Lessons Learned From My First Granite Games

A nasty ankle sprain, hella rope burn and pee all over the floor.

Those items listed may not equate to a happy heart for most people, but for me they do. In my world, they are a result of hard work and giving it my all.

If you follow me on any form of social media, chances are you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, you’re probably quite confused, so here’s the gist: I spent the past weekend at a three-day long CrossFit competition in St. Cloud called the Granite Games, during which my body took a toll but my heart ended up content.

Prior to Granite Games, I had done a few day-long competitions, but nothing too grueling. I was well-aware that this would be a different beast, though. My two teammates and I came together a few months ago, each with our own hesitations about partaking, but ultimately decided it would be worth the experience.

We trained how we could in the months leading to the event, but no specific workouts were released until around the week it started. So, we just went into it with the best game plan possible. Of course, not everything went the way we’d hoped or planned, but that’s part of the deal. Regardless, I wouldn’t change a moment of the competition.

Here are a few key takeaways.

1. Sometimes other people’s victories are more important than your own. If you don’t know my teammate Madi, she’s a fierce, determined person. She hasn’t been at CrossFit quite as long as my other teammate, Kait, and myself. We all knew her battle coming into the weekend was going to be weight, plain and simple. Our second event of the first day had a movement with a pretty high weight for her, one she had never attempted. But when it came to be her turn, she battled through it like I have never seen. Getting the nine reps took her a solid amount of time, and she fought every single second for them. Watching her get her ninth and final one gave me goosebumps, and I don’t think I’ve ever been quite as proud of anyone.

2. It’s OK to laugh at yourself. This one was huge for me this weekend. Early on in CrossFit, I took myself way too seriously, to the point that I stopped enjoying what I was doing. I made a huge effort to change that about a year ago and it’s paid off. So, when we had a heavy lifting event and I literally pissed all over the floor, I laughed. A lot. Sure, I could have been mortified. But what good would that have done? I’m not the only one it happened to by any means. I may, however, be the only one who got no repped on a bear crawl. But I laughed at the one too, because what else are you going to do? You’ve got to find the humor in situations because that’s where the enjoyment and memories ultimately lie.

3. You can’t prepare for everything. I mean, duh. We all know this. But still, I was definitely not prepared for spraining my ankle within the first mile of our 5K. I’ve had issues with this ankle since falling from a rope climb about a year and a half ago, but it was feeling pretty solid coming into the Granite Games. Still, one wrong step is all it takes and I guess that’s what happened. I’m still not entirely sure. One minute I was running, the next my ankle came out from under me and I tumbled forward. The adrenaline allowed me to push through the rest of the run, but I struggled with the workout later in the day and rolled it for a second time. I was pissed, sure. But there was literally nothing I could do except take care of it and push through. A bum ankle certainly wasn’t my plan, but that’s what happened. Expect the unexpected.

4. My insecurities still exist. Ohhhhhhhh boy, do they exist. Most days, I feel pretty good about myself, especially when I look back at where I was when I started CrossFit. But it was so hard not to compare myself to all the amazingly ripped women around me over the weekend. I found myself feeling down and defeated about my appearance more often than I’d like to admit. It really took a toll in a way, and I think I have some serious work to do in building myself back up. But it also served as motivation and inspiration to see so many amazing women and how their hard work pays off.

5. Our Repo family is phenomenal. Ok, so this isn’t a new realization. But I feel it should be reiterated. A group of people from the gym spent the entire three days cheering us on and documenting the experience. Seeing familiar faces in the crowd and hearing their voices echo matters so much when you’re in the midst of a grueling workout. Those people give you the ability to push through, the confidence to do more than you think you can do. They play a huge part in the success of a team, and I know we couldn’t be more thankful for the support we had.

I could go on, but I’m just going to leave it at that. Participating in the Granite Games was somewhat intimidating, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. For anyone considering a competition but who is afraid to take the plunge…just do it. Jump. You’ll learn on the way down. You’ll adjust and make changes accordingly. You’ll surprise yourself. You’ll find you have it in you, and more.

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