Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Build Up (Part 1)

The first weekend in May I competed in CrossFit's Southwest Regional Qualifier at GSX in Fort Worth, also know as Hell's Half Acre. The build up was huge for me. In the 5 months leading up to the competition I really didn't know what to expect. I compared my workouts, my times and my strengths to everyone I could. I tried searching affiliate blogs and online log books with a fine toothed comb looking for anyone that might post similar or better scores than mine. Some days insecurity filled my mind and I felt as if everyone in this sport was better, stronger and faster than me. Other days, usually after killing a WOD or getting another PR, I felt confident and a bit cocky about my performance. The comparing began to get in my head. Other regional qualifiers began across the world and winning competitors were popping up on the Games Site daily. I became obsessed with WWW's. Checking this female, this site, and final qualifier scores everywhere.

With only one month of training left until qualifiers I asked Scott, my boyfriend and CFBFF (crossfitbestfriendforever) if he thought I was ready to compete. I may have been looking for an ego stroke. His response was the last thing I expected, but what is a best friend if they aren't honest, even brutally honest? He told me, "No, right now you aren't ready, but you can be..." leading me into a something-to-prove style of motivation. He pushed me further when he accused me of being afraid of weight, scared to go heavy. Scott was in my head. Feeding right into his plan, I got pissed off, I wiped away the tears, I threw on more weight, I ran harder, I pushed the limits....

...Anger thrives in a beast and CrossFit is the perfect outlet.

T-Shirts are a proven powerful coaching tool. The idea of getting a free one motivates and the words on it can empower everyone. The first time I wore my "Smoke You Like Cheap Crack" shirt my coach, David Tillman, threw me into my first "Grace" just 10 minutes after finishing "Karen". Dave has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to any lift and "Grace" is his go to WOD. I was on fire! Every single rep was an accomplishment for me. It had to be the shirt. It was a big day at Tillman's. A week later I attempted "Grace" with the 2008 Games standards. Squat cleans to over head with 105 pounds, 10 pounds heavier than last time....

...The irony comes later.

Two weeks prior to regional I did my best to purge my life of all stresses. Part of that was to break the www obsession. I avoided the games site, I didn't care about qualifier results and videos. I did my WODs, focused on my diet and got lots of sleep. I eliminated the pressure from my mind. Physically, Dave worked diligently with me on my Olympic lifts. We went heavier than prescribed knowing past games standards...
...The standards are always fat stacked with weight.

Between Dave's technical critiques and Scott's ability to get in my head I had progressed by leaps and bounds in a months time. Every day was a new PR, but in my head I still questioned my strength on every level. Daily, people asked, "Are you ready for the qualifiers Nikki?" If my answer wasn't loaded with sarcasm at being asked that question a million times, then it was simply, "I've done all I can," and in all honestly, that's how I felt...

...I did everything I possibly could to prepare myself.

2 comments:

Bill said...

Right place, right time, right crew. Great photo of you at CrossFit Endurance today (sunday)!

Nikki Hall said...

Thanks again Bill. You sure don't miss a thing.