On Saturday, December 12th, 2015 North Port Crossfit held their first local competition: The Jingle Bell Throwdown. This involved an entire day of WODs starting at 9am and carrying through to 3pm. The participants were broke up into four categories: Scaled for men, scaled for women, RX for men and RX for women, For the uninitiated Scaled is a scaled down version of a listed WOD where as RX is the actual WOD (Weight and reps) as prescribed. There was an even mix among the genders with seventeen men and seventeen women taking part.
For those who follow my humble little blog you are aware that I have been studying up on Crossfit since last summer. Why the study? Because I can't afford to sign up. Instead I have been hitting the weights at home and learning what I can to improve my form and function. Visiting a Box and watching a live competition seemed like the next best step.
As a spectator there were a few things I noticed right away. First was that the range of people doing this contest is not what you might imagine. The Crossfit Games on ESPN gives you a spectacle of beautiful, muscle bound men and women lifting enormous weights. That is not the case at a local box. Some had big muscles but not like you see on TV. Most of the guys had Dad bodies whereas the ladies ranged from skinny to curvy. It was refreshing to see people of all types giving their best against the clock.
The second observation was that it was hard to follow the action. When watching on TV you get to see real time graphics of who is leading. When watching live you kinda have to wait until the end of each WOD for the scores to be added up and updated on the electronic score board.
My best guess is that competitors scored a point for each correct rep and those were added up over the course of the day. The more proper reps they completed, the higher they moved up the ladder. I didn't actually know anyone at the event but I did recognize a few names from the many running races I have attended in the area. These same people must be all around good athletes because a couple of them (Chris Beers & Jamie Ramos) landed on the podium.
So this begs the next question: Do I want to compete? Apparently you can sign up for events like this without belonging to a box. Being unaffiliated is a big plus for me because I prefer to train alone. The second question to grapple with is: When will I be ready? I think I can break down this competition by workouts and points to determine what it would take to participate without embarrassing myself.
Having seen it with my own eyes I do still have a few hesitations. One is that these small competitions are basically open class. You are up against other athletes of any age. That can be a huge disadvantage for those of us over 40. It's not that I have to do well in order to enjoy myself but who wants to come in last to a bunch of college age athletes? The other worry is that of endurance. Doing one WOD is awesome, two is a serious workout but doing four in one day might be too much for me. I got tired just taking pictures of these people.
Granted you don't have to compete in order to enjoy the benefits of this new sport but I am a competitor. I love competition and need to do something. Now I just have to decide if Crossfit is the right fit.