When I'm in my groove there is no thinking. Everything just happens. ~Ozzie Smith

Sunday, February 12, 2012


We will receive not what we idly wish for but what we justly earn. ~ Earl Nightingale

The adrenaline is still pumping, somehow. I should be passed out cold after this weekend and yet it is past midnight and I can't settle in. Rain is steady, night is dark and quiet. As I look at this picture I am so proud to be a part of the 2012 CF Roseville Masters Team. What a feat it was and we layed it all out there this weekend. Each athlete pushing it to their limit under fatigue and pressure. Outstanding!

5th Place Finishers at the 2012 SacTown Throwdown!

The week leading up to the event was tough for me. After only finding out a week before how the team would shape up, we hit it. Then, Sunday I was at an event at Folsom Lake wondering why my throat was all a tingle. Monday I was down for the count, Tuesday's WOD left me gasping for air, Wednesday I was still recovering from aches and in denial, Thursday I just wanted to workout but knew better and by Friday I was jonsing bad, but concerned how my endurance would hold up. Instead, I tucked myself into a dry sauna and sweat it out. Really?! Now! The week before, the prep workouts were encouraging, fun, raw! Got some new socks in case the rope climb came into play. Repeat after me ... "I feel fabulous" ;).

It was here, we met at the box once the much anticipated workouts were announced. Chatter, chatter, chatter. It was an opportunity to play with those skills that we just wanted one more shot at. Forward roll ... okay. Yep, I know what I know. Excitement was in the air! All three teams were pumped! A few nerves were still rattling. We all have the little voice that questions our ability, our possibility, our worth.

What if I 'fail'? Everyone will see my weakness! I don't want to let anyone down. Now, reset the conversation in my head ...   
  • Set yourself up to WIN. Know the score, know what you want to achieve!  
  • Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe it can achieve. Napoleon Hill - Believe in your best! Even the best of your worst. Get out of your own way, you just might fail until you win, but you'll never win if you don't try. What does winning mean? Know the answer.
  • You cannot run away from weakness; you must some time fight it out or perish; and if that be so, why not now, and where you stand? - Robert Louis Stevenson - Yes, we all have them. Weakness. We all have strength too. That is the beauty of teamwork. An accumulation of the whole. Rise above yesterday's failure and reach forward.

That was it, just let it all go until that morning. Now that all was revealed, it was what it was. Sleep was blissful. Coffee was my haven. Winding through the canyon I started to drill down on my expectations. What would winning (success) mean? Here is what I came up with ...  

Have fun for the box, compete for the team, do the work for myself.

Going over all the movements in my head, I set the goals for myself. As a team, we chose the perfect man/woman for the job presented. Each of us having our strengths, it was clear.

I was a bit preoccupied with Meredith's basketball team, they were playing just after our first event. I was sorry to be missing her game, but this weekend it was my turn. I was a CF Master, not Mrs. Coach of the Pacers. 

Focus on the Quad, this is the good one, just finish with or before everyone else, that's the goal - Run 1 mile/250 Dbl Unders/75 Burpees/Row 1600meters - everyone does everything. The team got into place and the chill of the morning was gone. As a coach, even when I work out I still find myself coaching, but today took all I had to get the work done. Each rotation required us to be fully present and we were. What do you love, what do you hate it didn't matter, we all had to finish together. Getting off that rower to my knee, I could have hurled a bit. Um, but I am happy I didn't pee my pants even a little ;).

Second event, Tour De Helen. Watching the first half of our team WOD was inspiring, Patrick is so strong, he just kicked butt and racked up the points on the Atlas and Snatch. Danene put up the weight and was strong! Never a worry girl ;). It was go time. I hit my goal on this one too, win! Ride, check, DB's hard but I knew I was going for fatigue and consistency, not failure , C2B, grip that thick bar and finish it strong, repeat, go as far as you can, just go! Done. Happy. Rest. Eat.

Gymnastics, I wish I could say that I was more confident, but with the two events before I knew my goal was to stay injury free. Again, win. Great opportunity to plan some work and continue with mobility over the next few months. Those things that easily get shoved into the corner of the skills book, rotate them around, they are important. Make it so.

Watching the Open and Novice teams was so much fun. Knowing what they were going through, seeing them so fired up. Connie sticks the snatch. Seth and Amy work through the ladder. Brooke and Justin on the Tour ... Jesse strong on the Quad. The real surprise was finishing tied for 5th place going into Sunday's events. That was not on my radar! Cheers, hugs, high fives all over. Friends, family, rock steady volunteers surrounding us (these guys were the bomb, seriously). The Novice team was coming back too, tied for 6th. Cool! I do have to tell you, the roar of success was evidence as they announced our name both times. Events were revealed and we divided up the work. Planning done. Meeting time done. Nerves, none. Good feeling. Well, a little stiffness began setting in and I really needed a shower.

Oh crap! Now the pressure was on. Get home, hug the family, eat, sleep, wash my shirt (a must!) get up on the day I thought would be a lounging and do it again ;). Um, what were the events? Zonked.

New day, feeling pretty good, not as sore as I thought, but hoping it is mind over matter, hehhehe. Cold today, damp too. Fog in the canyon. Arriving it was closer to bone chilling. Not really a good chance to warm up and that police car looked tough. Novice team went first. Everyone was gasping, could it be that bad? Yes, it was. "You can do anything for 2 minutes!", Justin-ism ;). Thank the heavens that Geoff and Patrick were our workhorses. They were amazing, really, amazing athletes. I know I was working, but they kept us steady and moving. My hamstrings were smoked, it took more than a few steps off that rope to recover. Seth caught me when we stopped, I was staggering a bit. Breathing was tough, I think I saw a few stars on that one. I was taxed, on overload, but we did it. Best part, other than that awesome picture ... we took a team walk together to recover. Present together on this one. Everything that day was at depth.

Gary arrived, yeah! I needed him there today and we settled in to watch the groups begin the team chipper, freezing and trying to stay squat loose. Everyone did 60 reps started with 20 T2B/20 Backsquats @105#/20 T2B tag your teammate, Battle ropes/tire flips/Battle ropes tag, Sandbag thrusters/Bar Muscle ups/thrusters tag, 75# OH walking lunges/box jumps/OH walking lunges. Just stay warm. Novice team looked good, Krista working with a purpose, Jordan on the bar, NICE. Just keep moving forward. We were up. Goals set, pay attention chatty, 3, 2, 1 ... first set, nice. Squats on that angle not as nice, shoes were squishy. Only 2 no reps and I couldn't hear go or no on the depth. Too cold, louder please. Past my limit, I just pushed on, consistent effort, don't stop. Unbroken set, win. Last T2B, my hands and forearms had had it. I couldn't hold on anymore, fingers doing strange things, HOLD ON! Shake it out, finish and tag! 

Geoff was an animal, what strength on the rope/tires. We were 8 minutes and some change into the 25 minute max and we were way out in front. Patrick worked his magic, born to squat he was on the bar in no time, he crushed it, thrusters in his sleep. Danene was up, she came out the gate with a fire, then it hit ... failure. She gave every ounce she had, every second. When you are happy to do box jumps and they are your least favorite ... overhead lunges on the way back now, she fought for every step, it was awesome! I found myself choking up, for the struggle that anyone who pushes it to the brink knows, for the moment when the finish comes. No one in our heat finished the chipper, but we brought it in the closest to the finish line. WIN!

In those 'oh shit' moments when you you need some encouragement, yes, you might need a second to catch your breath and get out of panic mode. It's just you in the universe. You want to hear everyone, but don't. It takes all your being to focus. This is HARD and what might be easy for you is hard for someone else, add in the fatigue of the WODs cumulatively and the game has changed, so play your game, not theirs. You just might feel crushed, want to cry in that moment because you can't hang on for one more second or even breath, way past fatigue but crap ... YOU KNOW it counts. How far down can you dig to reset and continue and when you can't reset you just keep going because it will end soon, you know it! You only know that feeling when you've experienced it. You know the look, you know. You might want to collapse or cry out. Being tested to the absolute limit. These are the moments that define your success as you take your best forward. We are often hardest on ourselves and it is damn hard trying to be what you think everyone else thinks you should be. You make the rules, define yourself and LOVE it. Feel good! It has been earned it. I promise.

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