Kristan Clever (4th overall) from CrossFit North Hollywood was tied for third with Carey Kepler after all eight events. Built into the scoring was a tie-break. The tie-break was whoever had the best individual placement in any single event won. Well, both Carey and Kristan won one event. So we go to the next best placement. Both had a second also. So we had to keep going. In the end, Carey had 1 first, 1 second, and 3 thirds, whereas Kristan had 1 first, 1 second, 2 thirds, and 1 fourth. Wow! That fight for the final position on the podium couldn't have been more closely contested.
Physical activity has always been a cornerstone of my life. Even though I suffered from asthma during my toddler years, all thru childhood I remember frequent hiking and tennis days, family bike rides, and neighborhood Frisbee games. Mom put me thru swim, dance, gymnastics (loved the tumbling, but loathed the bars; couldn't pull myself up there to save my life!) and then; most dear to me now; introduced me to my sport of choice through JAO Basketball.
With no plans to pursue basketball after high school, I joined a globo gym to prevent myself from becoming a marshmallow, followed mainstream fitness magazines and dropped the soda/fruit juice habit. I loved moving weight and gradually started to enjoy "cardio" more and more as all symptoms of childhood asthma seemed to magically dissipate after cutting out sugary liquids. New friends I made through picking up basketball again gave me the nutty idea to try the LA Marathon, and that bite from the running bug gave me a fever that didn't quit for another year and a half (and I'm not completely over it, as since then I have run 4-6 miles nearly every day). After my second LA Marathon, sick of pain in my feet and weak ankles that suffered sprains in basketball, I searched for a more holistic approach to fitness.
CrossFit.com was the only place I found a clear definition of fitness; and it made perfect sense to me. The videos from the first CrossFit Games inspired me to reach for what seemed like an unbelievable level of fitness, but I didn't dare to hope that I could compete at the Games. Very sadly I missed attending the second Games. When .com posted all the Games#2 workouts and instructed to play along at home, I was encouraged by my overall finishing time and made up my mind to go to the next Games, hopefully as a competitor.
In getting our affiliate, CrossFit North Hollywood, up and running, and all the way up to the Quals, training was business as usual with an added dose. I followed .com and hit it hard, and I also trained at the nearest affiliate, Valley CrossFit. The competitive spirit that lived in that group environment was uniquely challenging and supportive, and it became an indispensible aspect of my training from then on. It also meant that some days I ended up having done 2 or 3 workouts. I never managed to get myself on a regular schedule of rest. Nutrition-wise I was mediocre; mostly whole foods (lots of veggies, eggs, lean meats and good fats) but too much rice and beer. Post Quals I went more Paleo and felt pretty darn good. This was mostly prompted after having some amazing MmmGood Meals food cooked up by sister SoCal6 shero Michele Vieux.
Ah yes, the SoCal6 (and then 7 once Linda Leipper made the last chance qualifier), yet another invaluable aspect of Games preparation. At the Quals, Becca Voigt, Katie Hogan, Michele Vieux, Val McKenzie, KimBall, and yours truly all agreed to get together and train with the intent of preparing each other as thoroughly as possible for the big show, improving weaknesses, and speeding recovery as well. What better training partners are there besides the closest competition? Busy lives kept the number of these sessions to a small number, but we trained at a different box each time and every session was unique in the skills and drills and varying time domains used. On Games day I mentally went back many times to every lesson and new skill learned during those SoCal7 training sessions.
More than just train together, we became friends, and I feel lucky and blessed to have that. I can only hope that next year's preparations will be as fun and inspiring.