group me germond hoggan
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”
~Theodore Roosevelt
Megan and I made the long drive from San Antonio back to Dallas today.  Two fifth place finishes made that drive even longer.  I spent the day reflecting on the weekend, running through the workouts over and over again in my head, and banging my head against the wall with frustration.  We were so close!  AND I believe we were better than we showed.
I want to take the post today to summarize an exhilarating weekend and make a promise for the years to come.
hoggan cleans
Jason Hoggan finished second in the region last year and made his first appearance at the Games.  I met him in preparation for the Games that year.  We spent the year working on efficiency of movement (especially with the barbell) and poise under fatigue.  He came into the weekend a far better athlete than the year before.  I had more confidence in his ability to find his way to the top than anybody I coach.  Unfortunately, our region was set up such that one mistake can ruin a workout.  Event 3 was that mistake.  Jason and I did not nail down the strategy before the event as we were focused on his OHS.  That poor coaching decision on my part would come back to bite us and put him in a hole that was unsurmountable.  In practice, Jason had completed the burpee MU in 4:33 with a very specific pacing.  Granted he had not PR’d his Jackie time and been under the tension of a 3RM OHS in practice but nonetheless he had the capacity to complete the workout.  Unfortunately without talking ahead of time, Jason went into event 3 with the belief that he could win the workout.  We had spent the last year working on his MU technique and capacity but to win the event was a long shot knowing the MU wasn’t his strongest movement.  It came back to bite him and I will have a hard time forgiving myself for that 36th place finish.  (If he finishes 20th he wins the region)  It would later be the reason Jason is now in his offseason and not training tomorrow.  Two exhilarating first place finishes and two more top five finishes weren’t enough and that workout will play over and over again in my head for 365 long days…
hoggan victory
Ingrid Kantola finished 5th in the region last year 3 points from the Games.  She would find herself in deja vu again this year.  Ingrid was flawless in her performance this year.  Her only blemish was a 17th place finish on Jackie.  She registered a time of 7:28… A 1 MINUTE PR!  I have looked back on all the workouts and imagined where we could shave a point here and there and I’m left with a blank stare.  There was nowhere that Ingrid did not perform exactly as we planned.  Ingrid is likely the best athlete in the Crossfit world who will be sitting at home in July.  Phenomenal performances highlighted by a first place finish to end the competition.  Watching her work as hard as she did, follow our plan as perfectly as she did, and still not end up on the podium was heart-breaking.  There are very few obvious holes in Ingrid’s armour and it showed this weekend.  It was my great pleasure to walk her to the floor for each workout and greet her with a smile when she walked off.  Unbelievable heart and unparalleled gametime performance are two marks written all over Ingrid’s weekend.  My only regret is that she couldn’t scrape together a couple more points to find her way to the podium.
ingrid axle lunge
Both of these athletes impressed me all weekend long with their unwillingness to quit and their durability under fire.  They slugged through 7 brutal workouts and threw together some jaw-dropping performances.  For each of them there is no better tribute than their finishes on the final workout.   Neither one were going down without a fight and dominated the final workout with two first place finishes.  After a weekend like they had, to finish the way they did was tear-jerking and hurt more than I had imagined it would.  It is my pleasure to walk alongside these athletes daily.  My heart commiserates with theirs today.  Bittersweet weekend and a vengeance for 2014.
ingrid cleans
germond ohs
I also have to highlight the impeccable poise of Jeff Germond all weekend.  Jeff finished in the exact place this year as he did last year but the way he came back from day 1 was inspiring.  His control and focus is enviable.  He remained calm and continued to stick to the plan following a tough workout on the burpee MU.  I know Jeff finished the same this year as last but that is not the story of his development.  He is a far better athlete this year than years past and it showed in his OHS triple.  285 for a double with a jerk grip!  Jeff is one of the easiest athletes I work with because of his work ethic and consistency.  He will always complete the work as it is laid out and always conquer workouts according to plan.  I can count on his calm demeanor, mature outlook, and steady gains.  These workouts this weekend and his final placing are not good indicators for the level of athlete that Jeff is.  He, like Ingrid, has very few chinks in his chain.
germond lunge
All around these athletes showed off their incredible talent this weekend.
Nothing inspires the courageous like defeat.  365 is a long time for that leaderboard to be glued in my memory.