Lindsey Smith (5th overall) had never even been inside a CrossFit affiliate before the Hell's Half Acre regional qualifiers this year. She writes about her training up to the Games:
As with many other CrossFit competitors, I have a background filled with athletics beginning at a very young age. Approaching college I was told I would have to choose one sport and put all of my energy into that one sport, and I did for a short while, but after being blessed with a soccer scholarship to DePaul University, I did my best to defy the odds and pursued basketball and track and field at the collegiate level as well. For most of my young adult life my days were consumed by practice, team lifting sessions, and individualized conditioning with my strength coach, Tim Lang. In short, multiple practices in a single day became my norm.
Post-college, I found myself in a bit of a rut. I had never trained for aesthetics and I felt like that was the path I was headed down and I hated it. I briefly considered triathlons and figure competitions, but upon finding out that my husband and I would be having our first child, my desire to "find my niche" was put on hold. I worked out throughout my pregnancy as best I could and was actually scolded by my husband, Webster, when he realized I was doing 100m sprints, just days before having our daughter.
During my pregnancy, Web took up CrossFit. His enthusiasm grew daily, to the point I almost found it annoying. 3 on 1 off, workouts named after people, days with hundreds of reps, days with very few reps... it was all new to me. I tried to "kinda" do CrossFit for several months after having our daughter, Alexis, but it just was not working. I would supplement the low rep days with my own enhanced versions of the workouts. I quickly got discouraged and saw little improvement.
Web challenged me to train for the qualifier and in January of 2009 I decided to commit to the main site only, for two weeks straight. I told him I would make my decision after the
two weeks. It was during those two weeks that I discovered what CrossFit really is and what it could do for me. My appreciation for my new sport grew instantaneously!
Leading up to the qualifier, I had never stepped foot in a CrossFit box. I knew little about the affiliates in our area, nor was I willing to pay someone to tell me to do something I felt I was very capable of accomplishing in my garage, at the park, or in a high school weight room, when absolutely necessary. Although I rarely posted, I kept up with those who did and would try to beat the times/reps/weights I found on the main site each and every day. Naturally, I was always trying to beat Web as well.
Every workout also began with what Web calls our CrossFit warm-up and despite my grumbling, he never let me cut it out. It consists of 3 sets of 10 overhead squats, 15 sit-ups, 15 back extensions, 10 pullups, 10 push-ups and 100 double-unders. I always hated this part of the workout, but it really became my foundation. Regardless of what the daily WOD called for, I had hit my basics. In large part, I credit this dreaded routine to my success.
Luckily, this worked well enough for me to claim a spot at the Qualifier. To say the Qualifier was an eye-opener for me would be an understatement. I really had no idea what I was about to become a part of and how it would change my life. Having met many amazing people, my perspective of CrossFit was once again altered in a positive manner. Upon returning to Houston I hooked up with several local affiliates, particularly, Atomic CrossFit, and our family made many weekend journeys to Austin to train with the elite of CrossFit Central. If I wanted to be the best, I needed to train with the best. I quickly learned that training in a box was about much more than "being told what to do."
I remained consistent with the main site WOD's leading up until about 4 weeks from the games, at which point I began focusing on some areas of weakness. On the weekends I would do multiple WODs. When the last chance qualifier workouts were announced I headed to Central to knock them out in a single day. I chased after Crystal McReynolds through a few 300 workouts and followed the path Carey Kepler burnt before me up a monstrous hill in Austin. I tried to expose myself to any and every CrossFit exercise I could possibly imagine. No, a sledge hammer was not anticipated. I tried to do the workouts as Rx whenever possible, rarely scaling the weights to a "women's standard." This often led to slower times, but was a great contributor to my confidence at both the qualifier and the Games.
I love to compete and CrossFit has provided me that platform. I was blessed with the opportunity to compete this year and I will do whatever it takes to not let that go. Web and I blog a lot about our diet, workouts, and life in general. You can check it out at www.wearecrossfit.blogspot.com.