If you told me at the beginning of the year that I would be heading down to Portland to compete at the 2016 Super Regionals I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Or at the very least, I would have laughed and said “hopefully,” and wondered whether or not I could actually make it. And then Week 1 of the Open came and went, and a 10th place finish on 16.1 made me realize that qualifying for Regionals was a real possibility. The following weeks were filled with lots of nerves, some redos and more than a few tears, but in the end, I finished 16th in Canada West and qualified for Super Regionals.
When the 2016 Regional workouts were released, I was actually pretty excited – from an objective point of view I really liked the programming – but I was also nervous. The majority of the movements/weights were ones I could do (some better than others), but there were also some workouts where I was nervous that I would be cutting it close to the minimum work requirement.
Super Regionals – Day 1
Day 1 was definitely the most mentally draining – I always find the first event the most nerve-wracking – and the first two events (Snatch Ladder and Regionals Nate) were fairly high skill without much margin for error.
1 or 2 no reps on Event 1 could mean not advancing to the next barbell; and being weak on the Strict Muscle-Ups in Event 2 could mean getting eliminated.
In the end however, Event 1 actually ended up going better than I expected. Going in I knew that the first barbell was heavy for me – close to my 90% – and if I wanted to hit it 10 times in two minutes – I needed to focus on hitting one rep at a time and not get ahead of myself. I also knew that compared to some of the girls on the floor, my max snatch wasn’t particularly strong; which meant I needed to stick to my own pace and not worry about what the other girls were doing.
Event 2, on the other hand, did not go as well as I was hoping. Going in I knew that Strict Muscle-Ups weren’t really my jam, and the original plan was to stick with 1 MU every minute. When the workout actually started however, and I saw how fast some of the other girls were working through the MUs, I forgot about my plan and came way too hot out of the gates. Which worked just fine for 1 round, but by round 2 I was hitting no-reps and I ended up only finishing 2 rounds + 2 muscle-ups. It was the exact same score I had gotten in training, when I only did 1 muscle-up every 2 minutes and failed none.
Super Regionals – Day 2
So that was Day 1. Mentally exhausting, but not too bad physically. Day 2, on the other hand, was physically demanding but a lot less nerve-wracking. I knew the events were going to be uncomfortable, but I wasn’t particularly worried about failing to meet any of the minimum work requirements for Events 3, 4 or 5.
The first two events of Day 2, events 3 & 4, were very lung-y and “go go go”. And because the weights were light and the skills were fairly easy, there wasn’t any reason to stop/rest (other than it being uncomfortable). Unfortunately, I did that anyways. During the 104 wallballs of Event #3, I remember thinking to myself
“This is it. This is Regionals. You have to get uncomfortable”
but then next thing I knew I’d dropped the ball and was staring at it, not wanting to pick it back up. It was a weird feeling, kind of surreal, because I knew I was on the floor and this is when it should matter most and I just didn’t have that push. I wouldn’t say I gave up, but I definitely wasn’t happy with the effort I gave either.
Event 5 was a bit of a weird one for me, and of all the events, I probably had the most mixed feelings going into. I’ve always struggled with high volume/heavy deadlifts; and while I’ve worked on them a lot this past year and they’ve improved significantly, I was definitely nervous for them. The first few reps are usually good, and if I really ‘want’ to, I can keep repping them out, but my form break down significantly – I come into my toes and start to hitch – which I know is unsafe and looks horrible. Last thing I wanted to do was become a poster-girl for some online Meme about how CrossFitters can’t deadlift, because I let my form go on the floor
Luckily, I was able to work one-on-one with Jesse Bifano prior to Regionals to break down my Deadlift and come up with a ‘game plan’ for Event #5. I was hoping I would be able hold my own on the TrueForm & GHD sit-ups, and it would only be the Deadlifts where I fell behind; but once I saw how fast girls were coming off the TrueForm and blasting through the GHDs Sit-Ups I realized that wasn’t going to be the case. I ended finishing 33rd on this Workout – out of 37 – and in hindsight I think I was definitely overly optimistic about my running and GHD sit-up capacity but I was happy with how my deadlifts went.
After Event #5 I was sitting in 37th place (last of the girls who were still competing); and the end of Day 2 was probably the hardest part of the weekend for me. Technically speaking I knew that making it to Super Regionals was an accomplishment in itself, but in my head I kept thinking
And was questioning whether I deserved to be there, and wondering whether other people were thinking the same thing.
Super Regionals – Day 3
Day 3 fun. Even though I was pretty sore and tired by that point I was excited for Event 6, because it contained two of my favourite movements: handstand walking and overhead squats. As for Event 7, I thought it was short and quick and seemed like an exciting way to finish the weekend. Event 6 didn’t go quite as planned – I failed a couple OHS – but overall I was happy and ended up winning my heat. However, it was also a bit of an eye opener because, my best event finish was only middle of the pack -19th – which means I have a lot of work to do. Not just on my weaknesses (although those definitely need to be addressed) but also on my strengths.
Under different circumstances I probably would have been more nervous for Event #7, but by that point, I think I was mostly just relieved – that I had made it through without being eliminated – and ready to be finished. That being said when the workout actually started I got the “competition rush” and stopped noticing how sore my legs/shoulders felt. After the first round I truly thought I was going to finish – my legless rope climbs felt better than normal – but then I got no-repped on a rope climb during the second round and couldn’t recover after that. I ended up finishing 29th on that workout, which was pretty consistent with my performance all weekend (most of my finishes were in and around the 30th place mark).
Did I do as well as I hoped this weekend? No. I definitely had higher hopes going in but after seeing how everything panned out I think the results were a pretty good indication of where I am currently with my fitness. Was it all worth it? Yes. I had a lot of fun, I met some amazing people/athletes and despite not doing as well as hoped, it was a really good learning experience.
This past weekend definitely revealed some holes in my Fitness – gymnastics, endurance and grit – all of which are things that can be addressed with time, effort and commitment. Being a good athlete doesn’t mean always winning – there is a lot to be learned from losing – about the only “bad” competition is the one you don’t take anything away from. And while it was definitely humbling to see just how good the other athletes at Super Regionals were was humbling, it was also inspiring and motivating.
And last but no least a bit THANK YOU to:
Everyone who came out to show their support, It made a big difference hearing you guys cheer from the stands. Especially my Mom who flew down from Comox as a surprise, and Chelsea who was pretty much my “chaffeur” of the weekend
The Raincity community for all your support and positive messages leading up to and during Regionals. In particular Simon and Justin for going out of your way to put together the “Taryn it Up” shirts, and for making a Pegboad “just in case”; and Julieth for all the photos/quotes.
Those people closest to me – Vil, Sally, Tim, Travis, Mom – who put up with me when I go full competition mode and get a little difficult/’slightly crazy. In particular, Vil, who got stuck with the ‘lovely’ responsibility of looking after me all the weekend.
My big sister Sal, who unfortunately got eliminated on Day #1, but stuck around to support and cheer me on #ultimatebigsister
Jesse Bifano for bringing me on as an athlete, and all your help over the past year. I’m not sure my shoulders would have been able to handle this past weekend without all your crazy accessory work.
Syndicate Gear, Powerhouse Chiropractic and Body Energy Club for believing in me and bringing me on as a Sponsored athlete. Your services, products and assistance helped keep me functioning and fit leading up to and during Regionals.
The CrossFit HQ Event Staff and all the volunteer judges, medical staff, organizers and announcers who made the event possible.