My 1st competition experiance
By Sarah D
When I started doing strength and conditioning last August, I never thought I would be participating in a competition less than a year later. Growing up I always played sports and competed in different activities and always loved the adrenaline rush of a big game or competition. It has definitely been something I have missed since and have not been able to find an outlet for as an adult. This event was even more than I could ever have imagined. My partner, PJ, and I knew going into it that we weren’t going to be winning any of the heats or even coming close, but we set goals for ourselves and did the best we could.
For the first WOD, we had to reach the highest combined weight for a clean. My previous one-rep-max was 95 pounds at the end of June. I knew I could do at least that, but I wanted to try more. During the warm-ups I attempted 95 pounds and got it on the first try. I knew I could do more. When the clock started it was a mad frenzy of people putting weights on the bar and making their attempts. My goal was to do at least 100 pounds. I started at 75 to get passed the nerves. Before I knew it, I had hit 105 and was going for 115. We only had seven minutes for both of us to hit our highest weight and we were already at the half-way mark. I tried the 115 and I couldn’t quite lift the bar enough to drop under it. As much as I wanted to try again, it was time for PJ to get to work. He kept quickly making attempts and got up to 205 before time ran out making our combined weight 310.
Earlier in the week, we had practiced the second WOD: 42-30-18 of Thrusters (95/65) and Burpees. The first time we tried it, PJ and I went a little over the 10 minute cap. This time our goal was to do it in under 10 minutes. We had discussed different strategies and finally decided to just do what we each can and keep going. When the clock started PJ was first up with the Thrusters. My main concern was getting "no rep'd" since 65 pounds is heavier than I'm used to and I was having a hard time locking my arms earlier in the week. When it was finally my turn, I made sure to do the movements just as my coach had taught me: I put my head through the window and locked my arms. It was hard and I could only do a few at a time, but PJ kept us going. I was thankful that the judge was counting for us as we quickly went back and forth until we got through all 42 thrusters.
We moved onto the burpees next, which involved jumping onto a 25-pound weight in between each burpee. Getting this extra move down proved tricky. Soon into the first few burpees, I smacked my chin on the plate. Once I did that I learned where not to land on the way down. We finally hit a rhythm and kept going back and forth until we finally finished at 9:26. When we finished I looked around and realized there were still several teams still at work. All that mattered, though, was that we did it in under 10 minutes!
The third and final WOD was the one we were most worried about. All I kept thinking about the night before was 50 pull-ups. I'm still trying to learn how to do kipping pull-ups and usually use a band during a normal workout. When the time started, we ran our 200 meter run with the 20 pound ball and then PJ went to work on the pull-ups. I managed to do two strict pull-ups, leaving PJ the other 48 pull-ups to do all by himself. It was amazing to watch as he kept going and going. Then his hands ripped and I thought he would be done for sure. But back up on the bar he went. I felt helpless standing there watching him, but he just kept going. Finally he did one last pull-up and it was time to start the wall balls.
Of all the things I worried about beforehand, it was not the wall balls! But at this point of the day, I was exhausted and all of a sudden I couldn't throw a wall ball to save my life. Since PJ had just done 48 pull-ups I was determined to do all 30 wall balls, but after getting no rep'd many times for missing the wall, PJ took a turn. I think we finally got to 26 when the time ran out.
We ended up getting 38th out of 40 teams at the end of the day. Not too bad for a 36 and almost 43 year old for the first time around!
What was most interesting about this experience is that some of the athletes compete regionally and probably have a real shot at being in the Games one day, but no one made you feel like you shouldn't be there. It was amazing to see some of the top athletes at work and gave me inspiration to work harder. I don't expect to be going to the Games any time soon, but I can continue to set goals and surpass them. I can't wait to do the next competition to feel that rush and push myself to new limits.
Sarah and her Partner PJ