On Saturday, treatment 9 Team CFO Athletes took on the Diamond of the Tough at CrossFit Santa Cruz West in Santa Cruz.
Driving up to the venue might have been the highlight for me. We drove up together, pharmacy and the gym was surrounded by very fit people with bright CrossFit clothes. Games competitors were all over the place. For Denny, Melissa, Conney and Janet this was their first taste of CrossFit competition. Muscle-y people, some bronzed, wearing colorful clothes, decked out in the newest Reebok gear, milling around, talking shop. Yes, everyone is really cool, but it IS intimidating. I was smiling on the inside as we drove up, thinking with a smile, “Conney isn’t going to want to get out of the car.” But dammit, she did. You guys earned your spot, and you belonged there!
The Bear complex (a clean/front squat, push jerk/back squat/rack jerk) required a very high level of strategy. I have seen this WOD 2x in competition, and both times, I have seen bad decisions and huge crash and burns. I have played it extremely conservative (last time), and relatively conservative (this time). I think if you find that it felt like you could have gone heavier, you probably got it right. We had some guys lose it and have to really fight to put a number on the board. Huge learning experience. In my heat, guys threw on 2.5’s or 5’s to get a leg up, and crashed and burned, and ended up eating 0s. I talked to them, and each said, I had a plan, and when it came to time go, I said “fuck it!’ Yes, fortune favors the bold, but if you have plan, you might want to stick to it.
I have very little to say about the shuttle run or broad jump. We did them. Great.
The 3rd WOD had Chest to Bar pullups in it. This left everyone in a tight spot. We do them in our programming, but they are easily scaled to regular pullups. Many of you just got pullups in recent weeks or months, and the final 6 inches on the chest to bar pull makes a big difference. Bob knocked out the best chest to bar pullups of his life on this WOD. Alison and Tricia banged them out bigger sets than normal- mainly because they had to. THAT is what competition teaches us.
Almost an after thought was the OHS weight. Everyone killed it, when a few months ago that was a weight you had to battle at. Great work!
I like chest to bar pullups. They force you to be very powerful in your pull. I will continue to program C2B pullups, and I hope you work on them.
In the end, many skills were tested – lifting heavy, double unders, overhead squats and pullups. These are thing we practice EVERYDAY. But competition sheds a different light on these movements, and hopefully gives us some insight on how to get better; whether it was watching other people prepare, a small tweak picked up, or sheer effort.
I am going to point out things I observed, some that are illustrated by the score board, some that were moments. I may not mention everyone, but everyone had a moment to shine and push themselves.
Tricia took 3rd in the Bear Complex (and 4th overall). I don’t know what Tricia weighs, but I don’t think anyone would look at her and think – “there’s a weightlifter.” What Tricia DOES do is her homework. She practices, does her recovery, watches videos and more. She is thoughtful about her lifts. She is also extremely consistent in her approach. Tricia participated in the Open last year, and has slowly but surely crept up leader boards with her even keel, steady Eddie approach. If you are looking for an example about how to live the CrossFit lifestyle, Tricia is a great person to start with.
Melissa took 5th in the Bear complex. Here is what’s amazing – 10 months ago, Melissa couldn’t squat. Her knees just wouldn’t allow it. Even with just body weight, it was a labor for her to get 45%, much less 90% (or below parallel). Again, with a consistent approach, diligent warm ups and stretching, knowing her limitations, she has gotten knee flexibility back to the point where she is competing with, and beating, the fittest women in her age group.
As Alison was on the floor waiting to start her Bear complex, Melissa turned to me and said, “She looks so nervous. We (speaking about CFO Athletes) get nervous, I’ve never seen Alison get nervous.” I replied, “Of course she’s nervous. This stuff is hard.” I told Melissa we’re just regular people and we all get nervous. I get nervous. We want to do well, meet our expectations and the expectations of others. We want to lead by example and show everyone there and at home what we’re about.
Don is just a warrior. He is our shining example. He always keeps competing, doesn’t get rattled and plays the game the right way. And he brings a GREAT cheering section. If Kat isn’t the voice that pierces the crowd, then you’re hard of hearing.
Denny got an attaboy from 3 times CrossFit Games competitor Gabe Subry following his smashing of WOD 3. Badass!
I won the Triplet WOD surrounded by Team CFO and CrossFit Excel cheering me on. Not going to lie to you, bringing that final piece home to your cheers was a-fucking-mazing. No other way to describe it. I’ll always remember it.
Podium at the Diamond of the Tough
Workout of the Day
Snatch Deadlift/Snatch/Hang Power Snatch
Build to a heavy complex in 15 minutes.
50 Chest to Bar Pullups
50 Burpees to Plate