It is definitely hard to believe that another year has come and gone, with a somewhat similar result. In 2012, I was 4 points from making the Games, this year in 2013, I was 3 points from the podium. There are a couple moments that stand out very clear in my mind from the weekend. The first one was during “Jackie” as I was rowing my 1k, I glanced up to try and get my mind off the row and I literally saw a sea of blue shirts in front of me. I started to count them as I thought it would be a good way to relax, however, I got to 15, which wasn't even close to half of how many of you were standing there and had to refocus on my pace so I wouldn't screw it up. It was like this for every event, It was just a massive pool of blue shirts everywhere and it really was the first time in any workouts I had ever done where I could hear and feel you guys screaming for me. The second moment was during the last event. I couldn't tell you one song that played during any of those 3 days of workouts. However, when I picked up that bar on Round 2 and went unbroken, I heard the 60+ Vitality folks roar and it literally felt like the ground was shaking. My plan going into the last workout was to go unbroken on the first and last set of cleans with fast singles in the middle two rounds. You guys were so loud, I wanted to hear it again so I attempted the 3rd round as well….it was like a drug, the more I got, the more I wanted (This of course is not from experience but just what I have heard…) Running back for the final set of cleans, all I heard were your screams and it was one of the coolest moments I have ever had in CrossFit.
Sure, the result wasn't what I wanted….in reality, I would have rather finished 20th then 3 points away, but each year I compete, it gets a little more clear as to why I do it. I do it because I love it. Where else can I go to bed at 730p and only get 4 hours of sleep because my mind won't shutoff from the days events? The 5 minutes before you enter the arena and you are lined up next to the guys who think they want what you want as bad as you do. The calm before the storm as you get the 30 second countdown. Your mind playing tricks on you by making you question your ability to do the work that is laid out in front of you as you are 10 seconds out from starting. The sound of the 3-2-1 and feeling your body just take over from all the training. I loved the emotions of the days, the ups and downs. But honestly, what I am starting to love more than anything about competing…..its having so many of you in my corner pulling for me. It's looking out into the crowd and seeing faces I recognize. I remember finishing the hundreds and looking at some of your faces and I would have believed you were out there doing that workout with me, you guys were amazing. I am sure I didn't do a good job at conveying this to you all but to be able to leave the gym each night and get my daily hugs from Kathi and all the other girls there as well as alot of bromance hugs also which is always solid, made more of an impact on me than you will understand. Alot of times it is easy to feel alone in a competition like that but trust me, that feeling never entered into my mind. No matter where I turned, there was someone from Vitality encouraging me and that is something I am very grateful for.
I can't thank you crazy people enough for making a 7 hour drive through ridiculous traffic to watch me sweat and flail around for 3 days. This weekend will just increase the epicness (probably not a word but I am going to go with it) of the celebration we are all going to have when the stars align and I make it out to the Games. Vitality, by far, had the biggest crowd and that just goes to show how unbelievable our community is. A special thanks to Rachel and Marty who literally chauffered me to and from Vitality in an RV and let me rest and recover in it during the weekend. 2012, slept on the floor of a dirty gym with a shoe as my pillow….2013, watched DirecTV as I laid on a couch with A/C inside an amazing RV…..Hard to not want to make another run at it in 2014 with that in mind. Jess is also an obvious person to thanks as she has put up with my nonsense for the past 3 years of competing. I seriously think she got more nervous than me this weekend….Between cooking all my food and waiting on me hand and foot all weekend, I couldn't have done it without her. She acts like there is a decision as to whether or not I will compete next year but she is fully aware of the stubborn, bearded man that she married and she already knows the answer to that question. I also want to make sure I thank Baity, without him as a training partner, I can gurantee you that I don't finish in the top 10, period. He never missed a workout for 4 months leading up to the Regional and has wrapped my elbow and helped me with mobility probably 300+ times. He helped pace me in each workout and it was great having him in my corner. He gets two weeks off and then it will be back to work for 2014….however, I have a feeling that he won't be wrapping my elbow next year at Regionals, he will be wrapping his own as he will be competing also.
Regional weekend is always an inspirational time of the year. You get to see people do some pretty cool things. Use what you saw the men/women/teams do to help fuel whatever it is your goals are. Last year I was depressed leaving Regionals, this year I am not depressed, I am confident. Confident that what I am doing is working. Confident that if I continue to train smart, as James Cash's shirt says, “my time will come”. Do I still hate losing, yes. Will I think about this weekend everyday until next year, yes. Will it make me hungry, yes…starving. But a wise man once said, the more adversity you run into on the way to your goal, the sweeter it will taste. If he is half right on this, my trip to the games will be pretty amazing. Thanks again for all of your support, seeing the sea of blue was one of the coolest experiences of my life. One additional rule for next year before I forget: Amber/Sarah Carpenter/Schotty/Tash….you are not allowed to be left unattended, together, at any point throughout the weekend…DC is not capable of keeping you under control unsupervised.