I’m not a CrossFitter, per se, but I suppose you could say that CrossFit is my guilty pleasure. As a biomechanist, I know all about the potential risks of kipping pull-ups and high-rep Olympic lifts. But that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the occasional WOD. The “Benchmark Girls” — Fran, Cindy, and Angie, in particular — are some of my absolute favorite workouts.
Above all, I’m an admirer of fine movement. As such, I simply can’t get enough of the CrossFit Games. Call me crazy, but the crispness and grace with which Games athletes perform highly technical movements, especially in the presence of fatigue, really gets me going. So when I found out that Mid Atlantic Regionals were being held a mere two hours southwest, I just had to go see for myself what it was all about.
This past Saturday, I drove down to Fairfax, Virginia, to take in Day 2 of the Mid Atlantic CrossFit Regionals. I had high hopes for the day, and I would not be let down. I witnessed firsthand some of the most well-rounded athletes in the world battle it out for a chance to go to the Games this summer. I also saw my conceptions of age, determination, and sportsmanship each redefined in the span of just a few hours.
|Kim Holway, age 46|
In fact, at 46 years old, Kim Holway was double the age of some of her competitors. Not that it showed, as Holway took second in her heat. Each heat of women was faster and more enthralling than the previous, with plenty of close calls and last second sprints to the finish.
|Third Fittest Man on Earth, Ben Smith|
The final event of the day was a simple couplet: 10 rounds of legless rope climbs and 200-foot sprints. Top finishers came in under four minutes; others struggled to get a single rep on the rope. Courage and poise were on display throughout the day, even in the face of unexpected challenges, like the prohibition of the use of legs on the rope climbs and kipping on the handstand push-ups. Even if an athlete couldn’t get up the rope or out of the bottom of the handstand, they never stopped fighting until the clock struck zero.
What a tremendous example, day, event, and sport. These CrossFitters sure know how to put on a show!
|Athletes cheering on a competitor after they finished the workout.|