The team came into day 2 a little banged up physically and emotionally. The toll of the roller coaster was starting to show up. They had gone from absolutely no pressure to quite a bit. Most of the pressure came from themselves. They were sitting in third place amongst the strongest teams in the world. It was a tough transition from “happy to be here” to “Let’s go for Sunday.” At the team briefing the next surprise was announced. I am calling it the FU Yoke. This was the brilliant brain child of somebody, I don’t know who. Give CrossFit and Rogue credit. They are brilliant at crushing people’s expectations. Jess pulled together some equipment and we were able to rig up a bar with dangling kettlebells to simulate for warmups. Confidence was high for the yoke and there was a lot of unknown for the clean/rope climb event. For the first time in my coaching career I bitched to the organizers. The teams were corralled in a three sided rectangular tent. It was close to 90 degrees and they were in there for almost 30 minutes. When they came out, they then had to wait another 20 minutes in the “tunnel” at the track. Why even bother warming up? Yago said it was like being electrocuted when you had to sprint to your starting spot and immediately start the workout. As they waited to enter the track the team called me over. “Can you run back to the stadium to get our gloves?” Ugh. Coach hasn’t been on a running program since 2009. I ran from the track, under the concourse, back to the soccer stadium where the athlete tent was. Luckily there was another team from an earlier heat in the tent. I asked them to pick one of the six bags and dig through them as fast as possible. Within 30 seconds I had 6 pairs of gloves in my hands and I was “sprinting” back to the track. I got them the gloves right before they went out. Lisa was the only one who used them.
The Yoke proved to be as nasty as advertised. All the credit goes to Jessica. With ten seconds to go, she grabbed the yoke and sprinted another 15m and dove forward at the last second. I think that last fifteen meters put us up another 10 spots at least. Diablo and Hack’s Pack were first out of the gate on the clean/rope climb and never let up. Our team was on the bottom half of our heat. The women were proving to be the deciding factor. I watched earlier heats as the women were fatiguing fast. They would get half way up and freeze, trying to figure out if they could make it. When our women got to the rope they methodically climbed up each time.. They probably gained five spots during the rope climbs by moving slowly but never freezing. The men finished off the workout and then we waited.
When the scores came in I was in the athletes tent down by the track since they had better food there. I saw on the screen that we finished 8th in the yoke and 15th on the rope/clean–good enough to drop us just one spot to fourth place going into the final workout to see who would qualify for Sunday. The mood had changed, we could do this. Sunday was a real possibility at this point. As the team left for the briefing of the workout I sat in the tent by myself. There was one other person in the 5000 sq ft. tent. I was relaxed enough that I actually dozed off, thinking of the journey.
The team raced out onto the stadium floor for the bar muscle ups. If we could stay in the top 15 for each event there was an excellent chance we would make it to Sunday. At this point, why wouldn’t we make the top 15? That was where I got a little over confident. I forgot that we move the heavy stuff like champs but there were some teams out there that move the light stuff like they were getting paid. Single women were doing 12-15 muscle ups, and we got 11 total. Lisa and Nicki both PR’d, but would it be enough? Men were doing 25 to 30, and we got 21 total. Uh oh. The men’s scores and women’s scores for the muscle ups were scored separately. We handled our business on the chipper which I wasn’t too worried about. I mean we were doing well, weren’t we? I started to panic. All of a sudden I wasn’t so confident anymore. When it was over I sat with Evan, Jason Bannister and Susan Cofano (who moved to Colorado a few months ago and came by herself to the Games to cheer on her team!) who were all working their phones like operators from the 50’s. The cell reception sucked and the scores were being updated. The individual events had started and the crowds were screaming and I sat on a concrete wall with my back to the action and my head in my hands, thoughts of last year racing through my head. I couldn’t take it anymore and grabbed Jason and raced back to the athlete tent. Some of the team were in an ice bath, some were in the tunnel crazily refreshing their phones. Jason was on the phone with Alicia while I paced around the warmup area. The scores slowly came in. 26th for the men’s muscle ups (not) 23rd for the women (looking) 16th on the chipper (good). Jason couldn’t take it anymore and he gave the phone to me. Alicia refreshed her browser 15 times in fifteen seconds. 5 teams left to have their scores put in. 4 teams left, 3 teams, 2, 1.
“I think they are all in, the cells are all filled” Alicia said.
“And?” I asked.
” It looks like you are in…….5th place.”
“I think so.”
And that was it. I felt calm. After telling the team and them telling me, as we all found out at the same time, I walked over to a shady spot and called Allison 124 times until I finally got a call to connect. As we talked I watch the members of CrossFit Central, Front Range CrossFit and CrossFit New England console each other and pack up their things. They were and still are monsters, and yet they were leaving and we were staying. How was this possible?
The feeling of being present has always been a work in progress for me. Feeling” in the moment” always brings up memories and past experiences and I am always conflicted with whether or not this is “the right way to do it.” The emotions were incredibly varied. I walked around the corner of the tent and there sat the women of CrossFit Dallas Central, crying their eyes out. Top ten finishes three years in a row, and they were bumped out of the top six by CrossFit Invictus during the final workout. I walked past them and stopped and turned around. I knelt down in front of them and told them that I was probably the last person they wanted to see right now and then told them how impressive they are and how proud they should be and how I guaranteed that they will be there next year. They were very polite and thanked me.
I walked away with tears in my eyes because it became very clear to me that without the past, there is no “being present.”
Tomorrow: The End of the Journey
Testing Day; CF Total
3 Attempts @ 1RM Back Squat
3 Attempts @ 1RM Press
3 Attempts @ 1RM Deadlift
Out of Town WOD
Run 1 mile for time
Rest 10 minutes
Rest 5 Minutes
148/365: PNF Deadlfit Mob Demo