10 Things That Surprised Me About the CrossFit Mid-Atlantic Regionals

Hey guys! I hope you're enjoying Memorial Day! I'm off work and planning to go a barbecue a little later but for the most part I'm taking it easy because, well, Saturday and Sunday were action-packed! I spent both days at the Patriot Center for the Mid-Atlantic Regionals. It was my first time attending a CrossFit competition and I'm not even sure where to begin; it was totally crazy but I loved every second! Here's a picture of me and others from my box supporting our coach, Linsey Wise, who placed 8th overall in the individual women's competition! Go Linsey!! linsey

When I say the event was crazy what I really mean is that it was overwhelming. Everywhere we turned there were people we knew, brands we recognized, things we wanted (LOTS of things we wanted!), and like a billion CrossFitters all under one roof! There were booths for everything from beer to protein, and pop-up shops selling all the latest gear, from wrist wraps and Rx jump ropes! ALL the big CrossFit brands were there -- Reebok, Progenex, the WOD Outlet -- it was seriously like a CrossFitter's shopping mall!

I've decided the best way to recap the experience is to share 10 things that surprised me about the event. Read more below. :)

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1. The Excitement of the Team Events: 

The main reason we went to Regionals was because our coach, Linsey, was competing. We hadn't watched or even discussed the teams, but OMG, they were the BEST! There was so much happening all at once, there wasn't a single dull moment! There were so many close calls, too, that would send sections of the crowd into a yelling rage! It was intense!

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I have to admit, we got really into it. We saw one girl steal the lead in the last round and nearly jumped out of our seats when she hit the finish line! At the same time, I felt really bad for the girl who lost the lead for her team (that would suck!), but there was so much camaraderie and love among teammates, in the end, it didn't matter, I think everyone was just having fun and proud to be there.

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The men's event was surprisingly exciting, too! Check out this video I posted on Instagram of another surprise win!

2. The Clean-up Crew:

This might sound corny, but the clean-up crew was pretty cool! After each heat, they'd run out in a single-file line wearing hard hats and matching grey t-shirts, and scatter in perfect formation to begin to breakdown and setup for the next heat. They were so in-sync and efficient! They were probably volunteer CrossFitters!

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3. The Abs! 

OK, so this probably shouldn't have surprised me... we all know CrossFitters have crazy abs but seeing them in person - holy crap! I'm inspired!!!! Could that be me in another year? Haha. Probably not, but hey, if 8 out of the 10 chicks I saw had them and they CrossFit... why couldn't I? A girl can dream, right?! :)

Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Regionals Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Regionals 4. The Emotion of Watching Someone You Know Compete: 

Oh gosh, where to begin. It was so intense watching our coach, Linsey compete - I could hardly take it y'all! Watching someone you know out there changes everything! My heart was pounding for Linsey the entire time! Go, go, go! Luckily, she didn't have any big issues (we saw other CrossFitters hurt themselves, cry, EVERYTHING!). She was super strong and efficient, but it was still hard to watch! If you want a glimpse of Linsey in action, check out Heat 3 of Event 3 - she CRUSHED IT! She came in first place in her heat and I love what the commentators say about her cleans: "She's just bouncing the barbell off her thighs making it look so easy!" Yea!!!! That's my coach! :)

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5. The Dreadfulness of that Last Rep: 

I can't tell you how many times we saw an athlete held up by a single rep, sometimes for several minutes while scores of athletes passed by, which was gut-wretching to watch. One guy even started crying because he just couldn't seem to get in that LAST rep (during a team event) and I almost started crying for him!

I imagine the movements, whether it's overhead squats or snatches, are nothing new to these athletes, but when they're on stage and the clock is ticking, and the fatigue of three days of competing sets in, I think a "no rep" throws you way off!

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6. The Maybe-I-Can-Do-That Feeling! 

OK, again, why am I surprised? Who WOULDN'T feel inspired around so many talented athletes? There was definitely a sense of monkey-see, monkey do going on, especially with moves that have been more challenging for me, like handstand push-ups, rope climbs (just regular ones though - legless is crazy!), and pull-ups. Seeing so many women do these moves over and over again made me want to jump out there and try them again! I definitely left with a sense of, "I WILL GET THOSE!" Especially about handstand push-ups... they're next on my list of things to conquer!

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7. The Short Shorts:

Holy batman - who wears short shorts? THESE GIRLS! My goodness - I saw so many butt cheeks and wedgies! Lol! I can't say it looked bad though! Quads were poppin'! These chicks have no shame and why should they? Squats do a girl good!

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8. Feeling Star-Struck:  

Oh hello, Christmas Abbott!

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I surprised myself hopping in line to get a picture with Christmas Abbott! In all honesty I don't know much about her except that she was a Regional competitor and part of a Nascar pit crew. I think she's also from Virginia! I saw her on Carrots 'n' Cake blog at last year's Games and thought a celeb photo was a must-have being that I'm a blogger and all! She was really nice!

9. The CrossFit Fashion Coordination! 

I was surprised at how well all the CrossFit chicks coordinated their outfits! There was seriously an outfit change for each event and the more I saw, the more I felt like I needed to step up my own workout wardrobe (which I've said before)! Headbands, socks, hair ties, and tanks! Oh yea, and here I am, with my one pair of first-generation nanos. (Embarrassing!) I NEED MORE. Haha!

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10. The Endless Swag: 

My plan is to stash away a little money for next year's event so that I'm more prepared for the vendors! I mentioned a little earlier, but the protein, t-shirts, tank tops, wrist wraps, shorts, and shoes-- evvvvvvvvvverything was overwhelming!

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Other than that, I saw a lot of commradarie (not surprising), athletes cheering on other athletes and a lot of love in the stadium and in the stands (families, children, lots of non-Crossfit supporters)!

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All and all, Aaron and I left feeling inspired by the community to which we can now say we belong in, which for us, is pretty cool! We had a little conversation with some members of our box about competing too. Not at Regionals of course (ha!) but there's some smaller competitions around town that might be fun for us to try. At the end of the day a competition - whichever one - is just more practice, which, with CrossFIt is always good! Not to mention a whole lot of fitness and fun!

Would you ever partake in a CrossFit competition? 

Have you ever been to a CrossFit competition?