I had SO many reservations, questions and concerns about Caleb participating in this competition. So much so that all of my thoughts around getting him through the day safely and ensuring that he had fun distracted me from many of the concerns that I may have had about my own participation.

I really wanted him to participate. I’ve written about it before. I remember being a young teen and loving the feeling of finally being old enough to play rec league softball with my Dad and his buddies. It was such a cool feeling. I was hoping this event could be something like that for Caleb and I. But I was SO nervous…

1) This was his first crossfit competition. It’s one of the largest in our area. In the biggest arena in our area, the Greensboro Athletic Complex. In front of hundreds of people. I was worried Caleb would find the entire experience and working out in front of a crowd to be overwhelming.

2) His participation was very spur of the moment. He made his mind up to participate the very last day of registration, just two weeks before the competition. So he had very little prep time.

3) We only practiced 2 of the 4 workouts a week in advance, and then we only practiced parts of those WODs. Before game day, he had never completed one of these workouts in their entirety.

4) Up until the week prior, we had no understanding of the number of kids participating or their experience/ability. I was nervous I was throwing Caleb into something where he would be tremendously outmatched.

5) I was concerned with how to coach him the day of and event by event. In most individual competitions, athletes enter the floor alone with their judge and that’s it. Coaches, family and spectators are nearby to cheer, but they’re separated from the athletes. I was very pleased that the WOTW organizers allowed one adult onto the competition floor with the youth athletes. Coaches couldn’t travel down the lane of competition, but we could stand at the head of the lane to be near the action and guide our athletes. I don’t know that it helped Caleb at all, but it made Dad feel better.

6) I was concerned about how to guide him in between events. How to stay loose, stay hydrated, stay fueled, how were his spirits/attitude based on his performance in the last workout.

7) Beyond all of that, my biggest goal was that I just wanted him to have fun and want to do this or another event like it some day. My biggest fear was that he would look at me at the end of the day and say, “Dad. Please don’t ever ask me to do this again.”

How did it go? Caleb showed me he has the heart of a warrior. In competition, he CRUSHED any results for the few WODs that he practiced before hand. He FAR exceeded any expectations that I had for him. I am immensely proud of how he competed as well as how he carried himself as interacted with the judges and other athletes. He made his mother and I immensely proud.

Did he have fun? By the time we were two WODs into the day, he was telling me, “Dad, I’ll catch up with you later in the athlete’s area. A couple of the kids from my heat and I want to get something to drink and watch the other event over there.”

When the day was done, I was packing up our gear to head out and he was melted into his folding camping chair I asked him, “So you finished your first Crossfit competition. What do you think?”

He smiled an exhausted satisfied smile and said, “Well. I have a year to get ready for the next one.”