I started crossfit almost 3 years ago after sitting at home, browsing through YouTube to find myself glued to the screen as Camille Leblanc-Bazinet took the title of Reebok Crossfit Games Champion 2014. Since then I have been hooked, and have had the goal of competing at Regionals...I remember at the time when I was watching saying to my mum “I would love to be there!”
Fast forward to 2017, after two and a half years of hard work, blood, sweat and tears, I was training with an awesome group of people in a bid to make the Meridian Regionals as part of a team. The Open for us had its ups and downs, but in the end we had done enough to qualify and so on the 31st of May we flew out to Madrid, Spain.
The Regionals were everything I had hoped and more. Full of nerves, excitement, the anticipation of not knowing what to expect, it wasn’t until we attended the athletes registration and briefing that it hit me that I would be competing down on the competition floor, not just sitting in the bleachers as a fan of the sport. It was quite surreal on the first day to see some of my friends from home in the crowd, cheering me on during the workouts.
My goal for the weekend was simple…have fun! I had spoken with a number of people before going, all of whom told me that your first Regionals is all about learning and to make sure I enjoy every moment. Being in amongst some of the top athletes of the sport was motivating and inspiring. It was a challenge to play it cool when Annie Thorisdottir is standing next to you and says hi, or Jamie Green tells you that you did an awesome job out there.
As a team, our competition had its ups and downs. Going in to the pen prior to the first workout I felt surprisingly calm, it wasn’t until I was stood on the competition floor that the nerves set in. Nothing can prepare you for the competition floor and the atmosphere that is created by the supporters, the camera crew, and the judges and so on. It was overwhelming. The music is playing, the commentators are in full swing, however on the sound of “Go”, all of that disappears and I go into a little world of my own. I can hear the music, the crowd, the commentators, but it is now like a background noise and my focus is on the job at hand.
The first 3 workouts were difficult for us as a team and we didn’t perform as well as we could have. This was down to struggles in communication due to the surrounding noise that you cannot replicate in the gym, the no reps you don’t account for, watching other teams and that initial panic when something doesn’t go to plan. As a team we regrouped and going into the forth workout of the weekend, we had one goal: stick to our plan and enjoy every moment.
This paid off and we managed to finish event 4 top of our heat and inside the top 15 teams overall! That feeling of pride, elation, that you have overcome the obstacles that previously were in the way…that is a feeling I will never forget! This was the turning point for the team, and for the remainder of the weekend we would find ourselves finishing inside the top 15.
If I had to sum up my first Regionals experience in one word it would have to be inspiring. I have learned so much from this weekend; the importance of being confident, focus on doing your best and not what everyone is doing around you, communicating and supporting your team mates and having fun! From watching the top teams and individuals, and experiencing what it is like to be on that competition floor, I am hungrier than ever to get back there and be the best I can be for season 2018.