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Every Second Counts

May 31, 2009

northeast qualifier

Pick up the bar! Grind out the last couple reps! Don’t stop! Breathe! Drive it up! Finish strong!

These were the screams that I heard echoing through my mind last weekend as all my support cheered me on as loud and as hard as they could. I know that I could never have pushed myself as far and as hard as I did had they not been there to carry me through. I remember more than a couple hundred times that my body was telling my mind to stop or to slow down, but in those seconds of conflict I would look up and see one of the other competitors grinding through the pain or hear one of my supporters yell at me to remind me that I am capable of so much more.

neq row

At the Crossfit North East Qualifiers in Albany, NY last weekend there was no shortage of blood, sweat, and even tears shed in the name of elite fitness and competition. Over 240 athletes came from all over the northeastern United States to compete in a grueling 2 day athletic challenge that was to determine the top 5 male and female crossfitters who  would move-on to the crossfit games in Aromas, California in July.

There is something very strange that happens when you push yourself to the extreme limits of physical performance.  Your focus gets very narrow, your heart feels like it doesn’t have a chance to fill with blood because it’s beating so fast, your muscles feel like molten lava is flowing through each vein, and no matter how much you try to control your breath it feels like there isn’t enough oxygen around to fill your lungs. Yet, somehow you manage to eek out another couple reps, or get your work done in a few seconds less than you thought possible. And afterwards, you collapse and pray that you don’t lose consciousness or throw up. I had been there so many times before while training in the last few months, but certainly not to this degree.

NEQ postwod

When you’re competing against some of the best athletes in the country with over 500 people watching and you know that only the top 2% move on, every second counts, every rep counts, and there’s no room for error. If you asked me last month if I thought that I was amongst the top 15 crossfitters in the northeast I would have laughed at you.  Why do we doubt ourselves so often? If I learned one thing from that weekend it’s that we are capable of so much more than we think possible. I am certainly not the most athletically gifted person, I’m not the strongest or the fastest, but I do have a couple secrets: Determination and a great cheering section (and a great chiropractor!). I have made the committment in my life to seek the uncomfortable or the extra gear and I have made it a priority to surround myself with great people that strive for greatness in their life. The saying goes that you are the average of the 5 people that you spend most of your time with.  If this is true then I am certainly proud to be the average of all of the extraordinary people that I spend my time with.  I want to say a  huge thank you to my coaches and avid supporters from North Shore Crossfit, my extraordinary family at Franson Family Chiropractic, and especially my unbelievable girlfriend Kendra. I could never have gotten there without your nudges, support, coaching, and unconditional love.   

So ask yourself today where are you playing small? What have you told yourself that you can’t do latey? Share something that you’ve always wanted to do with someone and I bet you’ll be surprised to find out that you have your own personal cheering section to help push you to achieve goals that exceed your expectations.

“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, either way you’re right.” – Henry Ford

Here is the last few hundred meters of the 2 Km row workout on Saturday. After watching this you’ll see what I mean when I say that I had an unbelievable cheering section to help me “give it some heat!”.

Dr. Ryan Hewitt

And here’ s a post interview after the row:

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