Trying to explain why, sprinting as if you are being chased by an axe welding maniac, throwing yourself over an assualt course, moving a heavy barbell as fast as possible and jumping on and off boxes in a variety of different workouts, is fun is challenging.
In fact, trying to explain CrossFit competitions in general is tricky.
But trust me when I say – it is bloody amazing.
This weekend, my best friend and I took to the dance floor for two days of CrossFit at the Sheffield Inferno Racing competition.
It was brutal, it was brilliant, it was beyond exhausting.
Outside of CrossFit, I am a 40 year old single mum who works from home.
Nowt wrong with that.
But, inside CrossFit, I am someone who can lift heavy, who frequently dies when burpees are mentioned, who loves a row, who loathes a run. I am sometimes called ‘bro’ – it really doesn’t suit me. But in my lycra, vest top, and wrist straps I am more than a worker, more than a mum, I am proud to wear the title of athlete (even though it makes me giggle when I think about it.)
The people we competed with this weekend were the same. Am sure outside of the sports arena, they have regular lives, families, jobs. But inside, together, we were united by a passion for our sport – and that was how we relate to each other.
This weekend I saw strong women, fight in workouts to be the best they could be. I gulped back tears watching a Masters team tackle an assault course they had moments before said they didn’t think they could do. I saw example after example of women and men building each other up, sharing tips, helping their fellow competitors to achieve everything they physically could.
The crowd supported those they had come to watch, and then got behind everyone else. No one ever finished last, they just finished to the loudest cheer.
It is an environment that must be tasted to be understood. But it is a community that supports and celebrates, and can become all consuming.
The workouts this weekend were fierce. Far too many burpees for my liking, but some great times with a barbell. The final workout was akin to spending time in purgatory, and my body is still in shreds following it.
We finished day one in first place. We had no expectations and were utterly over the moon. There was one point between us and two other teams.
Those teams were exceptional.
The first workout of day two pushed me harder than I have ever worked before in CrossFit, trying to maintain first place was a battle we didn’t win, but we lost out to two fantastic women.
We finished the day in second. To say we are proud of ourselves is an understatement.
But regardless of where we finished, the weekend would have been awesome on its own. We made new friends, hugged old ones. We spent the day when we weren’t working out wearing wigs, and eating cake – because why the hell not!
We were generally gobsmacked by the level of support we got from people we train with at our gym. The cheers and screams made everything go a little bit faster and us work a little bit harder.
It was a weekend where bruises were formed and memories were made.
I can’t wait to do it again!
Thanks to Pete Williamson Photograhy and RXdPhotography for some great snaps; and to Nutri-Dyn Europe for keeping us fuelled all weekend!