“They’re Pretty, But can they Fight…”

The answer to today’s post title was most definitely yes.

One WHOLE week and no posts on Old Country, I think that’s a record. What have the Filer boys been up to?

STAGE FIVE

What’s Stage Five? One of the most important parts of training. It’s when you are done competing, Stage Five begins. And during Stage Five YOU ARE NOT an athlete. You are simply recovering. You eat shitty and drink too much for the most part. It’s a very important part of training and competing when it comes to the Club. And after 4 months off our regular grind, training odd days, taking part in the Crossfit Open and finally the NorthWest Regionals, the Team was ready for some serious Stage 5.

But how did the Regionals go?

I’d have to say it went pretty damn well.

We had two place in the top twenty individually and everyone poured their hearts out. That’s all I every ask as a Coach. I know, as always in sports, many competing wanted higher finishes but the nature of Crossfit as a sport is fickle sometimes. MANY of our athletes exceeded well past their expectations in certain workouts. But doing really well at something that’s not a strength of yours sometimes doesn’t give you the points you need. It’s called winning the Battle but not the War. But there will always be more Wars, the Crossfit Season is every year now. And every year there will be a new set of challenges. What I want to focus on is not the War, I want to focus on the Battle my crew fought this last weekend that made the Red, Black and Grey Proud.

Carrie Winecoff – My first competitive athlete I trained, me and this southern belle have been through a lot. And her battle leading up to Regionals weighed 70 lbs. Carrie is strong as an ox on a lot of things but that damn dumbbell snatch was intent on trying to take away her season. She had NEVER hit the lift on her left arm leading into that weekend. And while we were warming up before the event she couldn’t snatch it on her right arm all of a sudden. But Carrie walked onto that floor a warrior and not only snatch it once but over and over again. It was a very proud moment as a coach and friend.

ALSO lets not forget how Carrie came on with a slow pace in Diane and not only caught everyone in her heat but beat them rattling out Handstand pushups in quick sets. Then what did she do? She look to the crowd and flashed a “OC,” very gangsta Care, way to really make me proud.

Ryan Andrews – Ryan was consistent all weekend. You wouldn’t have guessed at how Ryan carried himself in workouts that he had placed like 200th in last years Open. He battled away at each workout and locked in a 5th place finish on Sunday’s snatch ladder. When the smoke cleared “HollyWood” would find himself sitting in 20th place overall, a HUGE improvement over last year’s season.

Skylar Pond – My life changed dramatically almost two years ago when Skylar Pond walked into my gym. Sky’s Balls to the Wall approach to life in general comes out twice as much when he trains or competes. Life long maniac athletes come with some bumps and bruises. Sky comes with a bum shoulder. One that decided to go out on him leading up to Regionals. “As long as there aren’t any overhead squats or snatches I should be good.” SHIT.

My goal was to keep Sky moving and healthy all weekend. And he did that and more. He strapped himself into some kind of crazy shoulder harness and went to work. I think the photo crew there decided to simple follow him around to capture every Green Goblin war scream he let out.

The Team – What can I say about our Team this year. Six different athletes of amazing different body types and skill sets took the floor to put it on the line for the I/C. I would not have picked any of those workouts for that Team, but not only did they rise to the challenge but they exceeded it. Coming together as a Team and standing on the line as a Team is something that no one can every take from you guys, congratulations on the Season.

Roo – Marissa is what I like to call a Valkryie. She is a warrior in the true sense of the word. Roo has an ability to go blank, she literally will just breath and move. When she kettlebells or Crossfits that is on display for everyone to see. It was there again this weekend. Roo took 17th this year, Roo fought all the battles. She did so with the fury that we who have watched her have come to admire. She PR’d by 3 MINUTES on Diane, but the sub 5 time only gave her so many points. She literally bashed her legs black and blue with a barbell during wod 2 but never relented. She would snatch safely to finish the dumbell snatches in wod 3 to protect risking another injury to her bad shoulder and she would grind against the clock in wod 4. She snatched just under her PR on Sunday’s ladder and would battle through muscle ups in the finals.

She never slowed down, she just tucked her chin and kept moving, it was amazing to watch. Not because where she placed, she has placed better than that at Regionals. But because the workouts she was able to do it in. She was an example that if you show up to Win and not just Not Lose you can always keep yourself swinging on your feet in the middle of any brawl. A true valkyrie and a honor to Coach.

Myself – Well I had to get everything else out of the way before the anti climatic story. I managed to jack myself up at Regionals. It was a very shitty way for my Season to end but that can happen in sports. I did learn a number of things as a Coach this past weekend which are important to me. First, I need to communicate with my judge. I have been coaching people in individual competitions for years now but really didn’t realize that it had been over two years since my own individual competition experience. What am I getting at?

Well, I think I know everything sometimes and I’m use to watching thing from the outside and coaching people to correct them. So in my first workout when I started getting no repped for hand placement I simply did what “I” thought the judge wanted. I didn’t ask him what he actually wanted. In the end I “NO REPPED” myself to hell. This has nothing to do directly with how I got hurt but it set the stage. I was in a hole bad on points. But I HONESTLY thought if I fought my ass off I’d get back into the finals.

So between the time I competed in my first event and my second I continued to coach my athletes and get in the mindset that I’d have to DESTROY the next workout, I changed my game plan up. I also changed up my warmup, more so I didnt, I did 3 cleans at 135, then 185, 205, then 225 and called it good. I didnt even roll out my shoulders. I figured I would warm up on my first 2k row of the workout.

Bad Choice it would seem. I got off my rower and caught up with the majority of the field on the pistol squats. Then I made my way to my bar for my hang power cleans. I picked up a weight that should be easy for me and did 3 of the worst cleans form wise of my life when I was planning on doing five. BOOM. My back went out. I limped through the remaining time pissed at myself knowing I had just ruined my chance at the finals.

What I didn’t realize was I had ruined my season. My back ended up swelling up that night and when I was told competing was a bad idea by my Doc and then being asked not to do this again by my family, I withdrew from the competition. It was a very hard pill to swallow. But that’s sports, shit happens. I’m not gonna look back on this season and remember those 3 cleans. No I’m actually proud of this season. I ended the open in 20th and that was big for me. I Fucking Suck at AMRAP style workout like in the Open, so to come out in good standing I was happy. I felt like I was in the best shape of my life honestly. Then I got laided up with pneumonia. Again shit happens, but I kept moving. The hickups I encountered along the road sucked yes but they make you stronger.

Am I disappointed that I only got to compete at one day of Regionals, well yeah I mean who wouldn’t be. But like I said it happens. The workouts were really great for me in this years Regionals but it just wasn’t meant to be. My Coach Jeff said something once that helped me with my choice to withdraw.

“Everytime in my life when I thought I was Super Jeff the Good Lord decides to remind me that I’m not and to be humble.”

I slipped out of athlete mode directly back into my Coach role the rest of the weekend and got to watch the people I train everyday exceed limits that they thought they couldn’t.

Last weekend I was blessed as a Coach, brother and Friend. I wouldn’t trade this season for anything. I’m very proud on Everyone the represented this Club that means so much to me last weekend. Thank you all for wearing your colors with pride.

Posted by: Z

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3 Responses to ““They’re Pretty, But can they Fight…””

  1. you guys are a buncha badasses. see you tonight, boss.

    Now here’s a bad coach but I like his perspective on the wall-streeters he “trains” — http://vimeo.com/42209600

  2. You all did amazing! So much fun to watch and cheer!!

  3. Proud to know you guys! Watching everyone perform at Regionals was impressive, everyone faced adversity in their own ways and overcame all kinds of crazy shit…ahem Carrie making those 70lb dumbbells her bitch and Zach fighting to finish Diane after all of those no reps for his fat hands crossing the line, Roo, just look at her bruises to know how hard she works 😉 and Sky working out in an arm sling, need I go on? Anyway nice job to the individuals and team!!

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