Three days of competition, two words: A. Mazing. Ok, technically it’s one word, but stress for effect.
I had the privilege this weekend of travelling up to the Hawke’s Bay to support three of our athletes who were competing at Judgement Day HB. Having never been to a CrossFit comp before, I had no idea really of what to expect. Before I go any further, let me just say: if you have to opportunity to check out one of these events – do it!
Unfortunately, I missed Friday’s WOD. It consisted of a 300m swim followed by a 3km run. Now, you may be wondering what swimming has to do with CrossFit. I have to say, it perfectly fits the ethos of CrossFit being “unknown and unknowable”. What better way to illustrate this than by throwing swimming into a WOD?
Day Two involved three WODs that tested even the top athletes who were present. The atmosphere was incredible. People were clapping, stomping, screaming, laughing, and talking. Music was playing loudly (great DJ, too). Judges were counting, no-repping, and congratulating competitors. Athletes were swearing, sweating, grunting, dropping weights, and cheering each other on as well. Manic is the only word that can describe it. Manic and contagious. I have never been at an event like it.
Not only did supporters cheer for their own, but they cheered for others, too. Each athlete, once finished, would go and encourage others in their heat who hadn’t finished yet. I’ve seen this at WOF during regular classes, but on such a scale it is truly breath-taking. Make no mistake; these athletes are there to win. They don’t want 2nd, or 4th, or last. They want to hit PBs. They want to be at the top of the leader board. They want bragging rights.
And yet, even in the midst of all of that adrenalin and excitement and determination, they find it in themselves to encourage a competitor to be the best that they can be. Even if it might hurt their own chances. Even if it means pushing that competitor to get enough points that it puts them further up the board. This. This is CrossFit. This is what it means to be a part of this community. This is why so many of us become “that annoying CrossFitter”. It truly is that amazing.
I left, reluctantly, just before the end of the day. The three and a half hour drive wasn’t something I was looking forward to. Our two RX Mens competitors were doing well, with one pretty safely in the top cut for semis, and the other with a good chance. I bought the world’s worst coffee from Hastings McDonalds and headed home hoping that someone would keep me up to date on the Sunday.
I wasn’t disappointed. The photos and videos that the remaining support team posted were enough to tempt me to drive back up, but the thought of that McDonalds coffee was enough to stop me. Our RX men were both in the semis! The WOD was brutal: handstand walks, snatches, overhead squats, sled pushes, and deadlifts. One of our athletes was having to deadlift twice his body weight! These two guys ended up at 9th and 11th overall. As a gym, as individuals, we couldn’t be more proud of everyone who took part in this event. I’d watch again in a heartbeat. Congratulations to all the competitors. And to our athletes: thanks for letting us along for the ride!