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MadLab Athletes at Festivus Recap

One of the greatest things about competing, and about watching competition, is how personalities come to life. And how personalities get exposed.

Watching our 10 athletes compete at Festivus this weekend—Caron, Caleigh, Kimpossible, Tony, Lex, Marin, Kari, Natasha, Jocelyne and Erin—was no exception.

Here were three particular anecdotes from the weekend that stood out for me:

1. During the clean event, Kimpossible’s calm and collected nature really shone through. She had a plan and she stuck to it. Never looking rushed or frazzled, she knew exactly how long her body needed to rest between attempts. Even with the announcer screaming “30 seconds left,” “20 seconds left,” Kimpossible’s body language remained cool. She waited until she was ready, and then in the final 8 seconds stepped up to the bar and hit a personal best clean of 160-lb. right at the buzzer.

2. While the same “cool as a cucumber” description can’t be used for Jocelyne (who I may have referred to as a Nervous Nelly once or twice over the weekend) what I saw from Jocelyne was great strength of character and growth. Considering a couple of the workouts (namely the 30 shoulder to overhead) have caused her great anxiety in recent weeks, for Jocelyne to even put herself out there in competition and get through the day without tears was nothing short of a miracle. I, too, experience great competition anxiety, so I empathized and related to what she experienced on the weekend. She reminded me of my 2014 CrossFit Games experience when about the worst possible workout for me showed up—it included 300 double unders followed by a 3-mile run. It was so hard to even put myself on that start line knowing I might very well be dead last. I digress. Despite her dread in that moment, Jocelyne tackled her ultimate nemesis—30 shoulder to overhead—with great poise. While I don’t know what was going through her mind in that moment, to the outsider she looked like she was in the zone, unphased by what others around her were doing. She got through them and looked relieved as she moved on and proceeded to crush her toes-to-bar better, stringing them together in succession better than anyone else in her heat. Like me, Jocelyne might always experience anxiety when she competes, so the fact that she is tackling her fear of competition head on makes me respect her more than she probably knows.

3. Anxiety aside, one of the hardest things about competing is performing on game day to the best of your abilities. It’s so easy to choke under the stress of the moment. This was not the case for Tony, who proved he has nerves of steal, even against men 10 years younger than him. I think one of the reasons Tony was able to hit a personal best on both his 500-meter row (a whopping fast 1:29) and his clean (210 lb. —a 20 lb. PR) is because of his “pick my battles” mentality. In other words, Tony knows his strengths and weaknesses as an athlete; he accepts them, even embraces them, which seemed to allow him to relax and compete to the best of HIS abilities, instead of getting caught up with the leaderboard and what everyone else was doing.

Another wheelhouse event for Tony was the 30 shoulder to overheads

Those were only three of the many highlights this weekend. Nice work to you all.

PS I really hope all 10 of these athletes start thinking about Nutts Cup this summer!