As many of you know, I was competing in Crossfit’s Hope for Cures on the National Mall to help raise money for children’s illnesses. Crossfit was partnering with St. Jude’s Hospital in this fundraising effort.
“Hope” – as the WOD is aptly named – is a grueling 17 minute workout, styled after the very popular “fight gone bad.” The X-Factor though was the heat. Imagine 90 degrees by 8:30 AM, without a cloud in the sky, slipping off the pull up bar because your hands are so sweaty you can’t keep enough chalk on to try them out. Imagine something Crossfit awesome.
Let me start by saying, this was my first Crossfit competition outside of the Open and it was everything I expected. Loud music, loud fans, and extremely motivating. If you’ve ever thought about slacking off during a WOD at your home box and decided against it because of the guy or girl next to you, well it’s 100x worse when you have a hundred people staring at your sweaty sad looking self – i.e. you won’t let yourself stop.
One of my favorite things was the chance to see a few top-tier Crossfit athletes in action like Christy Philips (#1 Finisher at Mid-Atlantic Regionals), Michelle Crawford (#3 Finisher at Mid-Atlantic Regionals), Elisabeth Akinwale (#1 Finisher at North Central Regionals) and Christmas Abbott (NASCAR’s first and only female pit crew member.
For starters, let me tell you that athletes at this level are no joke. It’s one thing to read about their stats or even watch them on YouTube, but it’s an entirely different thing to see it in person. One example, I saw Elisabeth Akinwale do 29 chest-to-bar pullups unbroken. A little bit before that, Christy Philips pulled out 41 box jumps in 1 round.
Here’s Michelle Crawford with 25 box jumps in round 3 (NOTE: I missed the first couple seconds in the video).
I don’t know how many of you have competed in a Crossfit compeition, but let me give you three reasons to enter yourself.
- Motivation: Competing against others motivates you especially when you see athletes just killing it. Sometimes that’s what you need to kick your workout into the next gear.
- Game Speed: You’ll never move as fast as on game day. There’s something about the real thing that forces you to turn off the fear and move as fast and hard as your body will let you. When was the last time you put yourself into game speed?
- Fun: Let’s face it, we’re in this for the fun. We’re not in the gym repping out some bicep curls. We like to get down, dirty and sweaty and that’s why we do CrossFit.
For those who’re interested, I got 176 reps in total, performing Rx. That’s just shy of an average of 12 reps per station per minute.