Friday, May 26, 2017

Fear

Last weekend, I competed in Reebok's Ready For Action competition. The top 48 females, males, teens, and masters who finished in the Crossfit Open in Israel were invited.

Disclaimer: I promise this post won't be some meathead rant about throwing weights around and protein shakes. It was way more than that.

source

If I am being upfront, I had a minor panic attack the day before I was scheduled to fly. Andrew and I were on a run, and I suddenly stopped and started crying and babbled about how I was terrified to compete in a foreign country, I wasn't ready, I had just spent four days in Mexico eating quesadillas and drinking margs like it was nobodies business, etc.

There was never the actual question if I would actually go back and do it or not. I landed Wednesday night, picked up my gear, and went to bed. But I was scared.

Thursday was basically a longer endurance workout to rank us into heats for the next day. I wasn't necessarily nervous about that, because I knew I could do it. What I was scared of were Days 2 and 3, and facing workouts that were going to knock me on my ass.

Scared actually might be an understatement here, because I was f@cking terrified excuse my french. And when Day 2 rolled around, and I stood in the hallway waiting to enter the arena for my heat, having minimal idea of what was actually going on as all of the announcements were in Hebrew -

SIDE NOTE: HUGE thank you to my coaches and teammates for not only the constant coaching and reassurance, but having to translate non-stop for my ignorant monolingual self. 3 2 1 GO may now be the only four words I remember in Hebrew. 

Anyways, as I stood there, I had that fear that gets down deep into your stomach. And I turned to my friend Jillian and asked, "Why did I sign up for this?"

Of course, like so often in life, after the fact I couldn't be happier that I did it. 

Don't get me wrong, there isn't some magical ending to this story, where I work super hard and pull off an awesome performance. Naw. The workouts were hard, I got my butt handed to me. I failed handstand push-ups for ten minutes straight after managing to complete three. Which is better than the zero I could manage two months ago - but still - nothing like repeatedly falling on your head in the middle of an arena.

I was faced with this workout, which was simultaneously my favorite and one of the hardest I've done in my Crossfit life:

10 Rounds for time:

1 Rope Climb
7 Overhead Squats @ 40 kilograms
8 Bar Facing Burpees

While wearing a 6 kg vest, 20 minute time cap

(kilograms x 2.2 = pounds) 

Want to feel badass? Rope climb in weighted vest. Want to the immediately feel not badass? Walk over to your barbell and fail the overhead squats multiple times in a row (I eventually got through a few rounds).

I sadly don't have any pictures of myself doing rope climbs but here's
one of my pal Moshe killing the workout

The last workout of the competition (for me, I didn't make finals) was to max out on our squat snatch. Snatch is my worst lift... well none of my lifts are great, but it's trickier for a 5'11" chick to flip a heavy amount of weight above her head and catch it at the bottom of a squat. Quickly. And stand it up. I did manage a small PR, but my favorite part was watching the top women's heat.

One of my favorite athletes - who I had never spoken to in my life - nailed a heavy PR on her snatch. I only know this because she immediately dropped to her knees and started bawling. 

I approached her afterwards to congratulate her, and tell her that she had made me tear up myself. She was still smiling through tears, yet didn't speak English, so the girl standing next to her translated my message.

It took me too long to realize it, but it finally got through my thick skull that it didn't matter that the entire competition was put on in Hebrew, or that I don't speak the primary language of 90% of the competitors there. Or that I'm not as strong as a large majority of the girls there. We were all there for the love of competition, of challenging our bodies, and seeing what we are capable of.

The three females representing Crossfit Tel Aviv

It was a crazy cool life experience; one of those that will get tucked away into my brain forever. And If nothing else, I hope this rambling post encourages you to go out and do that thing you've been putting off or avoiding. That thing you have coming up that you don't want to do because it scares you.

I think the concept "Do one thing a day that scares" you has a lot of merit. And it can be exemplified in so many awesome ways. So just do it. Talk to that guy you've been terrified to say anything to. Shoot to run/bike/swim/roller blade a distance you never imagined in your wildest dreams. Grow that garden you're certain you will kill within months. Steal the neighbor's cat and make it your own.



Don't be afraid of failure guys, be afraid of never actually failing. That means you aren't challenging yourself.

((Drops mics, walks off stage, grabs beer))

Cheers -
Kait