I’m so excited to be going on my first trip to Australia! In a few weeks, I’ll be visiting the good folks at CrossFit Collingwood in Melbourne for three days (Nov 8th, 9th and 10th) of coaching and discussion and fun. I can’t wait to see a new continent and meet CrossFit lovers down under! If you are in the area, make sure to come by and say hi. If you are not nearby, get ready for a lot of pictures on Instagram!
Dr. Nate at WODdoctor caught up with me at the Granite Games last weekend and posted this interview with me on his blog.
Do you have a favorite CrossFit skill or WOD?
My favorite workout is Amanda! I love the short intense workouts, because those are the ones I need to work on the most. I like full snatches, rather than power snatches and trying to link together big sets of muscle ups!
Now, I’m not known for my strength ladders. I’d say I’m actually known for my lack of performance in strength ladders. As long as there are plenty of events, I can usually make it back to the podium, but sometimes it plummets me in the rankings; leaving me wishing I had been more prepared. Getting used to the pressure of the time limit is unlike training: there are rules, judges, competitors, and all eyes are on the athlete to assume whether or not they’ve been practicing enough for “the test.”
It’s no secret… I love to compete. So I test myself on a regular basis to keep me on my toes and keep me … locked in. Almost every CrossFit competition these days has a strength ladder where everyone’s lined up to lift each bar until they’ve reached their potential.
Most often I get done with these 1-reps and turn to my coaches after with very little to say. There’s no… I should have… or this happened… or excuse that will make me feel better, which derives from disappointment. Wondering if it was a frame of mind, a lack of warming up, or just a mystery strength curse that makes me feel like a weak twig that just buckles under the pressure of heavy weight…. Is left unanswered.
Tonight was different. I have never been in a ladder like the one the Granite Games kicked off their entire event with. It was a double snatch ladder, so to go on to the next level you had to hit two lifts in 40 seconds, and then on the top of the minute, went on to the next station- always 10 lbs up. When warming up me Maddy and Michelle Kinney were joking about… ‘ya whenever I get to a heavy shaky double, I always go up by 10 lbs!’ As I was noticing Elizabeth Akinwale and Michelle Letendre do their thang in the warm-up tent as I watched my max be thrown around like a toy. But the rules are the rules- and every competition is different, that’s why we are trained to be resilient as CrossFitters. It’s a part of our lives to be “ready for anything,” which means we have no guess at what could be thrown at us and what could be ruled out.
As a mental strategy- I always convince myself my ceiling is higher than it is. The game I play is that my max is higher than I’ve actually ever gotten so that when I reach my 80%, 90%, 95% in training or competition, I keep my nerves down. I just haven’t hit it YET… but will.
Tonight was different because I actually tricked myself!
The weights were displayed not on Games standards like 120, 130, 140, but true to the 33 lb bars as in 118, 128, 138… etc. We started the ladder at 118, and after the Star Spangled Banner I was one of the first on the bar. Usually I’m waiting timidly behind my judge and waiting for him to tell me I have to go on and… I have to make the next lift. It was always a punishment. ‘Great now heavier… ok I’ve made this before…but ok the last one felt heavy….’ The words present or eager have never described me while I finish a typical 90% lift, knowing my personal records usually come in training not competition.
This RUSH of wanting to bite at the next weight came over me! I was DYING to get past my judge to get to the heavier bar. I was surprised at how slowly they counted down the transitions and was fuming to break down my own personal ceiling. Snatching each weight for 2 as I went up, I came up on my 100%. I turned to the crowd, (naturally hating to keep secrets) and pointed to the next bar and said my PR! They stood on their feet and yelled as I attempted my 1-rep max and nailed it. As I finished the 2nd one I could barely believe it! I advanced to a bar I had never even visualized myself standing up successfully with; attempted and failed ….but couldn’t stop smiling!
The surprise and happiness doesn’t come from numbers, how good it was, or where I placed. It’s from finally believing in myself when it counted, in an area where my MIND is WEAK.
If CrossFit wasn’t a “sport”…. And it was simply a workout to master on different levels on my own account, nothing would change in my training. I would of course still work day in and day out to be the best athlete I could be and fully ‘enjoy the ride.’
But CrossFit IS a sport. We can measurably rank ourselves and compare our programming, natural athleticism and our dedication to training weaknesses. With this privilege we feel the success not in comparison to each other, but while we demand the consistency of ourselves for ‘the test.’
“You’ll always be what you’ve always been if you always do what you’ve always done.”
CHANGE IS GOOD.