Heart pounding. A different kind now than what it was 5 minutes ago....or maybe it's been 15 or 30 by now. Time for some reason feels like it's a broken record playing over and over the last 2 minutes of my life.
The fear is gone, I have nothing now to lose. I AM PISSED. The first words of English that finally rolled up to my tongue after the last 5 minutes of what I'm sure sounded like a sailor with terretts seemed to turned my coach's face in to a look of appreciation. (deep breath) "Well.....let's go clean and jerk." Finally, I was starting to make sense. I was snapping out of it. I could hear again. Still people out there clapping. They're alright. I'm alright. We walk back into the warm up room, I'm still looking down. Avoiding eye contact with anything and everyone. I just gift wrapped a national medal and dropped it in the homeless guy's tin cup sitting outside the CrossFit gym. Damn it. If only I could clean and jerk 200kg. I've had my iPhone for so long that now I'm shaking my head to change the song of voices in my mind. Here we go again. Just hit a stinking opener! Shoot, open with the bar and then throw 100 on there. You can't go up there and do this again. Get hit twice on the same stage in the same day? I hope to God the tracking system is off on this next bomb and lands somewhere over in the powerlifting section. Here I am again. Up on that stage. Looking at all the people, standing room only, they haven't left. First lift..... good! A sign of relief. A slight feeling of happiness. Three white lights assures me the judges all made it through that awful first bombing. Clapping. Jerk two, fail! Damn these heavy bars and the horse they rode in on. I can't breathe again. I bump up after a gruesome missed lift. Higher? More weight? You bomb your snatch and now you want to go 1 for 3 in the clean and jerk? You're jumping out if this plane with no shoot on. Silence! You will make this. You HAVE TO MAKE THIS! If not you're walking back to California because you sure don't deserve to waste anymore of CalStrength's money. That last clean may has well have been 200kg because it took every last bit of energy I had to stand up with it. Stars and flickers in my eyes, not from the flash of cameras but from the lack of oxygen making it's way up to my brain. Dip an drive. That's it. That's all I have to do now and I can go home and cry alone in my shower.
Hot damn, I did it. I hate the jerk but today I made him my boyfriend! That clean felt so terrible and the jerk like warm butter. 2 Kg competition PR. Maybe there's light at the end of this tunnel after all. I gave away two medals but I guess I'll keep one to remind me of this awful trip. I'll hang it at the other side of the gym because it feels so tainted around my neck. It's like a shrapnel scar from the wreckage of the bomb. I'm alive though. Unhurt physically and mentally stronger. My pride will heal. Scar tissue will cover up this feeling in my heart like the armor of batman. Stronger. STRONGER! I am, indeed, somehow stronger! I have had my first test. A test of failure in which I completed the bonus section and passed with a C-, barely getting by but graduating my first Nationals. I will study harder, push more weight, pull longer hours, make love with my new Jerk boyfriend. I will be O.K. Everybody gets hit from time to time, I just prove to be an overachiever again by doing it at the biggest event of my career thus far. That's ok. That tainted medal will hang in my vision point to remind me to never give up. I'll take a million days of hurting trying to get better over that hurt I just endured. As a matter of fact, training may never hurt again.
I will be back!
Thank you to everyone who watched, everyone who emailed, text messaged, words of encouragement, embracing thoughts, uplifting stories. You all motivate me, inspire me, and keep me wanting to keep coming back. I only hope that I do the same for you....
I'm signing off for now, my plane is about to land. Tomorrow, you'll be able to find me back in our CalStrength corner.... snatching.