These past five months have been a huge exercise blur for me. Starting with the CrossFit Open and going all the way through USAW Nationals has been a crazy ride. The amount of energy - both physically and mentally - and attention invested into preparing for these kind of events is almost impossible to comprehend if you have not experienced it yourself. The level of competition in the Open, at Regionals, and then at weightlifting Nationals is so incredibly high that it is imperative to specifically train for every event. I feel like I was completely prepared for each stage I competed on over these past five months and I walk around proud that I was able to qualify and compete at all of these events. The funny thing is, being an athlete and going through the day to day training, you almost don't realize exactly what you are putting your body and mind through. It becomes so natural and routine for you that you don't see that, maybe, just maybe, you need to chill for just a bit haha. Five weeks of the open, followed immediately by the intense training overload and seriousness for regional prep (the oh shit I need to get really gymnasty in 4 weeks), followed immediately by the training overload and weight cut for weightlifting Nationals (the oh shit I need to lose 10lbs, and catch up to all the weightlifters after not really weightlifting for a whole month) can take a toll on any athlete. The physical and mental pressure that comes along with all that is nothing to overlook (as I always seem to do). Of course, at all stages I felt like I could and should have performed better, but I think this was a huge period of education for myself as a new competitor in this game.
I forgot to mention that in the midst of all of that intensity I decided to try and pursue the budding Grid League. I attended a combine in Boston a few weeks before regionals, then attended the finalist combine after regionals, and then was fortunate enough to be drafted as a pro athlete where I raced in a preseason tournament the weekend before weightlifting Nationals. It wasn't the easiest trying to split my attention in all of these directions, yet I was able to survive doing so. When Nationals was over and I was on my way home, I have to admit there was a sense of relief and the feeling that I could breathe again. I am excited to begin my journey with my teammates, coaches, and staff of the Miami Surge and put all my focus in that direction for the next few months. This week marked my first week training as a pro athlete. I didn't think it would feel any different than usual. However, I think the team aspect has added something different into my workout attitude and how I approach each training day. I have two weeks before Surge training camp - about 12 training days. Although I will be training on my own until then, the obligation of working hard for the sake of my teammates has given my workouts a new meaning and purpose. I have people that are depending on me to help them out of the grid and I can't let them down. I am excited, focused, and motivated by them and have had a ton of fun with the race focused workouts I have been doing this week. I haven't programmed for myself since I've been in this sport, and with my everything-exercise coach Rudy Nielsen away working with athletes at the CrossFit Games, I decided this would be a cool time to put some of my own programming together. My Miami Surge coach, Steven Bowser had sent some race prep templates out with awesome ideas of how to specifically prep for our season's matches. So I took inspiration from all of my coaches and created some daily work that has left me with a smile on my face everyday. People are constantly asking me how my training program will change as I prepare to play in the Grid League so I decided to include my daily workouts from the week so you could see for yourself:
BBG: 1RM 3-pos Snatch (hip, hang, floor) - hold onto bar
STRENGTH: EMOM for 5min: 4 Thrusters (from rack) at 145#
RACE WORK: 2x through of:
ME G2OH 105#
12 OHS 105#
15 Burpee Box Overs 24"
BBG: 1RM 3-pos Clean (hip, hang, floor) - hold onto bar
Every :15 for 5 mins, Cleans at:
RACE WORK: 3x through of:
4 Snatches 115#
4 BJ 24"
3 Snatches 135#
3 BJ 30"
1) 3 rep max Power Snatch
2) 2xMax UB snatches at 85% of#1
4 Jerks off the rack - 165#
Race work: 3 rounds of:
3 sprints (60' down and back)
ME Bar Muscle Ups
It doesn't look much different from what a "normal" daily program would look like for me. However, I have been trying to incorporate a lot of barbell cycling work with what I like to call "let me be an athlete" movements in as many combinations as I can think of. Working with these short explosive time domains have been a ton of fun for me. They remind me of my off-season workouts on the turf that we use to do for summer conditioning while I was in college. I may have been the only crazy one on my team that loved these workouts. They were fast, they were explosive, they took everything out of you, and they burned! The most important underlying factor though was that all of your teammates were around you pushing through for a common goal. I was never an individual athlete before I found competitive exercise, and that factor has been non-exsistant for the most part in my training. Until now. That factor of team purpose has reemerged and has been so motivating. This week has given me a new breath of fresh air as I begin to work toward something new with some awesome people!