From the CrossFit Open, to the Northwest Regionals…Next Stop, the Games Baby!
Two weekends ago the Northwest Regionals took place at the ShoWare Center in Kent, WA. The past three years, the same event has been held at the Puyallup Fair Grounds in Puyallup, WA, where competitors and viewers were used to being surrounded by roller coasters, fair food and animal barns! 2013 brought an entirely new venue, upgraded equipment and a carefully planned set up. It was clear by seeing it in recaps of other Regional events and experiencing it first hand, this year’s Northwest Regionals had hit a new level. I can’t say how other Regionals are run, but the Northwest definitely has always had it together – every year! For that, a huge shout out to all who make it happen.
The set up and venue weren’t the only differences for this year’s Regionals, in the past years, I’ve competed as an individual and loved every second, but this year I went team and I was surrounded by 5 B.A. teammates all hungry for a win. In the fall of 2012 I popped into CrossFit Fort Vancouver (CFV) to throw down with a few of their team regulars and got my butt kicked (that’s actually an understatement)! It was rad! The energy, competitiveness, and determination coming from these people were unreal! When I walked through the CFV door, there was no question, it was GAME ON! And it has been the same every training day since. I’ll be the first to admit, going team was never really an idea that I entertained. Like I mentioned before, I love individual competition – testing my abilities, seeing if I can handle the work capacity, and finding out where I stack up to the top girls in the region – I’ve always gotten such fulfillment out of it, I never thought my preference for individual competition would change. The CFV crew proved me wrong, and luckily, I snatched (ha) a spot on their team and am so grateful! The team members push me past my limits, my boundaries are extended, and my comfort zone is left behind every darn day.
Regardless of how many competitions I partake in, none of them seem to stir up my nerves like Regionals. When the Open approaches every year, it’s five solid weeks of anxiety, butterflies and strategy. I always think by the time it’s over, I’ve had the competition nerves, I’m used to it, and it can’t get any worse. Then…then come the Regionals and an entirely new breed of butterflies’ sets up camp in my stomach. I thought being on a team would help the situation. I soon found out, I could not have been more wrong. The thought or idea of letting down 5 other people who have worked just as hard as you, doesn’t sit well. The bonus…you also have 5 other people out on that competition floor with you, believing in you, encouraging you and pushing you to move faster. It’s been said time and time again, come Regionals, you’ve already done the work, now it’s time to have a little fun…with a side of giant butterflies :)
You’ve heard enough about me and my churning stomach during Regionals, I think it’s also important that you hear a little bit about the atmosphere and the abundance of support that came with it. The stage has been set; in the beginning I talked about the ShoWare Center and the legit layout that CrossFit set up for this year’s Regionals, but the people in the stands couldn’t be shipped in and set up by anybody (not even Reebok). The Northwest crowd was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! The seats were filled, the cheers never stopped and the encouragement after workouts didn’t end until you left the venue. Were these people paid to be so nice?!? Hands down, the energy that was felt inside the ShoWare Center was the best part of the entire weekend. Even when I wasn’t on the floor competing, I got goose bumps by how loud and enthusiastic people were. I imagine that’s probably how LeBron James feels every time his name is announced in the starting lineup of a game….ok, maybe a slight stretch, just trying to paint you a picture! On a more personal note, my friends, family and close CrossFit community (through Pearl District, CFV, Mt. Baker…actually any box I’ve ever visited), have been so supportive throughout this entire season, that I cannot thank them enough. You guys have no idea what even the smallest text message does before competition and because of this, I thank you all! Since you’re reading this, you’re probably already thinking what I’m about to say, but just to solidify – Girls RX’d are some of the most encouraging people I know. I’ve never gotten anything less than a smile, hug and ton of support from these ladies (and man), and it’s not just to me, I see them give it to anybody who crosses their paths. It makes me so thankful and proud to be a small part of what a big thing you are!