September 6, 2017

Day 4 of the CrossFit Games 2017

The final day of competition started out well. I was calm, cool and quiet – just the way I like it. Leading up to the Final Couplet, I knew the leaderboard was super close. Mere points separated first through sixth place. I was in second place by two points and knew that I had to give the Final Couplet my all. I had had a good night of rest and was ready to go. I am always thankful when I make it to the CrossFit Games uninjured and feeling good.

By now getting to the expo center was familiar, and we no longer got lost. Thankful for this I was relaxed and focused on resting and eating. I began warming up with a nice row, then on to the deadlifts, thrusters, rope climbs, and handstand push-ups. The warm up felt good, however, I know all of those elements are fine when alone, but putting them together as fast as you can in eight minutes is tough! During this warm up, I got the privilege of chatting with the legendary 2010 CrossFit Champion, Kristen Clever. Her words of wisdom prepped me to connect my rope climbs at the correct time. I felt completely ready!

I heard the call for my group to check in and line up. It was almost go time. We lined up in our corrals smiling and stretching nervously. Everyone knew that these workouts were familiar to all of us. The end result would come down to who could handle the most pain.

Emotions and thoughts have derailed me in the past, so I lock myself down pretty tight when I compete. Because of this, I don’t have any cute anecdotal stories or thoughts, on the contrary, I work hard not to think or feel. I silently followed my fellow competitors into the arena.

I heard “athletes 10 seconds”, and I ran to the deadlift bar for “DIANE” and started banging out reps, then the handstand push-ups: back and forth until I cross the finish line. I had two minutes to get to the rope and get started on second part of the couplet. The two minutes flew by and I climbed the rope as fast as I could: up and down six times. I ran to the thrusters, picked up the bar and…. whoa! That bar felt SO heavy. I was breathing heavy and felt like “DIANE” had just run me over. I struggled to get 24 reps finished before the time ended. I placed second in Diane and eighth in the Final Couplet. My podium hopes seemed squashed by this poor, last performance.

I can’t really explain what happened on the Final Couplet, I just felt drained. Doing each thruster was utter torture. It’s something my coach will definitely evaluate and fix.

My group was asked to hang out together in the back to see how everything washed out. I love all the master women competitors and know how hard they work and sacrifice to get to the CrossFit Games. That said, I want to be on the podium, and after my 18th finish on the first workout, I was crossing my fingers that I was going to be there. After a bunch of small talk and picture taking, CrossFit Athlete control came out and gave us the news. I had placed third by 26 points! I missed second place by 13 points and first place by 28 points. Don’t get me started on what I could have or should have done differently – it’s a constant on my journey.

Quickly the top three were whisked off to be tested and then released until the award ceremony. I sincerely hate not making the podium at the CrossFit Games. For me there is no worse feeling after a year of blood, sweat, and tears, to culminate into nothing. I use it as fuel for my fire. My 19th place and fifth place finishes are motivation to do what I need to do every day to be an elite CrossFit Games competitor. I’m so thankful that again this year I made it on that podium.

At the end of every season, my coach and I look at each other. We can see it in each other’s eyes that question: “Are we going to do this again?”. He knows my thoughts, I give a little shake of my head and he just smiles.

3 Comments on “Day 4 of the CrossFit Games 2017

Angela Speers
October 15, 2017 at 10:37 pm

I’m 49 and quite inspired by your story. I’ve struggled with weight, injuries of all kinds. I’m currently in a rut and nursing some plantar fasciitis. I need to get back to fitness and stay there!! Thank you for sharing your story.!

Virginia Zahnd
February 1, 2018 at 8:45 pm

Absolutely love your Madison recollection! I was there as a spectator and it has motivated me to keep going in my CrossFit journey! I just turned 40 on December 10th and had surgery on my left shoulder the next day!
In recovery mode and anxious to be 100% again! I’ve been doing CrossFit for about 19 months and have fallen in love with it!
I definitely have a long ways to go, but have dreams of being a CrossFit Masters Competitor! Thank you for sharing and being such and inspiration!

Michelle Sarek
April 9, 2019 at 10:45 am

Shellie. I met you this weekend at the Liberty Games in Buffalo New York. You are an inspiration. It was great to meet you.


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