Mirror…Mirror…Reflections from Regionals

Hell’s Half Acre is over and boy, am I happy!

It was brutal 100 degree heat, scorching black top, and searing metal bars, but after two days and four WODs I can officially say that I went, competed, and came out better than when I went in. To say that I am happy this weekend is over is probably an understatement. There were multiple days leading up to the event where I would find myself staring into space thinking, “What the Hell am I doing?” “Why did I think this was a good idea? “Someone please, remind me!” And then I would hit the gym that night, hard, working on my weaknesses, adding more weights and making gains that I never thought were possible.

I spent most of May stressed. Actually, stressed is an understatement, I was stressed, frazzled and in a constant state of anxiety, wondering how the limited number of hours in a day could possibly prepare me for what the end of the month would bring. I had so much to improve on that it felt like a monumental task that I wasn’t sure I could complete. Besides getting at least 10 handstand push ups in a row, I had to master the muscle up, get my squat snatches higher than the 85lbs I was used to lifting and all of the other laundry list of things that I needed to do. It was such a different feeling. Sectionals brought out the worst of nerves in me. I woke up every morning with a ball in my stomach and worried that I would vomit at any minute. Regionals however, the nerves couldn’t even touch me because my stress level was so high. It was such a 180.

And then one day, while I was training, 2nd WOD of the day, tears welled in my eyes as I failed yet another muscle up…Attempt number 75 of the day I am sure. I walked to the bathroom filled with frustration and had to stop myself as the anger rose. Breathing deeply I began to reflect on May, the first month that I had went unlimited, coming to the box every single night, working hard and realized the gains I had made. For the first time since training for Regionals I was left with a sense of accomplishment. To hell with the things I couldn’t do…Look at the things I have done!  I finally got my muscle ups, 3 of them the Wednesday before Hell’s Half Acre, I had one good 105lb squat snatch that Monday…good enough for me, I was doing about 5 handstand push ups in a row, and I was having times that I wouldn’t have fathomed possible in March or April. I was as ready as I was going to be for this…so lets bring it on.

For those of you who don’t know the WODs, they were as follows:

Individual event 1 – Snatch/OHS
10 Bars will be set up for men and women – 20 total per heat.
Weights for the men’s bars:
Weights for the women’s bars:

At each station athlete must complete:
1 Squat Snatch with 2 Overhead Squats or 1 Power Snatch with 3 Overhead Squats
Athletes will have 45 seconds to complete all three movements.
Athletes will have 15 seconds between stations.
Athletes will finish the workout when they are unable to complete all 3 movements within 45 seconds.

Individual event 2 – Weighted half Cindy
10 Minute AMRAP of:
5 Pull ups
10 Push ups
15 Squats
Men will be wearing a 20lb short weighted vest, Women will be

Individual event 3 – DU/DL/SBR/Row
For time:
100 Double Unders
3 Rounds of:
10 Deadlifts(275/185lbs)
1 Sandbag run(75/50lbs)
Then row 1K

Individual event 4 – Final Event
For time:
10 Muscle Ups
15 Handstand Push Ups
20 Squat Cleans (155/105lbs)
Run the Block

Overall I ended up in 19th place. The first WOD was my weakest and I knew this going in. I failed at 105lb which was ok, because Cindy was on deck and I knew that I could do that WOD no problem. Cindy came and went and I ended up making 10 full rounds which was my goal. So I left Saturday content with where I sat. The competition was steep and I was just happy to be one of the contenders. WOD 3 came, Double Unders are my favorite movement in Crossfit so starting off with them felt great. And as I descended on the 185lb deadlifts I realized quickly that my body was not going to like this one bit. But I got through it, painfully, and ended with the row. The sandbag run was actually like a rest for me after the horrendous deadlifts. The workout ended, 11:20, hey it was over, good enough for me. And lastly… the muscle up workout. Stress and anxiety filled me as I waited. I just remember saying in my head over and over, “Just please don’t let me be the only one standing there failing these things.” I was so worried that I would be the last competitor in my heat still at the ring station as the crowd watched, embarrassed for me.

When the heat was preparing to start, two other women came to choose their rings stations next to me and looked just as nervous as I. Could it be that everyone was feeling the pressure?? Chatting briefly before the clock began I learned that neither of them could do a muscle up either! Hallelujah. I wasn’t alone. And then…3…2…1…Go.

4 Muscle ups, 35 attempts and two bloody wrists later the WOD was over. No, I didn’t move on to the next movement, but I had gotten four muscle ups in this WOD, more than I thought I could have ever done, and definitely more than I could do as May began 30 long days ago.

So, in retrospect, am I glad I competed? Yes, every single day. I am proud of my accomplishments and glad that even though the challenge looked too great, and I could have given up at any moment, I did it. I gave my all and now it’s on to the next one.

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