Wodapalooza 2016 Happy to be back

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Once again the Wodapalooza did not disappoint! I’ve competed as an individual every year since its inception in 2012, except for last year when I came and watched. This was my first individual competition back since the 2014 Regionals too, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from myself. I know the field grows stronger every year so I didn’t know where I’d fall, but honestly it wasn’t really my concern. The athletic goal for me last weekend was getting out there to get a taste of individual competition and the intensity that comes with it again. My personal goal was to enjoy the whole experience and I definitely succeeded in both!

After event 5, I look happy to be done!

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Being injured in the 2014 Games has made me take a look at the journey of my competitive career in CrossFit. How short lived in the grand scheme of my life it will have been and how great of an opportunity it is. After my ankle surgery last year and a rather slow and frustrating recovery, I honestly had to let go of the attachment to competing ever again for my own sanity, and just let what would be, be. This isn’t to say I didn’t put in hours of accessory work and rehab, but it allowed me to be happy in the process. After that process just getting to be out there competing with the other elite girls again felt like a success. I was also pleased to find that I’m still pretty competitive too, finishing in the top third.

Cleans during event 6 and my characteristic angry cat lifting face!

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I’m also particularly happy I got to do the Wodapalooza again because it’s so dear to me. Nothing may beat my first year there from its humble beginnings, but to see the fitness celebration it’s turned into is awesome. From a few hundred competitors in 2012 to 1,300+, with thousands more who attempted to qualify this year, the organization, intelligently creative programming, and excitement of everyone involved has grown proportionately as well. I say every year it’s the closest programming to the Games that you’ll find. Minus the hour+ endurance event for obvious logistic reasons (I’m not upset about that either)!

Does anyone look good in a swim cap? I know I don’t…

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This year the positive attitude of the community was really tested by the weather on day one. Just to give a visual anywhere there was grass there was mud, especially under the tent waiting to go out to our first event. If you managed to keep your shoes clean prior it was almost like a laugh in your face at the futile effort. There were also puddles mid-shin deep a few places. The park’s electricity kept going out during the day so at times in the evening we were warming up in the dark. At least the music, event lights and announcers were all on generators! All the monitors on the assault bikes shorted out early in the day (which many more petite athletes weren’t that upset about lol) and it was replaced with more burpees (which many heavier athletes were upset about).

I always look this happy on an Assault Bike…

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During the women’s elite first heat there was a break in the weather before the last band of rain came through. Shortly into the women’s elite second heat the last band of rain came through hard and just pummeled them! Our third heat was waiting under the tent watching like “ohhhh, damn!” Luckily all of the movements could safely be performed in the rain. It was definitely one of those moments where you look around thinking wtf am I doing? This is crazy but still so awesome. The whole situation made everyone not take themselves too seriously as some things were clearly out of our control. I never saw a single person upset or with a bad attitude about it. It was as if we were all in it together and chose to make the best of the show going on!

Sarabeth overhead squatting in the pouring rain

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By our second event that evening the rain had stopped and the assault bikes were back up and running (a positive for this “bigger girl”). I tested this one in the gym and hit the wall mid way pretty hard. Much to my pleasant surprise on game day I did not and was able to do the thrusters fast and catch some people. The workout was called the Little Chipper, but I would’ve named it the fast fiery death! It went:
20/15 cal Assault bike
15 Power Snatches 115/85
9 Burpee over bar
15 Thrusters 115/85
20/15 cal Assault bike
I encourage you to try it, but first shit talk up a friend of similar ability, that you’d hate to see beat you to do it with you, so you get the full experience!

Ahhh… the intensity!

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By day 2 the sun came out mid morning and the rest of the day was gorgeous. Hay and ply wood were laid over all the mud and the show went on a bit cleaner! Probably the most creative of programming went down this day during the swim. We got to do deadlifts, swim out to a barge, climb up to it with a cargo net, perform strict HSPUs on the thing, and then swim back. I bet Castro had to be jealous of this one. Especially after hearing he had wanted to take us out into the ocean and drop us off to swim back one year but it didn’t work out. Even though this was probably my worst event (a goat triplet for me) it was still fun!

This was the barge. Pretty cool right?!

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That evening we got to snatch heavy, which always makes me happy. There was a lot of strategy to this workout because one score was your cumulative weight of 6 lifts and one was your overall time.

Unfortunately the best strategy was to use one weight through the whole thing, and I didn’t pick up on that. It hit me about 1/2 way thru the workout when I realized that’s what other people were doing. I should’ve gone 170 the whole way instead of 180, 170, 165 and saved the time changing weights. Oh well, live and learn! If it’d been Regionals I’m sure we would’ve put enough thought into it to realize this. I was still happy I didn’t miss any lifts though!

Me catching 180.

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Video:

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The final day brought my best event first. Heavy medball over shoulder, toe to bar, and chest to bar pull-ups. Sadly, I was in a heat below the fastest girls. I got back to the medball first and tried to tell myself I wasn’t winning, that the girls in the next heat would go faster, but that’s always hard to do. I still ended up 4th overall in that one.

Video:

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The last events didn’t go quite as smashingly and were a good reminder that I still need to work on my squat clean! At least I’ll have the memory of failing a few to motivate me. Here’s proof I did stand at least one (ok 5) up though!

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As we head towards the Open in gasp… 35 days, I’m so glad to be participating this year. You never know how long the journey will last and each time I get to compete is like a gift now. I feel most alive when I get to compete in front of a crowd. There’s nothing quite like it! Especially when you have a huge crowd, flashing lights and a live DJ in Miami. It definitely brings out my best. When the stress is super high sometimes you can forget to enjoy it. I’m making sure not to do that this year and I’m super excited for the season!

Smiling and exhausted! One of my favorite feelings!

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Big thanks to my mom and Aunt who came out to watch this weekend and kept themselves busy between events 🙂

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A few pictures with friends I don’t often see. Part of the fun of competing is catching up!

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Excited to get back to this guy… I missed him this weekend!

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