Watch Andrea all weekend as she competes at SouthWest Regionals in Salt Lake City Utah. The best thing is not having to wait for results- you can watch LIVE! at games.crossfit.com by clicking on the live South West link.
These are her event times:
Watch Andrea all weekend as she competes at SouthWest Regionals in Salt Lake City Utah. The best thing is not having to wait for results- you can watch LIVE! at games.crossfit.com by clicking on the live South West link.
These are her event times:
“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.” by Theodore Roosevelt
I instantly connected to this quote because it so completely describes how I felt about withdrawing from SoCal Regionals. I was faced with a decision, a consequence to my actions, but it was not clear right away that I even had a choice in what the outcome would be.
When I was preparing the week before the event, I felt good. I felt confident with all of the workouts, and was getting anxious to train, as I was tapering along with all the other athletes and downing my volume. All I could think of when Jackie was approaching was that I couldn’t wait to hit intensity again. I couldn’t wait to jump on a rower and hear my hard breathing, and let the mind games take me into the depths of competition. All I could think of was the unbroken thrusters and finishing hard with a big set of pullups. I was thinking about all the workouts, but dramatically focusing on the first one.
During the athlete meeting, Ronnie Teasdale asked Adrian Bozman the question that was on most of our minds. He asked if an athlete missed 3 reps at their opening weight, would they be out of the competition. Bozman said that there was no minimum work requirement for event 2. Ronnie was basically asking… should we dare to be great? Should we be confident going heavier, or should we be more safe… would it DQ us if we missed? As athletes it’s the hardest thing to even let ourselves admit there is a, ‘what if we miss’…. doubt in our mind. Adrian told us there was no minimal work requirement. I let out a sigh of relief hearing that I wouldn’t be out if I the worst case scenario happened. If you’re in the CrossFit community, you know plain and simple, what Boz says goes! He is a highly respected Level 1 and Prep Course HQ trainer and has been a prime example of a strict but respected judge in the all levels of CrossFit Games competition. I’m sure it made a lot of athletes rethink their starting weight, even though we always knew we were going for a 3-rep max in OHS.
Warming up for Jackie getting ready to kick off our long weekend, I kept thinking of how much FUN this part was. Nothing I do in training can compare to going head-to-head with the top female athletes in SoCal. It is a different feeling getting ready for the top female heat, where we’ll all be using the same weight, doing the same exact workout, and truly going head to head, no excuses. As we were all getting focused, we warmed up before they called us into the corrals. As the 3…2..1 struck us into the intensity, the workout was over before we knew it, and I had tied for 5th place.
I had decided the instant the workouts were announced that I would start at 175 lbs for the Over-Head Squat. The weight options were 85, 125, 155, and 175 and it seemed obvious to me that if I wanted to be competitive, I would have to put all my training together to prove I was ‘at that level’, like I knew I was. Ironically enough, it’s my favorite lift, and was the best thing that possibly could have come out of the hopper for me. I had hit 175 x3 almost a year before that, and had done it and 185 consistently throughout the year. I was actually more worried about the power clean, tricky ‘bar over head magic act’, and the jerk, no worries about the actual three reps.
After hitting 175 with ease during warmup, I was happy going on stage. I didn’t do one burpee muscle up, as I was so focused on the lift and knew that part would come together as one of my strong points when I needed it to.
When in the 7 minutes, I cleaned with ease, and got the weight up with confidence. I steadied the weight, and had a fast first rep. The second rep caused me to step forward, with my toes on the edge of the platform. As I went to the third rep my elbows and shoulders were shaking, and I dropped the weight at the bottom of the squat onto the sign with my name and weight. Great.
Listening to all the announcer talk about the other girls in my heat hit their lifts and add weight, I started to get mad at myself.
I waited … not long enough, and tried again. I got 2 reps easier than the first time, and made the last rep super slow, and lost it again on my way up. On the fourth minute, I tried it again, and as my shoulders were fatiguing it brought my chest down and the weight forward, and after making one solid rep, I dropped it back to my shoulders, afraid of having to power clean 90% of my max clean for a 4th time in 7 minutes. Rested with it on my back for 30 seconds, as I could see my family in the crowd, scared and covering their faces. With 20 seconds left, I missed the jerk. I immediately put my burpee shoes on and took off my belt. My judge rushed me over to the burpee-muscle up event as I had about a minute left to reset my brain.
I can only describe those two minutes as confusion. Questions of why it happened, and why I couldn’t squat what I usually do easily, and how the other girls got over 200 lbs and I was out of the rankings. I couldn’t decide if I was, ‘done for good’, or if there was still a chance, or if I could make it back to still be a contender and make it to the Games. All I knew was that this was my chance to prove that I could get out of my head. This was maybe the last chance I had to prove that I belonged out here, and I could turn myself around. On pace with the rest of the girls, to save time, I jumped into every single muscle up without kipping. I needed to stay ahead, and I thought I could finish in the seven minute cut-off. I got all the way through 29 muscle ups, and I was in the middle of my last rep when the time ran out. Only two girls finished in the cutoff, and I came in third place overall. The only thing I cared about was that whether I was disqualified or not, I couldn’t make a come-back. I was scared to death I had lost my chance to qualify for the Games, it never crossed my mind that I wouldn’t get to compete the next day.
Soaking wet with pure exhaustion I sat in a tent with my coach and we talked about all my options. The score board was changing rapidly with a DNF next to my name, and a 6th overall still, and then 11th place, with no DNF, back and forth. I was shocked when he told me I probably wouldn’t be able to compete, and I was crushed. We started talking about next year, and what I needed to focus on, and lessons I’d learned through all of this. Later on in the night we were told I wasn’t DNF’d and that me, and 5 other competitors at the SoCal Regionals would all get to compete the next day!
I couldn’t believe it, and we all thought of it as somewhat of a miracle. I thought, ok this is what I’m supposed to do, they want us all to be able to go on because of this morning’s athlete briefing. My parents, brothers and sisters and cousins and aunts and uncles that flew in from Colorado were celebrating and went out to dinner, thinking there must be a reason why we were allowed to continue. As I fell asleep last night I prayed for understanding on what was actually fair. Not just in our region, but in every region, all over the world. That’s when I started recognizing that I was faced with a choice. A decision that would define me as an athlete, but even more as a person.
Read The RX Review’s story – Andrea Ager’s Decision to WD From the SoCal Regional
Where did the Open go? Five weeks went blazing by, as we’re wrapping up the last workout of the entry level of the 2013 CrossFit Games.
As some 140,000 wait by their computers and cell phones anxiously refreshing as the workout’s about to be announced, we all form guesses in our heads, or imagine what we’d ideally want to see.
This weekend is a double show-down. Most people will be watching online on Wednesday as Dave Castro announces what workout Camille and Sam Briggs (currently ranked #1 and #2 worldwide), and Rich Froning and Jason Khalipa (currently ranked #1 and #6 worldwide) take part in a versus-style CrossFit battle.
Last weekend, I went to a celebration in Beverly Hills for Christmas Abbott with Dave and Greg Glassman. I ended up getting an opportunity to fly to Santa Cruz to watch the announcement on Wednesday of the final workout of 13.5. Changing my week around, and hastily leaving Hollywood on short notice, I took off to what the Southern Californian’s call “up north,” a vague discription of the bay area, Los Gatos, San Jose, Santa Cruz, San Francisco. Once on the plane, all I could anticipate was that I had no clue how everything was going to happen. Living one day at a time is tricky when planning trips, and I had no idea what to expect.
After landing, and taking a taxi to the hotel, Sam Briggs (currently ranked #1 in the world for the Open) was walking in the door as I was getting out. I hadn’t seen her since my trip to London, and watching her compete online and seeing how far she was ahead of everyone worldwide, I had been so anxious to talk to her! Reminding myself to “play it cool,” almost never works in these situations. I was signing for the taxi, and ran in for a hug and met her coach, and was in CrossFit-dork mode. Then the taxi guy comes up and is like … “Miss… you forgot your luggage!”
Bags… who needs bags, really? Not me.
Then the three of us decided to head to the hot tub where we had good talks about everything CrossFit! Past Games workouts kept coming up, and since we both hadn’t competed last year in the 2012 Games we chatted about doing the workouts on our own and which were our favorites. As she was out for a knee injury, she had a positive outlook on recovering and being back with a purpose; it’s nice to talk to someone who can empathize. She was telling crazy firefighter stories as I was trying to follow her thick English accent. Our sport sets apart because so much of it is based online, and we’re so spread out all over the world and we’re depending on learning, practicing, self discipline and the ever-changing elements. CrossFitters could talk about standards for hours! And we did.
Later, we met for dinner, talking about different CrossFit sponsorships and telling crazy stories. Remembering workouts from the London Throwdown, and the differences between such extremely cultures; Los Angeles city vs. the hills of Manchester . Camille and her husband Dave Lipson dropped in and it was so cool anticipating what the next day was going to be like. When I got to my hotel room there was a care package full of paleo healthy treats like pecan butter, seaweed, beef jerky, that was so fitting for a “CrossFitter.”
What is 13.2? It is the second workout in the 2013 CrossFit Games Open. For the last three years we’ve labled workouts like this to help reference ones in the past. This one is a mixture between 11.2, (10 min amrap: 9 deadlifts 12 pushups and 15 box jumps) and 12.3, (18 min amrap: 15 box jumps, 12 Shoulder to Overhead, 9 Toes to Bar). Just because we’ve seen these workouts before, doesn’t mean the standards are going to be the same. We have new tricks, new spins, for a completely new and exciting capacity test.
1. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE. This workout will be very fast-paced, and your heart rate will jump after the very first round. Having a 45 second round followed by a 70 second, then four 90 second rounds will deceive the purpose of pushing hard in the beginning. The ‘sprint’ will be in the last two minutes for most new people, try to remember that.
2. WATCH THE DEMO.
Make sure you know what you’re going to be held accountable for. Knowing your weight for your age-group, what is allowed for shoulder to Over-Head, and what will not be counted and be a “no-rep” is explained here. You don’t want to have to do extra work!
3. OVER WARM-UP. Last week it was recommended a 15 minute warm up for the workout because it was based on endurance, was 17 minutes long, and started with 40 burpees. This week is for half the time, and is designed at “light-weight” to stay at a sprint. Warm up for at least 30 minutes, doing active stretching and core exercises. Perform at least 3 rounds of 45 seconds of high intensity movement.
4. USE THE STEP-DOWN. Take advantage of the new Rx movement. Whether you’re a beginner or not, the legs get burnt out quickly. Coming straight off the barbell, stepping up and getting active reps while you can breathe is better than resting and then doing box jumps.
5. SHOULDER PRESS. If you’re strong enough, use the legs as little as possible for the over-head. Of course shoulder pressing won’t be ideal for long, it’s only 5 reps, where there will be 25 reps of all leg work coming up shortly after, so it’s a nice break if you can barely jerk or barely push press. However, if this weight’s challenging: split jerk.
6. ENGAGE YOUR CORE. Warming up the abs is mandatory. Getting them activated and ready to work will eliminate your back doing all the work. Constantly remind yourself to tighten up in the barbell work.
7. PROTECT YOUR BACK. Bend your knees in the Deadlift, don’t do them all straight-legged with long levers. Catch yourself in a quarter squat for the box jumps and stand up with control. Don’t risk injury for fast jerky movements.
8. WATCH THIS VIDEO
This is a really old video I made a few years ago for a qualifier for my friend that wanted to do well with box jumps and bar-facing burpees (Mary Beth went on to win the 2011 World Games in the 50+ division, so I think she was already on the right track!) Making the video so she could practice in her Colorado gym back at home, it’s pretty ghetto, but it has helpful tips. Getting the rhythm of box jumps is important for this workout. I led my classes through all of the warm-up exercises in this video.
9. LISTEN TO CARL PAOLI, BRIAN MCKENZIE, DIANE FU AND KELLY STARRETT
Carl Paoli, Brian McKenzie, Diane Fu and Kelly Starrett give tips for strategizing the workout. They educate athletes on the movement patterns of Annie T and Lindsey for the 13.2 wod-off, and talk about ways to position your body to avoid back pain after the workout. With 35,000 views in only two days, they’re definitely producing great videos in order to help you stay safe, and perform better.
10. RELAX ON THE GOALS. Everyone seems to have a set plan and goal they obsess over days before the workout. It’s great to have an idea in your head, but remember that’s exactly what it is. It’s an educated guess, it’s a vague idea based on what your friends are getting or how far behind you think you should be behind Annie T 😉 . In a 10 minute amrap, expect that anything can happen, and anything will. You might have to change your plan. If you’re at 9 minutes and you’re at your goal, keep working as if you’re not there yet.
GOOD LUCK IN 13.2, and DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN!
CHRISTMAS IS HERE! Today marks the beginning of the 2013 CrossFit Open.
Why should you compete in The Open? Because it’s a worldwide online competition that shows you where you rank next to the rest of the world. You can geek out and break it up into different categories, like people that have been doing CrossFit for as long as you have, or that are the same gender, or similar age groups, or see how you do among people at your gym. It’s a $20 financial commitment you make to yourself to take seriously 5 workouts in a row, seeing your rankings change week after week. There are almost 100,000 people signed up for the Open worldwide, and plenty of them are new and fresh into CrossFit but are finding fun ways to bond with their friends and be involved in the community! These workouts are going to be scalable and easily modified, so that anyone can participate in the Open. Register online at the website above, and go to your local CrossFit gym and get ready to have a blast!
If you’ve done this before, you know that CrossFit is measurable, and we can test our fitness by seeing how well we perform in workouts over time. Whether you’ve been training at a CrossFit gym for 2 weeks or 2 years, you will definitely see progress in the future when you compare yourself to now.
The open is to qualify the top 48 athletes in each of the 17 regions to go to the Regionals. From there, the top 3 women, 3 men, and 3 teams in each region are advanced to the World CrossFit Games. You have a chance to take part in that, and do well for yourself and how far you’ve come!
If that hasn’t convinced you, then talk to people at your box. They will all make you understand that taking part in the Open is something special, something bigger than us, and was one of the biggest participation events in the world last year. Also, signing up so you can loud and proud be repping your team and which box you’re apart of makes you feel like you’re on a professional sports team. Not to mention the top box in each region with the most signed up competitors gets free tickets to regionals, which is worth well over $20! The community will benefit from getting involved, and so will you!
Still not convinced? Watch the Update show. It’s an “ESPN” like show that highlights the facts, dates, athletes, and information for the Open to get everyone on the same page involving the workouts, rankings and leaderboard.
SIGN UP, TAKE PART, AND HAVE FUN!!!
It has always been a goal of mine to work for Crossfit HQ as Level 1 Course instructor. In order to do that, I had to take the Coach’s Prep Course. I took it last year and it was a good learning experience where I got a ton of feedback and changed a lot about the way I coached. Since then, I’ve been working really hard traveling and interning with CrossFit Headquarters. I coached at a few Level 1 Courses and now I needed a check-in, a test. We test ourselves all the time in our workouts, our skills, our strengths and weaknesses, so why wouldn’t I test myself as a coach? Because of how much I’ve been actively practicing teaching the movements I had trouble with, I felt it was a review, and while learning a ton, I felt more comfortable and confident.
I started coaching very early in my “CrossFitness” and trying to advance as both an athlete and as a coach has always gone hand in hand for me. As my understanding of the sport gets better, I’ve been able to perform better: education and comprehension go along with accepting and applying. I decided that completing a 2nd Coach’s Prep Course cert was a test for me, and how far I’ve come on my own standards: and I passed myself!
I knew it would be quite a commitment to make plans to go… in the middle of the week, cancel all my classes and reschedule clients, put in the over 14 hours of driving time I ended up putting in within a few days, and leave town just a few weeks before the Open started. Even though it was a demanding financial, mental and time commitment… I saw a course was being offered in Aromas, California, AT the CrossFit Ranch, and I said, Yes Please! I later would realize that living in LA, I don’t see much wildlife, and that would later be a crutch and distraction for me to be coaching on a farm. At one point, I was teaching the push jerk to my group and just behind the fence there were two huge cows both staring and acting like they were hanging on every word. I was so distracted I kept looking over my shoulder every minute to see if they … were still listening! Food for thought: I am only used to teaching people. Not my food…..
When I talk about the “history of the ranch” I’m not talking from a point where I was there, or that I know all the wods or athletes, or that I even knew what CrossFit was when all this happened. I just know that while I was off in Colorado in college, studying for tests and running track, something epic was happening in California. Ignorance is Bliss…. they say, and I’d have to agree. I knew nothing but running at the time, but if I had heard of this sooner, who knows how running would have panned out. On this side of the world the sport of CrossFit was having it’s first ever CrossFit Games, and they had it at the Castro ranch outside of a trucking barn in a BBQ gathering setting, anyone could sign up, and the winners were titled ‘Fittest On Earth’. Even as the sport grew, for the first three years in 2007, 2008, and 2009 the Games were still held at the Ranch. It was only fairly recent – ’11, and ’12 that the Games moved to the Home Depot Center.
I knew this trip would be a history lesson when the Seminar Staff introduced themselves and almost all of them had competed in those original games. Hollis Molloy, Miranda Oldroyd, Adrian Bozman, and Austin Begiebing were all “original gangsters” that had been there since the first 3…2…1 GO. Getting to hear it ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’ at the Ranch where it all started was special. I laughed when Austin introduced himself and said he got 13th in the first CFG, and ‘there was scaling involved.’ Oh how times have changed!
Dave Castro, whose parents still live on the ranch, is the Director of Training, and a former Navy Seal. He was one of the original athletes trained by Glassman, (founder of CrossFit) and supervises the CrossFit Games and seminar staff. While we were wrapping up on the first day of group sessions and working on short, direct cues for strength coaching, Dave started up a bonfire. We gathered around the fire as he and a bunch of the other staff told stories about the first few CrossFit Games. They talked about all the athletes, who was still competing, and which workouts they did well in. We talked about all the running they had back then, and as I was wondering how hard it would be to run an 800m sprint up the hill like they had to in the first year, Austin took a big group to run up to the top of the hill! It was verrrry steep, and was extremely hard not to walk because the trail was straight up, and just past the top where it flattened out, was a secret workout area. It was originally built for 2010 sectionals with stones, logs, and a huge pullup rig that had “RANCH” cut out of the metal. Back then the spectators and athletes had to make the treck up to watch the workouts in the middle of nature, with an amazing view of lush trees, pastures and rolling hills.
Dave talked about accidently setting the hill on fire once, farming his animals, and about someone almost losing a finger during a sledge hammer wod, and athletes barreling out of control down the hill at the end of the 7k in ’08. One of the stories he told was very ironic. He talked about how in 2009 Glassman called him before one of the workouts, exclaiming that there’s no way they were making the men dead lifting 315 lb in a wod, it was just way too heavy! Then, three years later, individuals had a 21-15-9 of 315/205 dead lifts box jumps in the ’11 regionals just to qualify to get into the world Games! The winning max loads of most of the athletes were things that were impressively unheard of at the time, and now are frequently performed in a gym by normal members and trainers, and don’t seem so “crazy.” As more is expected of the CrossFit community of athletes, the more they achieve. It’s like the 4 minute mile, where when one person achieves the impossible, everyone desperately starts chasing that feat until it is no longer uncommon. A good example is when the dumbbell workout in the ’12 regionals was released, there was a panic when every girl picked up a 70 lb dumbbell and tried to get it overhead with a snatch. Most men could barely manage the 100 lb one, but once it came game time, most athletes were tossing that thing around like it was a silly joke. Oh haha haha dumbbell bigger than two human heads, very funny!
I did a wall ball and heavy snatch workout with all the trainers during our break for lunch on the first day. I sacrificed lunch to torture myself with the 5th workout of the OC Throwdown so I could be a part of the dirty hard work. Don’t worry, I probably didn’t almost collapse during the bonfire of sheer hunger, and I probably didn’t almost eat my arm on the way home, I’m all about good choices. The second day I went on a run with Miranda and heard more stories about the ranch, and about how she got 23rd, ‘wore mom shorts, and was really skinny.’ Wait, she was whatt….Ok, so there’s hope!
Some of my friends bring up to me that it’s funny to see us talk about it from only seven years ago as “history.” I would agree that it seems a little bizarre to act like it was so long ago, and so dramatic that it was less than a decade, and we’re already looking back and saying, “I remember back when…”
But it’s more about the comparisons. It’s more about the amount of knowledge and competition experience and strategies that the coaches and athletes have learned to be able to make this sport spread like wildfire! Not only across the state, but across the nation and across the world; celebrating every new city and country that becomes involved in our community.
It might not seem like time for us to have a pilgrimage back to Aromas, California, to the ranch where it all began. But if I hadn’t gone this weekend, I wouldn’t have been able to rejuvenate my hunger for learning and understanding. Every opportunity taken is a chance to grow, and I feel that much more connected to the sport that’s thankfully taken over my life.
This is a really cool article I found about the shockingly fast progression of the Games. If you’re interested in the whys, wheres, whos, and want a good read, this is some great insight.
The 2013 CrossFit Games Open is coming and HQ put out this video to get everyone excited to go register. Imagine my surprise to see myself in the burpee cave at Brick CrossFit 20 seconds into the video. So excited for the open… have you registered yet?
HQ kept us busy when we visited last summer. Another WOD demo, this time with Rita Benavidez. The WOD was 21 – 15 – 9 of deadlifts and overhead squats. My time was 6:48. Try it and see if you can do better!
I visited Crossfit HQ this summer and got to do a main site WOD with other great female athletes – Jackie Perez, Rita Benavidez, and Erin Cianciolo. On that same visit, we shot this video, which they called Beauty in Strength.
CrossFit can change how a woman both defines beauty and feels about her body, as Rita Benavidez, Jackie Perez, Erin Cianciolo and Andrea Ager discuss in this video.
Once thinking beauty was a picture of a waify woman on a magazine, Benavidez feels differently now. “My perception of beauty has changed over the past few years,” Benavidez says. “True beauty … is strength and fitness, and confidence in yourself.”
Perez was originally motivated by trying to be skinny. “That wasn’t getting me anywhere,” she says. “With CrossFit, I set goals. I want to deadlift 225, I’m going to hit that faster than I’m going to look in the mirror and like what I see.”
Ager says putting in the work is key to getting what you want. “I think that hard work and the way that your body looks go so hand-in-hand,” she says. “Once you do get a body that you want, you’re very proud of it … you’re proud of what your body can do.”
Through CrossFit, these women are confident, stronger and fitter. They are mothers, tomboys, coaches. They are CrossFit athletes. – Crossfit HQ