Guess what I did last weekend?! I competed in a fitness competition. Yep, like a running, sled pushing, carry heavy things kindof thing. I competed in the CG Games finals!! The reactions I got heading up the weekend were pretty great. “You’re doing WHAT?”, “Do you, like, train for this?”, “Is this a big thing?”. My answer: Hell yeah it’s a big thing! To be honest, though, I had no idea how big CG Games would be for me when I signed up for prelims months ago.
Flashback to about a year ago, I signed up for an outdoor bootcamp style workout called Camp Gladiator. Cool, ok. Then came March when I signed up for prelims after listening to our trainers and other campers rave about how great games are. I cranked up my training to prepare and headed into prelims with the goal of finishing all of the events. That was it. I was in TOTAL shock, when, in July, I competed in prelims and qualified for finals. WHAT?? And then, this past weekend, we flew to Texas and I competed in the CG Games finals!!
CG Games Finals – Game Day
Game day was pretty damn cool. We walked in to see the stadium at the crack of dawn to see it set up with all of the events and equipment. The butterflies in my stomach, you guys, fluttering like they never have before.
When the time for the first event rolled around a couple hours later, I stepped up to the start line for endurance, the women’s first event, absolutely terrified. And then it started! I took off on that weighted run and went through 15 minutes of what felt like hell. After finishing that one, we headed over to the strength event, interval, agility and eventually peak. The day actually flew by! Parts of it were the hardest things I’ve ever done (endurance anyone?). Parts were defeating and frustrating. Other parts were just plain fun. I ended the day ranked 25th. My personal goal was below 30 so happy doesn’t even begin to describe the way I was feeling as we left the stadium. This photo seems to sum it up though.
SO WHAT DID ALL OF THIS TEACH ME?
This whole experience of training and competing has really impacted my life. I know I sound cheesy as a pizza and this is just the beginning, but I’m not lying. It has made me a better me, introduced me to a whole bunch of super cool people, and taught me some pretty big life lessons. What in the world could a fitness competition teach besides how to carry a really heavy thing? Here’s my top 3!
You’re going to fail.
We trained our asses off but every single one of us ran into an obstacle or 10 during finals that brought us down – even if just for a second. That strength sled that felt like it wasn’t budging even though I was pulling with all my might – That got me good. The agility ladder that my cleats caught with every single step REALLY got me. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a mid day breakdown right then and there. I know I’m not the only one that left an event feeling defeated and disappointed in themself. But, we kept going.
I broke after agility but headed into the peak course ready to kill it and make the best of whatever obstacle brought me down this time. In the case of the peak event – it was the darn low crawl. You guys, I rolled right out the side. Dizzy and confused, I just started laughing and kept rolling. We’re all there to compete and go for #1 but life happens.
You slip, you get tired, a little rubber and rope ladder trips you 7 times in a row. You fail, right? The trick is to keep going. Use the obstacle that knocked you out to get better. I’ll be damned if I don’t practice that agility ladder in cleats 500 times before I compete again and that sled is going to fly across the turf by the time I feel confident with it. Those bumps in the road are just an opportunities to grow, so let’s use them!
Your support system is everything!
I flew to Texas with my boyfriend, Kyle, and two of our best friends. Yep. These three flew across the country to watch me workout. Grateful would be an understatement for these guys. Hearing their voices in the crowd meant everything. One of my judges even noticed how proud Kyle was to be there supporting me when he was the only voice we could all hear through the entire interval event. Every “you got it girl” I heard him screaming from the stands gave me the drive to push harder than I already was. That’s what support looks like!
Besides the entourage I brought with me, it felt like there were another 50 on my team too. Camp Gladiator has introduced me to an insanely awesome group of people that have made this journey SO much fun. Every single person that traveled to Texas from Raleigh for this event was there to support each other. The ladies I was competing against were on the other side of the finish line screaming and ready to hand out high fives. The guys that had finished their hardest event 1 minute earlier would show up on the sidelines to cheer you on with the last of their breath. This community of athletes, trainers, friends and family is what made the day so freaking awesome.
**Special shoutout to the Apex crew!! Everyone in Texas and back at home cheering us on – Y’all have to be one of the best support systems in the world, so THANK YOU! Finding your tribe of people is what it is all about.**
Hold on to the people that want you to be better than even you know you can be.
You are stronger than you think are!
These events were TOUGH you guys.
I mean collapse on the ground as soon as you pass the finish line of the endurance event tough.
I mean sprint so hard your momentum runs you into the fence on the other side of the interval finish line.
I mean lose ALL of your grip strength in a matter of a couple minutes thanks to a bag a steel pellets in the strength event.
If you would have told me that I’d be strong enough to finish ANY of these events a year ago, I would have laughed out loud. Hysterically probably. But I did them all! And I finished them WAY stronger than I thought I could!
If there is one thing that I could take away from this whole training and competing experience, it is that I am stronger than I ever knew! We all are, right? It just takes a little nudge to push us past what we thought our limits were. I’ve written about this before, so apologies if I sound like a broken record, but this is the single biggest thing I’ve learned in the past year and I can credit CG with almost all of that. Forget what you thought your limits were. You set them which means you can smash through them and I’ll be the first one to tell you that it is totally possible.
Next Goal – TOP 20. See y’all NEXT YEAR!
Hey Zack – How many days until prelims?