It has taken me over a week to fully process what I witnessed at the Puyallup Fairgrounds over Memorial Day weekend. I am sure you watched the leader board and maybe even some of the regional recaps so you know how it ended but what you don’t know is just how much ass team XCF kicked down south.
It was 6 events, 3 days, 6 team members, 18 free t shirts, a crap ton of almond butter, 1252 pictures, some video and a heck of a lot of shouting. The team was composed of Kevin, Clancy, Nimz, Blaze, George, and Jonesy.
Day 1 was Friday and it kicked off with a 4 person event. Deadlifts and hand stand push ups. 40 of each for two men and two women. The deadlifts were heavy and performed by two people on one bar. Reps had to be in sync or they didn’t count. The team was throwing down against the worst of the best in the northwest. We qualified 27th of 30 so we were not seeded very high. They crushed the heat. They finished first by a mile. The ladies dominated doing their deads unbroken and murdering the hspu. Clancy should have won an award for the ugliest run of the competition for her “sprint” to the finish line after her last set of deads. I am not exaggerating even a little bit when I say it was the most horrific running I have ever seen. They ended up 5th overall after one event.
The northwest has some of the toughest teams in the country. Two former world champion teams are in our region. It was unlikely we would make it to the big show but we wanted to make it to the finals. There were several places to get cut from the competition and we wanted to get through all of them.
Event 2 was another 4 person event. Nimz, GT, Clancy, and KD had to row, pistol and hang power clean their way through a vicious gauntlet. George was the leadoff hitter and he destroyed it. Lucky for us the pistol standards allowed for those with “limitations” on their flexibility to be able to complete the movement. They weren’t all pretty but they were fast. Nimz was up second and while she was worried going into the event that she was going to be the weak link this was certainly not the case on game day. She took the cleans one at a time but with a focus and steadiness that left no one doubting her strength and tenacity. KD took his sweet time on the row. So much so in fact that Clancy, our anchor, told him to hurry the f up. Pistols was a concern because he tweaked his knee about a week earlier while cheating on XCF with Kitsap CrossFit. In my opinion he got what was coming to him. I digress. He got to the cleans and after 3 min and 3 reps things started to look a little grim. Everyone on the sidelines looked at me with a “what do we do?” expression. I told them to look positive. He already is freaking out. If we look scared it will probably get worse. They nailed it. Best fake happy ever. I was unsure if he was going to get through the fifteen reps but I sure as hell was going to act like I was sure and coach him the best I could. Clancy was done with her work and waiting on him so long her judge let her leave her station to go get water. KD dug deep on this one. He finally found his groove and started hitting reps. If I said they were the ugliest cleans I have ever seen I would be insulting actual cleans and possibly complimenting some sort of crappy reverse curl. It was a horror show. Two dudes to my left were literally taking bets on whether or not he was going to either herniate a disc or experience an actual hernia DURING the workout. Ugly or not this man was on a mission. KD with nothing but pure determination muscled up 15 hang power cleans at 225#. I was so proud of him. Half of us were losing our voice and we were only on the 2nd event. We cheered so loud every time he hit a rep you would have sworn we were winning the whole thing. Once Clancy stepped up to the bar all of the new XCF haters simmered down. She opened up with 8 consecutive reps. Paused for a sip of water and to wink at Mr Clancy and then knocked out another 7. It was amazing. After 2 events we were in 8th place. We needed to stay in the top 12 to go to the finals.
Day 2 brought on 2 more events. A two person db snatch event and a 4 person squat-a-thon. Clancy and GT hit the DB snatch and just like everyone expected they would they destroyed it. On day two the heats are re-ordered based on placing from day one so now we were going head to head with the actual best in the northwest. 2 former world champion teams and 4 former CrossFit Games teams were going to be lined up next to XCF for the next 2 days. George did great. Fast reps with a 100 pound DB but again Mike’s old lady stole the show. She was throwing that 70# DB around like it owed her money. They smashed the workout and moved the team up into 7th.
Event 4 was 600 reps of awfulness and it was now time for NImz, Jones, Blaze, and KD to find out if they could do what only 3 teams in the world had done so far. Spoiler alert. They couldn’t, but they tried really offing hard. After about 2 or 3 million squats with at least that many “no reps” they hit the time cap. It was enough though. The team ended the day in 8th place. We were still in the hunt. Again it was the ladies who led the way. Nimz and Jones collectively did 450 total reps. I don’t even know how they were walking afterward. It was amazing to watch.
Day 3 started on the event that half the team was dreading and half the team was fired up for. The snatch ladder. Every athlete had to proceed through a gauntlet of heavier and heavier bars until they failed and the team score was the sum of their max lifts. In practice Nimz and Jones had failed to even lift the first bar which was 105#. KD was shaky but he hit 165 in the gym. Blaze with his lucky fin was competent to 185 but didn’t want to injure himself so he wasn’t going to the well. GT threw up 205 in the gym and I shut him down with money still in the bank so he was fired up to see what he could get up on game day. Clancy was also itching to PR on stage. Ladies first and wouldn’t you know it, Jonesy put up the 105 for a 5 pound PR! It was super motivation. Clancy worked her way through 105, 115, 120 and all the way up to 130 pounds for a 5 pound PR. The men’s side didn’t disappoint either. Blaze’s arm didn’t fall off and GT not only put up 205 he threw up 215 just because. He said later that he saw 215 just lying there next to 205 so snatching it seemed like the right thing to do. There were also some tough misses though. Nimz and KD missed their marks so our team total wasn’t everything we hoped. We dropped in the rankings due to some incredible numbers put up by other teams. The ladies from CrossFit coeur d’Alene all snatched 145 pounds! It was one of the coolest things I have seen in competition ever. After event 5, eighteen teams were cut from the competition. While team XCF fought valiantly it was going to be a long drive back to Seattle. That is because after competing in the final event they were going to be super sore. That’s right ladies and gentlemen. In case you hadn’t heard team XCF made it to the final event at the Reebok CrossFit Northwest Regional Rock and Roll Diabetes Classic for the Cure. They ended event 5 in 12th PLACE! That is how we roll though. We may not show up in style but we will get there. I was so proud of all of them.
Event 6 was another suck fest that is too complicated to even explain so check out the details on the games site but Nimz, Jones, GT, and Blaze represented us on that one. Muscle ups, wall ball, partner carry WITH a farmer carry, box jumps and more carrying and done. Breezy right? It was murder but they fought like champions. Jonesy was running on fumes by the end but she just kept fighting. Nimz was picking up the slack and putting in work like it was her job. She barely got a chance to break before she had to do more muscle ups or more wall ball. She was an amazing teammate. Watching Blaze carry GT whilst he lugged a 100# db down the stadium floor was pretty awesome. The team hit the time cap with only 2 reps left. They were so close to completing the grueling workout.
It was a long, painful, emotional weekend. They finished tied for 11th. I couldn’t be more proud of them. Next year we are going all the way to the big show in Carson. Just wait and see.