A few weeks ago, I blew past a huge milestone in my little CrossFit life. I entered my first CrossFit competition. The WODLife Goblin Games was, you guessed it, a Halloween themed team competition. Competitors were encouraged to dress up and pumpkins were used during one of the WODs. Every time they released a WOD, we would be practicing it. I increased the weight on my squat cleans by 30 lbs and got my pull-ups (FINALLY!) between the time we signed up and the day we competed.
That morning we got dressed in our Power Ranger outfits and brought our overly packed coolers like kids on their first day of camp. We were convinced that we would podium. That would not be the case. We would finish 10th overall in the scaled, all female division, out of 13. While some of us walked away happy to have said they competed in their first competition, I was disappointed. I felt like I had outperformed myself and HI, I’m a millennial and why didn’t I get a trophy? It’s funny to see too, the two people that got the most upset and took the longest to forgive ourselves on it, were the two youngest and the two squarely in that millennial genre. My other two teammates were genuinely happy to say that they could cross it off their list, win or lose.
In the end, I am happy I competed and I felt like I walked away with a lot of lessons for future competitions (because I can’t wait to compete again). But I also asked my teammates for some of their advice!
Eat/Drink Your Normal Diet
The day before the competition, we went out for lunch and had a dinner-worthy rib eye steak and one of the most glorious baked potatoes I’ve ever eaten. Chelsea and I have been macro-counting for the past three months and it was more than what we were used to eating in any one sitting (let alone any one day). Both of us had similar stomach aches later that night/early the next morning. It meant a couple less hours of sleep for us, and probably some dehydration. So while I’m fully on board with the steak dinner, next time we won’t be going that far over our macros.
We took advantage of open gym sessions for two months prior to the competition, and we all saw significant increases in our cardio levels, as well as strength. We were also able to recognize each other’s strengths and weaknesses, which was important when the movements had to be divided.
Don’t Do Anything You’re Not Used to Doing
The morning of, we were all super pumped and giddy. Michelle had never taken pre-workout, but since it was early thought she would give it a-go. She was a jumping bean for a little bit. Lesson learned, don’t take anything you’re not used to.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
It may have been outdoors in October, but do live in the South and temperatures were hot. We were lucky enough to be sitting under a tent, but towards the end the heat caught up with all of us. One of the things that saved me? Coconut water! Not only was it refreshing, but coconut water has more potassium than a banana! I once read that if you’re not living life in the bathroom during a competition day, you’re not drinking enough. I’m not sure how accurate that is, but I must have gone 10 times.
Remember to Breathe
This seems like something that’s fairly obvious, but when you have the rush of competition, surrounded by spectators, it’s easy to forget. And once you get winded during a WOD, it’s really hard to get your breath back if there’s no breaks.
I made sure the moment I finished any WOD to eat some grapes, homemade chicken salad, or protein shakes. Right before the last WOD, I treated myself to a very sugary cinnamon roll. I didn’t eat a lot of anything, but I also never felt fatigued or sore during the day.
And lastly, a word from all of us:
It was easy to get caught up in the competitiveness of it, but at the end of the day, you’re out there with your friends making a memory!
November 10, 2016