Last Saturday was Albany Crossfit’s first-ever Tri-State Throwdown, a crazy individual competition open to people at affiliates in the tri-state area.
And, perhaps surprising to some, I did not compete. Not to make excuses, but there were two gigantic reasons standing behind that decision, and neither of them was fear (holla!). First, competing is expensive! And frankly, as a hard-working grad student, I need to pick-and-choose which activities I put my money toward. (On that note…you wanna see me compete? Clicky-clicky on that “donate” button at the right!) Secondly, the competition happened to fall less than a month after I returned to Albany from my monthlong holiday free-for-all back in Portland. Historically, it takes me a few weeks (or more) to get back to where I was before I left, strength-wise. A competition would be begging for disaster at that point.
But of course, even if I wasn’t competing, I’d definitely need to be there. So I decided to take photos. Which was great, because that meant that I could sneak up extra close to the action.
If you weren’t there, that’s too bad; you really missed out. I mean, yes, you avoided a hot, humid, and STINKY gym, but you also didn’t get to see the massive amounts of tears, sweat, and PRs (and junk food in the judges’ “lounge”).
It was truly amazing to watch some of our athletes, and many athletes from outside our box, compete and fearlessly challenge themselves and everyone else.
Here are just a few of my observations:
1. Skill level? Who cares!
What was your excuse for not competing? You already know mine. Were you afraid to compete because you didn’t think you were strong enough? Pish-posh! Yes, you should have acquired some sort of basic Crossfitting skills before competing just to avoid injury, but to say you’re not strong enough is not an excuse.
The competitions that ACF has been hosting recently have all included both Rx and scaled divisions, and this time even included a master’s division. So…if you can’t do Fran at Rx…no big. Regardless of division, the Throwdown was clearly a place to PR and to celebrate those sexy, sexy muscles.
And let me tell you something: Nobody looks down on you for scaling. It’s true. If anything, they’re looking at you, wishing they had the balls to be competing. There was a 72-year-old dude competing on Saturday. Let me just say…not once did I look at him and judge when he suffered through modified pistols. Not once. What a badass!
2. If at once you don’t succeed….
…try, try again. You know the saying.
Are you afraid that if you compete you’ll fail? I understand and relate to this one. We all fail, and it’s totally terrifying to fail in front of a crowd of people. But you know what? It makes you stronger. I’ve had some pretty nasty failures myself. Like in the Strongman competition. The first event was a press medley. I got all the way to the logs, and I couldn’t get them overhead for the life of me. And that was an individual, one-at-a-time event. It was horrifying…until I saw other people fail, too.
We all fail.
At least in the competition situations, we can fail together, and we know that the WODs that are presented are sometimes impossibly hard. During one of the WODs, our own Clark got stuck on some pistols. He had six minutes to work through the WOD, and about four of those minutes was spent on pistols. After the first five failed attempts, do you think he gave up? Hell no! He worked those g-d pistols until the timer buzzed.
We fail. But we don’t give up.
3. Once an ACF’er, always an ACF’er.
I’ve talked about community before. Now I’m going to shove it in your face again. Because it’s this aspect that truly does set Crossfit apart from your local, run-of-the-mill globo gym.
When someone leaves ACF or moves away or whatever…their absence is felt.
When they come back…we’re quick to embrace them.
The competitions seem to be a great place for reunions, to see old friends, to cheer for their continued athletic success. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s just my way of saying how much I miss Roger, but can you blame me? The man’s a g-d beast!
Really, though…we’re all one big family. And the competitions tend to bring out the best in us. And that’s what we really want, right?
(Note: Want to see images from the Throwdown? Check out the album on Flickr!)