Sunday morning. Weird. There were only 40 some odd people in the stands listening to the head judge, Chuck Carswell, give the final instructions. Just yesterday there were hundreds. No tricks this time. Just six named workouts. Girls then guys. Obviously the team had gone over who would do what many times in the last 15 hours so the order was set. The only problem was the three hours of down time before the workout. There was a different attitude with the team. Almost introspective as everyone was off kind of doing their own thing. They had an easy going manner but there was an energy that felt like there was still work to do. I left the stadium and walked around vendor village while talking to Allison on the phone. Great ego pump. Had tons of people coming up and shaking my hand, wanting to get their picture taken with me. Vendors were throwing me t shirts and handing me posters of their products. Don’t get me wrong, I think we legitimately have one of the top CrossFit communities in the world. Most people know about us–from our competition teams to our people who run the shows behind the competitions, to Allison’s book… Still, it’s a weird experience to be recognized in that forum.
While I was busy thinking about our community, I ran into Mike Chamberlain and Neil Murphy. These knuckleheads flew down at 6am just to be there for the final workout. They were proudly wearing their Blue, with beers in hand at 10am, giggling like school girls. This is what it is all about. If you haven’t read Michael’s post on the dboard you need to stop reading this drivel and go read it.
I spoke to a ton of vendors and CrossFit celebrities on my way back to the athlete’s tent. There I found the team going through their warmups. Only 45 minutes till go time. I sat in the front row of the stadium watching everyone. This was a calm spot away from the mania that was happening up in the tennis stadium and the vendor area where the Master’s were finishing their final workout. I was able to see all of our team members going through their paces. Eventually the call came out to for the teams to check in. This is where I would leave them. We gathered together one last time. I told that them while this workout was going to be tough it will be over soon and so will the journey.
I made my way up to section 18 where are crew had taken root for the weekend. Gedge, Paul, Suzanne, Mark Moyer, Taylor Lawson, Cory, Gilly, Megan, Evan,Ham, Michael,Sean and Catlin Weatherill, Ma and Pa Filly, Kris Ozaki, Neil, Jason, Joe, Andy, Susan, Amina, Mike Harrosh. Brit and Brandy were all there. The Big Blue Road Crew. It was like walking into a wedding that had been going on for a few hours. Everyone was loose and having a good time. They were all beaming and wearing their TJ’s Gym gear with all the pride in the world. Right before the workout started Lisa Smith snuck down and stood next to me in pure joy. The workout started and the rings dips were tough for Lisa but the fear of failing which might have been kicking around in her head the day before was gone. She got through them solidly and tagged off to Nicki who methodically did Fran in front of 8000 people. Jess worked her way through Isabel and those 30 reps with the biggest tears on her hands you’ve ever seen. At this point it was pretty apparent that we weren’t going to win and we probably weren’t going to place. And it was all good. Danny cranked out Grace unbroken in just over a minute. Marcus worked his way through Diane which is a brutal workout to begin with on top of already conquering the best of what CrossFit had two offer over the last two days. When it got to Yago for the final 150 wall balls a couple of the other teams had already finished. In typical CrossFit fashion, after celebrating with each other and their fans , Hack’s Pack, SPC, Invictus and Diablo came over to root on our team and Raw Training. They got right up next to Yago and the athlete from Raw and were screaming and clapping for them. Time ran down and Yago was in agony as anyone would be. He finished his final toss and slumped to the ground while the other teams swarmed over him to slap him on the back and yell in his ear. I’m sure his memory of this is incredibly vague but I could feel the pride, the emotion and the cheers from the entire Blue Nation raining down on him and the team.
This is the hardest part for me to remember. I know that I made my way down to the tent where everyone was hugging and laughing. All the teams were interacting and congratulating each other. Security had become pretty lax at that point so a bunch of our crew had made their way into the athletes village. Plans were starting to get made about who was going to the airport when and who was taking whom. At this point I found myself a little lost. I told a few people that I was going to leave and try to catch an earlier flight. I walked up to the stadium and looked around one last time. I was stopped a few times by well wishers and was asked to have my picture taken by a few people and then I headed out. I called Allison in a little bit of an emotional state unsure of what the hell I was doing as I walked through the parking lot. She implored me to go back and see our crew who had traveled all the way down, some of them at the last minute. Just like I had implored her–demanded of her–that she cancel her trip and not bring our girls down to Carson as planned, since we had no childcare. She had listened to me, and like any good husband I did exactly what she told me at that moment and damn, am I glad I did. I sat with everyone through the final heats of the individuals which I can barely remember. We all then went out to dinner together and as I sat with Gedge, Neil and Michael I was finally able to fully relax. We all had a couple of more drinks and headed out to our various airports. I passed out on the plane and woke up in Oakland, stumbled through airport and got home some time before midnight. I walked in my house and sat on the couch in the dark, trying to sort through my thoughts.
When we were announced as the 10th best team (later it was changed to 11th) in Aromas in 2009, the log carry/tire flip of the 2010 Regionals, winning the 2011 Regionals, and making it to Sunday in 2012. I know that there are hundreds of people in our program who don’t even know what happened this weekend and there is nothing wrong with that. I know that the CrossFit Games are not what we are, but something that we are lucky to do. I know that helping people change their lives is my vision, not working all year to make it to Carson. But as I sat in the dark I was able to realize how important being in the moment is and there was nothing wrong with that either.
Marcus, Lisa, Yago, Jessica, Nicki and Danny all deserve our recognition and congratulations for their accomplishment. They are the 6th best team out of over 4000 and that is amazing. I want to thank Allison and Anthony one more time for being a part of this thing for many months–years in Allison’s case. No question at all that without their hours of commitment to this journey there was no way this all would have happened. I want to thank the Big Blue Road Crew for making their way down and acting like a rogue group of mercenaries who cheered like a bunch of drunken pirates. I want to thank all of the Northern California competitors and teams. People like Blair Morrison, Annie Sakamoto, CJ Martin, Kelly and Juliet Starrett and Jason Khalipa who grabbed me and hugged me whenever they could throughout the weekend. The members of Diablo, CrossFit NorCal, Invictus and Rocklin who cheered for us as if they were our members. Mostly I want to thank the team members and owners of Diablo and Rocklin. This weekend we were all family. Rooting, screaming, consoling each other whenever possible–just like in years past.
Thank you Blue. Since Aromas in 2009, you have made this a ride of a lifetime. I am honored and humbled to be a coach for you and everyone in our community–all of you who let me do this thing day in and day out.
**There will be no more OUTFit on Thursdays, but Tuesdays are still on.
Email from Max Nivaud:
Well bonjour….i feel like I had a very soft exit. I never even got my final goodbye WOD and Belger’s sorry we never got one last hang before we left! I’m in Geneva now, with a 3 week head start on Kielty and the kids to find a house, a car, insurance, drivers license etc. all that fun stuff J. We’re really going to miss all of you and the TJ’s community. I feel blessed that we were able to be a part of it, if briefly, and we’ll of course be back in a few years, and hopefully everyone will still remember us! If ya’ll are ever up for a ski trip to the Alps, you know where to find us….
And yes, I plan to stop by Crossfit Geneva and get a new membership going. Til then I’ll be picking off the OOTW’s as best I can…
Until next time, stay classy San Rafael.
Phase 2 Begins
15-20mins Skill Work – Hang Power Snatch
A. 3 Position Hang Power Snatch (high hang, above knees, below knees
*take 1-2 reps at each position
B. 5 Sets @ 97% (full effort but repeatable)
5 Hang Power Snatch
10 Buprees AFAP
Out of Town WOD
B. 5 Sets @ 97% (full effort but repeatable)
10 Buprees AFAP