What a weekend! I hope everyone is staying safe out there with Hurricane Irma coming through. Pictures of the Caribbean and the Keys are pretty bad, but it’s looking like we’re going to see  some of the effects in South Carolina too over the next couple of days. I’m on an airplane right now flying into Atlanta, and the pilot keeps saying how rough of a landing we’re going to have. So, if you’re seeing this, we made it. 

Also, today makes 16 years since the September 11th Terror Attacks on our country. I was only in 8th grade, but I remember that day so clearly. May we never forget. As I type this on my phone, I’m watching airplane satellite tv of the family members read the names of those who lost their lives on this day years ago. I love America, and I’m so grateful for the heroes who continue to put their own lives in danger to protect you and me. 

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to compete at the Kill Cliff Granite Games in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Sometime over the summer, I (barely) qualified for the women’s individual Pro division. It was actual a total surprise because I was like 49th or 50th or something like that in the qualifier. It was one of, if not the most competitive competitions I’ve ever competed in. The 30 girls I got to compete alongside were amazing, and I’m pretty sure that every region in North America was repped, which is pretty cool. Daniel had to work, so I went by myself…mostly just to prove that I could figure it out. Going by myself, and without a team, forced me to actually talk and hang out with girls I didn’t know before- and I’m glad I did. I met other girls who coach at their gyms, or even own their own gyms. I met a teacher, a lawyer, a doctor, a college student, just to name a few. I met girls who have been doing CrossFit for over 7 years. Several of the women I competed with are moms, and even moms of multiple children. Everyone was so strong, so fast, yet really kind. 

One girl that inspired me so much is my new friend Ellie. Ellie is only 19 years old, and just last year she was competing in the teen division at Granite Games. She’s from Birmingham, and in school at Samford. She wants to be a nurse, which is impressive Ellie came with her dad, and it’s so obvious how close they are and how proud he is of her, which is pretty cool.  I’m so glad I got to meet her, because I know that she’s going to do big things in the future, and I can be like, “ahh I know that girl!”

Also, all star volunteers are what make HUUUGGEE fitness competitions like this one so great! And I loved meeting every single one of them – especially the ones who staged the athletes to go out on to the floor.

While finishing at the bottom of the leaderboard isn’t something I love, am used to, or that I’ve experienced before, I guess someone has to do it, ya know? Most would see that as failure, but I’m actually proud of how I did. While I’m not content with it, I learned SO much about myself, I did my best, and I was able to do skills I couldn’t have done last year. I’ve said this before, but no matter how long you’ve been doing CrossFit, or whatever level you are at, competitions will always reveal your weaknesses – if you allow them to. There’s always something to take away, learn, and get better at.

I only had one workout that was a TOTAL flop, and that was those deficit strict handstand pushups. They threw in the 4.5 inch deficit last minute. Last year I could only do maybe 5 regular strict handstand pushups at a time. I’m pretty bad at them, lets be honest. So adding that much of a deficit made them impossible for me right now. I’m going to figure them out though, but I’ll probably start with like a 2 inch deficit or something… haha.

The coolest event was the surprise trail run that the individual pro athletes got to do. We had to be there at 5:30 am, and we were bussed in the dark to a rec ski/snowboard park. We got to run in 5.11 vests with our names on them and everything. It messed me up in the best kind of way. But it was so much fun. Although I haven’t been running as much lately, I felt like I could still hang with everyone else because I love running. Well, apparently everyone else loves running too. When we took off, I tried to stay towards the front of the pack of the 60 males and females. The first 200 meters or so were allllllll uphill, and as I got up about halfway, I was like “oooohhhhhhh ok this is going to be interesting.” Unfortunately for me, I got passed a lot… by guys and girls. My mind was like, “nah go catch them back.” But my legs were like, “nahhh.. we done.”

 So, that was the day I learned that everyone else is also pretty good at running….and….I need more hills in my life.

After the trail run, Event 2 was a 250 meter hill sprint (more like a just make it up the hill however you can/almost bear crawl). It was a ski slope, so it was the longest, steepest hill I’ve ever attempted. I looked like a beached whale for a good 15 min after the race, because my legs hated me.

But guys, I’m tellin’ ya…no picture or video could do that morning justice. I’ll never forget it, and I’m still trying to recover from it!

The next day, I PR’d my clean at 205 lb (which definitely wasn’t the heaviest weight of the ladder) but it was a PR, so I was happy with it- despite finishing towards the bottom in that workout too. The heavy barbell isn’t my jam, but finally getting over 200 was a breakthrough for me!

I’m 100 percent sure that I wouldn’t have survived good ole Lake George without any floatation devices if I hadn’t practiced so much. So shoutout to all of the people who made those cannonball swim sessions possible at the Sumner pool.

I survived going by myself, which is what I wanted to do- to prove to myself that I could. Despite being directionally challenged and getting lost numerous times per day, I thrived.

I had a reunion with my girl, Marlie! It was weird watching her workout, and not being right there beside her. But shoutout to Alicia, and everyone else from Solafide for letting me hang with y’all!

Thanks to the Kill Cliff people for being great humans- especially Lauren and Kaitlin. I love y’all and laughing with y’all was one of my favorite things about this past weekend!

I’m grateful I get to come back to my friends at CFEC. And as always, I’m thankful for the support Daniel continues to give me by allowing me and encouraging me to do cool things like this! And thanks to Colin for helping me go into this past weekend feeling great, and for helping me get better. 

If you’re still reading, then sorry this post is kinda all over the place, but I guess typing on your phone with little sleep will do that to ya. If you get anything out of it, just know that defeat and/or setback is what you make of it. And how you respond to it matters. Haha, if anyone knows that, it’s me. But for real, there’s always something to take away. 

Hope y’all have a great week! Stay safe during this storm, remember those who lost their lives on this day 16 years ago, and don’t forget to love and be grateful for the people around ya!

 I loved getting to compete with these girls ...and some others that didn't make the picture. A lot of regions represented right there....

I loved getting to compete with these girls …and some others that didn’t make the picture. A lot of regions represented right there….

 pounding kill cliffs all weekend

pounding kill cliffs all weekend

 oohhh..... that hurt. #Painface  Thanks Kill Cliff for the pic :)

oohhh….. that hurt. #Painface Thanks Kill Cliff for the pic 🙂

 Beached whale? Or Lieutenant Dan with no legs?

Beached whale? Or Lieutenant Dan with no legs?

 Reppin' the southeast with Ellie!

Reppin’ the southeast with Ellie!

 Swimmin' in good ole' Lake George. All freestyle, ya know. 

Swimmin’ in good ole’ Lake George. All freestyle, ya know. 

 I love these girls. They made me laugh all weekend, and they cheered me through muscle ups and legless rope climbs :)

I love these girls. They made me laugh all weekend, and they cheered me through muscle ups and legless rope climbs 🙂

 just taking a little break...

just taking a little break…

 So cool getting to compete side by side with you, Brenda!

So cool getting to compete side by side with you, Brenda!

 Trademark shake it out. 

Trademark shake it out. 

 When you need a little break, so you just laugh and talk to your friends :) ...and shake it out.

When you need a little break, so you just laugh and talk to your friends 🙂 …and shake it out.

 DONNEEEEEE :)

DONNEEEEEE 🙂

 See y'all next year!!!!

See y’all next year!!!!

 Reunited :)

Reunited 🙂

 Pretty normal, with crooked aviators and everything. 

Pretty normal, with crooked aviators and everything.