Seven weeks into 2014’s training, and post-Games trip - I think I’m finally ready to sit down and process my thoughts. I avoided writing anything post-Regionals because I was still trying to figure out what had happened. I avoided writing anything up until my trip to the Games because I knew it was going to impact me. But here I sit now - ready to face everything head on.
The biggest thing that the Open and Regionals taught me was to believe in myself. I’ve had these words tattooed on my wrists for a couple of years now (“Believe” and “Achieve”), but I truly didn’t appreciate what they meant to me until this year. I went into the Open hoping to finish in the top ten. Then all of a sudden it was actually happening. The more that it happened, the more I began to believe that it actually would happen, and that I needed to do more than just “hope”.
Regionals went the same way: I went in with a “hope” that I could probably/maybe finish in the top ten, and top five would just be great. There was a small part of me that hoped I’d be ready for Games this year, but I really believed that next year was my year. And as the events came and went, each day led me a little bit more to the belief in myself that I could make it happen if I just executed and did what I do best. By the end of the weekend I found myself in fourth: a gruelling feeling of accomplishment and disappointment all scrambled together.
Sitting in the crowd as I watched my fellow competitors accept their awards and punch their tickets to California is a feeling I will never forget. Michelle Kinney said it best in her Games article: fourth was like a participation ribbon. I had the exact same conversation with CJ following Regionals as she did last year, and while he helped change my perspective on a lot of things going forward, I couldn’t shake that feeling. I still can’t. It’s my gasoline for my fire this year: I never want to feel that way again.
Everybody asks me how my trip to The CrossFit Games was, expecting the same glorious answer one would give when going to their first NHL or NFL game. While the men and the teams were amazing to watch from a spectator viewpoint, and it was an experience to take in just how much the sport has grown - truth be told, watching the women’s events was incredibly hard for me. To truly sit back and feel that “I would have given anything” feeling that is such a cliche line … it tied my stomach in a knot. The majority of the people are there to watch these amazing athletes - most of them believe they’ll never get a chance to ever step on that tennis court floor. I went there to watch the women - their transitions, their movement … what they were doing differently than what I’ve been doing. I went there to learn. I went there to better myself, because sitting in the crowd of that tennis stadium is not at all where I wanted to be that weekend. And as painstaking as it was, I believe that it was something I had to experience to set my priorities straight, and to affirm to myself that I am capable of being there.
Being seven weeks into 2014, the belief in myself isn’t even a question anymore. I want to succeed more than I want to breathe. And when my mind tries to doubt that, I’ve got it written on the floor. “Tennis Stadium” scribbled in chalk - to remind me that this is worth it all.