So the Festivus Games have come and gone. The day was everything I was hoping it would be.

How I Did:

I gave the WODs everything I could and set a couple of PR’s along the way. So, I’m satisfied. I have no complaints.

WOD 1:

10 Min Cap
1000M Row
50 Wall Balls
Time: 5:54

Not my fastest time on the METCON and honestly, the score was a bit of a disappointment. In all of the practice I’d done, I considered this one my strongest WOD. My goal was to get under 5:40 (I’ve hit 5:42). My big hairy goal was to be under 5:35.

I’m not sure what happened. I rowed a good time for me. I got through the wall balls in sets of 20-15-7-8. That wasn’t exactly the plan. I intended 20-15-15, which I’ve done before. Just felt gassed in that last 15 reps. Still, from what Erin and others have told me, I came off the rower third in my heat, but I finished first overall, so I can’t complain. But it explains to the folks cheering me on why I won my heat and still walked away scowling. I knew I was capable of better.

I was in 7th place out of I believe 18 participants at that stage.

WOD 2:

2 Minutes Max Rep Front Squats @ 135#

Rest 2 minutes

6 min AMRAP
6 power cleans at 135#
6 over the bar burpees

I hit 32 front squats. My goal was 30. I’d completed as many as 27 in all of my practice rounds. So to complete that many was very cool.

For the AMRAP I completed 4 rounds and 5 additional cleans. Not my best score, but right in the window of some of my practice sessions, so I’m good with it. The burpees were SO miserably slow. The only consolation is that they seemed to be slow for everyone competing. I didn’t see anyone bouncing through the burpees like they were enjoying or excelling at them.

WOD 3:
5 min AMRAP
Push Press @115#
15 box jump/step up 20″

1 min Rest

1 Min Double Unders

I set a new personal best on the AMRAP completing 6 full rounds, which was my goal. So that was very satisfying. I finished with 35 total reps on the double unders. Another case of not a best, but it certainly could have been much worse, so I’ll bow to the DU gods, say thanks and be done with it.

How do my scores stack up against the competition? I don’t know. There were technical challenges with the online scoring system and the event organizers were scrambling all day to manually calculate rankings/placements for the 90 so competing athletes. The scores were never published after the first event. All I know is I was 7th out of 18 or so in the Intermediate Male division after WOD 1 and I was not named as one of the Top 5 to compete in the final event.

With the exception of the double unders, I don’t think my scores would have compromised my position too significantly. I believe I should have stayed right around that position. I hope to find out for certain later next week.

Beyond my own scores, there was SO much to be excited about all day long. Sharing the experience with friends many of whom were competing for the first time was very cool.

Erin had a fantastic showing in her first competition and I’m so proud of her. She came in “above the fold” as she phrased it. Finishing in the top half of the Women’s Novice division which was her goal on the day. She set a few PR’s along the way as well and seems willing to compete again. So that’s cool. We were laughing at ourselves early Saturday morning as we left for the event.

My parents were gracious enough not only to take our kids on Friday night, but to cart them all over Durham to various events of their own throughout the day. This meant Erin and I had a Friday night child-free and a Saturday to ourselves. Most couples would run off to the mountains or the beach for a quiet get away, right? We went and ‘punished’ ourselves with three tough workouts over the course of the day. We jokingly questioned our own judgement over that one.

I got to see two good friends make it to the finals of the competition. One of them earned second place! Way to go, Greg! I’ll confess, I had mixed feelings about the finals. The competitor in me kind of would have liked to have qualified for the final round. At the same time, I really enjoyed watching the finals with a cold beer in my hands.

I got to cheer on and support friends from a variety of gyms. That was spectacular. My voice is shot today and it feels fantastic. To see everyone pouring everything they had into those workouts and trying to will them on to personal bests. It was really cool to share that with everyone because everyone returned the favor. Every time I stepped into my lane to compete, there was a cluster of friends at the end of my lane cheering me on pushing me to drive harder/faster.

Deciding to participate in the Festivus Games was a great decision. Deciding to practice in advance with friends across multiple gyms was an even better decision. I made new friends both within Crossfit Durham and across multiple boxes in the area. And THAT is what Crossfit is all about to me…the community.

All in all, it was just an outstanding day and I look forward to doing another competition again soon.

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