I had the opportunity to fly out to San Francisco with Susie Diesel, Johnny D, and their two sons to watch John compete in the NorCal Masters put on by TJ’s Gym. We flew out on Friday afternoon and headed out there bright and early on Saturday. John had a tough two days ahead of him. The workouts for the first day would have laid me out for days:
His first workout was a mini-WoD which was in three minutes, complete your heaviest weighted pull-up. Then, you get a 10 second break and then it was 1 minute of a 10 meter farmer’s carry with a pair of 70# kettle bells. Craziness! There was a 70+ year old man who did a 98# weighted pull-up! I can’t even do one pull-up yet! They looked insane with chains around their waists and weights and kettlebells hanging from them.
The next workout was called OLY Smokes – or as I liked to call it – the thinking man’s wod! It was two five minute EMOM with a one minute break in between. The first one was at the top of each minute, start doing as many burpees over barbells as you could. Then in that minute, you get one attempt at a snatch. You pick the weight. The second EMOM was same concept – except it was toes to bar and power cleans. There is a lot of strategy that goes into this one. How many burpees or toes to bar to you do? Not too many, as you don’t want to exhaust yourself for the lift…and how much weight do you do? You only have one attempt per minute! The score for this WoD was 50% based off total number of burpees plus T2B and 50% based off total weight lifted. John did 155# for the snatch and 205# for the clean. He made it look effortless.
The next workout they did was called Hellenita. This looked brutal. It was broken into two parts, in a total of 10 minutes. They had to complete part A (which, suprise, was the Helen benchmark workout) and then part B was an AMRAP of Helen for the remaining time.
They ended the day with a mini-WoD called Whippersnapper. They had 6 minutes to complete a 1200 row and then do as many50# ball slams as possible.
And that was just day one! It was amazing to watch all the Masters athletes compete in WoDs which would wreck any young ones. John was up there the entire time, staying in the top 5 as we ended the first day. Here’s John’s recap of the day.
The second day only had two workouts. I say “only” loosely. The first workout was like 10 workouts in one. It’s called a chipper workout. It is generally a bear of a workout. Where multiple movements are linked together one after another. Basically it’s chips away from you physically and mentally. I did not envy John or any of the athletes doing this workout.
20 Cal Row
50m Bear Crawl
13 Thrusters (95)
13 Up and Over Box Jumps
13 Deadlifts with a fat grip (165)
13 Wall Balls (10 feet 20#)
13 Ring Dips
And then back down the ladder
This looked brutal. Many did not finish in the time allotted (15 minutes). I wondered if John was going to finish as some of his main competitors who did the chipper before him did not finish. But he did in 12:08. It was amazing to watch him push through this. I really thought he was going to lose it on the last bear crawl, but he pushed through. He ended up getting 3rd in his heat (I originally thought he got 2nd, but some other dude beat him by 2 seconds!)
John was in 4th going into the last WoD and I was like a nervous parent. I thought I was going to throw up. John originally went into the competition not expecting to get in the finals. And now, with one mini-wod left, he was on the cusp of making it. The final workout for him was called Junior. It started with 35 airsquats and then you ran to the end of your lane. You then picked up two 45# weights and ran them back to your wheelbarrow prowler. Then you put them on there, push the prowler to the middle of your lane. Do 35 more airsquats and push the prowler to the end. Then you do 100 double unders. And then he was done.
I knew he did better than most on that workout, but it wasn’t a sure thing that he made it to the finals. They confirmed that they were taking the top 5 in his age group to the finals – and then it was confirmed that John was in 4th! He was going to the finals! So exciting!
The only bummer was that they didn’t weigh the finals very heavily, so even if John had completely crushed the workout, the standings going into the finals were pretty much the standings for the finals. The finals was a 5 minute ladder 1 135# snatch, 2 muscle-ups; 2 snatches, 2 muscle-ups; 3 snatches, 2 muscle-ups; 4 snatches, 2 muscle-ups…and so forth.
John ended the competition getting 4th overall. Super proud to call him my friend and see him go toe to toe with the other elite athletes. He is one of the most dedicated athletes I’ve met and I am so glad that it paid off. Here’s his recap of the competition and day 2.
Johnny D killing it at the NorCal Masters
While John competing was the focus of the competition, TJ’s Gym organized some great speakers and exhibitions. I got the opportunity to have my deadlift form critiqued by Jesse Burdick and meet and listen to Jimmy Baker (one of the original Crossfitters), Annie Sakamoto (one of my fave Crossfit athletes!), and Kelly Starrett speak. It was awesome. I was such a fan girl. Jim gave me some great advice about easing back into working out after injury and staying motivated. Jesse totally helped me with my deadlift by giving me some great tips on my set-up. Annie spoke about balancing life and Crossfit. Kelly gave us a talk about squats and the benefit of proper form.
Clockwise from top left: Jimmy Baker, Jesse Burdick, Annie Sakamoto, Kelly Starrett
Overall great weekend. I’m so glad that I went and got to spend some quality time with the Durochers and see some great athletes compete.
I also got to meet Elaine Polito, who is from the Boston area as well and a Games competitor. She is one of my new heroes. LOVE HER. She ended up getting 2nd in her age division. Not to shabby! I want to be her when I grow up!
On a side note, the last 5 times I’ve gone to San Francisco, I’ve come home with a nasty head cold. This last trip was no exception. Ugh. This week is re-test week and I’m missing all of it. Wahhhhh.