This blogpost was originally posted by Trident athlete Ericka Andersen on her site sweetlifeericka.com.

So it was a packed weekend for me. I came home from NYC on Saturday and then got to go to the Crossfit Mid-Atlantic Regionals on Sunday!

I met first place finisher Christie Phillips at Reebok Headquarters last year. She is very sweet!

Chriss and Andrea — the owners of my box, Trident Crossfit, basically organize the entire event and I was able to snag an entry — woo hoo! This was my first crossfit competition to watch in person and I was excited to be right next to the action!

I drove out to the event, which was in Landover, MD about 25 minutes away with Amy — who has recently jumped into the sport hardcore. She had already been on Friday but was ready to go again and I was glad to have a friend to go with.

When I arrived, I saw a ton of Trident folks hanging out and watching. I haven’t really seen many folks outside normal class time so it was nice to be social in a less structured setting. Got a shot of some of us:

All the heats I watched consisted of this WOD:

4 Rounds of:
 
3 rope climbs
5 squat cleans

I’m not sure what the weights were unfortunately but obviously, they were not light!

The fastest dude completed this in about 4 minutes, which is absolute insanity to me. I can’t remember the fastest girl but it must have been under close to 5 minutes.

I was just staring in awe at all the amazing, strong bodies present at the competition. I found myself wondering — what do their daily diets consist of? How much training do they do? I was mostly focused on the women, obviously, since they are kind of…my idols 🙂

Unlike any other sport (besides gymnastics), I could watch crossfit competitions for hours. You are just in the moment with them as they squat, run, jump and feel the burn. Watching these peeps push themselves up from their squats was excruciating and empowering!

And these competitors can climb the ropes like a champ. They were like fast monkeys just up and down, up and down. I recently made it up the rope all the way for the first time…so watching them complete rounds and rounds of it was humbling.

This girl had a knee brace on and still rocked it:

After watching the competition for a bit and snapping photos, I ran into Andrea (Trident owner), who asked if I could help out because they were missing some volunteers. I was more than happy to oblige and got a spot in the media tent! Plus, I got a free Games t-shirt — worth it 🙂

This pic looks a little funny because it’s from Instagram:

My friend, neighbor and crossfit buddy Rachel!

I got to stand by the announcers and it gave me a prime spot for watching the competition as well. Loved it! These girls were SO impressive — and this is only regionals. I can’t wait till I’m in California watching the final Games.

HOLD UP: BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

Oh — did I tell you yet? I’m going to the Crossfit Games!! Reebok selected me as a blogger so I’m heading there next month with them and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ll be going with AnneTina and Gina — woo hoo!

Obviously, this chick is a badass…like pretty much everyone else competing but I loved that I was close enough to take shots like this from the media tent. Here are a couple more:

Each competitor had their own personal judge to make sure they did every move right — lest they heard the dreaded “NO REP!” I heard several of those throughout the day and cringed every time for the person that got them. It takes a lot of energy and to no rep is a huge no-no for placing in the competition:

Let’s be honest: This girl has an fantastical booty.

I caught this couple kissing after their team won a heat. I later found out that they were a married couple on the same team — which ended up placing 3rd and earning a place at the Games:

After it was all said and done, it was time to hand out awards. I loved watching the winners come out, receive their medals and stand on their platforms. Liked this shot I took of the winning team rejoicing in their victory:

Winners:

Top 3 Guys: 

Needless to say, I had a great time! I only wish I could have been there more than just Sunday. However, I’ll have plenty of Crossfit fun in California. I actually have a few other tidbits to share with you about the day but have another post in mind for that.

I was raring to get to Crossfit this morning and be fierce after watching all that competition. I’ll never be a competitor but…I know I’m getting stronger. I’m lifting more on bench press these days, doing real push ups more often and just going up in weight a litttttle bit everywhere. Yay!

Like most crossfitters, I hate when I hear girls say they don’t want to do it because they don’t want their arms to get big. I’m seriously just like…bring it. Bring the muscle, bring the arms. I kind of loathe the “strong is the new skinny” phrase but at same time, I can appreciate it. I’d rather be strong than skinny — whereas in the past, it was the opposite. Hooray for body image freedom 🙂


This blogpost was originally posted by Trident athlete Ericka Andersen on her site sweetlifeericka.com

Lady winners from last year! That’s Julie Fouche — who I met and interviewed in November — on the right!

I did something I never thought I would yesterday.

I signed up for the Crossfit Open.

Totally not my style. I’m not into competition on a personal level.

But Team Trident was so enthusiastic, it was only $20 and I couldn’t say no. Why NOT?

It’s been forever since I tried something like this and well, what do I have to lose?

It’s everywhere. It’s every age, every body type, every country, every skill level. Crossfit doesn’t discriminate. It judges no one. It welcomes everyone.

It’s not like other sports. 

It’s about being your personal best but also supporting other people in ways you’ve  never done before. It’s about being on the floor with them until the last rep.

It represents something bigger than just lifting a heavy weight. What does the weight symbolize? Pushing it as hard as you can, taking your soul with you…it’s the essence of who you are and why you keep going even when things are hard.

This video makes me happy: 

Do you ever have moments when you want to quit everything? Like…you think for a split second, wouldn’t it be easier if I…? I do, they catch me off guard, but I do.

But, the thing is, you don’t. You don’t quit everything. You pick the weight back up and move it until you are stronger. And then, you try something harder — because that’s what makes us better. That’s what gives us character. That’s what makes life worth living. The doing. The trying. The hurting. The victory.

 

I’m not doing the Crossfit Open to win (obviously!). I’m not going to make it to the next level. But I don’t care. I’m on a team. I’m gonna support them. I’m gonna do something I’m a little scared of. I’m gonna get that nauseous feeling in my belly one more time when I hear “3,2,1!”

That feeling in your belly — that’s a GREAT feeling. It means you’re alive. It means you are taking a chance. I’m thankful that Crossfit has brought that feeling back to me.

Don’t you know it’s a GREAT day to be alive?!

Are you doing the Open? 
What puts the “feeling in your belly?” What are you doing that scares you — that makes you feel alive? 
If you aren’t doing anything, what can you make a goal?

2013-Reebok-CrossFit-Games

I’m not competitive by nature. My goal for CrossFit is to look good in my clothes and be able to squat over a public toilet when I’m old, not to win the warm up. I have no desire to compete in any CrossFit competition and when wodding never compare myself against anyone else’s time, rounds or weight. I compete against myself and want to push myself beyond what I think I can do, after all that is a big part of CrossFit. It makes you realize how much more capacity you have and how much stronger you really are. My goal is not to make it to the CrossFit games, I just want to look good naked.

With all this said, there is something about the CrossFit Open that speaks to me and motivates me in a way that I am not able to do on my own. I am a BIG proponent of signing up for the Open and “competing”; however you want to define that word. Maybe it’s the way Trident makes the Open WODs fun or the community at Trident that pushes me. There is something about the bonding in the Trident community when you are cheering for your fellow CrossFitter knowing that there is the possibility that they will beat someone else’s time in another gym, region, or country. Cheering (or screaming) at them to move a little faster and to suck up the pain for just a little longer.

The Open is a way to compete but without the pressure of the competition. I am not trying to win a prize, unless you consider the pride of knowing you did your best a prize (which I do).

The Trident community will not let us slack; they will remind us what comes with being a CrossFitter and a Trident athlete…

…We know we have it in us to do one more rep when we don’t think we can

…We know our strength is beyond words when we collect ourselves and remember good movement

…We know we are strong enough to do anything we set our minds to

…We know that failure is not what defines us, but what we do after failure that sets us apart

…And most importantly, we know NOT to put our hands on our hips! (Thanks for the reminder Cutty!)

Sign up for the Open and identify your weaknesses, improve upon them and just elevate your CrossFit game to the next level! I’m doing it will you?

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

Sandy

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