People have asked me what the highlight of my Games experience was. I had some good events surpassing even my own high expectations. I met some cool people, folks that I have watched and read about for over 5 years. I was on top of the leaderboard for a brief moment and in podium contention for much of the competition. I saw how it all works: meeting Castro, the briefings, the warmup, being part of an “announcement’. I “got the t-shirt” (several of them actually, and lots of shoes!). Each one on that list is pretty neat, but none of those are even close to my highlight.
It was the white shirts.
On the first day- the first few minutes of the first day actually – we were all lined up in the tunnel waiting to take the field for Event #1. I was standing there with all of the other athletes in my division, extremely nervous: palms sweaty, butterflies in my stomach; I couldn’t stand still. I could see “Zeus”, that huge rig, over the top of everyone’s head and I could hear the crowd. The event management girl on a headset stuck her hand out, and said “30 seconds gentlemen.” I got nauseous and dizzy. My heartbeat was pounding my eardrums. The girl shouted “good luck” and we ran out.
As we jogged out around the pylons and onto the field, I heard my name announced and looked into the stands as I approached my starting point. There in the stands, right at the end of my lane, was a group of smiling, screaming fans yelling and cheering for me wearing white, “Team Jay” t-shirts.
That was the moment.
The highlight of my Games experience was before it even began and lasted throughout. It was seeing the friendly faces of my wife, my kids, and friends from CFG standing right there at the end of my lane loudly blasting those nerves away. You guys- the members of CrossFit For Glory – there in Carson and watching on-line – yelling, supporting, sending positive vibes my way throughout the entire competition beat even the high from a 2d place event finish. It was comforting and uplifting to look down the lane throughout the week and see members of CFG, friends, and family there. Having members of CFG all around the stadium during the berm run yelling encouragement kept my pace up and spirits high. Seeing smiles and high fives after I didn’t do as well as I had hoped eased the sting. I can’t describe the way you all calmed me yet made me want to try even harder.
It wasn’t just the people who could afford to make the trip though. The social media explosion was quite an overwhelming surprise as well. I removed myself from social media during the Games, but each evening at dinner Angie showed me the incredible waves of support and emotion from CFG members here at home. All of the support you provided us was tremendously inspiring and very humbling to me and to my family.
If I can stay healthy and consistent this next year, I am going to try again. I will certainly make more appearances into CFG to meet more of you between now and then so that I can soak up all of the energy you provide during the Open, the online qualifier, and if all goes well, the 2017 CrossFit Games.
We share an unbelievably talented coach and incredibly uplifting community. Thank-you so much for the support you’ve provided to all of us.
Thank-you for all of your support and cheers during the CrossFit Games!