A Rookie In A Competition
"To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders." - Lao Tzu
By: Bryan Llorente of the United Kingdom
I´m going to start giving you a bit of background, I started Crossfit almost a year ago and I wasn’t planning to compete in my first year. Really, I just wanted to get back in shape after a few months with less activity than usual. But, for someone like me that has spent his whole live competing (I was a handball player) was difficult to say no when other two guys from the gym asked me to do a competition with them. I knew it was going to be a challenge but I didn't think I just said: "Yes, of course, guys, I´ll do it”.
The Wild West Winter Slam is a spectacular CrossFit event held twice a year here in the UK and it is teams of three who compete at one time. All of it is organized by Wild West Fitness (in partnership with Reebok CrossFit Glevum) and held at Cheltenham Racecourse over two days.
There are 3 WODs on Saturday, 2 more on Sunday and of course, the final event. And I'll get to the six workouts in a minute, but over the course of one weekend, that is a lot of fitness.
As I said it was my first competition, I´ve done a couple of throwdowns at my local box, but not a proper competition with an arena full of people watching our movements, I was ok with people watching, but I wasn’t confident at all with some of the movements (I have to improve a lot, especially my gymnastics).
So, here we go....
Friday night I was happy when the organizer released the workouts for Saturday, I thought, "Ok, I can do all the movements, and should be alright." But, truth be told, I didn't know what was coming.
As soon as I arrived at the venue I told my teammates “Guys, take notice, I'm the smallest person here. I might not be able to keep pace with you."
Not that they cared, but I kinda felt the need to cover myself.
And for those who don’t know me, I´m 182cm tall and 84kg, so actually I´m not a small person, but fitness-wise, I might be around average height and weight, but my nerves were at an all-time high with my first competition.
This was going to be interesting....anyways, let's get to the workouts and Day 1 at Wild West.
Saturday WODS / day 1
PART A: 0-12 MIN
Alternating full rounds, athletes had to complete AMRAP of:
25 KB Swings (24kg or 53 lbs.)
25 Wall-balls (9kg or 20 lbs.)
PART B: 12-15 MIN
Each athlete record 1 max-effort set of unbroken pull-ups
In a 15 min cap, teams had to complete 9 full rounds of:
-5 squat cleans
-5 Shoulder to overhead
-3 burpee rope climbs
Athlete 1: 4 rounds at 40kg or 95 lbs
Athlete 2: 3 rounds at 60kg or 135 lbs (I was athlete number two)
Athlete 3: 2 rounds at 80kg or 175 lbs
Alternating athletes, every 90seconds for 9 rounds (3 per athlete) each had to perform:
-25 Thrusters (35kg)
-AMRAP Burpee over the bar.
Day 1 Recap
Had to say WODs 1 and 2 were horrible. A lot of no reps with the wall-balls, I couldn't find my pace, and in the second WOD, I ripped 2 fingers climbing the rope, and in the second round it made the last round a nightmare.
After the first 2 workouts, I knew that the thrusters in the last WOD of the day were going to be toasty for the legs and shoulders, but I also knew it was the last one of the day and some burritos were waiting for us after.
So, why not push it?
Sunday WODS / Day 2
Teams will accumulate as many calories as possible in 13 minutes on the Skierg while they complete 9 rounds (3 consecutive per athlete)
7 deadlifts (100kg or 225 lbs.)
In a 13 min cap, each athlete had to complete a full round each of:
- 21 dual KB front rack squats (2 x 24kg or 53 lbs.)
- 50 double unders
- 15 dual KB front rack squats (2 x 24kg or 53 lbs.)
- 50 double unders
- 9 dual KB front rack squats (2 x 24kg or 53 lbs.)
- 50 double unders
In a 13-minute time cap, athletes had to complete sharing work as they wish
75 alternating arm Dumbbell ground to overhead (22.5kg)
60 toes to bars
45 burpee tall box jumps (30”)
30 muscle ups
Day 2 recap
I found Sunday a lot easier than Saturday, probably because after a bad first day I put all the nerves away and decided to enjoy every WOD. And I actually did.
I caught up with my coach after the competition, and while Wild West exposed all my weaknesses (gymnastics), it was a great experience to see where my fitness is compared to top CrossFitters here in the UK. And one thing I learned about CrossFit this weekend is that we all start in the same place. It's not about where you are now, it's about progressing as an individual each and every day. Patience, perseverance, progress, results.
I understand CrossFit is not for everyone, but I will encourage everyone to do it, it´s an inspirational atmosphere. In the box, at home, wherever you go, you are able to be part of a community that's focused on improving the health, wellness, and lives of everyone within it. Mentally, physically, emotionally, you name it.