The 2018 Granite Games have come and gone.
Just like that, an entire year of training and preparation, blood, sweat and tears, has been expressed, and is over.
It’s like we blinked, and 72hrs vanished.
That is sport.
That is what you ‘choose’ to participate in when you compete in the sport of Fitness.
It is long term work for short lived experience.
A little recap to attempt to help you understand the experience;
Leading up to Day 1:
Sacrifice. Commitment. Work. Day in, and day out, since October of 2017, just to earn the right to get invited to this event.
Going into day 1, the girls were all feeling nervous from the pressure of wanting to perform their best. To not disappoint their teammates. To not disappoint their Coach. To not disappoint themselves. Standard feels from an athlete who chooses to compete.
9 rounds for time: 200m air runner and 9 heavy shoulder to overhead (135#) felt heavier and harder than anticipated. They crushed this workout and had one of their best finishes of the weekend in 17th place overall.
Event 2&3: The Granite Games obstacle course, followed by a gnarly sled drag for time. We had several speed bumps in the O-course, and the sled drag crushed the girls souls as it was a painful experience. This would be their worst finish of the weekend, taking 30th position in the workout.
After collapsing at the finish line, the girls walked away from Day 1 feeling a little defeated.
Dusting themselves off, and hitting reset before the morning arrived.
Day 2 kicked off bright and early with a 5k run.
Nerves and emotions were high as the girls all knew that they needed to push past the pain and run harder than they’ve ever run before.
They each exceeded their own expectations and ALL PR’d their run times.
Walking away from the first event of the morning with a sense of renewed confidence helped to fuel their fire leading into event 2, the 1rm clean.
We had a very clear plan after warmup on the lifting order, and which loads each girl would be starting with to get a number on the board. Then we got aggressive!
This paid huge dividends as ALL three girls PR’d their clean; Kelsey 205#, Nickole 205#, Michelle 185#.
The afternoon consisted of a nice 4hr break before 2 final events for the day (Event 6: 60 ring muscle ups for time, followed by Event 7; Anaconda/T2B)
They tied their practice run at the 60 ring muscle ups which was a total score of 47 reps within the 5min time cap.
A one minute transition into event 7 which consisted of synchronized toes to bar and squats with the Anaconda wreck bag (was supposed to be 210#, but ended up being 240# due to an equipment snafu).
A great event for the trio as it was Team oriented. We had a clear game plan going into it with specific syncro rep schemes for each pair to allow them to maintain a sustainable effort to get through the large amount of work under the time cap.
This workout sent the girls to the hurt locker. They went to that dark place we commonly refer to as “the pain cave” to get through all 3 sets of 18 squats unbroken and finished under the time cap in true #FullEffort fashion of collapsing at the finish line and landing them in an 18th placing for this workout.
We finished a VERY long Day 2 on a high, and the girls were feeling proud of themselves for their efforts all day.
Day 2’s leaderboard placing also exposed the depth of the competition that these girls were up against. Competing in the PRO DIVISION was more than just a small step above what they’re used to. This was a VERY thick, VERY talented, division of athletes which consisted of mainly regional and games level competitors.
Day 3 feels:
Words cannot describe the true feelings that an athlete experiences on the third day of a fitness competition. Not only are you feeling an extreme state of physical fatigue, but you are extremely emotionally fatigued as well. The CNS has undergone several max efforts over the past two days, and depending on ones resilience, can take its toll physically and emotionally by day 3.
Multiply that by 3 (three teammates), and you can easily have a recipe for disaster.
Another amazing strength of these girls is that they know what to expect on day 3. They know how to support each other and make adjustments as needed to ensure the unit operates at max potential.
Due to equipment issues, Event 8 had undergone some last minute changes to the final day of programming.
While this increased the level of anxiety for the unknown, the revised workout was great for the girls as it started with handstand walks. Something these girls are all very solid at. This would be the final time they would walk onto the field at Husky stadium for the weekend.
The girls strapped in and pushed the pedal to floor on this new event that featured handstand walks, wreck bag squat cleans, and wreck bag lunges in a relay fashion. This would be their third, highest placing event of the weekend (18th).
They walked away from this event with heads held high, knowing they gave their best effort, and had one last chance to empty the tank for the weekend in event 9.
This would be their final Granite Games event for 2018, and final time walking on and off the Husky hockey stadium at St. Cloud University.
At this point in the weekend, you’re drained; physically, mentally, and emotionally. You don’t want to warm up, you don’t know how or where you’re going find the motivation and drive to give you what you need to give everything you’ve got, one final time, after you’ve already done so, 8 other times in the past 2.5 days.
Rowing, syncro deadlifts and syncro burpees are on the menu. The good news is that it’s only 9 minutes of fitness.
The bad news is that is 9 minutes of #FullEffort work.
There is not stopping, there is no rest. The unit MUST keep moving to get the highest score possible which will determine where you end up on the leaderboard.
They each dug deep. They found the fire within to empty the tank one final time for the weekend. Completing the workout with their second best finish of the weekend in 19th place in the event.
To say I’m proud of these girls is an understatement.
They persevered. They pushed beyond their own perceived limits. And they held it together emotionally along the way.
It’s not easy to explain why we would be so incredibly proud for a team to finish the weekend in 27th place out of 36 in their respective division.
They are more Fit than they have ever been.
They are stronger than they’ve ever been.
They moved more efficiently; individually, and as unit, than ever before.
They are mentally stronger than ever before.
And my personal favorite part of it all; they all recognize the aforementioned, and know that the leaderboard does not define them.
It does not define their effort.
It does not define their progress.
It does not define their abilities.
It’s just a line on a measuring stick which measured the 3 day event relative to others performance, but not THEIR effort. Not THEIR commitment. Not THEIR sacrifices. Not THIER work; all year long.
Today, that number means absolutely nothing.
What matters is what was gained from the experience to keep propelling them forward.
What matters is the realization that they are better than yesterday.