My first CrossFit competition. When I first heard about the Redlands Rumble I noticed there was an “intermediate” division and thought it would be a fun experience. After learning the difficulty of the workouts for the “intermediate” division I decided I was not yet ready.
However, a few weeks later I was asked to compete with some AMAZING athletes and represent Yucaipa CrossFit. I decided I would give it a shot. And I am so happy that I did. We finished 11th place out of 46 teams, and originally I thought this wasn’t something I would be able to do, I am extremely happy! Ecstatic even!
After I decided to compete my mind went straight to “training” mode. I knew I was the least-experienced of the group and I wanted to be able to pull my own weight, so I started pushing myself really hard during the WODs and stayed afterwards for additional training with Amy. I would constantly ask myself, “What am I doing? I have only been crossfitting for four months. I should not be doing this competition!” Amy, Chip, and Steven were always super supportive, encouraging, and simply amazing. But, I still couldn’t help feeling nervous every time I thought about the competition. It wasn’t until a few days before the competition that I began to focus on enjoying the whole experience. We were just going to go do some WODs with new friends and have fun.
There are only a few things I would have changed about this experience if I could. I was so focused on being prepared that I don’t believe I gave my body the rest it needed. I worked out six days a week and put in additional training after the WODs at least four days a week. I didn’t want to feel like a weak link, so I pushed my body more than I should have. I realize now how important rest is, and it really is about going to the competition and just doing the best you can. Never giving up, and pushing your limits. I realize I shouldn’t have been so hard on myself and so nervous, but it was my first competition and I didn’t know what to expect. Now I know to enjoy every part of the experience and not be so hard on myself. It really is about having fun, doing your best and competing with amazing athletes and friends.
I was lucky enough to have Amy Neal right next to me every step of the way. She provided me with diet and recovery tips, and gave me suggestions on supplements that have helped her. I have been eating a Paleo diet since July, and fine-tuned my diet a few weeks before the competition. I ate mainly lean proteins, tons of veggies, and only a few fruits as a “pick-me-up” snack (mainly bananas). I also started fueling my body with more recovery protein shakes after the WODs and training, and added more supplements to help with muscle recovery (like BCAA).
The day of the competition I knew I wanted to keep my body strong, so I stuck with what worked for me every other day. I had my usual coffee in the morning (2 cups actually), egg whites and a banana. Right before the competition I drank a pre-workout drink suggested to me by the NutriShop. A pre-workout is something I don’t use on a daily basis, but decided an extra “pick-me-up” would be needed for the day. During the competition I wanted to keep it light since we had four WODs to get through. I drank a protein shake and snacked on nuts, sweet potatoes, a banana and tuna. I also made sure I stayed hydrated by drinking lots of water and even threw in some coconut water.
I cannot express enough the feeling of accomplishment after completing my first competition. Yes, four WODs is a lot, and you get tired, but it was also so much fun, and one of the best experiences of my life!! Every drop of sweat and sore muscle was worth it! I could not have done it without the help of Amy, Chip, Steven, and the entire YCF family that came out to support and encourage us!