After having a bit of time to reflect on the events of this past weekend, I found myself coming back to specific moments for each individual and thought it’d be cool to share with you all…whether to relive it because you were there or to get a sense of what went down in case you couldn’t make it out there.
Without further ado, here are a few of the “Signature Moments” of the 2015 Central Florida Throwdown:
– WOD 1 called for a 6min AMRAP of 5 hang clusters and 5 pull-ups. Marc Z, who’s been away at college for a few months now, dispatched the pull-ups in this WOD in dominating fashion, performing unbroken butterfly pull-ups for nearly the entire WOD.
– WOD 3 was a fun little couplet of moderate weight deadlifts and box jump overs. Built for the deadlift, and quite strong for his small stature, Alex F smoked them in this one, putting out one of the more impressive workouts I’ve ever seen him perform.
– Speaking of WOD 3, Mark James put on an absolute clinic on how to pace a workout and chase people down. Side by side for the entire competition with Kaliym, Mark was well behind everyone in the heat that jumped out to sprint from the beginning. I looked back at his wife Erika, smiled at her, and said “watch this.” Sure enough, he chased down Kaliym, who was well ahead until the final round of box jump overs…finishing in a tie for 2nd place with him!
– WOD 1 for the RX folks included muscle-ups, something that was wreaking havoc on Margaret’s confidence to put up a good showing in this workout. Little did she know that I intentionally avoided her until just before she walked out onto the competition floor…if I’ve learned anything in doing this coaching thing for over 12 years now, its that athletes will only second guess themselves more if they talk to me too much. I gave her one final tip before she walked out and BAM – first time onto the rings and she knocked one out. Watching her do that in front of all those people, alongside girls that were nearly 20 years younger, was awesome.
– Another WOD 1 moment – Wil Lowery performing, what I’d argue were, the most gorgeous set of 5 unbroken muscle-ups to kick off that WOD. Cycling hang clusters at 135? Not too shabby either. Reminder that this kid has been doing CrossFit for just at a year now.
– While our team of 4 performed every WOD brilliantly, I think their signature moment came in WOD 3 where they performed with machine-like precision, communicating hardly at all because they all intuitively knew when to step in and do their part. They finished the deadlift/box jump WOD (90 total reps of each!) in 4:25…do the math folks, that is FAST!
– THE CHAMP – Kaliym Islam, had his signature moment in WOD 2. Think back to the 2014 Open, WOD 1 with double unders. Know how many Kaliym could do then? ZERO. On Saturday, my advice to every individual was the same – push until your body has nothing left to give. That meant that when he got to the jump rope, his heart rate was through the roof. Know how many breaks he had in that set of 20? ZERO. Know how many breaks he had in the entire WOD? ZERO. Coincidentally, he took 1st overall in that WOD and 1st overall in the competition.
– Making it to the finals was not something that Stephanie Ball counted on. But when she saw the smirk on my face as I was talking (quietly I thought) to Leigh-Ann about her making it, she began to freak out. She planned to be done Sunday morning. Instead, she was faced with overhead barbell lunges with 65lb. For almost half of the entire workout, she failed to get a single lunge. It was heart breaking for all of us to watch. But then…she nailed three in a row! Then another…and another. To go from failing a bunch of reps to coming up just a single rep shy of a full round was not just a signature moment for Steph, but put tears in so many of our eyes because of how much we knew she fought to get there. I could not have been more proud to hug her when she finally came off the floor.
– And now we come to young Imane Rhali. WOD 2, the sprint chipper, was hers from the get go…despite having to do a few extra shuttle runs. She was ahead of the field for a bit…and then came the hand release push-ups. A movement that we’ve done in the box countless times, suddenly left her. This is where the community of CrossFit shined best – spectators and even the judges themselves got down onto the hangar floor to take her step by step through proper movement execution. But nobody could get through to her…until her buddy Coach Jim crawled under the barricade, got her attention and had her block out everything but his voice and his coaching. At this point, she was far behind most of the other competitors, but ended up finishing the entire WOD with seconds to spare. She put on an incredibly inspired performance during that WOD, never giving up. Collapsing into Tanya’s arms afterwards, I could not have been more proud that she was a CFG athlete.