It’s been quite a journey for me since being a spectator on the sidelines of Beast of the East in a knee brace, on crutches. New to the Fenway family, I was eager to become a part of it all as I stood timidly watching our competitors beast (no pun intended) through workouts. I promised myself that a year from then it would be me. This Saturday and Sunday, it’s time to put it to the test.

The expression says it all.

Whether you are in the RX’ed or scaled division, for some of you this might be your first individual competition. I wanted to give some pieces of advice that I am trying to follow myself going into Garage Games. First off, this is about you. At the risk of sounding cliche, you have nothing to prove to anyone but yourself. You train for yourself, so compete for yourself.  When Ben yells 3, 2, 1, GO! on that first WOD, don’t let the other competitors, spectators, and wild yelling distract you from the task at hand. Whether it be getting stronger, faster, or other goals you’ve set for yourself, this weekend you get to see how you measure up. The best part is, it’s in your control and no one else’s. You decide how hard you push and how you react to these workouts. Relax, set your pace, and give it all you have. Chances are you will surprise yourself.

Another important piece of advice I want everyone to think of, even if you aren’t competing this weekend, is to reflect on where you were a year ago. What goals did you have? Are you a better athlete? Do you have those 20 unbroken double unders? Did you PR that deadlift? No matter what the goal, it’s good to take the time and give credit where credit is deserved. You need to be proud of where you were then and how far you’ve come now. Recognize that and don’t talk yourself down because of goals you might not have reached yet. I’m also trying to practice this mentality. From a time at 5:30am when Stacey and members had no idea why I was at Fenway with a knee brace asking questions, to climbing a rope in front of thousands of people at the Crossfit Games; I am proud of how far I’ve come. I think I can speak for all the coaches at Fenway when I say we want you to be proud too.

So the moral of the story is tend to your injuries/mobilize your life away, maintain good mental health this week, and ask your coaches as many questions as you want; because you know you want and deserve the chance to prove why you work so hard at this. Let’s get after it together, wear green, and show how badass Crossfit Fenway really is.

Climbing rope in front of thousands.


September 22, 2011
Strength: Press 5-5-5-15+
(ideally final set is 60%-75% of best set of 5 for max reps)

Boat Races
3 Individually Timed Rounds:
500m Row
400m Run
Rest 3 Minutes

11 thoughts on “Reflection”

  1. Great post Erika! Although I am not competing this weekend (best of luck to those who are!), I did take your advice and reflect where I was one year ago. Some things are pretty similar. For example, being a couple of weeks out from running a marathon. But many things are different. First, I had never even heard of CrossFit. Second, the only way I was physically testing myself was through running. Third (which is not surprising given my second note), I was embarrassed to attempt to do just one scaled push-up in front of anyone. One year ago, I never would have thought that I would look forward to finding out the night before what each new workout is going to be and how I am going to be challenged in yet another way (but you coaches always find a way!). I can’t even imagine what next year’s reflection might hold.

  2. Great post! I remember when I first met you, Erika. You’ve definitely made amazing progress and I am so glad I get to train with you! 🙂

  3. Awwww, Snyder! Your first individual competition AND your first blog post all in one week… you’re all grown up 🙂 But seriously, these are some great thoughts. Amazing things CAN happen in one year… for instance, last July I couldn’t do a single push up from my toes – let alone a pull up or rope climb… flashforward to this July, and I was competing at the GAMES?! crazy!

    I can’t wait to see all of you guys kill it at the garage games this weekend! And to ALL of our members, take Erika’s advice. Where do you want to be a year from now?? Set a goal and start working!

  4. This sentiment always seems to be perceived as melodramatic or exaggerated when I share it with those who don’t CrossFit, but I truly mean it when I say that this place and you people have changed my life immensely. We (I) may sometimes get caught up in gripes of ripped hands, non-PR days or slow progress, but when you step back and look at the collective heart of this group it is amazing. As Nicki Minaj has said, “no I’m not lucky, I’m blessed, yes.”


  5. Thanks Erika, this is just what I needed to read heading into this weekend. I’m super proud of you. 🙂

    Last night while watching the Games I was thinking about why I love CrossFit so much (naturally). And while there are many, many things to love (including all of you terrific people), it’s mostly because of the progress I’ve made and how far I’ve come. Me a year ago would never believe it.

    I can’t wait to see everyone compete this weekend!

  6. WOD 19:45
    Strict press needs work… 30 kg (failed on my fifth rep)
    Set of fifteen : 25 kg failed at 11..

    As for me a year ago.. I am a completely different person! Couldn’t do a pushup.. Couldn’t run a few meters without having to stop for oxygen.. Never ever ever stepped foot into a gym.. Zero flexibility.. etc etc.. Had a skewed perception of what it meant to look and feel good. So thankful for crossfit & the wonderful people I have met both here and in Miami! You guys are inspiring!! KNOCK EM DEAD this weekend!! xoxoxo

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