If you saw a middle-aged black woman at the Crossfit Atlantic Regionals this past weekend, she was very likely me.
I’ve always been the oddball in the crowd, but attending the Crossfit Regionals took my misfit-ness to a whole new level. I saw very few people my age, even fewer females my age, even few black people, even fewer black females, and essentially no other middle-aged, black females. That’s too bad because Crossfit is not just for the young and buff. Despite my lack of peers, I had a great time watching the athletes put in some serious, crazy, jaw-dropping work.
Day One– I skipped the Friday events because of family commitments. The best part about going on Friday would have been having some elbow room since it was the least crowded day.
Day Two– I arrived just in time to see the end of the last heat of women’s event which consisted of:
50 overhead squats (135 / 95 lb.)
100 GHD sit-ups
50 sumo deadlift high pulls (135 / 95 lb.)
100 box jump overs (24 / 18 in.)
There was a time cap of 26 minutes (the amount of time it would have taken me to do the 1-mile run). The ladies made it look so easy that had I not personally done the movements myself, I would not have had full appreciation of how someone could do a long chain of unbroken SDHPs after having done all of the preceding workouts.
When the men came out, I was positioned just behind the treadmills. Although there was a lull in the action while the men ran their miles, it didn’t last long because they were flying. I found myself passing the time by watching each athlete’s form and predicting who would be the first off of the treadmill. I was right each time but was often surprised that some of the ones I thought would be last finished 3rd or 4th.
Next was the 250-ft handstand walk:
I don’t know how it works, but the girls who bent their bodies into a C-shape and wildly kicked their legs up and down were the ones to be the fastest.
Finally, the one-rep max snatch:
At this point, I’m convinced that none of these people are human, so it’s no surprise that after all they’ve done that day, they are able to toss some seriously heavy weight up in the air.
In between events, I walked around and checked out the vendors. I was a bit disappointed. Not knowing what to expect, I had my mind set on this event being similar to expos that I’ve attended. I was hoping for coupons and product samples. There were a few samples- mostly along the lines of tastings but no fun giveaways. I was all set to shop for some cute/funny/unique Crossfit tees but didn’t see any to my liking. So I went home having spent only $6.50 for a bag of chips and a bottle of iced tea. The Jim N’ Nick’s stand was by far the most popular, but the line was formidable. Note to self: pack snacks and water next time.
This time I was all set. I wore my running shoes to cushion my feet in case I found myself standing for four hours as I had on Saturday. I had MSG-free beef jerky, a couple of Larabars, and a bottle of water. I was ready for real.
I won’t bore you with the details of the events which can be found on the Crossfit website. I will, however, share with you my favorites of the day:
Favorite Female Athlete:
Once you get to the top tier of athletes, it’s really hard to pick a favorite. (Keep in mind that I’ve never watched the Crossfit games nor had I previously heard of anyone who was competing.) My favorite, who will not be going to the games this year is Breona Evans. She performed well in her heats and she was in and had a great spirit. I really hope to see her continue to grow as an athlete and make it to the games.
Favorite Male Athlete(s):
There was something about Nathan Bramblett that made me want to root for him. I can’t say that I predicted his success by watching him run on the treadmill, but by the time he got through the overhead squats, I knew that he was the one to watch. When I first began rooting for EZ Muhammad, it had everything to do with his rockstar name. When I watched him on Day 2, nothing stood out to me. By Day 3….look out. He was on fire! I’m so glad that these two gentlemen are moving on the next level. Side note: I was sitting in the Travis Mayer section during the event, so my cheering was noticeably “off.” No one said a word. I was probably looking out of place enough to look too crazy to bother. Nothing against Travis. He seems like a great guy with plenty of fans.
Crossfit for a Cure, benefitting type I diabetes (juvenile diabetes). I love a good cause, and this is certainly a good cause.
SoRock shop, the place I got my adorable tiara headband and “WOD now, wine later” tank.
The Final Word:
I can’t say that I would go out of my way to watch another live competition, but I’m so glad that I experienced this at least once. The energy in the arena was amazing. I will definitely be keeping an eye out on my favorites as they compete in the Games.