Lighting that Fire: Preparing Others for Competition

It seems like every week this summer I’m either recovering from a competition or getting ready for another one – or both.

Coming off a top ten finish at Big Thompson’s Spring Hopper in Colorado, my girlfriend and I had just enough time to recover and get back in the normal swing of things, before gearing up for this year’s Wyoming Affiliate Cup this weekend.

 Josie and I were able to lock down an 8th place finish at the Big Thompson Spring Hopper in Loveland, CO last week.

Josie and I were able to lock down an 8th place finish at the Big Thompson Spring Hopper in Loveland, CO last week.

The Affiliate Cup, a traveling 6-person team competition, took place in Laramie at CrossFit 7220 last year. It was a great event (and I met a pretty special girl while I was there) I competed for CrossFit Cheyenne’s second team. This year I will be on CrossFit Frontier’s second team, after placing 6th amongst males in our gym at tryouts.

This week was also week 1 of the Granite Games qualifier. I am pretty excited about this online qualifier, as they launched a Master’s division for 35-39. I completed workout 1 on Sunday, and with a few hours of submissions left, I’m sitting 13th in the world out of the nearly 800 men in my division.

 During event one of the 2015 Wyoming Affiliate Cup at CrossFit 7220 in Laramie, WY

During event one of the 2015 Wyoming Affiliate Cup at CrossFit 7220 in Laramie, WY

With all that going on, it’s also test week for our Evolution Athletics cycle. That test got off to a rough start with a back squat test Monday that went horribly. At this point, with all these competitions going on, I am leaning towards taking a complete week off from CrossFit following the Affiliate Cup – something I’ve never done. I’ll come back from that and do my test week for the cycle and see where I stand.

This competition prep has been a bit different for me. Normally I really start to focus and mentally prepare for the event on Monday. Focus on specific movements that give me problems – build my confidence as we head into the event.

 Sitting in qualifying position at this point after workout 1 of the Granite Games Qualifier

Sitting in qualifying position at this point after workout 1 of the Granite Games Qualifier

This go-round, I have a teammate who will be participating in his first competition. I remember that feeling and want him to have as enjoyable experience as I did the first time I competed. Yesterday, I put my prep work aside and instead worked with him as he tested one of the workouts. Afterwards, we talked about what workouts he wanted to do – and which ones were stressing him out a bit. We came up with a plan so he can perform the events he is confident in. A good experience in your first competition lights that fire – and I can already see that he is well-suited for this.

 During final event at Battle of the Boxes at CrossFit MOB in Denver, CO.

During final event at Battle of the Boxes at CrossFit MOB in Denver, CO.

This week, as he gets amped up for the event, he hit his first bar muscle-up, then got like 5 more. He PR’d his bench press, then the next day PR’d his front squat. I remember those first years in CrossFit, when PR’s are the norm. I have had a rough year, devoid of PR’s for the most part – and seeing him succeed and hit these numbers has been fun to watch – and has taken some of the frustration out of my own failures.

Competing as much as I have – it becomes easy to forget that not all your teammates are as used to this as you are. Taking a step back this time and focusing on what they are dealing with as we get ready, has changed my perspective a bit. I used to test all the workouts, obsess over my times and strategy. Now I am looking more at my teammates and how they are succeeding in their testing. Making sure they are set up for success.

A coach of mine at CrossFit Cheyenne, who would never test events, Open workouts etc. beforehand used to say “Show and Go.” That’s the “strategy” I’m adopting this week. Being on the second team for my gym doesn’t let any of us off the hook – we are the host gym this year and we all want to go out and represent our gym and community well, as athletes and as people. I’m always going to go out and give everything I have when it’s time to turn it up and compete – but this Saturday I also want to see my teammates, especially those who have not competed before – have an awesome experience, gain confidence in themselves and grow as athletes.

I love competing – to me, few things in this world top the feeling – and I want to see other people experience that and grow from it. I love seeing an athlete have that fire lit under them for the first time – when they go out and exceed their own expectations – prodded on by the adrenaline that only competition can bring out.

News and Notes:

2016 Wyoming Affiliate Cup – Saturday June 18, 2016 CrossFit Frontier

wild/STRONG will have a booth out front. Our new men’s and women’s tanks and our new snapback were big hits at Big Thompson last week. Stop by and pick one up and say hi to our crew. I will be in and out of the booth during events – my brother and my kids will be running it full time. Stoked to say we did the design and printing for the event shirts, so you'll have to put up with a wild/STRONG logo on your sleeve this year! The shirts are dope.

 Wrapping up a successful vendor booth at the Spring Hopper in Colorado.

Wrapping up a successful vendor booth at the Spring Hopper in Colorado.

For everyone else – keep an eye on your email. After the Affiliate Cup, the new tanks and hats will go live on the website and you’ll have a chance to get them at a discount!

For our Colorado tribe – we are making our way to the Hangry Games in Colorado Springs on July 9, 2016. Mark your calendars and swing by. We are finalizing our deal for a vendor booth at this event.

The Wyoming Open hosted by CrossFit Frontier is approaching quickly. In this year’s Pro Division, 3-time winner Malachi Bennett will be rocking the wild/STRONG colors as he looks for his 4th straight win.

 The Polar Bear will attempt to put an end to Malachi Bennett's 3-year reign at the Wyoming Open. Both athletes will be rocking the wild/STRONG colors during the event.

The Polar Bear will attempt to put an end to Malachi Bennett's 3-year reign at the Wyoming Open. Both athletes will be rocking the wild/STRONG colors during the event.

Rumors are swirling that Jordan Erwin aka The Polar Bear, a 4-time CrossFit Regionals athlete will be taking a crack at Malachi’s title. Jordan is an old friend from our time in Alabama, who just moved to Denver this week.

Wild/STRONG triber Emily Lilo is gearing up for her debut at Rush Club Nation. She will go head to head with Laura Dickerson for the Heavyweight Women’s Title. She is also sitting in the top 15 of the Women’s RX division of the Granite Games qualifier.

 Emily Lilo has a busy summer. Rush Club Nation, GRID League and the Granite Games!

Emily Lilo has a busy summer. Rush Club Nation, GRID League and the Granite Games!