Proving Grounds 2018


Stella MCing away

Brought salads because the food at these events is usually not great 

Sprints and front squats 
G5 support crew 

Team Destined for Divorce (Ray J and  KJ)

Team G5 Jerks (Adam and Julie)

Super happy me!

The final WOD

And they were done!


Falafel burger at Drygate with the team

I got to hold baby Emily! One week old, she’s beautiful. Did I tell you I love babies? (Photo borrowed from Chris)

Some of the gang! (Photo borrowed from Chris)

I absolutely love competition days, whether it’s me competing or cheering on someone else, it’s just the most fun days. The G5 crew is always out in full force and we scream and shout from the beginning until the end. This time it was time to head out to Motherwell (just outside Glasgow) to cheer on our two teams who qualified for Proving Grounds XY at Ravenscraig Sport Centre, G5 Jerks and Destined for Divorce. Proving Grounds is one of the biggest mixed pairs competitions in the UK.

Carole (Faye’s mum) very kindly picked Ellie and I up at my flat in the morning. It was meant to be the hottest and sunniest day of the year so far, and we were going to be inside all day. Oh the irony of life. What don’t you do to support your gym buddies? 😛 We got there just before the G5 team’s first heat started to wish them luck.

They were incredible all day the G5 teams. The WODs were heavy and tough, with a few surprise elements such as changing the barbells up for a wider one to test out the grip strength and adding weighted vests to the final workout. The final workout looked very juicy, air squats, pull ups and burpees all with an extra 6kg on for the women and 9kg for the men.

Not only did we have the G5 teams competing, we had Stella on the microphone commentating on the event all day. She did a brilliant job and sounds like a natural that lady! I don’t know how she doesn’t run out of things to say. It’s a long day.

In between workouts there were some vendors about you could have a browse at such as Greaves Sports and lululemon. The lulu girls were hosting a synchro burpee challenge, do as many synchro burpees as you could in 30 seconds. You had to be a guy and a girl. Chris and I gave it a bash and got 13. Then MJ and Ian swooped in and got an entire 15. That was impressive. 30 seconds really isn’t a lot of time!

Ellie seemed to absolutely love her first Crossfit competition experience and towards the end she was joining in on the shouting and cheering too.

If I would give anyone a tip for going to a Crossfit competition it’s bring your own food! You’re not always guaranteed there’ll be something decent to eat. I know most likely because I don’t eat meat there won’t be something available so I’ve brought food to all the ones I’ve been to so far. The food at Ravenscraig was really bad so I’m glad we didn’t have to worry about starving Ellie and I.

One thing that was amazing to watch was Steph Dekker competing in the RX category! She just qualified for her second Crossfit Regionals so she’s going to be competing in Berlin in May. It was crazy to see the level of her fitness in comparison to everyone else competing, she’s just playing a different ball game. Not a drop of sweat at any point in any of the workouts and didn’t seem to show any nerves whatsoever. She just walked in and smashed it and didn’t seem to take any effort at all. What an incredible athlete she is.

After the teams finished, we packed up and headed to Drygate for some burgers and celebration of the incredible teams. They really gave it their all and did G5 proud. It was incredible to watch them push and push through each WOD. You could see it was very trialling at times but they kept on going.

Chris from the gym brought his lovely family along to Drygate so we all got a chance to meet and hold their latest addition to the family, baby Emily. She was only a week old and so cute! I even got a chance to hold her and you just can’t take your eyes off her. She was so little and peaceful, didn’t make a noise as she was passed around to everyone around the table.

We were all knackered (or at least I was) after an eventful day. Competition days are tiring, even if you’re not competing because you’re so nervous for the ones competing and you scream and shout them through every workout. So I was quite happy to head home afterwards to my bed. Randomly on my way out I bumped into Kajsa who was at Drygate too! It was the best surprise ever seeing her! I haven’t seen her since before I went to Sweden.

I then headed out and was going to walk to the underground and take it home but it was still really nice outside even though the sun had pretty much set at that point that I walked all the way home. What a day, I knew it was going to be my last time supporting the G5 crew live before moving so I really tried to take it all in and really truly appreciate being there and enjoying every second (I always do but being a bit more mindful about it). I’m going to miss days like this, so incredibly much.

What I learnt doing the Crossfit Open

The Crossfit Open is long gone and now those mega athletes who qualified for the next stage are in full regionals prep. I thought I’d just revisit my experience a little bit and share some things I learnt or thought about along the way from taking part in the Open.

1. The pressure can get to you

I signed up a bit on a whim for the Open and wasn’t sure what to expect. I was going to do my best and not try to be stressed about it because it was meant for fun. It was just a competition against myself and see what I could do. However, as the weeks went on I felt some kind of pressure to do well. It was when we were starting to do the WODs I knew I wouldn’t do well in due to lack of skills or strength and whilst I had loads of people around me when I was doing my WODs who were supporting me, I felt slightly awkward and uncomfortable they were watching me struggle. I know it doesn’t matter but I suppose I have a bit of pride and being vulnerable and really struggling at times sometimes got to me. I felt like I wasn’t good enough even though I was doing way better than I thought I would. I managed double unders, chest to bars and handstand push ups, things that I had never really been able to do before or haven’t been doing for very long. However, once I was in the WOD all the people watching and cheering you on actually helped but at the beginning of  the workouts I just felt a bit like I wanted to hide. It gets you out of your comfort zone these workouts and when you’re in it, all you need to focus on is getting through it the best you can.

2. You are better than you think you are

I by no means am saying I’m the best or am super good at Crossfit but I think I struggle to realise that I’m quite good at this stuff by now. I still have so much more to learn and get better at but even a couple of months ago I couldn’t have done what I’m doing today. I don’t give myself enough credit for what I do and it’s a shame because you work so hard to accomplish something and all you want is to get double unders or get a handstand push up and when it happens I feel like I’m not praising myself enough. I more think, well that’s good and then just carry on. I work hard for all the progress I make but I don’t celebrate it enough, I’m almost already over it by the time I get it. I need to get better at stopping and appreciating when I nail something. Ending up far higher on the leaderboard than I thought I would and doing all of the workouts RX (as prescribed) rather than scaling also showed that I guess I’m doing alright in my training. I did not think that would happen. It’s realising that you’re doing well and you’re making progress and being happy and proud of that progress. I’m not one for blowing my own trumpet but maybe I just need to be a bit more proud of my progress along the way. Do you guys struggle with this?

3. It finds your weaknesses but also pushes you to get better

Oh god it did. Doing these WODs it was impossible in some instances to move on to the next stage because there was a movement in the way, which made you stop and you couldn’t get past it. For instance, double unders slowed me down, chest to bars slowed me down, handstand push ups slowed me down and muscle ups were just a lost cause and let’s not talk about handstand walks haha. You could do well in the first part of the workout and then you would hit a wall and that was your submission over. It’s as if someone lit a massive spotlight right at where you know you’re struggling, which was eye opening. Some instances you would be stuck there for the remaining time, being forced to practise this movement you’re terrible at, other times you struggled through. What it did make me feel was, I’m freaking going to practise all these things until next year so I can get better and get through these movements. It was a learning experience to see what you need to focus on a bit extra and also to see what a bit of pressure can make you do, sometimes you were surprised how you managed to wiggle through to the next part of the workout.

4. You get a benchmark for next year

For someone who’s a bit competitive like me and likes competing against yourself, I love that I now have a placing I can improve for next year. There’s a full year of progress and improvement until the next Open and I’m hoping next year I’ll feel more confident and feel like I could place a bit better. It’s always nice to feel like you’re moving forward and have something to strive towards. I’m not super strict wanting to smash myself to do better next year but it gives me a goal.

5. Going to a small independent gym is the best thing ever

It’s at times like these when qualifiers for competitions are happening that you realise how special these kinds of gyms are. Everyone is helping out as much as they can, giving up their spare time on the weekend even if they’re not submitting anything just to help out with judging or filming, setting up or supporting. The vibe during some of the workouts was just amazing when everyone was cheering the people doing the workout on to keep going and watching people get their first pull up. It was beautiful. We had members bring homemade cakes and at one point MJ brought down her coffee machine and was making everyone a coffee to keep them warm.

6. It’s you against you

You would think when entering any form of competition you are inevitably competing against others but the main competition you have is with yourself to be the best you can be. It’s how I always try to think whenever I’m training or competing and was once again reminded of this during the Open. It’s not so much about the leaderboard in relation to other people but it’s more about when you put it into the perspective of your performance and what you can do and if you leave the workout happy knowing you’ve done your best.

7. It’s fun

At then end of the day we all sign up because we want something to do and it’s a bit of fun. Don’t try and take it too seriously. It’s incredibly cool that people from all over the world are doing the same workouts in their own gym and taking part. If you’re on the fence next year on whether to do it or not, I’d say just do it, what’s the worst thing that could happen? You don’t finish the workout maybe, there were loads of workouts I was nowhere near finishing when the time cap was up. But that’s the worst thing that could happen, other than injuring yourself (please don’t do that!). If anything you win from even trying because a lot of people wouldn’t even dare to do that. Just see how far you can go, you’ll surprise yourself!

 

 

What I packed for my Crossfit competition

Hi guys! Something I really noticed when getting organised for my Rainhill Day was how much stuff I needed to pack to take with me. Hence why I for once wrote a packing list, it made me sit down and really think about what I needed and I thought it might be in use for someone else who’s competing. There were some things I wish I had had with me too, which I will keep in mind for future.

Clothes and Accessories

Shoes x2– I was so happy that I got money for Christmas so I could get a pair of lifting shoes. They made me feel much more stable during the heavy lifting WODs. Of course I had to bring my Metcon 3s, I live in them and doing a competition without them would be impossible.

Outfit changes for each WOD- It might sound a bit shallow but hear me out. You might’ve noticed there were some changes in my attire during the day and that was for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s quite nice to just change out of anything sweaty. Second of all, it gets you mentally prepared for the next WOD, it’s like hitting refresh. You feel fresh and ready to go. Finally, it just makes you feel good looking nice. If you feel good, you’ll perform better. Show off your best outfits people. The same way you get ready for a special event and feel good all dressed up in heels and a pretty dress, the same way you feel if you feel you’ve got a nice outfit on when training. Don’t forget extra socks! I ended up changing outfits three times. I kept my G5 top on for the final! Got to represent.

Jaw grips- My hands rip very easily and that’s the last thing you want on competition day!

Wrist wraps- I don’t always wear wrist wraps but I do feel they give you a bit of extra support during your heavier overhead stuff.

Lifting belt- Hehe well I didn’t exactly pack this but my intention was to borrow one and then I got surprised with my own one from Faye. It helped me in my heavy clean so much to keep my core stable.

Liquid chalk- You never know if there will be chalk available. Just bring your own one to be safe.

Tape- Luckily I didn’t need any but if your hands rip you need this to get through.

Skipping rope- Obviously depending on if the workout requires it or not. I’m not actually sure if competitions provide ropes even or not but it’s nice to have a rope that’s made specifically for your height.

Food

Food is so important during competition day and I personally wouldn’t chance it when it comes to the fuel that would be on offer at the venue. Especially if you’re like me and eat mainly vegan and don’t eat meat. As I’ve experienced so far, Crossfit comps tend to have a lot of chicken and meat going on and that’s not something I currently eat (you guys know I don’t like labels so never say never!). Here are some the things I brought and what I ate during the day just to give you an idea. Faye so kindly lent me her freezer bag so I could keep my food cold.

Oats- I knew breakfast was going to be my most important meal that day. Therefore, I didn’t want to change anything from what I usually ate. Therefore, I made sure I could have porridge. I remember from our last visit at Village Hotel Ashton the breakfast buffet didn’t really have any food I wanted eat other than some sad looking fruit salad bowls and in the hot food only some roasted tomatoes and mushrooms. Not the most substantial meal. I knew there were kettles in the rooms so I packed oats in a jar with flaxseeds and chia seeds with a measuring cup so I could “cook” the oats with the boiling water in the glass jar. I left the jar to sit wrapped up warm in my scarf with the lid on and after five/ten minutes they were cooked and ready to be eaten! So incredibly handy. I had it with banana, peanut butter, nuts and even some Oatly I brought with me. Yum!

Nut butter- For the oats! I brought peanut butter!

Salted almonds- This was something I brought to Forth Valley and I just loved the savouriness of them. This time around I found dry roasted ones from a brand called “Wonderful” in Waitrose. Dry roasted are better for you because they’re not roasted in loads of oil. Not that oil is bad for you but I just think it’s excessive when then nuts themselves have lots of healthy fats.

Bananas- Bananas are the perfect back up when all else fails. They’re tasty and somewhat filling and they give you energy. What more could you need when preparing for a workout?

Protein Powder & shaker- I had this for a pick-me-up with Oatly before the final. A great way to get something in me quickly.

Oatly- Or any form of non-dairy milk you prefer. Great for the oats and for the protein shake. I’m not a massive fan of protein shakes with water.

Carole’s breakfast muffins- I didn’t pack these but oh my, they’re soooo good! Delicious banana and blueberry muffins. These saved me after my first WOD. I felt so nauseous and dead. Then I had one of these and could feel my energy going right back up again.

Sweet potato wedges, roasted veg and hummus- I brought sweet potato wedges to Forth Valley and thought they were the perfect competition fuel with hummus. Carbs and some protein and fat from the hummus. This time I also roasted broccoli, courgette and red onion to dip in the hummus too. It was a perfect light thing to nibble on and easily digestible.

Love Corn- I’ve written about them before and they are worth writing about again! These puffed corn snacks are DELICIOUS and a great savoury snack to munch on. My favourite flavours are the salted and BBQ. I don’t usually like BBQ flavour but this one is gooooood.

Energy balls- I made my own energy balls with peanut butter flavour, another way of getting quick energy in me.

Cutlery- Let’s prevent the stress of trying to find cutlery to eat your food with but also save the planet and avoid using plastic cutlery. It’s so easy to bring with you!

Water bottle- Be environmentally friendly and save money by bringing your own water bottle, two birds with one stone!

What I wish I’d packed

Foam roller- Carol who was also competing had brought one I got to borrow but it would’ve been nice to have my own.

I hope this helps and gives you an idea of what you should consider packing for your competition! I just threw in anything I thought would make me feel at ease as well. If you feel calm having it then bring it!

Now it’s 18.3 time and double under time! I am a bit nervous, not going to lie. I don’t trust my double under skills but I can only do my best.

Please cross your fingers for me xxx

 

My first Crossfit Open workout (18.1)

Hello my dears! It is wiiiiild out there today (and yesterday). I can’t believe how much snow we actually have had so far. I wasn’t sure I’d make it to the gym or if Stella would still keep class on in the evening but nope she decided to have the gym open for a bit in the evening so onto the underground I went. I’m so glad I went because the session was great and I felt so good afterwards! I was partnered up with Stella and we got started as soon as we arrived so we could leave a bit early and catch the last underground back. They closed it early last night due to the weather conditions. Glasgow is like a ghost town at the moment and apparently there were people stuck on the motorway for like 8 hours and couldn’t get anywhere. As a Swede it’s quite interesting to see and I realise that we do cope a bit better with weather like this. I know we do get more of it. It fascinates me how there’s not a law saying you must have winter tyres on during the winter months like we have back home.

So last weekend was the start of the Crossfit Open. The Open is what you enter to go to the Crossfit Games (if you’ve watched Fittest on Earth on Netflix, that’s the Crossfit Games, if you haven’t you should watch it because it’s amazing! They’ve got two of them up on Netflix at the moment). Anyone can enter and  complete the workouts and see where they rank in comparison to other Crossfitters all over the world. It’s pretty cool to see where you rank. The very top are of course crushing everyone but what I love is that you get to experience and do the same workout like they do and see how you score in relation to them. It’s even more eye opening and you realise how freaking crazy and insanely fit they are. Sam Briggs who is in the top after that workout did more than double the amount of reps that I did. MORE than double. It’s so inspiring and motivating.

So how was my first Crossfit Open workout experience? I enjoyed it, I’m not taking this too seriously as I just want to do it to see what it’s like and also it’ll be cool to do it future years and see how I have hopefully improved over the past year. I didn’t want to get worked up about it and just go in and do the best that I can.

18.1 was a 20 minute AMRAP with 8 toes to bar, 10x 15kg dumbbell clean jerks (five on each arm) and a 12 calorie row. When it was announced I was really happy  that I’d done all the toes to bar practising that I’ve done the past couple of months. They’re definitely far away from where I want them to be but I’m way better than I was.

We did a run through on the Friday with burpees instead of the row so everyone could do it at once without having to cue for rowers. Then on Saturday it was time to do the real thing. We were a huge crew of people taking turns at doing the workout ourselves, helping to judge, film (since we’re unaffiliated we need to send in videos of us doing the workouts) and cheer everyone on. We had a great time.

Ange was helping to judge me and Faye was filming. If you’re not a Crossfit affiliate you need to film your workout and upload it online so your score can be validated. I had a slight feeling my score wouldn’t be as good as on Friday because I was feeling a bit sore but I could only do my best. The workout started and off I went.

It all felt fine the first round but I knew the toes to bar were going to get difficult and would slow me down, which they did. I got quite a few no reps on them and wasted time. I should’ve broken them down more to be sure I nailed all of them instead of wasting energy and time on reps I couldn’t finish. A learning for next time. I also went to hard on the rower at first without realising and if Ange hadn’t told me to slow down I would’ve tired myself out very quickly. Pacing was key in this workout because it was quite long. Then at the end I messed up and didn’t get back on the bar because I thought Faye said time instead of five or something so I stopped to early. Oh well!

I wasn’t entirely happy with my results but I learnt a lot from the experience for instance, I struggled a bit to let the workout go and I was so close to asking Stella if I could do the workout again just to see if I could do it better. Sometimes I need to learn to just let things go and not overthink it. One and done is enough sometimes. Something I already knew and got reminded of is that I need to chill out a little bit more and not go all out and crash. I’m glad Ange was there to tell me to slow down on the rower. I also, once again, was shown the importance of practising my weaknesses (toes to bar in this case) because you never know when you might need the skill for a workout. So whilst I was slightly disappointed I need to look at what I could take on for future and be better. Don’t get me wrong, I’m way over it now but you want to always do your best and when it doesn’t go quite the way you hoped then of course it will be a little bit disappointing. It’s just a workout at the end of the day. It’s not the end of the world 😛

Right now I’m ranked 54,893rd out 171,705 out of the women worldwide in my category after the first workout. In Europe Central, 3830 out of 13,242. It’ll be interesting to see how this changes over the coming weeks.

18.1 is done and on Friday it’s time for 18.2! I wonder what they are going to throw at us this time around. We shall see!!

Time to get my wellies on and get going to the gym! It’s looking sunny out there