This is Jerad posting under Alena’s name, because brothers can be cool like that.
Super long post warning!!!!!!
I wanted to give everyone a comprehensive rundown of the events that happened before and after this weekend in lovely downtown Puyallup Washington with Alena, Travis, Travis’ wife Laurie and myself.
We set the pace early by me running late to the airport as I thought we were leaving later than we were so about 20 mins to take off, running through the airport like chickens with our heads cut off rushing to the plane. Luckily there was no one in line for security and we made it just under the gun.
When we realized what plane we were going to be on we all couldn’t help but laugh and cry all at the same time as our flight to Seattle was a small two prop engine plane. This was going to be an interesting two hours.
After Alena and I made multiple jokes on how we didn’t think we’d ever make it to our destination on this fine piece of aviation wonderment, we all made it safely to our destination.
We arrived in Puyallup to our hotel around 9pm, and after settling in found that our beds were about as soft as a piece of plywood on top of a piece of concrete. Needless to say we were all a little stiff in the mornings.
Check in for the event was at 8am so off to the fairgrounds we go. After wandering around for about 10 minutes looking for the event. We came to a barn building that looked like the livestock event center.
Alena and Travis checked in and found out what heats they were going to be in and started to loosen up. Alena was in the 2nd Women’s heat, and Travis was in the 3rd Men’s heat, which was nice because they alternated heats between Men and Women, so they were competing right after each other.
The first Wod of the weekend was 3 Rnds of 10 Overhead Squats and 50 Dbl Unders. Doesn’t sound like much, but I’ve come to find that the WOD’s that look good on paper are never, EVER easy! There was a 12 minute cap on the WOD, meaning if you were not finished in 12 minutes you had DNF (Did not Finish).
Alena was up first. Overhead squats have always been one of her strong suits and the weight was light enough that it wouldn’t giver her issue. Unfortunately Her left shoulder has been bothering her for a few weeks now, and the judging was incredibly strict on hip crease and it was mandatory for her to have her elbows locked on both sides for the rep to count. First round gave her little issue, even with the double unders she was doing well. But the motion of the double unders, and the strict over head squat judging caused problems for her in the second. She probably ended up doing about 15 overhead squats in the second round and most of them they would not count because her elbow was not locked. She gutted out the squats and if memory serves got through the second round of double unders, got a few more squats in the final round in and at that point her shoulder could not take anymore and the final bell was called. She was disappointed in herself that she got her first ever DNF. However this was a difficult WOD for most of the women in this qualifier, as ½ of the women in the competition also DNF.
Next up was Travis who was pretty confident in both of these movements. But again due to the strictness of the judging, they were calling many of his squats “no rep” because they could not see his hip crease with his shirt hanging low on his waist. After he tucked it in he was good to go, and had no other issues after that. He put up a final time of 6:44. Though had the judges realized he was in fact breaking parallel and counted all of his reps, I believe he would have shaved at least a minute or more off his time. After the first event he was 48th overall.
(In a side note the winner of this event was a site to see. Chris Spealler (who is a long time crossfit games competitor) put up a simply amazing time in this event of 2:39. Watching him I was in absolute awe the entire time, I think he only caught his feet in the jump rope once in a 150 total double unders, and at the end he just seemed to get even faster doing them. Incredible site to see.)
Up next was as many reps as possible of deadlifts in 90 seconds. The catch was that the deadlift bar was two inches in diameter all the way across, and your hands had to come off of the bar at the bottom of each rep. Alena and Travis both did well in this event as they both put up 30 deadlifts a piece for a cumulative total of 7,890 (Travis) and 4,671 (Alena) I’m not sure as to what weights they used, but I believe they were both called on no reps at one point for not removing their hands when the bar was on the ground. Alena Came in 24th in this Event, and Travis came in 40th.
(Side note….The winner of this event was a beast of a man named Jerome Perryman. At 6’5” 220, this guy is a solid muscle, and had a cumulative total in 90 seconds of 10,908 lbs. In his sectional qualifier, I heard he put up a 606lb deadlift. There is video online, but I have yet to watch. He also used to play football for the University of Oregon.)
This put an end to the first days events, but not before they announced the events for Sunday. The first event was a 5 mile hill / road run that the first mile was straight up. Travis said that the elevation change in a mile was probably 800 feet. Most of the contenders were not very happy to hear this, but our Warrior Athlete duo did not even balk at the concept of having to run 5 miles. (Thanks Coach Ord!!!)
After a good nights sleep and a prescribed dinner of meat and potatoes from Dr. Mel it was off to bed.
We decided it was going to be a light breakfast and we’d head out for check in, showed up a few minutes late, but no worries. They explained how the timing for the run would work, and how the course would go. I was excited because I was hoping I would be able to run along with them so I could get a workout in, and help motivate along the way, but the event organizers said no non-competitors on the course. Bummer….
The run kicked off and they began up the horrible rolling hill. Laurie and I lost site of them after about the first 1200 meters until they came back around to circle back up the hill. Travis was doing very well, he was somewhere in the middle of the men and Alena was near the mid rear of the women. (By Mel’s advice of course) the next time we saw them Travis had moved up a little more and moved for his final sprint to the finish line. As Eminem was guiding him to the finish line he put up a very impressive time of 36:40.
As Laurie raced through a shortcut to try to catch Travis at the finish line. I stayed and waited it out for my sister and ended up running (sprinting) the last 800 meters with her trying to will the last bit of energy out of her. She put up a dead sprint for the last 400 meters, and finished at 46:00 even. She was very impressed with her time and they both attribute their strong performances to the running of the warrior athlete program, as well as the altitude that we train in. Since we were at sea level it was a benefit to both of them.
Travis Finished 23rd in the Run, and Alena 36th.
(Side Note, Chris Spealler turned on the after burners at the end of the race and crossed the finish line at 33:35)
After downing some free Chocolate milk, lounging in the lawn and getting some carbs in them, the heats were reorganized so the top athletes / leaders would be in the final heat gutting it out together.
Now the final WOD was one of the most horrible things I have even seen or heard of.
It was as follows;
30 calories on the Concept 2 Rower
30 Thrusters with 95/65
3 Rope Climbs 20'/15'
30 Kettlebell Swings 1.5 pood/1 pood
20 calories on the Concept 2 Rower
20 Thrusters with 115/75
2 Rope Climbs 20'/15'
20 Kettlebell Swings 1.5 pood/1 pood
10 calories on the Concept 2 Rower
10 Thrusters with 135/95
1 Rope Climbs 20'/15'
10 Kettlebell Swings 1.5 pood/1 pood
There was a 25minute cap on the WOD to prevent people from completely destroying themselves trying to finish. Travis and Alena were both in the second heats. So they got to spectate for the first rounds. What we saw was a scary site. Men were falling of the ropes from 15-20’ in the air, they would lift up for thrusters, and their knees were giving out, and as far as the women, one woman went for a thruster at the start of the rounds, and the bar either fell out of her hands and hit her on the head, or the weigh coming down made her fall over, either way, the poor girl was on the ground for about 15mins and was taken out in an ambulance. Needless to say this scared all of us pretty bad, but being the competitors they are, Alena and Travis decided they were going to gut it out. No Regrets!
Travis came out first, and started his row strong, and moved right along to the thrusters. But again the judges were saying he was not going deep enough. After he took his shirt off, he stopped having those problems. But he ended up having to do about 5 extra thrusters. On to the 3 rope climbs, and he was pretty exhausted after those. KB were intense and the standard for the games was that the KB had to go over the crest of your head and past your ears for it to count.
Once back on the rower Travis’ ankle was already bloody and burned from climbing the rope. What happened next was very hard to watch as the exhaustion from the workouts as well as the mental exhaustion from the whole weekend overtook him. Screaming from the bleachers Laurie and myself were trying to shout motivating phrases, and even complete strangers were pulling for him. (I think a few of my phrases almost got me the finger) Unfortunately he did just not have enough gas in the tank, and was unable to finish the WOD in the 25min time limit. But it was clearly nothing to be ashamed of at all as 23 men in total were unable to complete the WOD.
(Travis I hope you dont take this as a negative thing. you're ability to compete at such a high level is incredibly inspiring, and I only hope that next year I can compete next you, as it would be an honor to do so. WELL DONE BROTHER)
Next up was Alena’s heat. She knew before hand (thanks to Tommy V) she was not the most effective rope climber, and we duct taped the living hell out of her ankle so as to prevent the rope burn during the WOD. She started strong in her heat and was the first woman off the rowers. She began her Thrusters and did a pretty good job on them. On to the 3 rope climbs, she did the first one really well and walked away from the rope, forgetting there were 3. back up the rope 2 more times, and then to the KB Swings. The first swing overhead almost took her right along with it. As she ended up taking about 4 steps back to reset herself before continuing. The second round took a lot out of her, and there was a lot of “resting in the hole” and the judge screaming at her to get her elbows off her knees. (I think she was going to throw the bar at the judge at one point lol) in the 3rd round Alena dug really deep to a place few of us ever have to go and everyone in the stands were screaming for her to finish. As her brother seeing her struggle like that was a difficult thing to see, as all I wanted to do was help her with the thrusters, or throw her up the rope. But all I could do was what everyone else was doing, just scream for her.
Before Alena went out, she told me, “I don’t care about time….just finish” I can’t help but wonder if those were the words going through her head when the judge said over the intercom “1:15 seconds left” she had a rope climb and 10 kettle bell swings left. She scurried up the rope as fast as she could, touched the top, and dropped down probably about 8 feet to the ground, grabbed the kettle bell and she had to swing 11 times (the judge called no rep on one) and dropped to her knees in exhaustion. She finished with :24 seconds left. And came in 35th in the event.
Afterwards multiple people came up to her and said that her performance was inspiring, and that they were pulling for her.
They are both battered, bruised and broken and beaten. They were both taken to the point of exhaustion, they were both taken to the point of failure, and felt extreme high’s and lows over the weekend. But one thing is for sure, they both walked away with amazing memories and experiences.
Travis – 47th
Alena – 36th
I’m glad that I could be a part of this experience as well, and be a part of such an amazing community of athletes. I met so many incredible like-minded, fit people this weekend. This has inspired me to continue and train harder (not that I was at any risk of quitting crossfit lol) And I myself may even take a crack at the games next year for the experience alone. I don’t expect to make it far if I do, but it would be an amazing thing to be a part of.
Congrats to Alena and Travis. And thank you both for the memories.
Lets do it again next year.