Being Content with Mediocrity in a Community of Overachievers

Ninja-Goon

Team Ninja & the Goon

One thing I find interesting about CrossFit and the Olympics is that you are constantly reminded of your age. The majority of the commentators I’ve heard while watching the Olympics have mentioned that one’s athletic career is pretty much over once the athlete has reached their 30s. Hell, if you’re an Olympic-level gymnast, you’re done by 18 (21, if you’re lucky). With regards to CrossFit, you are constantly reminded of your age when your body just doesn’t want to move like it used to – you feel your knees and back ache often and that’s just during the warm-up! Actually, I’m pretty sure the constant reminder is when you see these damn youngins walking around with their perfect bodies not realizing (or caring) what’s coming for them in about 5-10 years. Ha! Yeah, go ahead and continue to think you can eat like that… just you wait! (Insert evil laugh here.)

When I mention “age” I am also referring to what got you to where you are at a particular age. At ages 14-16 years, I was in my prime in gymnastics – flexible, nimble, beautiful six-pack abs; at age 18, I was still pretty good and still had some of my six-pack abs; at age 19 I moved to California and basically didn’t work out until I started CrossFit at the age of 32. I also had a terrible diet. Imagine what sort of shape I would be in had I had CrossFit as soon as I finished my gymnastics career. Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

Well, here I am at the ripe old age of 36, and after 4 years of CrossFit, mixed in with two major injuries (from softball), I am feeling the strongest I’ve ever been, all the while feeling my body getting older.

This past weekend, Tall Guy and I competed in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre down in Ventura hosted by West Coast Strength and Conditioning. It was a co-ed partner competition with RXd, Modified, and Masters divisions. We still have a few years before we are considered masters competitors; however, we are at the upper end of the regular divisions, which is one thing that I love and hate about CrossFit. I love that I get to compete against people much much younger than me (and it feels pretty good to beat them, too), yet at the same time it’s no wonder when they do beat me (and at times I feel like they should beat me). Some of these “kids” are just out of college having competed at D1 schools, other competitors took part in past Regionals competitions, and many are also contenders to make it to Regionals this year.

What I also love and hate about CrossFit is that there are no weight divisions. So little 130-pound me often competes with women that have easily 20+ pounds on me. Me having to push jerk 95lbs 40 times is not the same as someone that is 155lbs. I think it’s pretty cool that I can lift as much weight as women that are bigger than me, but at the same time it sucks because they have a distinct advantage.

Many of the competitors this past Saturday looked like they were in their early to mid-20s with some that looked around my age. Many of the women in my division had beautifully muscular and toned bodies to the point where I would find myself staring at them. They sure are fascinating specimens of the female body! Dayam.

During the competition, while I was out of breath, trying not to vomit, and my body hurting, I looked around and saw these young competitors just plowing through the WODs and all I could think was, “This isn’t fair, I got like 10 years on these bitches! This isn’t fair, I’m lifting half of my body weight here and they’re not!” Yeah, I know I need to work on my mental game; however, this perceived “unfairness” pushed me to work harder, to not give up, and to also appreciate my effort and placing in the competition. Not only was I one of the smallest competitors in my division, I had the tallest partner – one I had to carry twice for the distance of 60 feet each time in the middle of a WOD. So, yes, I’m gonna say that I had to work a little bit harder than others. I’m not writing this to complain, but to merely breakdown how interesting, shitty, fair and unfair CrossFit is and that’s why I love it.

Tall Guy and I had 3 goals going into this competition: 1) Don’t get injured; 2) Don’t get divorced; 3) Don’t get last place. I am pleased to say that we succeeded in all 3 goals. We ended up placing 31st out of 46 teams, he didn’t crush me during the partner carries, and we are still married. Not bad for some old farts.

The competition WODs for the RXd division were:

WOD #1
10 min time cap:
21-15-9
Deadlift (245#/155#)
Box jump (30”/24”)

Our time: 9:16 (20th place)

WOD#2
22 min cap (partners split the reps)
200 Double unders
Partner Carry 60 ft (girl carry guy)
120 Sandbag Shouldered Squats (80#/60#)
Partner Carry 60 ft (guy carry girl)
80 Shoulder to overhead (135#/95#)
Partner Carry 60 ft (girl carry guy)
40 DB Snatches alternating hands (55#/30#)
Partner Carry 60 ft. (guy carry girl)
200 Double unders

Our time: 21:51 (34th place)

Floater:
For calories: 3 min Airdyne + 3 min rower (switch during 1min transition)

Our score: 198 (32nd place)

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