By Anne Harms
Four Weeks Out:
A holiday competition was announced at our gym: The Holiday Hootenanny. It would be a partner competition and the WODS (workouts) will be kept secret. There will be different levels at which we can compete (“Rx” –as prescribed or “scaled”-with modifications). I knew that if I was going to be in town, I definitely wanted to participate! I immediately texted my gym bestie (because that is a thing!) and secured our partnership.
Three Weeks Out:
I didn’t anticipate we’d be winning any major medals (it wouldn’t even be possible since the competition would pit our gym (Switch) against another area Crossfit box (8 Mile). This would be an opportunity to get my eating back on track (paleo-esque) and have some goals to work toward.
Two Weeks Out:
The previous week went well. I got all of my workouts in, ate clean and drank almost 100 ounces of water each day. But then I got sick. Sinus infection. Both kids and my husband also had pretty bad colds, and my son had an ear infection. Between breathing treatments and pumpkin pie, the week was pretty rough. Limited workouts. Horrible eating. Not enough water.
One Week Out:
I was feeling (sort of) better and my partner was back in town from her cruise vacation. I re-committed to getting my workouts and water in. I also knew I needed to cut back on the Snickers. (#weakness)
WODs are released and now we needed a team name. Does that mean we need matching socks and outfits, too? The focus continued to shift between what we’re going to wear, what our name will be and then, of course, who and how we will complete the workouts.
I reminded my husband that I’d be at the gym for most of the day on Saturday. We made sure there was a plan to keep the kids busy: Home Depot workshop in the morning and a birthday party for one of their preschool friends in the afternoon.
Ham dinner on Thursday was a bad idea. Too many carbs snuck into my diet. I felt dehydrated and exhausted. I took two days off from the gym to rest. My mindset heading into the competition, now that we’ve named ourselves “Stocking Stuffers” is that this is just another day, just another workout (or four….back to back). It will be fun and honestly—with a name like “Hootenanny,” how bad could it be?!
Wake up early and shower (It will be a long day and I want “fresh” hair)! The kids were awake bright and early. We made eggs and got everyone dressed. My husband was hoping to bring the kids to the gym at some point and they were excited about their day. I put things into my bag that I might need and headed off for the standards brief at 9am. This is where they would go through each of the workouts and explain how they must be completed as to not get a “no rep”. No rep literally means “no repetition” and it’s devastating to a cross-fitter because it means your rep or number doesn’t count—and reps are everything!
Competition begins at 9:30. Alysia and I are in the third heat (out of four).
First WOD: “Snatch City”
10 minutes to set a “one-rep max” lift of the snatch movement. We had already warmed up at a comfortable weight and went in hoping to match our previous max efforts that were set earlier this fall. We loaded the bar with 65#. I eventually hit 90# and was happy to meet my goal. I failed 95# a few times and the clock ran out. Alysia hit 80# so our score totaled 170#.
In between the first and second WODs, my husband and kids arrived. Landon didn’t want to let go of me and Nicole just seemed overwhelmed by everything going on. Their preschool teacher was there watching her husband (one of my trainers) compete and the kids were pretty excited to see her! I had to sneak away to get down on the floor in time for the next workout.
Second WOD: “Grip ‘n’ Rip”
30 calorie row
30 deadlift @ 155#
30 clean @ 85#
30 shoulder to overhead @ 65#
30 burpee bar hop
Alysia and I divided up the movements. I started with the row and went all-out. Alysia jumped into the deadlifts as soon as I finished. I never really caught my breath after the row but we pushed through the remaining movements. We took turns on all of the lifts and broke the burpee bar hops into 4’s and 5’s. We finished under our goal of 10 minutes (in 8:08). For each movement, we had to unload the bar to the next weight level. I looked up when we finished and saw Nicole with her hands in the air and a giant smile on her face. I blew the kids kisses from the floor until I could go up to see them when everyone was finished.
Landon told me I felt “hot” and tried to give me a Cheeto. Nicole insisted that I drink some water! They left shortly before the next WOD to head to the birthday party.
Third WOD: “Skillz that Kill”
Three minutes for total points. Out of the three optional movements, we could only “RX” the kettlebell snatches for 1 point each. The others would be worth more points but could not be modified. We decided to aim for 10 snatches at a time. We held a steady pace and alternated. We ended up with 96 points at the buzzer.
Fourth WOD: “Don’t Let Go”
Five Minutes for reps:
20” box jump
25# plate pinch (both hands)
Box jumps. Box jumps have made me cry. Not because I fell on my face attempting them (which I have…) but because they get in my head! A two footed jump from a standing position to a raised box at 20 inches or more gets so deep in my head that I have literally cried over it. This is one of the examples that show the mental game that Crossfit can be. We challenge ourselves physically but also mentally to overcome movements that we physically CAN do but mentally have blocks. I’ve recently been working back up to a standard 20” box jump. Alysia can crank out 24” jumps but five minutes is a long time for any repetitive movement! I would have to hold with just my fingers (pinch) two 25# plates for as long as she jumps. Reps don’t count if I let go.
During the standards briefing, we found out that “step-ups” were allowed. This changed things. I can step-up on the 20” box without a problem. The plan would be for me to hold the plates for as long as possible and then alternate with her for the box “jumps”. All in all, this went well. Neither of us fell, and I felt like I wasn’t letting her down by modifying the movement.
Just as we finished our final WOD and the last heat was preparing to start, a delightful smell was spreading through the gym. Considering some of the smells from earlier in the day, this was surely welcome! Chicken wings. The owners brought in catered food and it was amazing. The winning gym was announced: 8 Mile. We sat around and chatted with folks from both gyms. This event was more than just a competition. It was definitely a Hootenanny!