What I Learned From a 5th Place Finish…

This past weekend I had the opportunity to compete along with several of our CrossFit For Glory (CFG) athletes at the Central Florida Throwdown. Before I talk about my own experience I would like to give a shout out to all the CFG family and members who came out to cheer us on over the course of the weekend. What a great and fun and well organized event hosted by CrossFit Fennir and Olly and Anitra Goddard.

Post-WOD Naps are the bees knees!
Post-WOD Naps are the bees knees!

As a Coach who was competing as an athlete this weekend, I witnessed some amazing performances by our athletes. Our first time competitors Imane Rhali and Stephanie Ball both turned in amazing performances with never quit attitudes. Marc Z and Alex Furst throwing down in the Men’s Scaled division. Wil Lowery and Margret Clark both were representing in the RX division – truly the inspirational role models for all of us. In the Team Division, we had Michael Grant, Todd Huffman, Susan Kirkham and Crystal Harris having a blast. Kaliym Islam, taking home the Grand Master title with a dominating performance that I will cover in more detail as I discuss my fifth place finish.
Here is the biggest take away from a fifth place finish this weekend. First, the stimulus of competition is good. Second, it pays to be consistent. Over two days, I went head to head with Kaliym and 14 other athlete’s in five WODs in the Grandmaster’s division. If I told you I finish ahead of Kaliym in two of those WODs and tied him in a third you would think I would have placed better than a fifth place finish. Wrong, let me explain. In WOD One, a five minute AMRAP of 5 clusters and 5 pull ups, I finished first and Kaliym finished second. In WOD two, a sprint chipper of 15 meter shuttle runs, 20 ring knee ups, 20 wall balls, 20 hand release pushups, 20 kettlebell swings, 20 double unders and 20 air squats, Kaliym tied for first and I had some misfortune resulting in a 8th Place finish. Which brings me to the last WOD on Saturday, a max clean effort with a three minute clock, followed by as many deadlifts as you can perform in the remaining time left on the clock.
Kaliym cleaned an amazing 225lb, which tied him for first; he lost the tiebreaker by two deadlifts giving him a second place finish. Going into this weekend, the clean was the one event I knew was a weakness of mine. I managed to clean 195lb and add 13 deadlits, which resulted in a 10th place finish in that WOD. Sounds bad right? Wrong, here is the good. I followed Coach Josh Martin’s advice and opened with my first clean loaded at 85-90% based off my previous one rep max clean which was 185lbs. I quickly threw on 20lb more pounds and hit 195lb, and a new PR on my second attempt. I then proceed to load the bar at 205lb and with thirty seconds remaining, I made my last clean attempt. Let us just say it was close, and if my elbows had been a little quicker, I might have made that attempt. 13 deadlift’s later I finished this event.
Therefore, I hit a PR, so what’s the big deal. If I had hit the 205lb clean, I would have moved up to a fifth or sixth place finish, maybe getting me on the podium this weekend. However, that is not the real story. Just one year ago, my clean PR was 170lbs. Over the course of a year, I added 25lbs to my clean, which is what makes this special. The year before, I only added a hard-earned 10lb to my clean PR 160 to 170lbs. Therefore, what I learned is hard work and some barbell club achieved results. I have my sights on 205 and I know I will achieve that lift soon.
Now let us continue and cover Sunday’s events. In WOD four, 30-20-10 deadlift and box jumps, I finished second overall tied with Kaliym. In WOD Five, 12 bar facing burpees followed by 6 overhead lunges, I finish fifth and Kaliym took a seventh place finish. Therefore, here is the final break down on finishes. I took a 1st, 8th, 10th, 2nd, and a 5th place finishes over the weekend. Kaliym took a 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, and a 7th. Kaliym was a consistent finisher across all the workouts this weekend earning his victory.
So there you have it. I took away – the need to have finishes that are more consistent and that consistent hard work achieves results and the stimuli of competing will help make me a better athlete. Kaliym proved that with a string of amazing performances this weekend. So here is the bottom line, it pays to be consistent. It takes hard work and effort to achieve results, you cannot cherry pick your workouts based on your strengths, and you have to follow the programing. I bet if you asked Kaliym what is the magic, he would respond with consistency and commitment. Each one of the athletes that competed this weekend, have all been consistent and committed, which you can tell by their performances.
Coach Mark
Challenging Marc Z for 'Best WOD Face'
Challenging Marc Z for ‘Best WOD Face’



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