Tuesday, July 16
1. Clean Pulls 95% 3x2
2. Good Mornings: 3 x 8 you choose the weight. Keep same pulling angle as at the end of first pull.
3. 3 Prowler Pulls - 50m, 1 1/2x BW, 1:1 work:rest ratio
4. Gym WOD - Oly OTM
I finished the last set of 4 squat cleans at 225 and had pushed as hard as I could. Picking up the bar when I didn’t think I could get another rep, losing position along the way and my grip failing, but managed to set a PR from the previous time I did the same WOD fresh in my gym at home. I knew it was close, but had 4 or 5 people squeaked in between Zach and I? I dropped to my knees to recover thinking I had made it to the Games again and thoughts went immediately toward training. What Ben would be having me do over coming weeks to prepare? Reality check… maybe I hadn’t made it, it was close. I gave Matt Hathcock a hug congratulating him knowing that he had made it. Walking to Zach we knew it was still up in the air. We hugged and both said congratulations. Zach thought I edged him out, we asked each other our times and waited. Both thinking that I squeaked in again. Zach congratulated me again, a true competitor.
I started looking around feeling more unsure. My eyes caught Ben’s and I could tell he was uncertain too, if anything, now I’m thinking I may have not made it. Zach and I stood together waiting as other competitors exited the floor. One of the score keepers came up with an iPad and told Zach he would be needing him. “Me?” Zach said, doubting that he had made it. The score keeper didn’t say a word other than repeating that he would need him. Zach and I both knew that he had made it. Another hug and a congratulations from me telling him that he deserved it.
I looked to Ben, a true coach, one of the best I have ever had. A camera sits there waiting for me and my response, my head is spinning. Ben gave me some of the best advice I have heard through all of the competing I have done over the years. To handle it with grace. The circumstance sucked, it stung. I had worked just as hard if not harder than ever before. Pouring my heart into every workout and the results were what they were. Some side of me didn’t know how to deal with it, but Ben’s reminder grounded me. I still have a job to do, and it’s to show grace in defeat. Sarah, my wife, came up to me with our two kids, some of the best perspective you could ever ask for. I played with Roark and Myla on the floor, in an effort to fight for perspective on what really matters as portions of the crowd exited the stands. Some waited to hear a quick word, and a camera with Josh Everette still waited to interview me. Ben, his wife Heather, Sarah, and my kids all kept me grounded in that moment. Close friends and family sharing in a tough moment with me where not much could be said but I knew they understood where I was.
I walked out of the arena hearing the announcer calling the names of those that had placed to go to the Games. Walking with the same group that was supporting me the whole way… even though it was tough I had peace. I had done everything I could have that weekend to put my abilities and gifts to use. I walked away without a shadow of a doubt that I gave it my all. This as well as those people in my life, and a relationship with a God that loves me regardless of my performance is what gave me that peace. It doesn’t mean it isn’t hard and that I didn’t go through some serious ups and downs over the course of the next couple weeks. Everything from breaking down emotionally, to being angry, feeling fine, wanting to compete again, and needing to rest. Feeling and emotions came and went and lots of those things are still triggered with looking at an old tee or a bag that I got at a previous Games.
I will miss competing on that floor tremendously, but I don’t think I failed. My goal was to win regionals, then top 5 or podium at the Games. I believed I could and I went into the weekend thinking it. You HAVE to risk the heartbreak of losing or falling short if you want to win, but I don’t think I failed. Is a second place, third, fourth, 10th, place finish failing if you didn’t reach your goal? If you pushed the limits of your potential I don’t think it is. That day, under those circumstances, I got fourth. That can not discredit all the training, the gains, the growth that I made over the course of the past year. It’s impossible. Those achievements and that growth is already done, no one can take that from us. Does falling short mean we can be disappointed? Absolutely. The competitor in me felt heartbreak and I believe I am capable to be a top 10 or podium athlete at the Games. As a competitor reaching for the highest levels we have to allow ourselves to be vulnerable. To say that we can win and believe it, even when it isn’t guaranteed. We have to be willing to risk it all and fall short sometimes, and still be ok. It doesn’t mean it’s not a struggle or tough to deal with it, but it’s part of competition. Failure? No. Set back? No. Just a place, just a result, and a piece of what can help us grow and become better as an athlete and as people.