The event began with a bumpy start but ended with a very smooth finish. The CrossFit Surmount Masters team consisted of Angie, Dianne, Glenda, Jay, Jeff, and yours truly. (Notice that I listed in alphabetical order.) I am delighted with the performance of the team, and we worked very well together.
Event 1 | 3-mile partner relay run
Bumpy start, you ask? When Event 1 was announced I was both relieved and excited: a 3-mile run, with M/M, F/F, and M/F partners running together with both holding end of nylon rope. We quickly decided that Glenda & Dianne, Jay & Jeff, and Angie & I would run as pairs. Angie is a very strong runner — when she’s not sick. She was sick with a cold. When it was our turn to run we got off to a rather quick start. I told Angie that I was going to allow her to set the pace. She may have gone out too strong. This became apparent 400 or so meters into the run when her breathing became labored. Teams began to pass us, and with about 400m left one of the other 2 masters teams did just that. I said, “Come on, Angie, let’s catch them.” And she stopped. I said, “You can’t stop, Angie.” Angie had to stop 3 more times. I was trying to be patient, but I did begin to quite literally pull her along. I kept thinking, “I’m a runner and a running coach. What’s this going to look like if we do poorly?” And we did, finishing 17 of 24 teams and third out of the 3 masters teams. Gah! I began to doubt my abilities. This became apparent for Event 2.
Event 2 | 8 min to establish ground to overhead 1RM
I had decided prior to the event to begin with 145 and then lift 155 or more. This didn’t happen due to my own feelings of insecurity. I instead easily lifted 125, and when it was next my turn only increased weight to 135. I distinctly recall emcee Kristen saying, “And that’s a strict press of 135 from Paul Potorti from CrossFit Surmount.” I was quite embarrassed. Jeff lifted 200 and Jay lifted 260! Men placed 13 (because of me) and women 17. Not bad, but not good. And it was because I doubted myself and sandbagged. Dammit. We nonetheless moved to 2nd place in masters, and there we remained. The 1st place masters team was strong, and we never caught them. And that’s okay.
Event 3 | Double “Fran” 21-15-9 thrusters (75/55) and pull-ups M/F & M/F
During thrusters the non-working partner held barbell in front rack position. I partnered with Dianne, and as she loves thrusters (her words) and I love pull-ups we decided she would complete all thrusters. Yay! My goal was to complete all rounds of pull-ups unbroken. Dianne did a spectacular job! After she completed thrusters I grabbed her hand and ran (dragger her) to the pull-up rig. Ha! Poor Dianne, it’s not easy to run after squatting. I quickly and easily completed pull-ups unbroken, and many commented that it looked as if I was doing chest to bar pull-ups. I wanted every rep to count. Jeff and Glenda more evenly divided the work. We completed the workout in 6:58 and placed 8th overall.
Event 4 | 10 minutes 25 hang clean M/M (115) and F/F (75), 100 toes to bar (all) and in remaining time ARMAP DL (155/115) M/F, M/F and non-working partner holds bar at hip
I was looking very forward to this event, as we could subtract 10 toes to bar for each bar muscle up completed. At the very last minute the rules were changed and bar muscle ups were not allowed. Dammit. Jay completed all hang power cleans, and did so quite easily. He’s strong. Glenda completed all hang power cleans. She’s also very strong. I began with kipping toes to bar and completed about 15 or so. We then cycled through, with all 4 of us doing our fair share. The head coach then called no rep on 3 of my reps as I didn’t bring my feet back far enough. Huh? I didn’t argue. I did, however, do last 10 reps as singles. Jay and Dianne began dead-lifts (although it was supposed to have been Jay and Glenda). When it was my turn to do dead-lifts I began completing reps very quickly. And then felt a sharp pain in my hamstring. It hurt! Thus Jay, Glenda, and Dianne had to complete dead-lifts. I did, however, have to hold that barbell at my hips for a very long time. Shit got heavy. We completed 319 reps and placed 4th overall. Yay! We were solidly in second place for masters.
Event 5 | 5 burpee box jump overs (20″), 10 FS (115) & 2 rope climbs M/M; 5 burpee box jump overs (20″), 10 FS (75) F/F & 2 rope climbs
Jay & Jeff and Glenda & Angie did an incredible job! Angie most certainly redeemed herself by doing legless rope climbs each and every time. ‘Twas a sight to behold, and I was exceedingly proud of her! We placed 5th overall!
Event 6 | 15 bar facing burpees, row 400m (M), 50 dus, 50 dus, row 300m (F), 15 bar facing burpees
We decided that I’d begin with burpees, you know, because that’s a strength of mine. I was, however, concerned about my hamstring. I wore a knee brace around my thigh. Jeff rowed, Jay and Dianne did dus, Glenda rowed, and Angie finished with dus. We had initially planned on Angie doing dus, but she struggled prior to the warm up so I strongly suggested (cough, cough) that Angie and Dianne switch activities. Dianne has very consistent dus. We were behind the Masters of Milltown (the first place masters team) and Angie caught them by the end! It was tied score at 4:44 and we tied for 11th place. As all 6 of us got to work together, this was a tremendous amount of fun!
Prior to the workout I let our judge, Sarah D., know that I often get called “no rep” for burpees because, as I don’t have large chesticles, judges often don’t think my chest touches the floor. At the end of the workout she said, “It’s obvious that your chest is touching the floor. I don’t know why a judge would think that you weren’t.”
Event 7 | 12 min OHS
Men completed OHS @ 75 & 95 for minutes 1-3 & 6-9, respectively, and women completed OHS @ 45 & 65 for minutes 3-6 & 9 -12, respectively. I truly doubted that I’d be able to do OHS @ 95 and told Jeff and Jay that’d I try but that I might have to do 5 S2O instead. (Athletes had to complete 5 s2O if unable to complete OHS to allow next person to take their turn.) Jay, Jeff, and I decided that I’d go first for OHS @ 75 and go last for OHS @ 95. This went much, much better than I anticipated. I completed 15 OHS out of the gate and, during next turn, completed more than 10 (I can’t remember number). Jay completed more than 30! During round at 95 I completed more than 10 during my first turn. How the hell did that happen? During my next turn I also completed more than 10 very fast OHS. Again, how the hell did that happen? The team completed 292 reps and placed 3rd overall!
Musings, Ravings, and Rantings
We placed 2nd in masters and 6th overall. That’s a tremendous accomplishment, and I’m very proud of our team! In all honesty, I had very little interest in competing. I only did so because I didn’t want to disappoint Jeff (in particular) and my very good friend, Jay. I repeatedly said, “Our only goal is to have fun.” And that’s what we did! I observed other coaches being kind of douchebag-like. “Warm up now!” “Eat your bagel now!” I provided direction and encouragement but I did not reprimand or show disapproval. After the mile run Angie was apologetic. I said, “Don’t worry about it Angie. You’ve been sick — and I’m a hard person to keep up with.” Dianne told me that she was worried that she would disappoint me and let down the team. She most certainly did not! All team members held their own. We all had weaknesses (insecurity with G2O) and strengths (pull-ups). We adapted as needed and communicated very effectively. My favorite workout was completing Fran with Dianne. My least favorite was T2B and deadlifts, for obvious reasons.
I wasn’t the least bit tired at the end of the day, and the pain in hamstring had already subsided. I completed an easy mile run, 2 very easy C&Js, 45 pull-ups, about 50 T2B, 15 or so deadlifts, a mere 15 barbell facing burpees, and about 45 or so OHS. That’s an easy WOD at CrossFit Surmount, and this was spread out over the day!
We had a very large group of supporters, so who were the all day long. I’m usually oblivious to everyone whilst working out, but there were a few times when I noticed and/or heard Surmounties. A HUGE Thank You to all of you!
There was certainly questionable judging, and there were times when it was obvious that the focus was on our team. For example, during OHS the head judge remained at our station for a significantly longer period of time than he did so at other stations, and called no rep for, well, what were good reps. However, during the final event I, along with many others, observed many, many failed reps that were nonetheless counted as good. Uhm, one need to not only squat below parallel for OHS: one must also open hips at finish. I don’t think any of us are much interested in competing in this particular event next year.
I would very much like to compete again in the very near future! I think many Surmounties would like to do so as well.
One last rant: It’s surMOUNT not SURmount. Sheesh.