Some people get stressed out before a sports competition. Other people get excited and enthusiastic. A very few people get hyper and happy and THRILLED about the competition. Laura Ganem is one of those people – she thrives on the challenge of competition. And her positive energy is positively contagious. Today she writes about the lessons she learned from the CrossFit Open this year.
There’s this crazy girl at my gym named Julie. Back in January she asked if I would like to join a group of girls who are training for the 2013 Crossfit Games. I’m kinda crazy too so I simply said “Sure, that sounds like fun.” Little did I know what I was getting myself into.
My first workout with the group was revisiting one of the workouts from the 2011 Crossfit Games. It was very challenging, but all the girls put forth strong performances. I was thrilled to have a group of women to train with who would not only motivate me, but I could also learn from. All of the girls in our group have different strengths and likes, and everyone is happy to offer ideas to help support each other on this journey.
Then Kate and Niki decided it would be a good idea to register for the 2012 Games so we could see the results a year of training made. When I read Niki’s email saying “Everyone register for the CrossFit Open,” I thought she must have mistyped, she means next year, she can’t mean this year – we’re not ready yet, so I ignored her request.
Then she wrote it again, and yet again…and I finally realized – she means this year! Oh No!!! But I signed up to compete in the CrossFit Games this year.
The first Games Open workout was posted online at 6:00 pm Feb 22. Of course I was checking the website every 5 minutes between 5:45 and 6:00.
Hurray!!! It’s burpees I can do lots of those!!! I had to wait again from Wednesday night until Saturday morning to do my burpees, and when I got to the gym I was absolutely bursting with anticipation.
We performed the workouts in two rounds, and it was time to decide which of us would go in the first round. I announced to the group my plan to complete 140 burpees in 7 minutes and I requested going in first round because I could not wait another minute!
I went in the first group but fell far short of my 140 burpee goal. It didn’t matter though, because everyone worked so hard and left it all out there on the gym floor. It was truly a beautiful thing!!!
Then came waiting for the results. Again, I was online every hour checking to see my ranking in the competition. I am an extremely competitive and obsessive person and the Crossfit Open brought it out full force.
My psychotic behavior did not diminish from week to week. I would repeatedly check for the workout, freak out about it, practice it, and then get together with these amazing girls to give the workout everything I could. After every workout I was thrilled and satisfied, but later I would obsess about what I should have done differently, and how I fell short. I would watch the Leaderboard until the workout closed, and every week I wished my scores were better.
The CrossFit Open was a BEAST and it had taken over my mind and body. Even though I went completely crazy during this whole competition it brought out valuable lessons for training and for future competitions. Here’s the lessons I learned from competing in the Open this year:
1. Chill Out Laura!!! Don’t practice and obsess about what’s coming up ahead. Just show up, do the workout, and be proud of what you put out.
2. Figure it all out before the competition begins in 2013. Learn the most efficient way to perform the skills because that’s what gets you further than the rest. After mastering the skill, then increase the weight. It should always be a challenging weight.
3. During training, do more than you’re going to need to do in competition. When I’m doing my daily workouts I need to do each movement the way it will be done in competition or even harder. Don’t throw a 10 pound ball 2 feet when you’re going to have to throw a 14 pound ball 9 feet. Use a 16 pound ball and throw it 10 feet. If you need to swing a 35 pound kettlebell, swing a 44 pound one. Always push yourself and never settle for what’s easy.
Do I still sound kinda psychotic?
If so, I’m just happy to be going CrossFit Crazy!
Click here to read about our goal of competing in the 2013 CrossFit Games.