The CrossFit Games have come and gone. For me, this is the fifth time to reflect on what I witnessed, what to take away and what to do next.
The Games push everyone involved, everyone. The athletes are being tested and pushed to exceed their limits. The crowd is a witness to their journey. There is something about watching this test that forces a response from its viewers. It can cause you to be amazed, angry, elated, disappointed, inspired, concerned, fired up but it’s hard to passively watch. The CrossFit Games force you to feel something. It’s hard to hold it in. I can’t think of another sport or environment that compels such reactions out of the large majority of its viewers. It’s part of the event. A geyser of emotions spew from everyone involved, almost uncontrollably during the week-long event. It shows up in social media, blogs and real life conversations.
I love the Games. It’s a spectacle for all the right reasons. Everywhere you look things are happening that are uncommon. This mega event is driven by volunteers, the best volunteers, who give of their time to add an x-factor absent from many other gatherings. The athletes are amazing because they are ordinary people who have put in an incredible amount of work to do extraordinary things. They are shining examples of the upper end of human potential and they aren’t from Krypton (except for Ben Smith 🙂 ), they come from the CrossFit affiliate community—they’re one of us.
Because they are of us, we want to protect them, see them do well and be victorious. But that’s not always what happens. It’s a test, not a showcase.
After taking a few days to think about it, this may be one of my favorite years so far. No we didn’t have the same amazing crescendo of years past, but the ending was great. Some athletes had a weakness exposed and others adapted and overcame anyway.
Watching some of athletes fail to get up the wall pegboard excited me. It took me back to 2010, when I first watched the Games. A rope derailed a rookie from a championship. To me, a newbie, it was anti-climactic and I was bummed for the athlete. But that moment was the inciting incident that began the four-year electrifying reign of Rich Froning. For those for years we saw Rich dominate the field by whatever means necessary—complete with a huge comeback in 2014. This year we didn’t have that, but I’m no longer a newbie and can appreciate this moment thoroughly
Two new and deserving champions were crowned in Katrin Davidsdottir and Ben Smith and were left with the perfect cliffhanger. After having a weakness exposed, ow will the athletes respond? Who will rise and be ready next year. I can’t wait.