Monday, December 12, 2011

Next Level Invitational Series... and such

The coolest part of pressing through a 3 part competition series = TShirts!
 This autumn was a big benchmark for me.  It was the first time I set out as an individual competitor.  Translation - I was accountable to myself to deal with my own sh*t :)  The journey of this series has been deeply meaningful to me.  I tend to want to look at stats and scores and outcomes - of course. That's exciting, but it's not the whole point. A person that is only looking at the result misses the true beauty of the apparent victory or failure. It's so sad how much they miss.

So what's the real beauty?  The whole picture.
Nothing great ever happens without opposition.

It's almost Christmas - so I'll use that example. Mary faced great opposition to say Yes to be the Mother of God Incarnate.  She was an unmarried teenager.  Her fiance was ready to dismiss her quietly - though he could have had her stoned.  She risked ridicule, judgement, public shame, and even death to say yes to the glory God wanted to bring through her.  And then there's JC, just trying to be born, and who has room for him in their inn?  Herod was so pissed about him even coming into the world that he slaughtered every male child under the age of 2, just to stomp out the threat to his own glory that was made by this "newborn king".  The family had to flee into Egypt, etc. etc. The life of Christ is filled with opposition, judgement from others, rejection, and wrong expectations.  If he had lived worrying about living up to the expectations of people, he would have never accomplished what he did - but he changed the world forever.

My dear friend Karen shared this with me
It's on my phone wall paper until it's written
on my heart.
There is so much in me that is flustered, that places my worth on things outside myself, instead I need to turn into my heart where the Lord speaks what is true and listen. 

It's not about me and them.  It's not about my coach or my team or my opponents. It's not about whether they will consider me worthy, whether they will be proud or disappointed. It's not about whether I will measure up and be enough, because whose standards are those anyway? and how often do they change? 

I want something eternal.  I want to live up to my own calling in this epic story.  To be the person I was created to be and so fill the unique place in this world that only I can fill. And that's about the journey, the fight, the day in day out determination and fortitude - The humility not to get swept up with any victory of the moment & the humility not to get beat down and discouraged by any disappointment of the moment.  It requires taking a longer view, a more grounded and focused view, pulling all the elements into the balance before casting judgement.  Because beneath it all it comes down to the Who that created me - what I am to Him, what He thinks and says about me.

The other day, I started to feel some judgement, some scrutiny - whether it was in my head or real.  It came at church, of course, from the people you expect to lift you up to whom God made you to be, but all too often tear you down instead, (because that's just what our enemy wants to see).  In that moment, I took a deep breath, looked to heaven, and closed my eyes. Do you know what I heard?  "I've got your back, Kath."

Act justly, love tenderly, repent of wrong doing and wrong thinking, leave it behind, and walk humbly with your God.

He's got your back!
In the overwhelming gratitude of that moment - it made me want to be better, to be holier.  He's got my back.  I don't need to get ugly, I don't need to be defensive.  I want to be patient. I want to be humble. I want to be kind and confident in goodness. I want to be generous in thought and deed - because I have been given so much. That's what it's all about. He's got my back.

So Next level Invitational series - Here's how it played out.

1) Sign up - I chose intermediate over advanced division since... a) I'm stumped on some necessary skillz, and b) I'm a head case at competing and never competed as an individual before.  This was going to be my test of competitor grit.
2) Beginning of August = Qualifiers. I'd been training hard for ages. I got 3rd. AWESOME.
3) For work and fun I took 3 weeks off training... working 20 hr days, eating all sorts of less than optimally nutritious choices and enjoying the best of Italy, i.e. Gelato, Wine, Pasta, Capaccino... you get the idea.

Another treasure from Karen!

4) Sep 10, 2011 = 1st event. I had 3 days in the gym, after my hiadas.  Then a hailstorm threw a wrench in the programming and gave me unexpected wod's that I was definitely not conditioned for. Result = 31st place.
5) I was fired up to regain my conditioning and get back on track -> too much too fast -> Back injury.  I was out for nearly 3 weeks resting  then rehabbing, but came back stronger.
6) Nov 12th = 2nd event.  It was all strongman type events.  I was pumped.  The confidence and joy fueled my performance.  This was the turning point for me.  I had so many mental victories this day.  So much prayer power behind me.  This is where the switch flipped. I experience freedom to rejoice in my own victories and not be ruled by the leaderboard.  As a competitor I realized I have to fight for it. No one is going to show me any mercy out there or do me any favors.  I am worth fighting to do my best.   Result = 11th place
7) I had 10 days of travel in the 28 days between competitions.  This will throw any one off.  But I also started to experience some problems with my shoulder and ankle/foot.  I worked to train smart and carefully.  Testing and gratefully seeing what my body will take, what it can do when I tell it to, and when to respect it's limits.
8)  Dec 10th = 3rd and final event.  I just knew it would be a great day.  The weather would be sunny and nice.  The workouts were varied and a decent broad range of capacity, and there was a chipper.  I love chippers. Despite this hope, I just didn't feel well all day. 
It was super exciting to have new competititors representing our box (as in November too).  I love it!  It's so exciting and inspiring to be fighting for your best beside your buddies fighting for their best.  To share one another's journey, agonies, and triumphs, is one of my absolute FAVORITE things about crossfit.  Result = 7th place

Overall standings for the whole seires - TBA

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