We Came…We saw….and the CrossFit Community Conquered!!

By Coach Paul Smith

As some of you maybe aware, Crossfit Avon recently sent two teams to the 2011 Crossfit Central Manchester UK invitational games…..and what a weekend it was.

After a long and stressful journey up the M6 the two teams checked into their hotel for an evening of foam rolling, Inov8 buffing and ironing of Skin’s. We then hit the hay….looking forward to what would be in store the next day as well as a much anticipated ‘all you can eat’ Travelodge breakfast.

Up early the two teams made their way to the venue to register and were greeted with a smile and goodybags full of protein shakes and fish oils. By 8.45am, Crossfit Central Manchester was heaving with over 150 athletes and an equal number of well-wishers and supporters from all corners of the UK. The atmosphere was electric….you could cut the excitement with a knife. Some were there to win….some were there to do their best and represent their box….and some were there just for the experience and, more importantly, the fun of working out in a competitive environment.

After a welcome from the organisers it was on with the show. First up came the dreaded ‘Unbroken’ WOD….Overhead Lunges and Shoulder to Overheads. Mark and Caz were first up in the team event, both eager to do their best and push themselves like they never had before. “3,2,1…Go!!”….and its on…The crowd roar, the knee’s kiss the floor and the shoulders burn trying their hardest to remain ‘Unbroken’. Time is called after 7 minutes of pain and suffering and both competitors salute the crowd for their unwavering support. Their performances set the tone for the rest of the competitors who are by now all itching to get their WOD on.

For the next few hours we watched in awe at the Masters Men and Women heats (who were all truly inspirational) and multiple heats of the remaining male and female athletes. To say it was absorbing is an understatement. Soon the sun lotion and large water bottles make an appearance as the temperatures rose significantly. But the heat did not frazzle the spirit of the competitors or supporters, the noise level significantly increasing with each lunge and shoulder press.

A short break was called and then….WOD 2: “Frantik”… Thrusters and Pull Ups. It was Charlie and Amelia’s turn to take up the challenge for their teams and they did not disappoint, both smashing the workout with ease. With his T-Shirt soon off Charlie even had time to check himself and say “Damn I look good” mid thrusters.

It was now late afternoon and time for Paul and Andrew to dust off their skipping ropes for ….WOD 3: “Kempie”…. Double Unders, Pistols, and Press Ups. As the sun slowly moved a shadow was cast over the workout area as if to say “I’m outta here, there’s gonna be some serious sparks flying in this one”. Paul adjusted his sunglasses and Andrew rearranged his tiny shorts and ….3,2,1…GO!!

Then came the dreaded team WOD final: “Chipper Crippler”, details of which were only known by a select few within the organising team so the rumours were rife between competitors as to what might be in store. Soon barbells were set up, kettlebells moved into position, the pull up station lightly chalked and the WOD was announced….”Handstand Push Ups….Nooooooo!!” The WOD certainly lived up to its name, but both teams gave their all. Then no sooner had the WOD started it was over…big hugs, chest bumps, crazy handshakes and back slapping all round. Well done team….you did Crossfit Avon proud….bring on the next one.

I think I speak for Andrew, Charlie, Caz, Amelia and Mark when I say that our experiences in Manchester were awesome. We all had such a great day socialising and competing with Crossfitters from all over the country. The whole day was a truly inspirational one and confirmed to us what a great community we as Crossfitters are part of. I have never met a friendlier and positive group of people gathered in one place before. My experience has made me proud to be a part of something truly amazing. Don’t forget, you are all part of this community so I urge you all to get out there and experience it. Visit other boxes, sign up to competitions, make new Crossfit buddies….the Crossfit world is your oyster…make sure you are a part of it.

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