Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A moment in time

All I was thinking: "I can do this."

These overhead squats were heavier than 65#! Well, maybe not, but they felt like it...

The end. That is what a person looks like after the final 800 meter run at Sectionals.

95# Thrusters in the Stadium Chipper were my nemesis. I thought screaming really loudly might make them lighter (it did!).

A moment in time

I took a deep breath. Silence enveloped me in the darkness. Cement scraping my back, legs above, ground below, pressing all of my life into the pavement, I slowly raised myself hoping that my arms would be locked out at the end of the effort. Desperately I wanted to hear the judge say "6!" I only had 25 seconds left before my dream of making Regionals would come to an end...

This weekend, I participated in the Southern California Sectionals Crossfit Games Qualifier. Placing among the top twenty women would advance me to the Southwest Regional Crossfit Games Qualifier in May. My goal was to do just that, place in the top twenty.

As I participated in the first part of the second event, a year of crosfitting and a life of being an athlete flashed through my mind. It was no near-death experience, but when a dream that is so big in one's life is almost deferred, strange things go through one's mind.

I had been thinking about this workout for every waking second of my life since the events were posted. I would have to complete 4 rounds of 9 95# squat cleans and 6 handstand push-ups (to one ab mat) under 15 minutes. If I couldn't do this I could "tap out" and do regular push-ups instead, but would be automatically ranked under the girls who could complete the workout as prescribed (with the handstand push-ups). Going round and round in my mind, I decided that there would be no tapping out. Either I'd complete the workout as it should be done or get a score of DNF and not be in the running for Regionals.

The event began. The first round was tough, but I completed it in 3:45. This was the exact pace I needed to be at for each round if I wanted to go exactly 15 minutes. I needed to go faster. The second round was a blur, but I was happy that I had not failed any handstand push ups at that point. Going in to the third round my arms started to feel weak and my squat cleans were getting messy. During that round I think I failed on two handstand push ups and lost some precious time.

Then, the final round arrived. It was ugly. My squat cleans had turned into fierce power cleans/ upright rows combined with a front squat. After completing 9 of the yuckiest squat cleans of my life, I sprinted to the handstand push-up area. I did 4 handstand push ups, one at a time. On my fifth one, my feet came away from the wall and my arms gave out. I failed and would have to do it again. I looked at the clock and noticed I only had about 45 seconds left. I hurriedly shook my arms and tried for #5 one more time. I succeeded. Then I glanced at the clock again. With one handstand push-up to go, I noticed that I had about 25 seconds left. I told myself I could do it and then...

Before I kicked up into my "final" handstand, I looked to my right and saw all of my friends cheering wildly for me. I saw people who I had sweat, cried, and pushed beyond my limits with, standing there willing me to finish that handstand push-up. I could see my pain on their faces. When I kicked my legs up against the wall I thought, " I love these people and I love what crossfit has done for my life. I'm going to get this f'ing handstand push-up right now and make myself and all of these people proud at this moment in time."

So I did.

After the final handstand push up, I frantically asked my judge the time. He smiled and said 14:47.

It ended up, after 2 days and 3 ridiculously brutal events, that I earned 9th place overall at sectionals. I achieved what I set out to do and that was, and still is, a very satisfying feeling.

Today I am going on my second rest day. I can barely walk, my quads are on fire, and I am not very hungry. Last night I slept for a solid ten hours and actually dreamt for the first time in 6 months. What did I dream of? You guessed it, regionals (and Jolie Gentry was driving around looking for waterfalls with me!). Even though I am wiped out and sore, I am desperately missing the gym. I miss my friends and I miss working out there. I can't wait to get back into CFV and lift some heavy stuff. Regionals is in 53 days and will be more brutal and intense than Sectionals, but all I can think right now is, BRING IT ON!

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At 7:35 PM , Blogger Central Washington CrossFit said...

nice work Jaala. you kick ass at regionals. train hard!!

At 9:06 AM , Blogger CrossFit said...

Congrats again J!! You kicked ass!!!

At 11:24 AM , Blogger Katie said...

Congradulations Jaala! I am so happy for you....you deserve this victory for all the work/blood/sweat you've put into your training. Awesome Awesome !!

At 1:07 PM , Blogger CJ said...

Great work Jaala!

Rest up and get ready for Regionals...it's going to be another awesome weekend!

At 8:08 PM , Blogger Mindith said...

Wow!!!!!! Jaala I am glad I was able to see you crush the stadium chipper. To bad I missed the other 2 wods because from what I have heard you were amazing. Going RXD is so impressive because I know how hard those hspu can be-- I am still struggling with them. I can not wait to see you kill it in the regionals now you know what you are capable of and nothing can stop you. Oh and by the way wow that last run was sweet you still had it in you to fly across that track!!! Train Hard. love mindith

At 10:59 PM , Blogger CrossFit OG said...

Congratulations on making regionals, Jaala. :) Strong, strong work! I'm happy for you! ...On to regionals! :)

At 7:49 PM , Blogger Jaala Thibault said...

Thanks for all of the kind words everyone!


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