Competition creates little, competition unlocks much. “Back at the Ranch 2012″ was the first CrossFit competition for many athletes. Something they won’t ever forget. For Paul it was a day he will always have, a day he won’t stop building upon.
The following is authored by: Paul Shaneyfelt
I started getting nervous around Wednesday. By Friday afternoon I was jumping out of my skin in anticipation of BATR 2012. It was a mixture of nervousness, fear and anxiety doused with the gasoline of adrenaline. I was not competing with the notion that my team would win or make it to the final event. Personally, I wanted more than anything to do well for myself and my team.
I went to bed fairly early on Friday to get a good night sleep and to get to the Ranch first thing in the morning. I woke up around 1:30 a.m. I laid in bed thinking, “Go to sleep, you need sleep.” As everyone knows, those thoughts are not conducive to falling back asleep. I never fell back asleep, and drove out to the Ranch at 6:00. Walking up the gravel driveway in the quite darkness of the brisk morning did little to calm my nerves even with the gentle fog being lifted off the nearby pond. Time crawled until the sun came up, but from the first WOD til the end, the day was a blur.
My team did well, finishing 14th out of 50 teams which exceeded my expectations. For anyone not at the Ranch, the people on the teams were not weekend warrior wannabees, they were badasses all giving 110% in every WOD and in every movement. The joy of finishing in 14th place paled in comparison to watching my teammates give it everything they had and to complete all the wods as prescribed.
Before every workout, my teammates had doubts about whether or not we could do it or not. At the obstacle course, I felt like I was running faster than I ever had in my life, and that I certainly could have given Usain Bolt a challenge. Getting to the final hurdle, I failed in my first attempt, but made it over the second try pushed on by the cheers of the people yelling my name and Josh calling my name out over the mic. Watching my final teammate clear the last hurdle on her second try was such a rush.
In the third round of the second workout, one teammate was scheduled to do one arm snatches and one was on the swim. The swimmer said that she couldn’t swim and the other said there was no way she could snatch that much with one arm. Carie struggled on the snatches, got a couple, failed on a lot more. She kept going and going, getting a couple more along with a lot of failed reps. She was about halfway done with about two minutes to go on the clock. She got three more, and with about a minute to go, she powered out two more through sheer determination and grit. I did my 10 burpees faster than I have done 10 burpees in my life. Melanie then proceeded to run to the water and jump in. When time was called, she said she was about 10 feet from the canoe. To witness my teammates do something that they said they couldn’t do a mere minutes earlier is inspiring, and I was privileged to be able to be a part of their accomplishments.
Apart from the competition, the camaraderie amongst the competitors, judges and spectators was nothing short of spectacular. I hung out with friends between the events, and although I generally disdain being part of any group, that was not the case with the folks at the Ranch. We were eating the same foods, talking the same language and enjoying each other’s successes throughout out the day. Although it was a competition, in truth we were not against the other teams, we were competing with them. The winners were not only the people on the podium but everyone who was there competing, judging or cheering on their family and friends. The atmosphere was magical, and each individual of the hundreds in attendance added to magic in their own way.
I have been crossfitting for less than a year. At this point, waiting a whole year to get back to the Ranch seems like a really long time.
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