(Written Monday, 18 July 2016)
I’m all checked in and registered, and now I am, as I’m sure all the other athletes are, patiently waiting to find out exactly when our 2016 CrossFit Games will begin. And that’s all we can do, it’s part of the attraction. The element of surprise is one of the things that makes this sport so much fun and exciting to do.
So what have we been doing since we left Pittsburgh. This year, I wanted to share our story of the Games and what we do day to day; to let everyone in on Brad’s and my Games experience.
After the Members WOD last Saturday, Brad and I headed home to shower, grab our bags, and have a quick play session with our puppies. From there we headed to the airport and hopped on our two flights, via Atlanta to land in California around 8:15pm (local time).
Having been here a few times now, we know where the grocery store is relative to the hotel and the airport, so we made it our mission to get our car and hit up the Whole Foods for dinner before it closed. I think it must have been pretty close to record time from landing, grabbing bags, getting on a shuttle to go to the rental car center, then getting the car, because we were at the Whole Foods at 9:30pm. I wanted dinner so badly but really did not expect to make it. Brad was particularly happy that we made it and that I could get some food. (He says I have a “beast” in my belly that takes over when I’m hungry and don’t get fed; I get angry and grumpy…which is mostly true.)
After food shopping, we found our hotel (from now, referred to as ‘home’). We’ve ended up staying at a different place this year, as the place at which we normally stay was sold out. I called two days after Regionals were finished to reserve a room and there were none available. It’s crazy how big this event is getting. We ate dinner and then fell asleep.
The next couple of days in the lead up to the Games, we have little routines that we do. Normally we hit up the first routine on the day we land, but obviously it was too late on Saturday night, so Sunday morning we started it. We always go to a Lululemon store. It has been our tradition from the very first CrossFit event that we did, so we continue it wherever we go. However, it being Sunday, it didn’t open until 11, and we got there at 10. So we fast forwarded a little to the next part of our routine which is to get a frying pan for the hotel room. I’m sure most of you know, but the pans you get in the room aren’t the best and I really dislike making eggs in them for breakfast because, no matter how hard I try, they always get stuck on the pan and it takes an eternity to clean, so we buy a cheap frying pan that will survive the week. That done and Lulu still not open, we just had to go to Starbucks and drink tea while we talked about random things until Lulu-opening time.
While we were shopping, a lady came up to me and said “Hi Anna, I want to wish you good luck”. I turned around but didn’t recognize her at all (this could be embarrassing), so I said, “Hi”, and asked how she knew my name. As it turned out, I had on one of my shirts that had my last name on it and her young daughter pointed me out to her. They were visiting from Italy and had come over to watch the Games. I talked with them for a little while and we finished with a picture. It was quite a cool little experience for me.
After we were done at Lulu, we went over to the Whole Foods store to get our food for the first part of the week. We break the shops up to the initial one, a shop on Tuesday, and a shop on Thursday, around what we think the schedule will be.
Then it was back home, unload the groceries, and head to the beach for our beach WOD. We headed to the beach and looked and looked for parking spots but couldn’t find anything where we normally do our beach workout. Then we realized there was a Pro-Volleyball tournament going on and that was why it was so crowded. Plan B – we headed up the beach a little to where it was much less crowded and found parking quite easily. Once on the sand, we found our spot and Brad came up with the WOD. We warmed up a little and then started. It involved some sprinting, and some body weight movements. I finished the WOD and in typical Brad fashion, he said, “Good…now do it again.” “What!!!!!….” As many of you who know Brad know, you don’t argue, you just do it, so 3,2,1…go…and off I went, again. But we all love it! That’s why we keep coming back. After the WOD, he told me to go and jump in the ocean. For once my concern wasn’t so much about what was in the water but rather the water temperature. But without hesitation, I charged in, dived under expecting to feel the cold pressing in but I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the water felt.
It was fun. Our beach WOD is a good workout. It is a time for us to workout together and to just be us. It is one of my favorite parts of the trip.
From there, we headed back to the room , showered, and a quick bite to eat before I met Antony, the PT who will be working with me out here. This was the first time I had actually met Antony. I have been talking with him on several occasions prior to this because he is coming to Pittsburgh PA soon to do a seminar at which I will be assisting. During our conversations, he mentioned he was coming to the Games to work with a couple other athletes and offered to work with me also if I was interested. Of course I said yes.
Dinner came next and then we just chilled for the rest of the evening. I think we passed out super early on Sunday as the jet-lag got to us a little.
Then it was Monday…the day it all officially begins.
Brad and I started our Monday with our annual boardwalk run. So we woke up early to head there to get it done. We park, run down to the pier, walk the pier and talk, then when we are done, we keep heading south until our turn-around spot and then pick up the pace on the way home.
After shower and breakfast back at the home, we headed to the StubHub Center to start registration. This is the first year they have done it at the StubHub instead of the event hotel but it was a really cool set up. We checked in and received our athlete and coach packets. From there we walk around and get all of our clothes and shoes and extra sponsor gear. It is overwhelming at how much stuff we get but it’s very impressive too. We got some nice gear and we got a weightlifting singlet. Don’t worry, I very much doubt you will see me wearing it in the near or distant future.…lol
During the checking-in and registration process, we are told that we have a mandatory fitting tomorrow (Tuesday). And they won’t tell us what it’s for…Oh, the suspense!!!
After clearing that line, we join the box-of-clothes line. The volunteers went through the clothes with us to show us what we had and then led us to a fitting room to let us try on all of it to see if anything needed altering. Once we were all set with our clothes, we headed around a corner and got our hats and socks and headbands. Then, we joined to the shoe line. This year we have been given 7 pairs of shoes, mostly the ones we normally get plus a pair of Gortex lined shoes. Of course, we were all asking the guys, “What is this shoe for?!”, trying to get them to slip some info, but to no avail. They said they didn’t know but …..
Then on to headshot (as in photos) and an interview during which they asked us questions about our past sports and previous Games… and then, finally, we were finished with the check-in process.
Since the interview was at the event hotel, and there is a gym set up there, I met up with Antony and we went over some mobility stuff.
Relaxing until the mandatory athlete dinner that night was next on the agenda. All the athletes boarded a bus and were driven to the dinner destination. Once we were all gathered, Dave Castro shows up, welcomes us and introduces some information as to what we will be doing.
With this being the 10th year of the CrossFit Games, he asked us all to stand up and and say how many years we have been there and where we are from. It is very thrilling and awe-inspiring to see how many first-year athletes are here but also how many veterans and to hear how long people have been doing this sport and are still at the top level. Once the introductions were done, he leads into ..…
“This is going to be the hardest CrossFit Games both mentally and physically that we have ever done.” Followed by the Dave Castro smile.
It’s going to hurt! And we are going to have to dig deep! But that’s what it’s all about and that’s why we do it. To push ourselves to limits we didn’t know we had and I’m excited to see where those limits are this year.
As for announced events, we were told that we are doing Murph, hence the fitting that we have to attend. It is to get our vests fitted for the event. We also found out that we are doing a squat clean ladder – the same as the snatch ladder we did at regionals just with different weights. And also a 500m swim, mass-start men and women….and that was all that was said about that… So yeah…we will see where that leads.
And now it’s off to sleep. I know this was a long blog and I thank you for reading it. I will try to do daily blogs now so they are not as long. Thank you all for your support!!