a lift, I don’t worry because I can try again another time. But in a competition you only get one chance. And being part of a team, you only have one opportunity to do your best and “pull your weight”. So to say I was nervous, is an understatement.
I did all I could do to mentally prepare. I pushed myself into situations that were out of my comfort zone knowing that what doesn’t kill me, will only make me stronger. And I went in with an open mind, a positive attitude, a whole bunch of nerves and a calming sense of belonging to an incredible team, a great gym and an unbelievable support system from my family and friends.
So off I went that day, to battle 4 WOD’s, on a sandy beach (very different footing than the gym floor), on what was probably the hottest day of the summer (so far) and with thousands of people walking around and WATCHING. I did my absolute best and my teammates were incredible. We worked so well together and pushed each other to strive to be our best that day.
The day didn’t go as perfectly as I had pictured it going in my mind. I fell down in the sand, twice, in one WOD. I also failed at three attempts at a clean and jerk which meant my partner couldn’t take over until I made the lift. At which point, I may have had a bit of a meltdown. BUT with the support of my family and friends I took a moment and finally made the lift! Only to then make two more at that same weight! The feeling of being there, doing something that I love, surrounded by an energy that could pump anyone up was incredible. I had my Mom, friends and teammates cheering me on and I made new friendships in the process.
This competition allowed me to be myself, be proud of myself, be proud of my team and to feel good about where I am in life and where I am going. It has showed me that being out of my comfort zone really isn’t that scary or bad at all. What more could I ask for?
It never gets easier; you just get stronger, mentally and physically. And by putting myself into this situation I realized that I don’t need to be perfect or the best, I just need to try. I am so glad I decided to do this and was able to experience this.
I hope along this journey I have been able to help you get out of your comfort zone, take care of yourself, to do something that you have always wanted to, try something new or to branch out with something you are already doing. If I can do it, you can!
Looks like its time to start training for the next competition (in September).
By Amber Quibell
Stay calm and focused. You got this!