Wednesday, June 15, 2011

6/13/11 - Central East Regionals Recap

WHAT A WEEKEND! I had sooo much damn fun. One of the most mentally and physically challenging weekends of my life. Met a ton of great athletes, made some new friends, and built stronger relationships with ones I already have.

Going to give a quick outline of the weekend. Flying home yesterday I was thinking about what an emotional roller coaster this weekend was and could only smile.

I'll list each verse that I read the morning of each day. Perfect timing on some of these.

Day 1:
Living in an Anxious World
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
-1 Peter 5:7

WOD 1:
Followed my plan and stuck to my own pace. I was in the last heat for this one, so I my guys took off flying at the start! Dan Bailey led the pack and everyone else tried to follow. Hell no, wayyyy too fast for me. I think I was the second to last one in on the run. Got to the HSPU's and knocked out 20 pretty fast. Finished with 5, 3 then 2. Hopped on the rower and maintained a 1:40/500m pace for about 750m. My goal was to stay below that. Then at the last 250 started to speed it up. Closed my eyes and sprinted all out during last 100m. Ended up taking 8th overall on this one. Time was like 8:43 or something. Pretty happy with that. Took me about 20 minutes to recover. Highly acidic in the legs, but was comfortable with it.

WOD 2:
Had a shake after WOD 1, didn't really have much time to eat. Ladder started and man I was fired up! Each bar honestly felt the exact same. I stayed smooth and consistent, trying not to waste any energy. I get to 245 and push through it easy. To be completely honest I was trying not to get fired up yet. I wanted to save the energy for the heavy attempts. I get to 255 and am no repped. Complete shock. I power cleaned the weight, reset, and went for the thruster. As I am pressing out overhead I look to my judge for the down signal and neither one of his arms are up for the signal. They are both at his waist. The MC (announcer) shouts "Yes He Did!!" so I let the weight drop in front of me. Judge no reps me. I am blown away. Almost threw up I was so shocked. I don't sign my card and walk away trying to stay calm. Several minutes later I approach Brian Yoak, the event director with an appeal to grant me the lift. NOT a redo. Just the points for the lift. I even show him video. He denies it. Claims I never had control overhead. I disagree but move on. It still left me in 4th place at the end of the day. Frustrating because I really felt I had more in me. I know I did. Still had a great day!

No Rep Thruster:

Day 2:
New Beginnings
Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing.
-Isaiah 43:18-19

Don't be intimidated by your past, good or bad. Face it, deal with it and then get over it and let it go. Begin with a new day and new tradition for those who follow after you. Realize that God will always be with you.
-Dennis Swanberg

WOD 3:
To be completely honest, I was most worried about this event because of my back. Woke up that morning and felt amazing! Yesterday was almost like a warmup. I was loose and feeling good and especially motivated after the previous day. Decided to belt up during this event to save my back. Figured it couldn't hurt. My initial goal was to split the deadlifts reps into 11/10 the first round. But as 3,2,1 go happened those plans changed. The weight felt light today, so I went for it. Knocked out the first 21 ub and moved quickly to the box jumps. Used the bounding method with a slight rest/pause at the top. I really liked this. Felt smooth and I could get into a rhythm. I remember hitting my 10th box jump and hearing that Dan Bailey was on his set of 15 dead lifts. This guy is so fast. I went smooth through the first 21 box jumps then had to break up the set of 15 deadlifts. 5,5,3,2. Pretty fast though. Ended 6th over all on the workout. Time was 4:21.
Recovered very fast after this workout. Grabbed my stuff and immediately left to go eat and ice bath. This put me in 2nd by a few points. I was really freakin motivated at this point. Had about 3 hours so I took and ice bath and a 20 minute nap. Ate a buunch of food. Was feeling great!

WOD 4:
It's time to line up for the next event and I meet my Judge. A nice gentleman named Kerry. We discussed the standards and I demonstrated a few reps. We saw eye to eye on the movements and standards. I was not excited about this workout but was calm and ready to complete the work.
The event starts and I follow through with my initial rep scheme on the pullups. 25/15/14/13/12/11/10. That's 100 (Thanks BP!). I think I completed it with having to break up the 12,11, and 10. But still stayed calm and slowed down. I didn't want my forearms to blow up.

I get to the KB swings and was fine. Pick it up and went to town. Welcome to hell....
I started with the KB snatch method so I was able to press out to ensure that the KB was completely inverted. I even started grabbing the KB in the corners of the handle so I could control the pitch better. No rep, No rep, No rep, No rep. I was getting maybe 3 to every 10 swings. I tried to stay calm and just keep plugging away but it was only getting worse, as I'm pretty sure that the more work you do, you start to fatigue. At least 10 times the KB rotated backwards in my grip almost falling on my head, "No rep". I would stop to ask what I was doing wrong. "No control over head, or KB not flat." I honestly couldn't feel any difference between the good and bad reps. I do know that unless I completely paused for a full second over head, it was a no rep. I dropped the KB from overhead a few times and was told that wasn't allowed. Well, sorry but I'm not gonna let it fall on my head trying to meet this ridiculous standard. I have no idea what rep count I was on, I just kept swinging, trying to end this shit show. By this time I could hear some people ending the workout and most starting the OHS. Somehow, it finally ends.

I get to the double unders and literally have ZERO grip left. I pick up the rope, knock out like 7 pathetic reps and the rope falls out of my hands. I take a few more deep breaths, and keep plugging away. I think I broke at least 2 or 3 more times. I do remember having to place the rope handles between my ring and middle fingers because I couldn't grip with my thumbs. That was different, haha!

On to the squats. Grip was so smoked at this point that I almost couldn't pick the bar up over head. Unreal.
I wish I could write more about the journey through the OHS but it's really just a bunch of flashes. I do remember picking the bar up for my first few reps and knocking out maybe 12 or so and him only counting around 5 or 6. This went on for a while. I kept asking him what I was doing wrong and it was either "not enough depth" or "no control at the top". This was exhausting. At this point I seriously thought I was never going to finish. I was accumulating reps soooo slowly. Tried to stay calm and keep moving. I was seriously on autopilot at this point. I am finally getting to my last few reps and it's not getting any easier. I remember hearing Kyle, Matt, Rich, and Mike all screaming at me to keep going. I remember my judge telling me 3 more reps, so I pick up the bar and I just start squatting until I hear him yell "time!" So I drop it and collapse. Next thing I know "No rep!!!! Gotta show control!" Not sure what else he said but I could hear everyone screaming telling me to get up. There was only a few seconds left so I tried to get up and give it one more. I have never struggled so hard in my life to pick up a bar. I lift it overhead and collapse. At this point, lights were OUT! I sit up again and try to power snatch so I can just overhead squat to be SURE that it counts. Total failure. I felt like I was shit faced drunk. I was telling my body to move and it wouldn't listen. I screamed at it to go one last time and finished with some pathetic excuse for a squat snatch. It was everything in my power to hold it over head. I have NEVER been so exhausted in my entire life. I finished with one second left. Ha!

Last few minutes of WOD 4

I lay on the ground and my judge leans over trying to get me to sign the clipboard. Barely being able to talk, I'm trying to tell him to get off my leg. It was really starting to hurt. I look down and there's blood all over my shin and ankle. When I collapsed the bar landed on my shin splitting it wide open. I had no clue what was going on. I could barely move. "I just kept thinking, "Am I really that out of shape? This is pathetic."

The medics were great. Told me I needed to get it stitched up right away. Rob and Caitlin took me to a clinic and the doc x-rayed and stitched me up pretty fast. Ended up with around 12 stitches. Took a few hours. At this point it was around 8 or 9. Left there and had to get the prescriptions filled at a CVS. Thankfully the Team Faction crew was kind enough to meet us at the hospital and bring us some food. Hardest meal I have ever put down. Zero appetite. Got the prescriptions filled, went to walmart to get some shin guards and probably 80# of ice. FINALLY got back to the hotel. Took the most miserable ice bath of all time and went to sleep.

Day 3:
Troubled Times
They won't be afraid of bad news, their hearts are steady because they trust the Lord.
-Psalm 112:7
When we submit difficult and alarming situations to God, he promises that his peace will be like military garrison to guard our hearts from fear.
-Dennis Swanberg
Lord, when I am fearful, keep me mindful that You are my salvation. Because of You I can live courageously and faithfully this day and every day. Amen.

 I woke up around 6:30 am and couldn't sleep. I was in a lot of pain but was also pretty excited to start the day. My body was EXHAUSTED and my leg hurt like hell! Although I placed 20th in WOD 4 and was now in 6th place by 13 points I was still really excited to compete. I knew I could do pretty well in the next two events. Just wanted to finish strong.

WOD 5:
First of all, you would have had to kill me before I decided to not compete in this WOD. This is a memorial WOD, honoring Amanda Miller. I'm supposed to stop because of a "cut" on my leg? Hell no.
Took me a while to warm up, but started feeling good. Strapped on the shin guard to help protect my leg from the bar during snatches. Met with my judge Nalin and reviewed standards. Super cool dude.
3,2,1 go. I decided to break up the first round of muscle ups in to 3,3,3 so I wouldn't blow up. Finished and went fast to the snatches. All 9 fast and unbroken. Back to the muscle ups and had absolutely zero juice in my arms. I think I did all singles. Back to the snatches, did 6 fast, dropped and did 1. Back to the muscleups and had several failed attemps. Have never been so fatigued in the biceps and lats. Finally got through all five and raced to the last five snatches. Fast and unbroken I was done. Ended around 8:40 something. placing 10th in the event. Pretty disappointed because I have done this workout in less than 6 minutes.  But not surprised because I was still pretty exhausted from the night before. Might I add that I did not receive a single "no rep" on the squat snatches. I guess my depth and control overhead were finally up to par. I didn't change positions, still in 6th place.

WOD 6:
My goal for this was to not drop any more places. Started with the row and stayed cool. Was probably the 4th or 5th off. Started the one legged burpees and just tried to stay smooth. Any dorsiflexion hurt like hell. Finished those slowly and was starting to fall behind. Did 4 sets of 10 with the dumbells. Pretty fast. Got to the toes to bar and was probably 20 reps behind David Ulmer who was next to me. I tried for 7 sets of 7. This ended quickly with pathetic singles. Had zero pull in my lats. Finally finished and moved onto the lunges. Ouch! Wrapped these up and started the "sprint". HA! more like a wounded animal running from a predator. Whatever. I was done.

In closing, this was a great weekend. I am not at all disappointed in my performance. I gave it everything I had. Sure there were somethings that didn't go my way but that's life. I look at those things as challenges and that really what it's all about.

I ended up 7th overall. Huge improvement from last year and that is all I can ask for. My goal was to be competitive with the best in the region and I felt that I was there. I can not wait for another chance. I am looking forward to starting another journey. This time I will be smarter, stronger, healthier, much more fit.

I want to thank all of my friends, clients, and family for all of the support. Most of all I want to thank the Lord Jesus Christ for granting me the strength and ability to experience such a journey. I learned that my relationship with Jesus Christ is just like my goal in achieving optimum fitness. There is no end. It's a journey, constantly, learning, growing, and adapting.

Now... it's time to eat and lift some heavy weight.


A Walk With God
In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility...
Titus 2:7

Character is both developed and revealed by tests, and all of life is a test. - Rick Warren


  1. Well said, my sweet baby cousin. I love you and have enjoyed watching you on your journey. You are so inspiring to so many!

  2. After reading this it just Confirms you are one of the most humble guys I know. After watching you do work you are a awesome person and athlete. Congrats on a job well done look foward to what McG will do next! Matt McBride

  3. You're such an inspiration, Mike; not just because of all you've accomplished but also because of your amazing attitude. Derek and I followed your progress all weekend. We are all so proud of you. 'So honored to be learning from someone like you! Awesome work---Sam

  4. I'm not afraid to say I cried after reading this. At a time when I needed to be reminded why CrossFit IS meaningful, you have interjected massive inspiration into my efforts as a coach. Thank you.

  5. Really awesome post, McG. I'm proud of you, proud to be your friend. You are the very definition of inspiration. <3 Mindy

  6. Mike,

    I heard about the weekend. Not only are you competitive with the best in the region, your heart far out weighs everyones. Can't wait to see you this weekend at the wedding! Next year... train one day at a time. Your still a champion in my mind!

  7. Mike you are an awesome person. So glad to have you as a friend. Great read and wrap up of your weekend.

    I have no doubts that you will qualify for CA next year. Like I said earlier....I think you could have qualified this year and are definitely competitive enough to hang with the top 3. The subjectivity of the judging at these regionals has unfortunately blurred the lines of distinction. It is impossible to say who the legitmate top 3 are in any region.
    ......but whatever it's all in the past now.

    Proud of you Mike! Hellova a job!

    and by the way....that last 40 seconds of your 400 wod is horrible to watch. You were completely checked out. Shit call by the judge to even put you in that situation.

  8. Mike,

    Great job this weekend, heart of a champion! Way to stay positive and keep up the hard work, you are an inspiration. Your faith in Christ even when things aren't going how you want them to is amazing bro!

    Can't wait to hang this weekend,

  9. Mike your verses and quotes are very timely. I will be carrying these with me during the death race.

    thank you

  10. Thanks for the kind words everybody!

  11. Thanks mike, if Christ is for us who then could be against is, I find it hard to walk in that truth. But u did last weekend. What a great testiment to the character god has given you.
    David branch