It's been nice to have the last two weeks to decompress though and reflect. It's still pretty surreal.
I remember the conversation exactly. Travis and I were in the car on our way to Assateague Island to celebrate my 29th birthday almost a year ago. I think both of us had gotten to this point in our CrossFit training where we wanted something more. I'd been to Regionals in 2014 as an Individual - I chalked it up to my once in a lifetime opportunity, being in the right place at the right time, and probably not something I'd ever be able to achieve again. I was happy with that.
But Travis was not so content. In 2014 he had come really close to qualifying for Regionals on a team - a feeling I think that left him even more hungry to make this dream a reality. Almost succeeding haunts people.
Anyone knows though, to send a team, you need talented females. They're not easy to come by. Boys, sorry, you're a dime a dozen.
Travis and I absolutely LOVE CrossFit Gamma, the gym where we were exclusively training and coaching at the time. The community is incredible, the coaches are savvy, the equipment is state of the art and the space is located right in the heart of Hershey, PA. What is not to love! Like most affiliates, most of the members do CrossFit for the exact reason they should be doing CrossFit - recreationally, for fun, to stay fit, to keep their weight manageable, and to keep up with their kids. CrossFit as a sport is a different story, and most folks just don't have an interest in spending hours in the gym to train competitively. I cannot blame them!
But Travis was motivated. And he had a dream. To send a team to Regionals. He knew that joining forces was going to be the key. So, we made the hard decision to start training at both CrossFit Gamma and CrossFit Ephrata. Once December rolled around, we were training at CrossFit Ephrata almost exclusively, ramping up for the Open.
And let me tell you, CFE is a pearl. I think their must be something in the water, because the girls that train there are so talented (the boys aren't too shabby either). With Travis and I, we had a well-rounded team of 8+ individuals with heaps of athletic talent, determination, and a promise to each other to give our best effort for the team.
It's so absolutely amazing what happens when a group of individuals comes together with one common goal. Magic, that's what happens. It was a lot of late nights, tough training sessions, long weekends, sore bodies, and hours of commuting, but it was so worth it. We couldn't have done it without the support of CrossFit Gamma, of CrossFit Ephrata, of the community, of our friends and family.
We finished 10th in the Open, we finished 16th at Regionals, but more importantly - we have this bond, this shared experience, that is really special between us.
There are some people who believe that loyalty to a box is more important than anything. More important than growth. Perhaps they fear change. Perhaps they've become too comfortable in their bubble. Like dead fish, they'd rather go with the flow, than fight upstream for the riches that only rewarded after a hard trial. CrossFit is one community; we shouldn't draw lines that separate us, but we should open doors that unite us. We should challenge ourselves constantly - by experiencing new coaches, training in different (therefore uncomfortable) environments, and sweating alongside people that are better than you.
It was Greg Glassman himself who said, “We fail at the margins of our experience."
People have asked if we plan to do it again, next year. You bet your ass we do. And we hope that even more people want to join in on our debauchery, want to commit to the training, want to be on the team, and want to fight for a spot to throw down in Atlanta!
Where does Travis fit in all of this? Well, based on his broken pelvis and his concussion, he won't be able to deploy with his unit in July. That means he will be able to finish his second year apprenticeship this fall, and it means (recovery depending), he'll be able to compete in the Open with us (and fight for his dream), one more time.
For everyone that supported us near and far, thank you!