Glory Dawson: Both Competitions

August 25, 2009 9:00 PM

Posted in Competitors »
25 Comments » on this entry

Games09GloryDawsonBothComps.jpgGlory Dawson (22nd overall) from CrossFit San Diego and CrossFit BWI was the only person (male or female) to compete in both the affiliate competition on Friday and the individual competition on Saturday. She writes about that experience.

I was completely stoked that I had just qualified for the 2009 CrossFit games from the Mid-Atlantic Region. I was in 2nd place at the end of the first day and things were looking good. However, after the grueling final workout of snatches and chest-to-bar pull-ups (21-15-9) I finished in 5th place. The snatches weren't too bad, but those crazy chest-to-bar pull-ups were tough!

Again Faster made a highlight video of her affiliate competition ... [wmv] [mov]
Carey Peterson made a highlight video of her individual competition ... [wmv] [mov]

Leading up to the qualifiers, I had been training at CrossFit BWI in Glen Burnie, MD, just south of Baltimore. I credit my success at the qualifiers to my awesome trainer and friend, Ryan Thompson. Ryan pushed me hard and always encouraged me to do my best! After the qualifiers, CrossFit BWI decided to enter a team into the Affiliate Cup. I was so excited that part of my CrossFit family would also be at the games in Aromas and have a chance to compete as a team. We could cheer for each other.

In early June, I moved to San Diego, CA to stay with a friend. Moving was tough right before the Games. It took a week to drive across the country and it really affected my

training. But I was excited because my friends told me great things about all the gyms in San Diego. So when I received such a warm welcome from CrossFit San Diego, I knew it would be my new home. There I resumed my training with JP Bolwahnn for the impending unknown of the Games.

A few weeks before Aromas, I found out that one of the girls on the BWI Affiliate Cup team wasn't going to be able to compete. The team was a girl short and they asked me if I would consider taking her place. This would mean extra work for me and possibly put me at a disadvantage for the individual events the next day. I didn't think anyone else was double competing. But they had already purchased their plane tickets and were so excited to compete. They couldn't compete without my help. I decided that I just couldn't let them down. I figured that giving them a chance to compete was more important than whether I did well through the rest of the competition. I didn't realize that I had just agreed to complete insanity and total overachievement. What was I thinking? If there's one thing I've learned, it's that CrossFitters, myself included, are a special breed. We like the thrill of a great challenge; the harder the better, right?

As game day approached, I started to panic. Really panic!! Up until the qualifiers, I had never done more than two WODs in one day. I remembered how my body screamed at me, "Someone please knock me out!" It took me days to recover and now I was going to triple the work and possibly compete for three days straight. I knew the individual events would be tough. But what if I could do all the workouts really well and qualify in the top sixteen? I was going to kick myself for agreeing to do the team workouts on Friday. But I gave my word so I had to do it. I just hoped I'd live to tell the story. I'm a pretty well rounded athlete but I was having nightmares about the possibility of handstand pushups and muscle-ups and those dreaded pull-ups. I consoled myself with the thought that if I couldn't measure up in the individual competition, I would still have the enjoyment of competing in the team events with my peeps from CF BWI.

On Friday we got to see the individual events for Saturday. I felt I'd be strong in all five events. My heart sank as I realized that I was about to do eight WODs between Friday and Saturday. And if I made it to Sunday; I didn't want to think about it. My team suggested I look at Friday's events as a warm-up to the individual events on Saturday. That's easy for them to say, right? How many times did I have to run up that hill in two days? I still can't believe that I did it.

I made it through the first day, the Affiliate Cup events, with flying colors. I blasted through all thirty deadlifts on the arena WOD, sprinted the crazy hill twice and maxed out on my overhead squats and pull-ups. I was feeling pretty good. My team had done awesome! Maybe I would make it through after all.

On Saturday, I woke up feeling a little sore and slightly worried about doing well. I was mostly worried about that long, four-mile run I was going to have to finish. My mom and sister, who flew in from Maryland to cheer me on, encouraged me as we drove to the competition on Saturday morning. The conversation went something like this:

Me: "How am I going to do this? I can't run. I'm 20 pounds heavier than most of the other competitors. I'll be the last one over the finish line."
Mom: "You have been running long distance with your dad for years. You're just being silly. I know you'll surprise myself. You will do just fine."

Mothers are great, aren't they? They believe in you even when you don't believe in yourself.

As the day progressed, I did surprise myself and my confidence grew. I didn't think I could hang with the big dogs but I did. I finished in 22nd place overall. The whole experience was amazing. I'm glad I was able to do well as an individual after helping my team to a 36th place finish.

As I reflect on it, I realize that I was challenged to do something bigger and physically more demanding than I've ever done. But I faced it head on and overcame the odds. I couldn't have done this without the support of such an amazing community of people. Thank you!

Will I try competing in both competitions again? No way! But if there is one thing you can count on, it's that I'll definitely be back next year. And I promise that I won't fear muscle-ups, or handstand push-ups, or any other grotesque upper body exercise for that matter. I'll be prepared for anything.

25 comments on this entry.

1. Lindsey Smith wrote...

August 26, 2009 5:30 AM

Wow! Very impressive, Glory. I had no idea. Awesome job, look forward to seeing you next year!

2. Amanda Miller wrote...

August 26, 2009 5:35 AM

Yay Glory! Your an amazing athlete and competitor. I think you did great at the Games and I'm excited to see what you do next year. If you nail your weaknesses your well on your way to pushing the top girls out. Congrats!

3. gaucoin wrote...

August 26, 2009 7:03 AM

Madness, pure madness. You have the heart of a lion!

4. Justin wrote...

August 26, 2009 10:19 AM

You placed your friends above yourself. I commend you.

5. Scott wrote...

August 26, 2009 10:55 AM

holy %@$@@% she almost qualified for Sunday's workouts after doing three workouts on friday???!?! that might be the single most impressive performance of the games (not taking anything away from the other competitors of course). she must have had very mixed feelings about not making it to Sunday, relief for not having to do an insane 11 workouts in three straight days and disappointment for not making it.

6. Rudy CFA wrote...

August 26, 2009 12:42 PM

Great job Glory! I had guessed that you were the only athlete to compete in both competitions & now we know how special your achievement really was. You are seriously a special athlete. One of the most cheering worthy people in CF. It was a pleasure to watch you compete.

7. Jason Dawson wrote...

August 26, 2009 1:46 PM

Hey Glory,
Sorry I wasn't there to see it. I am so proud of you. You've come a long way from our runs around cole field house and the trails in greenbelt park:) No longer in the back of the pack.. Good job.

8. ari kestler wrote...

August 26, 2009 5:08 PM


We miss you at BWI.

9. Jen M wrote...

August 26, 2009 5:09 PM

Glory- that is awesome. I loved reading your story and how you put the dreams of other Crossfitters before yours- this community never ceases to amaze me....people like you make me proud to be a part of it!

10. cam birtwell wrote...

August 26, 2009 8:29 PM

Amazing performance... I echo that this was probably one of the top achievements of the weekend, nice work!

coach turts

August 26, 2009 9:06 PM


It was a pleasure helping you train before the games! I know your favorite part was the B St. hill.

Keep up the great work and your going to kick more ass next year!

Anybody that can do what you did has what it takes to get to the top.

How bad do you want it???

12. Chris CFSD wrote...

August 26, 2009 9:37 PM

Hey Glory it's always an honor to train with you at the gym and I admire your strength and sense of team spirit! I'm sure all your teammates were proud of your performance and I look forward to training with you at CFSD it's a great community.

13. Lyndi wrote...

August 27, 2009 5:39 AM

Glory, you know you are my hero!!! I am so proud of you and all you are doing! Keep on Rockin'!

14. Aush wrote...

August 27, 2009 9:02 AM

No stupid nicknames from me after reading that story G L O R Y...! I almost shaved my 'stache for you after reading that (almost).

I know your BWI family is very proud of you. And I was simply in awe of what you did, I think I must've told about 45 strangers at the Games what you were accomplishing.

Oh and we will definitely nail those gymnastics movements with the QUICKNESS! That will mos def NOT be a weakness next year baby girl. Keep rocking it!

15. Trish wrote...

August 27, 2009 10:27 AM

GLORY!!!! You are one bad mama-jama! I was so proud of you at the Games! What was most impressive to me, was that even though I knew you were stressed about competing in both the Affiliate Challenge and the individual competition, you didn't show it or let it get to you at all. You took each event as it came and you gave 110% every time. Your selflessness and heart shined through and left us all in awe.

Just think, next year will be a piece of cake compared to this year!

I know that BWI misses you, but I'm glad to have you as part of the CFSD family now. Love ya girl!!

16. Lauren- CFSD wrote...

August 27, 2009 10:35 AM

Sooooo proud of you!!!! In the video you can hear Melissa and I screaming at you when you're running the hill!!! It was an honor being your training partner before the Games, even though I hated the WODs Jp put us through! I hope to one day be as Badass as you!
Love ya!!!

17. Bam Bam wrote...

August 27, 2009 1:19 PM

Glory, you rock! I can't wait to see how much stronger you are by next year. Looking forward to seeing you in October. I hope CFSD knows how lucky they got.

18. Melissa- CFSD wrote...

August 27, 2009 1:57 PM

Glory you are a ROCKSTAR, and seriously my hero!! So proud of you girl! Awesome artice!! I loved being able to watch you kick butt, and cheer you on in person at the games! And even though I was there, reading your article, and watching the video just amazes me all over again :) From now on whenever my body gets tired, and I don't think I can push myself any harder I'm going to think of you, and keep going! Love ya girlie!

19. Kim Malz~FitMom wrote...

August 27, 2009 6:32 PM


20. Ken wrote...

August 28, 2009 12:09 PM

I'm sure that running the horse trail and playing basketball with your brothers, your Dad and me also helped prepare you for this. :) Congratulations!

21. King wrote...

August 29, 2009 11:40 AM

Great Job, Glory!
it's been fun saying: "Yeah, I've met her"
Can't wait to see your kick ass next year!

22. lauren dawson wrote...

September 1, 2009 9:02 PM

Glory you did awesome!!! I am soooo proud of you big sis:)

23. Herm wrote...

September 3, 2009 4:18 AM

It was amazing to see you perform at such a high level on Saturday. I was the volunteer guarding the gate who your mom got angry with. Remember? :)

Good luck with the HSPUs and MUs. See you next year!

24. Tom Brose wrote...

September 4, 2009 8:09 AM

25. PaPapump wrote...

November 5, 2009 5:08 AM

Awesome Glory....
Always count on you to be the best...keep on kicking a--