Moving Forward

  • Jun 06, 2013

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    Two weekends ago I attended the Reebok CrossFit 2013 NorCal Regional event the same as I had the past two years, only this time as a spectator rather than a competitor.  The weeks leading up to the event I kept myself so busy (maybe intentionally to distract myself) that I didn't really have a lot of time to think about not being able to compete.  So, driving with Marcus, early Friday morning from Chico to Santa Rosa, I was all smiles and excited to be getting out of town for a weekend with my boyfriend and seeing a lot of friends I hadn't seen in almost a year. 

     

    Then, all of a sudden, those joyous feelings crumbled into the pit of my stomach and I felt nauseous.  I mean literally ill.  As a competitive athlete my entire life, I never once have gotten sick before an event/game - butterflies of course, but actually feeling sick, never!  As we approached the venue, I saw "tent city" and the reality set in.  I broke my foot.  My season is over.  And now, for the next 3 days, I have to watch and cheer on the athletes I'm supposed to competing against.  We continued to drive around the fairgrounds to park and the floodgates opened.  Tears were pouring down my face and I was so worked up I had the ugly cry face and weird gasping noises as I unsuccessfully tried to compose myself.  You all know the face I'm talking about. ;)  Poor Marcus, he was driving me to regionals and supporting me through what we both knew was going to be a tough weekend, and I was a hot mess.  As he always does, Marcus was there for me but also made me remember that this was exactly what was supposed to happen this year and this intense desire I felt to be out on that arena floor needed to be used as fuel for 2014.

     

    Throughout the weekend, I was flooded with hugs and high-fives from people.  I lost count of how many people took the time out of their spectating to tell me how inspirational my Open videos were or to genuinely ask how my foot was healing and tell me they wished I was out there.  My response was always, "thank you so much, me too!".  I couldn't think of anything else to say at the time because it was that simple - I wanted to be competing.

     Norcal Regs

    As the events carried on workout after workout over the course of the weekend, I was sure it was just going to get easier and the tears would stop flowing.  However, it didn't (thank goodness for sunglasses!!!).  As the competition heated up, so did the fire in my heart.  Looking back now, I wonder what the tears and constant feeling of being choked up were from.  I wasn't angry.  I wasn't feeling sorry for myself.  I wasn't sad.  I was just ready… ready to be out there and pushing my body to its limits amongst the best in our sport in NorCal.  It was a strange feeling of almost knowing I should be there but not feeling like I belonged.  I found myself a couple times just pacing in the athletes prep area… why?  I didn't know where else to go.  I know that sounds sort of silly… especially after my prior blog post about not being defined as "Jenny the athlete"… but it's what I was feeling.

     

    The day I broke my foot a good friend of mine came over to cheer me up and while there gave me some advice I hadn't really thought about.  She was a competitive swimmer and had been dealt her fair share of injuries.  She warned me of the phases I would possible go through with this injury - depression being one.  She told me this not to scare me but more to prepare me, and I'm so grateful she did.  I think because of her advice I faired pretty well and handled the injury as best I could have.  However, that weekend at regionals I maybe felt a bit of what she was talking about.  It was way harder than I had expected, but without Marcus by my side, letting me feel the emotions I needed to feel, providing the comforting words I needed to hear and having open arms to hold me tight when I needed but also knowing when I needed my space, I'm not sure I would have had the strength to stay in that arena workout after workout screaming for the athletes to keep pushing on.

     

    After the women's final workout on Sunday came to a close, I broke down almost to the point I had just two day prior upon entering the venue.  I frantically was looking for Marcus so I could get the keys to the van to go deal with my emotions in privacy, when I was "bombarded" (and I mean that in a good way) by the girls of the Diablo CrossFit team.  They all but tackled me and told me how much they loved me and knew I would be on that podium if I would have competed.  Whether that's true or not, we'll never know, but that moment when all I wanted to do was go and cry in a hole by myself, those ladies and of course Marcus were there by my side to once again remind me why this community is so phenomenal.  I needed those hugs and support and the entire weekend of regionals to have true acceptance and closure on how this season has panned out.  Thank you all so much for your support and encouragement throughout.

     

    Now, as I have written before, it's time to train for the Leadville 100 (100-mile mountain bike race in August), but after that you can bet that I am going to do everything I can to be on that podium again in 2014 for a come-back year.

     

    Until then, I wish all the athletes still waiting to compete for their spot at The 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games the best of luck and all athletes that have already made it, happy/healthy training for the big show.