Trying to write a recap of the Games is like trying to summarize Moby Dick as a book about a big fish. So much can happen in a week. The biggest thing resonating with me this year after the experience is a relearned lesson that it's not over til it's over. You must keep fighting. If I had done that consistently the entire time this year like I did last year I think my middle events would've been better, and I didn't know it at the time but even one place better would've made the 7 point difference towards being on the podium again, and I was 10 points from 2nd. Every second counts. Instead, I let my attitude waiver and lost my fire until the final day.
Training this year for the Games I had more tweaks and little injuries that drug me down mentally and added to the burn out factor of the already exhausting training schedule from the Open to the Games. It's true what they say that the desire to win must come from within, and knowing I lost that leading up to the competition disappoints me greatly. I saw it in others, but it just wasn't in me like I know I'm capable of. I could go into all the reasons why that happened, but it doesn't matter. The final day helped to renew for me the reason why I started in the first place. That is the conviction that I have the ability to be one of, if not the best at this. I feel I have more ability to recognize that and I owe it to myself and my maker to honor that. Sorry if that sounds sappy or emotional, but when people ask me why I compete in CrossFit that is at the heart of it. I saw it on Stacie Tovar's wrist wraps and I agree... "Because you have the ability to".
Now that that's off my chest I'll take the mood a little lighter and talk about the highlights of what I learned over the weekend. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!
- The women who competed came from all different places and backgrounds, but share in their amazing heart, grit, and genuine spirit. I definitely felt more of a community and support between all of us this year and that was uplifting.
- Our greatest fans there are the volunteers. They cheered us thru the tunnel in and out of every event. It was very moving to me and I'd like to thank them.
- My biggest fan is still my Mom. She wore a "Talayna's Mom" shirt proudly all weekend and simply has the time of her life at the competitions. She has Muscular Dystrophy and could never do athletics so she gets real joy out of my abilities. Knowing I can give her the gift of watching me is another motivating factor to compete again.
- "Rowing a 22K today sounds like an awesome idea" - No one ever. I will say this, half way thru I bit the bullet and went from 15th place all the way to 7th. Completing that with a faster split on the second half is something I was not aware I was even capable of. I also wasn't aware my hamstring insertions were capable of so much pain I could barely stand! The mind definitely gives up before the body on a challenge like this. Control the first one and the second is yours!
- Swim WODs are fun & I desperately need swim lessons! I've never had proper swim lessons and I quit swimming this year because it was hurting my shoulder. I can do 1,000's of butterfly pull-ups and it be fine yet a 1/4 mile swim hurts me, so I'm obviously doing something wrong?!
- All the hype about shooting guns, triple-unders, and back flips being in an event was just that... hype! Maybe next year they'll combine all 3 and call it the gullible circus clown triplet.
- I look like a maimed penguin when I have to repetitive squat and then run. Combine that with the plethora of hill running I did in FL (insert sarcastic undertone) and Naught Nancy was definitely my Achilles heel in terms of ability last weekend. More burning lactic threshold work to come, fun!
- It could have been worse. I could have been wearing a full red body suit, like my sponsor's mascot at their booth.
- When you go junk yard dog hard on a WoD like Cinco 1 that's just beyond your weight capabilities a few things can happen. 1. You get hella sore! 2. You realize the weight really wasn't beyond your capability at all. Finishing this WoD was the highlight of my entire Games. Deadlifts have been a nemesis to me for quite a while. I have only pulled 300# or more twice and this called for 15 at 265. I definitely started down the fear loop (thank you Tony Blauer) during the warm up, but I was aware I was going there. Doug wanted to smack me out of it. He said approach the bar and do whatever I have to do to get myself growling at it like a rabid dog and lift the damn thing. I don't think I have ever made a face like that lifting before. I'm embarrassed to see it on TV, but I also can't wait.
Coming in second to the amazing Elisabeth Akinwale (who can deadlift over 100lbs more than me) on a deadlift WoD at the Games is something I wouldn't have believed I could do. Junk yard dog is a powerful thing, and another lesson learned.
- I had a surgery on my left ankle at 15. I tweaked it before Regionals which kept me from sprinting for training and again tweaked it warming up for the zig zag sprint. Now I have a bone spur, boney fragment, and lateral instability in it. All fixable, but it's time to do it now. I told someone in an interview this year that I'd be done competing in CrossFit after my first surgery and I'd like to apologize... for lying.
- Barney could still care less how I did at the Games.
- There's nothing like hitting the wall on legless rope climbs, again and again and again, staring at your arms in disbelief that they won't do what you tell them to do when you're not even breathing hard, and watching a workout unravel in front of you to make you so angry and frustrated that you can't see straight. Just ask Rich Fronning. The question is, what do you do with that frustrated energy. My friend in the Master's Christi Warren, had the same thing happen on her final event, taking her from 6th to 9th. When I asked her if she'd compete again, she said she has to now. She needs the redemption for herself. I'm right there with you girl!
- Lastly thank you to my sponsor's WoD SuperStore.com and Rx Jump Ropes, the Athlete Cell and my dedicated and talented guru coach Doug Katona, 3Fu3l for keeping my recovery strong and nutrition replenished, all the coaches and my friends at RealFitness and Redline in Naples, FL for supporting me and putting up with my crazy workouts, especially Jeff, Lauren, Jonas, and Liz for actually doing the weekend ones with me, and thank you to the one above for my ability and the opportunity to compete.