A Crossfit Journey culminates: Ericlee competes in the sectionals

Ericlee lifts his max on the Clean & Jerk competition - 205 pounds.

The following is the final journal entry written by Ericlee Gilmore about his experience competing in the Northern California Crossfit Sectionals.
Mon., March 29

Now I am on the other side of this incredible journey that I started many years ago but specifically 12 weeks ago. Where do I begin? There was an athletic buzz as all the athletes signed in and then listened to Jason Khalipa give us the instructions of the day. It was a perfect day to perform in the sport of fitness. I watched the first heat go at 9am and then left to go and pick up my fan support (Dorina and the kids). We sat with Jon and Roxanna in the stands in this great Track and Field facility at Archbishop Mitty high school. I had a great warmup and was ready to go for my heat at 12:00. I saw other guests sitting on the infield to get a better picture of the athletes when they do the OH squats located on the apron of the infield. I motioned Dorina to come down and that was the best thing I could of done. It made the whole workout so much better.

Workout Of the Day (WOD) A - 6 minutes to run 800m and then perform as many reps as possible of 115lb overhead squats. I wore my new red FCA shirt that said “Warrior for Christ” and I was ready to do my very best for His glory. I had two judges who were great. I felt the love from them. On the run I could hear Meilani screaming for me the whole time. I finished in 2:56 and I lifted the bar at 3:15. I was a little behind in my plan. I wanted to be lifting the bar at 3:00. I did 20 reps in the first set like I wanted to. I rested the bar on my shoulder and went for 5 more. At that point it fell to the ground so I had to lift it back up and go again. I performed 5 more and it fell again. I had around 40-50 seconds left. I was at 30 and I wanted 10 more. So I decided to go for it without resting. I ended up dropping the bar with 5 seconds left on rep 37. So I finished with 36. I placed 3rd in my heat of 20 guys and was happy with my performance even though I really wanted an even 40. I had greatly improved from the two times I had practiced this workout. My place after all the heats was 59th out of 256. We then left to go eat lunch at Whole Foods and to get the kids out of the heat. The sun was quite hot. After taking a small nap at Dorina’s cousin’s house, we went back to the High school for the second workout of the day schedule for 4pm.

WOD B – 10 minutes to perform as many rounds as possible of 7 Thrusters (115lbs), 12 Kettlebell Swings (53lbs), 7 Chest-to-bar Pullups. I knew it was going to be tough. I was mentally prepared. What I did not know or prepare for was the standard of the kettlbe swings. The KB had to be completely bottoms up on the top of the swing. So I would guess that I had to do about 15-20 extra swings because I was not meeting the standard. Unlike my last judge, I felt no love from this female judge. I was hurting at that point and just had to fight through it. The worst part about it was that my fan support could not be next to me to cheer me on. The Pullup bars were in this secluded sand pit area that made it impossible for fans to watch. So instead of getting hung up on the pullups, I was super slow on the KBS. I had a plan of doing 5 or at least 4 plus some change but this day I could only manage 3 rounds plus 7 thrusters and 2 KBS. My total reps were 87. That placed me 227th out of 256. This workout by far made everyone in the competition look pathetic. My right hand had a nasty blister from the pull-ups. Afterwards I was discouraged and mad that I did not do better or at least have a chance to do better. If I was going to complain I would say that by having a different judge it would have been a different outcome. Andrew was watching and he felt like many of my kettlebell swings were good. Nothing you can do about it when you have volunteer judges and each one sees the movement differently. Some are very specific and picky while others are not. Maybe in the future they will be paid like a real official and they will have experience in doing each movement and what to look for in that movement. So now I was worried about even making it to Sunday for the last two workouts. My goal was to definitely make it to Sunday and be close to the top 20. I know knew that was out. This time I waited for Jon to go so I could cheer him on. I knew he would need it because it is such a hard workout. I challenged him to beat me. He came close but was five reps short. After having a wonderful home cooked pasta and meatball dinner, we went to bed. I did not find out about making it to Sunday until 11pm that night. They took the top 186 and I was 133rd. That was ridiculous. Many athletes were upset about not finding out sooner. I was just grateful that I made the cutoff. Jon, on the other hand did not make it. The next morning I had an oatmeal and fruit breakfast and I was ready for day 2. I reviewed the workout the night before and I was excited about it. I felt like I could excel in it. Plus it was on the field, which made it easier for Dorina and the girls to watch me. My goal for the day was to move up in the rankings to top 100.

Ericlee rows to the finish with his strict judge looking on.

WOD C – In 6 minutes perform max lift in the clean and jerk. Then immediately following, do the Chipper = 25 burpees, 100yd of lunges, 5 rounds of 15 reps of 40lb dumbbell push press and 100yds of farmers walk with dumbbells, 25 burpees, 500m row, run 450m around the track. I felt great in my warmup. I practiced 175lbs in the clean and jerk and was ready for more. On this day I wore my grey FCA shirt that says “Honor God with your Body”. Dorina and the kids and Jon too were right in front of me to cheer me on. I started with 165lb and then moved to 185lbs. I rested and then did 205lbs. I had about 2 minutes left so I then went up to 215lbs. I had it in the squat position but fell out of it. I tried it again and I had to bail out of it. Now looking back on it, I wish I went up only 5lbs in weight rather than 10lbs. But I was really happy with 205 because my goal was 200. My previous best was about 180lbs. I placed 137th out of 174. I flew through the burpees and my lunges were great. I was in the top ten out of 25 in the heat. I was the 25th athlete in the heat so I knew if I could beat a lot of them I could definitely move up in the rankings. Everything came to a screetching halt with the 15 reps of push press. For some reason they were very difficult for me. On top of that I had the exact same judge from the day before. She was picky on the presses and some did not count. I tried to do sets of 5 but it still took a long time. I ran the farmerswalk to save some time but still I was being left in the dust. I wish I had remembered to do a split jerk every time. That would have made a huge difference. I think I could have done all 15 in a row that way. My burpees were little slower this time around. I then got on the rower and Dorina and the kids were right there in front of me to cheer me on. I actually did it in 1:50 which is really good for being so tired. I wanted to catch one person on the run but he sped up at the same time I did. My final time was 23:53. I gave it my best. I think I beat about 5 athletes in that heat. I enjoyed the workout and I realized that I need more strength in my shoulders. I placed 147th out of 174. IT was a great way to end the competition. I loved how my family cheered me on the whole time. I know I made a difference for the Lord because three crossfitters commented on my shirt and how Crossfit definitely needs Jesus. Praise the Lord. Here are the final standings. I placed 151st out of 256. I did not move up in the standings but I did make it to day two, I did do my very best for his glory, and I did have some personal records in the process. If I ever do this competition again, I know that I must work on my upper body strength. If I could have done really well on one other event that would have placed me in the top 125 or even top 100. Overall it was a great experience. I am excited to put a book together with all the pictures and my journal.

1 comment:

Michelene said...

I cannot even read all of this. It is incredible, amazing. I love that he had on his "Warrior" shirt. God gave him a vessel to use, challenge and reach it's potential. Scott is so jazzed about Ericlee's fondness for Cross Fit, not many people are doing it. Scott always fights himself between triathlons and cross fit. It is really hard to do both with any focus. Thanks for sharing your journey together. It is inspiring!

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