The 2013 CrossFit Games or Why I Want to Live in CrossFit Land

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Well I’m back from The CrossFit Games and holy crap what an amazing weekend. Being at the Games was like stepping into CrossFit Land. And in CrossFit Land, everyone wears booty shorts and nanos and lulu bras and eats sweet potatoes out of tupperware all day long. You know that feeling you get when you see someone at the store or in a restaurant and you think, “That person does CrossFit! I can tell!” and you immediately feel like you have something in common and you want to be their friend? Well The CrossFit Games is pretty much that same feeling, but for 3 full days with every single person you meet.

We were doing the whole trip on a bit of a budget (isn’t life always on a bit of a budget?) so we stayed at my mom’s house in Oceanside, which was about a 90-minute drive to the StubHub Center in Carson, which is just south of LA. So every morning we would wake up at about 6, throw together some eggs and bacon, and sleepily make our way towards the freeway. Then from 8AM-9PM, we would immerse ourselves in CrossFit Land. At any given moment, at least one competition was going on, whether it was the men’s, women’s, or team competition, and we were lucky to have Gold Tickets, which meant we could access the full range of events no matter where in the StubHub Center complex they were being held. There was also a massive parking lot full of vendor booths and tents, where you could demo, sample, and shmooze to your heart’s content. Most of the vendors also had little contests happening throughout the day, and I even almost won a double under + burpee contest that Rx Jump Ropes put on, but was ousted from my first place spot at the last minute by a double under phenom. It happens.

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The food was quite a spectacle as well. They had hired a handful of food trucks to come in, but they were all woefully unprepared for the hungry masses that descended on them each day. We spent over an hour on Friday afternoon waiting in line just to get two $10 burger patties, and vowed we would never make that mistake again. Much to our surprise and delight, however, we found out that the concessions stands inside the StubHub center had totally revamped their menus to include free range chicken legs, grass-fed burgers, and organic sausage with sweet potato fries. Not only was it super tasty and the most reasonably priced food available, but they actually knew how to deal with high volume food production, which was a big step up from the food trucks.

Watching the athletes do their thing was even better than I thought it would be. I was also surprised that my favorite thing to watch was actually the team competitions. This year they introduced a piece of equipment called The Worm–if you didn’t watch the Games at all, it’s basically a giant, heavy log that is cut into sections that are connected together with a rope. That way, everyone on the team can carry it and have the load be distributed instead of carrying a regular log and having the tall people have to do all the work. Pretty evil genius of them, right? Anyway, watching the teams maneuver The Worm, especially in the team final, was mesmerizing. So cool to watch the teamwork (and occasional breakdown of teamwork) that all came together.

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And of course it was pretty awesome to see some of my CrossFit idols go to work. I even ran into Julie Foucher in the bathroom at one point. (OH AND DID YOU HEAR I MET CHRISTMAS ABBOTT??? But that deserves its own post, which I will write tomorrow.) Those athletes put in such an incredible amount of work to be able to do what they do, and it was seriously inspiring to watch them. It was also very validating, in a way, to see them struggle… to watch them stand in front of heavy bar or below a pull-up rig and know what was going through their minds as they clearly tried to convince themselves to keep moving made me feel like, even though I may never get a 235# C&J (I mean WHAT), I still know exactly what they’re going through.

From the moment we arrived, I couldn’t decide if the Games were making me depressed because of the up-close-and-personal realization of how freakin hard it is to be a Games athlete, or if they were inspiring me to go home, quit my job, and do Burpees and rope climbs for 40 hours a week for the rest of my life. Which right now actually sounds pretty appealing… if for no other reason than the fact that I would get to live in CrossFit Land forever.

  • Greg Garand

    Your last paragraph is exactly how I have been feeling since I left on Sunday night! I have chosen to keep my job and continue to work my butt off at my box. I plan to do some smaller competitions as an individual or on a team to test myself too. I will never be at the level I saw there this weekend. Even the Masters level athletes were killing it too. Overall it was a great experience and it was awesome to be surrounded by so many people with the same mindset/lifestyle as me. From your photo inside the tennis court, it looks like I was sitting directly behind you in the VIP area up above the normal seats. Bummer I did not run into you!

  • Evan;salt, dogs, and duct tape

    I watched almost every second of the Games! I completely agree with your last paragraph. It was equal parts humbling, and inspiring to watch those athletes do their thing.

  • Rachel

    Hi Claire! I’m so excited, and immensely jealous at the same time, that you went to the games this year. I wonder if you saw my gym’s team competing. Their name is quad city CrossFit!

    Anyway, super jealous and looking forward to hearing more about it in a podcast!

  • Sharde Davis

    Sounds like it was a blast. Maybe one day I can plan on attending the games and rooting for my Crossfit heroes.

  • Emily

    I watched the games. From my couch. Deficit push-ups? I have been robbed of my innocence…….

  • Fat Girl Healthy

    Sounds like you had an amazing experience. I had these same feelings when I went to regionals, I can’t imagine watching it at an even more amazing level of athleticism!

  • Nyakwezi

    Hi Claire! That you so much for ALWAYS painting such a vivid picture for your readers! I couldn’t be there this year but when I saw your post saying you would be, I felt like one of my people would be representing and so it wasn’t so bad :)
    I will definately see you there soon! Maybe we’ll be cranking out those muscle ups together (see how you’ve given a 2 month old crossfit ter the audacity to dream!)
    Thanks again!
    Nyakwezi :)

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