Just as expected, The Battle of London was high energy, and exceeding expectations with the athletes, programming, and excellent judging staff and organization.
I learned a lot about myself as an athlete this weekend. I took 7th out of 150 individual females. I met some of the most aggressive European competitive exercisers there are, and I was impressed how much their culture has grown in just one year. It is obvious to most CrossFitters now that you can’t have lifting be a side hobby. It’s now an extreme focus, and most the men I saw looked like legit weightlifters with impeccable form and numbers. Of course you can tell who’s seasoned and who’s new, but the depth of strong people that can move weight, -and move it well, blew me away.
The arena was my favorite part of the experience. The 4,000 tickets that filled the entire sold-out Olympic Stadium, where the Handball Championships were held in the 2012 Olympic Games!
Heavy Grace, 30 Clean and Jerks for time at 80/55kg, 185/125lbs, was probably what hurt the springboard flooring. The second day because of the holes in the floor under the platforms, we were allowed to use the arena, only if we were not using any barbells. It was unfortunate but this happens at competitions often, maybe we just need to go back to parking lots, they seem to take the beating well. So the bodyweight championships began, with instead of a snatch ladder, a burpee ladder! There’s a first for everything… ever minute you moved down a chain of empty barbells and completed 3,6,9,12…. All the way to 27 hunched over burpees… and then a final amrap round if you made it there. I thought the staff did a great job making adjustments and substituting the final and keeping it exciting with a workout that began with 15 bar muscle ups!
I had made some friends from Ireland last year that I’d kept in touch with. We followed each other through the season, and we spent hours catching up over Nando’s chicken. I travel a lot, and most of the time by myself, so it’s nice to be able to connect with people, which gave me a reason to watch the masters, the men’s heats, and sit front row cheering with them. That’s what it’s all about, right? Next year if I come back for Battle Of London, I plan on scheduling a few seminars the weekend before. Then I can actually get to know the athletes and gyms in the area beforehand, and adjust to the time change for competition! I can’t remember the last time I took a nap during a competition, and during this one I took three! They were just little cat-naps, and I’m used to crazy sleep schedules, but that 9 hour time change is tough. When I woke up early on my first day of competition my mom was texting me that she “stayed up late tonight so that she could tell me good luck and to remind me to have fun!” She knows I can get really intense sometimes, but that’s the athlete part of the game, we care so much about our performance. At 3am Denver time I had done two events and was jumping as high as I could to rile up the crowd and get them to cheer for the last person getting their last reps.
One event that involved single arm KB squat cleans, and most people had never done them before. Every athlete in the warmup area trying to learn, with their coaches communicating to them in Spanish, German, Icelandic, and thickly accented English, proper form and technique. Everyone wants the edge, but each still sharing information and using tactical cues to help other athletes prepare.
Why do I like the Battle of London so much? The diversity.
The clashing of countries and languages coming together because at the end of the day, no matter where you’re from: if you love Fitness, you’re in. If pull-ups, running splits, and squat clean PR’s keep you up at night and day dreaming at the office about ‘what you’re going to do next time’ …. you’re in.