I’m writing this post still riding the emotional high from the Fittest In OK CrossFit Competition so forgive me if I begin rambling in the post writing run-on sentence after run-on sentence going into great detail about one of my greatest athletic moments and how I surprised myself at my first competition and how our gym, Koda CrossFit, is the greatest gym in OKC greater metropolitan area and so-on and so-on….
The WODs (Workouts of the Day) were released just days before the competition began. In CrossFit, you have to be prepared for everything when it comes to competition. I was nervous before seeing the workouts… I was even more nervous after the WODs were posted. My goal going into the weekend was to do well enough to make it to Sunday. The top 30 competitors out of 60 after the first 3 WODs would move on to Sunday. I was worried/nervous/anxious/excited/ready for Saturday to roll around and finally it was here.
WOD #1: Overhead Squat Ladder – SC men: 75#-95#-125#
AMRAP 7 min OHS ladder (1,2,3,4,5,…)
The athlete will have three 2-minute rounds at 3 ascending weights.
I actually did this workout in the days leading up to the event and I did it poorly. This is the WOD that had me concerned. I was able to watch the first couple of heats and I had a game plan going into it. Knock out as many as I could the first round with 75 lbs. on the bar without stopping. Try to do the same with 95 lbs. and then just struggle and hopefully get a few with 125 lbs. I surprised myself on this one. I completed 8 or 9 total rounds with 75 pounds, 1 or 2 with 95 on the bar, and then I was only able to get 4 or 5 reps with 125# which was 4 or 5 more than I was able to do in “practice.” I finished 11 total rounds for a total rep count of 66 which was good enough for 21st out of 58 competitors. I was in the middle of the pack going into WOD #2. Jared Muse, owner of Koda, completely demolished this workout with a total of 84 reps, which put him in 2nd place after this one. He held on the entire weekend doing solid in each event for an impressive 4th overall finish.
WOD 2: Tabata Mix up (:20 on, :10 rest for 4:00)
Tabata row (for calories)
Tabata jump rope (single unders)
Tabata thrusters (45#)
Athlete will complete 8 rounds of each movement, and the lowest score recorded is your score for that event.
I felt comfortable in this event. I didn’t know how well I’d do because there were plenty of strong athletes at the Fittest In OK. I started off quickly on the row busting out 10 calories each time for the first 2 times. I didn’t know if I’d be able to hold that pace every time and sure enough I wasn’t able to. I dropped down to 9 calories for the next 4 rounds. That 3rd minute killed me. I got to 8 calories the next time and barely made it to 8 on the final row for a final score of 8. We had a minute transition to get to the jump rope mat and get ready. I went with a different approach to this one. I decided that I’d “run” my jump ropes rather than both feet at a time. This proved to be beneficial for me. My lowest total was 43 and I stuck with it. Next were thrusters. Thrusters are a movement where you go into the squat position and “thrust” a barbell overhead when coming up. The first round, I did 13 total reps. The judge said, “that’s a quick pace.” I agreed. Next 20 seconds, I did 11 with 3 seconds to spare. The catch on this event was that we couldn’t put the bar down. We had to rest it somewhere that was not the ground. I decided that on my back would be a good spot. So with 3 seconds left in each round, I would have just completed my 11th rep and I’d throw the bar on my back. I kept that same process the entire round of 4 minutes and finished with a score of 11 thrusters for that section. I finished 3rd overall in that event which moved my position up to 7th after 2 WODs.
WOD 3: Death by KBS
Each minute athlete must complete reps for that round.
I had no idea how I’d do in this event. I can do kettle bell swings, but I knew that this was a lot of them.
This was the one negative I encountered throughout the course of the weekend. The heat before me, someone ripped and there was blood all over the kettle bell. The judge told me not to touch the kettle bell. I was OK with that. One of the guys that was putting on the event came over with some napkins and a bottle of water and proceeded to wipe down the bell. He said it was good to go. Apparently, they didn’t have any cleaning agents in the building and thought water was good. If I’m going to contract something, I want to do it in a fun way and not at a CrossFit event from an unknown guy through a kettle bell. Some other competitor said he would use it and I switched spots with him. Away we went.
Our nutrition guru and coach at Koda, Chad Hamilton teaches a breathing pattern when doing KBS… breath in on the way up when your chest is open and exhale as the bell is coming down. I focused on this pattern the entire time as well as on a small circle on the mat ahead of me. I got through 21 just fine and 24, it began to get a little heavy. I made it to 27 with some time to spare and next up was 30. I did each round unbroken with legit reps really thrusting the KB up over my head. I was completely zoned in by this point. I kept the same pace through the 30 and made it all the way with a few seconds left on the clock. THIS is when things got awesome. I was the only one to make it through 30 in my heat and one of 3 total to do so in the scaled division. I walked over to the chalk bucket, chalked up and made my way to my kettle bell. Everyone was focused on me. I was focused on the kettle bell. I made it through 15 reps unbroken and set the bell down. A Koda teammate, Jarred, was next to me and counted me down to pick up the bell, “3, 2, 1, go!” I picked the bell up again and began to swing. My grip was done by this point but I knew I had only seconds left and kept going. The crowd was going nuts cheering for me. Most everyone in the building was watching me and yelling for me. The guy in front of me came back to cheer for me and count down the seconds. He himself made me do an extra 7 swings because I wanted to be done but I couldn’t be done until time was up. I did 26 swings in the max effort extra minute. When I was done, I dropped the bell and walked 20 feet straight forward trying to catch my breath. People were still cheering and I heard Emery yell, “Take your shirt off.” How that was the only thing I heard, I have no idea. It was incredible. At that moment, I felt on top of the world and in all honesty, it may have been a better feeling than my Ironman finish. Afterwards, people were coming over to congratulate me on my effort. I won that event and that moved me up to second after Day 1. I made the cut and moved on to day number two.
I had two dinners that night and was in bed by 10. I could have and probably should have been asleep by 8, but 10 it was. I woke up and prepared myself for the day. I knew this next WOD would be a tough one for me. I have my endurance pretty well in check but my strength needs improvement.
WOD #4: Triplet
Hang Power Clean
Ring dips (all other divisions are push ups)
Sandbag + Farmer carry shuttle run (30’)
Being in 2nd place has its advantages. I was in the final heat along with 3 other Koda-ites, Jared Muse, Brice Collier and Matt Chandler. Jared and I were in the scaled division and Matt and Brice were Rx. I needed to post a decent time in order to make it to the next WOD. After WOD #4, the field was cut from 30 to 6. My goal was to do each round unbroken and keep a decent pace. I completed that goal but I did get No Repped a time or two on both my hang power cleans and my push ups. I ended up finishing the event in 3:41 seconds… putting me in 7th(!!!!!!) place after that event. I didn’t make the cut.
This was my first CrossFit competition ever. I had no idea what to expect or how I’d handle everything. I came out of it knowing what I need to work out. How to approach events, mentally and physically, and how I can surprise myself still. I’m not the biggest guy out there but to know that I can hold my own (in the scaled division) with really great athletes all around me is an awesome thing.
#TeamKoda was amazing all weekend long. A ton of members came out to cheer both days and show their support for our athletes. Koda had two Top 10 finishes in both the scaled individual and Rx individual. We had a team, the Sexy Exes, win the Scaled Team division and our Rx team finished 5th overall. Koda is incredible and I am so glad to be part of this amazing gym.
I may not be the “Fittest in OK” this time, but I am probably top 3 “Sorest in OK.”