It’s just before 6:00pm and twelve people are milling around the gym energetically awaiting their entry into the 2018 CrossFit Open. A brief pep talk from Marcela gets the group pumped. Six take their positions under the bar to start a series of toe-to-bar. The other six, judges, look on with clipboards, ready to mark each victory. I walk around the edges, observing, so as not to interrupt the CrossFitters’ laser focus. Judges cheer on every single rep with enthusiasm strong enough to make this a televised event.
Elena catches my attention. She’s feverishly thrusts her toes up to the bar. After eight reps, the noticeably fit, long-haired powerhouse returns to the floor and starts ten reps of dumbbell hang clean and jerks. But she powers through three reps of the wrong movement. It’s a setback, but now she’s pushing even harder. She quickly moves to a 12-cal. row to complete her first round of the ten she aims to complete. She’s got just under 18 minutes to go in this year’s Open, her fourth time competing in this particular event, and she’s well on her way to that goal.
The five-year CrossFit veteran seems to speed up as we get down to the wire. 3, 2, 1… and just in the nick of time, she does it. She completes 10 rounds for her team, The Walking Deadlifts. How does it feel? “Every day here, I feel accomplished,” she responds. Her mentality: ‘Get focused and just get it done.’