I still remember the first time I walked into a crossfit gym and was introduced to the burpee. My friend and I were convinced that if someone was watching us flop around, they were getting a very good laugh to start their day. I even remember the poor guy that had to run outside and find me in the early morning shadows because I was so winded & it took me much longer than normal to make it back into the gym.
Fast forward 4 years and I’m completing my first Femme Royale, a Crossfit competition with different categories – Fun, 50/50 & Rx.
The experience was nothing short of amazing. I pushed myself harder than I thought I could. I was on the brink of tears on several occasions. I pushed well beyond my comfort zone. I pushed through personal ceilings & celebrated big wins. We placed 24th out of 45 teams of two – in our “Fun” division. The level of strength I saw that day was breathtaking. I’m simply in awe at the Rx division. It’s absolutely incredible what those women can do. It was both inspiring & humbling.
What I learned
There were 3 WODs and in each one there was something for me to take away. There were mental mistakes and technical mistakes.
WOD 1 Partner A: 10 OHS 45#/10 box overs with 20# DB/10 20# DB Snatch, Partner B: Max Rower
This is the one I was the most afraid of because of the overhead squats. Snatches & Overhead Squats are so technical – from body position and improving your mobility. Keeping good form is really important. In training, I was afraid of holding that much weight over my head. But I did it. It was slow & awkward the first round. I was one of the last people to complete my 10 reps. By round 2, I reminded myself “No one else matters. Do what YOU need to do”. And that was the biggest lesson from this round.
It doesn’t matter what the person behind you or in front of you is doing. Your personal growth is just that, PERSONAL. Do you, and do it well.
WOD 2 Work to Max Weight, 3 Deadlifts/2 Hang Cleans/1 Shoulder to Overhead. Followed by 2 minutes max push-ups
I was looking forward to this round. I enjoy weight lifting. I love the feeling of reaching a new personal record (PR) and throwing down that bar. In practice, I made it to 105#. Barely. I psyched myself out at 110# at every practice session. We messed up our plates and didn’t add them correctly so it threw off our game plan. I successfully got 105# up. Going into my 4th set, I asked Michelle “What do we have on there?” She told me.
WTF! That’s a 10 pound jump! And if you lift, you know that 10 pounds can feel like 100. I probably shouldn’t have asked but I did. And I thought I was done. But I got it up & it felt freakin’ AMAZING! My lesson in this round? Keep going! I hit my PR and decided that’s it. I did what I had to do. I attempted 120# but dropped it. I probably had one more attempt in me & it would have gotten us some extra points.
Then there’s the hand release push-ups. I got lazy with technique and got several no reps. Wasted energy, wasted time. Other lesson for the day, form over speed. Pace yourself and get the reps right the first time.
WOD 3 Jumping Pull-ups, 65# Front Squat, Burpees
Reps 28, 24, 20,16, 12, etc
We knew that this WOD was just a way to kick our asses even more. And it did. Big time. It just hurts. Your heart rate is on the go 100% of the time. Sweat is dripping in your eyes. Muscles are burning. Lungs are shredded. But again, keep going.. Here it was all about pacing. Finding a good, steady pace churned to better reps than maxing out & spending time trying to catch your breath.
Would I do it again?
Never in my mind did I even imagine participating in a Crossfit type competition. I’ve been equally awed, intimidated and inspired by Crossfit athletes and never felt I could be anywhere near their physicality. I’m still a long way off but 4 years of hard work have brought me a lot closer. This experience was incredibly empowering & motivating. Each ceiling I broke through & every barrier I surpassed was so rewarding. I walked away feeling absolutely amazing. Bring on 2020!
My plan this year was to complete a Spartan Trifecta. That got waylaid but the Femme Royale Competition a fine alternative. ROAR!