Friday, January 15, 2010

2009 in Review (part 1)

I thought 2008 was the most amazing year of my life, it really was my turning point, but 2009 proved that I am living the good life.

I should have forecasted a good year when at midnight on January 1, 2009 I was locking lips with the most spectacular person I've ever met.  Even though Scott was out protecting and serving he still managed to pop in right at count down and left shortly there after. You could say we were destined to be together from the moment we first exchanged words, but I believe God had our bond in mind from the day I was born. I get chills just thinking of all the ironic steps the two of us took in preparation for 2009 and every year there after.

Pulling my head out of the clouds and stepping back down to Earth, January also marked the month CrossFit HQ opened regional registration for the 2009 CrossFit Games.  In early 2008, just after signing up with CFCP, David Tillman nonchalantly told me that I was going to go to the 2009 Games. I brushed off the complement and reminded him and myself that I am not one of the CrossFit Greats. I do not do the impossible.  Dave has this 6th sense, like an ability to read what others cannot, almost some power of premonition. Its freakishly scary sometimes. More optimistic about my abilities by January, I signed up for regionals with no expectations.

By the end of January I had become a full time employee of CFCP, happily quitting my job in the administrative tech world full of pretentious, unhealthy and unhappy people. It was a life change that not only fed my passion for fitness, but also my need for family time. Being closer to home and having flexible hours gave me more time with my 6 year old son, Logan. He flourished off the change making our bond even tighter.

January came and went, but the intensity of my workouts increased with each passing day. In early February I attended CrossFit LA's Biz seminar.  The guys at CFLA designed this 2 day seminar to help other affiliates build a successful business from the ground up. The experience was rewarding both personally and as a whole with the owners of CrossFit Cedar Park. Since using the CFLA system not only has our business grown significantly, but our ability to retain clients and change lives has become a huge selling point. It truly is an amazing thing to watch our growth.

There is always a high after attending any sort of CrossFit related function and before I had a chance to come down from mine I was off to the next event. The 2 days following the Biz seminar David, Robin and I attended the Affiliate Gathering, also known as Fil' Fest '09. Everyone who's anyone in the CrossFit community was there. The speakers were great and the knowledge gained was priceless, but the highlight to the weekend was the Affiliate Workout put on by CrossFit Central. We are CrossFitters, as much as we enjoy taking shop, we are really in this for the workouts, right!? Other highlights from the weekend were hearing from speakers across the US and how they run their box, lunch with Kyle Maynard, getting to be the first to see the full length CrossFit movie Every Second Counts, hearing Coach Greg Glassman release the latest and greatest ideas from over the top of his whiskey glass, and even the boring and dry talk of CrossFit insurance (it was hope for a safer tomorrow). The greatest CrossFit video was also shown, everyone should take a 10 minute break to watch it and get fired up!

Spring quickly passed and before I could blink it was May.  My training had gone from fitting in a workout when I had a lunch break to working my life around my training. Two-a-days were the norm teaming up CrossFit's dot com wods with CrossFit Endurance.  My progress was coming quickly now, but I still held no expectations of qualifying for the CrossFit Games. The weeks leading up to the Southwest Regional Qualifiers (SWQUALS) I held strong with my training and my diet. Cheat meals were like figments of my imagination and rest days were never spent resting. Very nervously Scott, Logan and an entire caravan of other CFCP competitors and supporters headed to Dallas for the SWQUAL. Being that the event was held at a gymnastics center I was convinced the workouts would consist of all my weakest movements (Ring Dips, Muscle ups, Handstand Push Ups). That night everyone involved gathered for Texas Style BBQ and the announcing of the workouts and standards. As seen in earlier blogs I was pretty pleased with the workouts as non of them consisted of gymnastics moves beyond a pull up, but I was still not ready to start acting like my shit don't stink from over confidence in myself. In fact, I still felt just as nervous. I went to sleep doing the workouts in my head with no clue how badly I wanted this for myself.

Saturday morning, under an angry grey sky, the events were underway. I tried to drown out my doubts with positive mental tricks. Coming in 4th place on the first event gave me a boost and as I prepared for the second event I started to feel that I had something hold on to.  Halfway through the heats for the second wod the clouds followed through with their threats. It was and evil storm causing and unplanned lunch break. The eye of the storm passed leaving drizzle and dozens of competitors ready to gut it out.  My heat started and the drizzle picked up. 50 chest to bar pull ups in the rain is comparable to walking to school in the snow uphill both ways. After chalking my bar between every rep then gutting out the 50 burpees required to complete the wod, I walked away with a smile. I looked up at Scott, who was in my face screaming at me every rep of the way, and pointed to the golf ball sized knot on my knee and said, "That is awesomeness!" 

Nikki Hall ... [wmv] [mov]

The first day ended with me holding onto the 5th and final position required to qualify for the Games in California. Not a comfortable spot, but I was fired up.  I was held for interviews with John from Again Faster. This was something I had never experienced in my life. All the CrossFit videos I'd been watching since 2007 and here I was in front of the camera. It was an honor. BUT, I hadn't qualified yet. Scott determined that an ice bath, paleo meal and early lights out was all I needed to celebrate my placing at this point. My first ice bath, excuse me while I drop into a high school frame of mind for a minute....ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME, LIKE TOTALY THE HARDEST 10 MINUTES OF THE ENTIRE WEEKEND!  I was feeling some tension in my lower back and it was probably the best thing I could have done to prep for the SDLHP workout on sunday. I went to sleep chanting, "I want this more, I want this more, I want this more....."

 Sunday came quickly and before I knew it my heat was up. The event had been moved indoors with a no-weight-dropping standard. I watched other CFCP competitors take the burpee penalty for less than fair behavior. In true competition standard there was no wiggle room.  A gladiator entrance, we walked in single file. One by one we took our spot in front of a screaming crowd. Godsmack was blaring "I'm Doing The Best I Ever Did." The hype was thrilling, the wod was 21-15-9 (my favorite set up), and 3 feet from me was my support group of 10 with Scott front and center. The WOD was a blur.  What I do know is that my back was on fire, but nobody would let me slow down. Scott, with a very horse voice, screamed, "Pick up the F*CKING BAR!!"  A few hours later we all gathered for awards. We had no idea what to expect. Had I qualified, or had I fallen short leaving the worse case scenario of 6th place? Not even a beer calmed me at this point. After what seemed like ages Jeff Tucker said, "In fifth place, Nikki Hall!" In a crowd of hundreds of people sitting on the floor I jumped up and wrapped my arms around Scott. (This picture is framed in our home and tells a lot about our story.) Going in with no expectations then standing there on that podium was far more than I could have ever thought possible. And it hit me, I, Nikki Hall, am going to the CrossFit Games. Holy Moly, I can do the impossible. 

Like I said, Dave's 6th sense is freakish....freakish.
Nikki Hall ... [wmv] [mov]

1 comment:

Robin said...

Tell mw about the freakish 6th sense - I've been dealing with it for years! But when he knows he KNOWS!