CrossFit is Sportsmanship at its Finest

…as a newbie spectator at the CrossFit Central East Regionals on Sunday, I’d never witnessed such a thing. I’m not talking about the fitness level of the competitors, though that was jaw-dropping. I expected that. I did not expect such a display of sportsmanship.

In what other sport or competition do fellow competitors cheer each other on? Are there any other arenas where the crowd gets so loud in its applause for the last-place participant?

Sportsmanship at its finest

I was there too and I teared up a few times. It’s something special to watch in person. There is no other community or sport like this.

Why I Compete in the CrossFit Games Open

2013-crossfit-gamesThe 2013 CrossFit Games season kicked off on Wednesday night with the live announcement of Workout 13.1 and a throwdown between two of the top athletes in our sport.

I’ve been chatting with friends back home in MI, a cousin in Texas, and friends at the box here in Phoenix all week. We’re sharing strategies, giving pep talks, and excited for one another.

As of Wednesday, over 120,000 athletes from around the world had registered for the Open, with many more to register before the close of the first workout on Sunday. Registrations should easily double the total of 69,560 in 2012. CrossFitters everywhere are excited for each other. There is no other community like this.

Most of us have no chance at qualifying for Regionals or the Games. However, we will accomplish things we didn’t know we could. We’ll set PRs. We’ll push harder than we have in any other workout. We’ll sweat, cry, yell, and gasp for air; maybe all in the same workout. We’ll have a lot of fun and make new friends.

Many of us loved to play sports in high school. We miss the competition, the adrenaline rushes, and being compared to our peers. The CrossFit Games Open gives us all that and more.

I get to compare myself to CrossFit athletes around the world. I’m not the best athlete in the world or even at my box, but after 5 weeks, I’ll know exactly where I rank in the world and that’s pretty fucking cool. Since I competed last year, I also get to measure my improvement. The registration fee might be the best $20 I spend all year.

Do CrossFit. Prove your fitness. Tomorrow afternoon I’ll try to prove mine in 13.1.

The 2013 CrossFit Games Season

The 2013 Open launches in just three short months. As the growth of the worldwide CrossFit community explodes, the 2013 season promises to be the biggest and best yet. In 2011, more than 26,000 athletes registered for the Open. In 2012, that number jumped to almost 70,000 participants. Think six figures this year. It will be simultaneously the fiercest and most inclusive competition we’ve ever seen.

via Welcome to the 2013 Season | CrossFit Games.

Looking forward to it!

Warrior Dash 2012

Did the Warrior Dash down in Mt. Morris, MI today. It was a 3.25 mile event with 13 obstacles. It was pretty easy, but a lot of fun. We took this photo after we cleaned up a bit. Should have some mud pictures in a couple of days.

Summer Open Events 1 and 2

Trying to survive event 1

 

The first event was a 10:00 AMRAP (as many reps as possible):

Clean/Deadlift – HR Push-up ladder
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-?
Men

  • Clean 135#
  • HR Push-up

Women

  • Deadlift 135#
  • HR Push-up
  • Man will do 1 clean with 135# and then 1 HR push-up, then…
  • Woman will do 1 deadlift with 135# and then 1 HR push-up, then…
  • Man will do 2 cleans with 135# and then 2 HR push-ups, then…
  • Woman will do 2 deadlifts with 135# and then 2 HR push-ups, then…
  • etc.

We got through the round of 10 and I was able to get 3 more cleans before time ran out. I had figured if we got to the round of 10 I’d be thrilled and we got just past it. We only beat 3 teams, but the weight was heavy for both of us when you do that many reps. Not exactly a workout built for our team. Really happy with the results!

The second event was:

  • Partner A: 100 burpees, then tag…
  • Partner B: “Karen”, which is 150 wall balls

The teams decide who is partner A and who is partner B. There was a 14 minute time cap on this one.

Kelley did burpees and finished just under the 7 minute mark. My PR for Karen is 9:03 so I had to give it everything I had with the 7 minutes I had left. Finished 141 wall balls before the time ran out. Only 9 more and it would have been a hell of a PR! We should be somewhere close to the middle of the pack in this workout.

On to the final workout…

Back to Back

For the second year in a row I came home with 1st place in my age division at the Out for Blood Duathlon (5k run followed by 20k bike). This year it was the men’s 26-35 mountain bikers and last year it was the men’s 30-39 mountain bikers. No idea why they switched up the age divisions.

My First CrossFit Competition

Nearly 70,000 people around the world competed in the 2012 CrossFit Games Open. It really is an open competition that anyone can join. It was my first CrossFit competition and will not be my last.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Open, I’ll explain a bit. Each Wednesday night, for 5 weeks, a new workout is announced online. Athletes have 96 hours (4 days) to complete the workout and submit a score online. Athletes can submit a video of the workout or complete it at a CrossFit affiliate where they can validate the score. I completed all of my workouts at CrossFit Full Strength in Phoenix, AZ, where I’ve been working out since early January. If you are ever in the area, it’s a great box with top notch coaches and a great community.

After each workout is completed, athletes get ranked according to the number of reps completed. The placing in each workout is used as a point total toward the total ranking. Low points are obviously better because 1st place in a workout is worth one point. The winners of the Open had 41 points in the men’s division and 26 points in the women’s division! Me? I had 91,945 points.

When the Open started I had only been doing CrossFit for 4 months (see how I got started), so I set a realistic goal to beat 10% of the guys. I finished 1,194th out of 1,554 in the South West region and 16,389th out of 22,174 in the world for men that completed all 5 workouts. That comes out to beating 23% of men in the South West and 26% of men in the world. BOOYAH!

Below you can see my leaderboards. In each workout the first number is my ranking in the workout and the number in parenthesis is the number of reps I completed for that workout.

I posted recaps of each workout on my CrossFit blog:

The Open is so cool because you get to see how you compare against people from around the world. Now I have a benchmark to measure against for next year’s Open. How much can I improve my fitness in the next year? The sky’s the limit.

Since the Open was 5 weeks long and I had to fit in that special workout each week, I was glad to see the end. But I have the itch to compete again in another competition as a way to push and test my body, not so much as a way to shoot for any type of win. I’m realistic about my strength and body without aspirations of being an elite CrossFitter. If I can make a version of me that is better than yesterday, I’m succeeded.

In this competition I was able to do things I wouldn’t dream of. An example came in the 2nd workout, a snatch ladder. Before the workout my PR in the snatch was 95 pounds. In fact, I had never attempted anything heavier. After easily knocking out 30 reps at 75 pounds, I spent 3 or 4 minutes failing to get 135 pounds over my head even once. I figured there was no way it was happening, but with 4 minutes left on the clock, I kept trying. Then I got it. And then I got it again and again. I managed to get 6 reps. A 40 pound PR not once, but 6 times!

I’d become addicted to CrossFit soon after my first workout on October 31, 2012, but competing in the CrossFit Games put the sport on another level for me. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year have in store. Where’s the next competition? Sign me up.

Microsoft's Zune Project

The big news from Microsoft today was the confirmation of the Zune project. Just do a few searches and you’ll find plenty of information. I’m not writing about it to give any information or what it’s about. All I want to say is, don’t count them out.

Can Microsoft create a real competitor for Apple’s iPod? Only time will tell. If there’s one company in the world that can do it, that company is Microsoft.

Think back a few years to the video game console market. Sony’s PlayStation was the system to own. Microsoft launched the Xbox and then followed it up this past year with the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 with Xbox Live has been an amazing success. Apple’s iPod line currently holds 75% of the market share, but Sony’s PlayStation had to be pretty close or even higher in the video game console area. Microsoft is now a force to be reckoned with when it comes to console gaming. The iPod is an extremely strong product line, but I wouldn’t bet against Microsoft just yet. I can’t wait to see what they come out with.