So….it’s over. The 2018 CrossFit Games rolled in and out. At times it seemed to be in the blink of an eye. And at times, it was like waiting for water to boil. This final post isn’t as much about what was in plain view on the live stream, or what showed up on the Leaderboard. This post is more about what you don’t get to see or hear about. The behind that scenes stuff that isn’t glamourous or particularly newsworthy.
Let me start by saying this. I am extremely proud of the effort Logan put forth this week. CrossFit, even at the teen level has become big business. Several of the kids he competed against this weekend are home schooled so they are freed up to train. Much like you might hear about a young gymnast that is looking to be an Olympian. These kids have nutrition coaches, lifting coaches, endurance coaches, swimming coaches and CrossFit coaches. They don’t have much of a life outside of their training.
In a very candid conversation Logan and I had walking back to the Expo Hall when he had a little down time he said, “Dad I don’t want to be like some of these kids. If being on top means sacrificing a normal life of a teenager, I don’t want it. I want to be able to eat pizza and Dairy Queen.” Didn’t seem like much of a comment at the time, but as I reflect on it, it might be one of the most mature things I have heard him say. It’s all about perspective. I don’t fault any of these teens or parents for the way they train or what they put into it. Its great. For them. Just like it is for the Olympic hopefuls. Chasing dreams is an amazing thing and I believe Logan is still chasing his. I just think there needs to be balance, because in life there needs to be balance.
Leading up to the Games, Logan and I had a talk about what he will do when things go wrong at the Games. I told them they will and to expect it. We talked about him getting no-rep’d and how he would deal with that (because it will happen). We talked about what happens if things go wrong with our plan for a WOD. How would he react to that and be able to change on the fly. One thing we didn’t talk about is a plan for injuries because who wants to talk about that….?!? But it is part of the sport and a reality.
It was his reality in the middle of Event 6 which was the Rope and Yoke event. After completing his round of three rope climbs, he came down from the rope and landed on the crash pad below. We have never used a crash pad in our training so he wasn’t used to it. Apparently when he landed, he landed awkwardly. He didn’t really notice it until he got done with the yoke carry and turned to run. That’s when he felt the pain in his quad. I can only assume adrenaline and the “fight or flight” response is what carried him through the remainder of the Event. I had no idea he was hurting until after he crossed the finish line and fell to the mat. I encouraged him to go on the field and root for his fellow competitors that had yet to finish just as they rooted for him to finish his handstand walks earlier in the competition. It was at that moment I could see he wasn’t walking well. He received attention from the CrossFit Medical staff once he got back to the Athlete area. The orthopedic surgeon diagnosed him with a grade 2 quad strain and told him he has a 50/50 chance of fully tearing it if he chooses to continue to compete. Not what we wanted to hear at the midway point of the competition. We had a talk about it and Logan said he was there to compete and he will do that until such time as he can’t continue. So we started the quick rehab process. Ice first. Then some therapy from the Arrossiti guys that were set up to treat the Athletes. Some CBD Salve and ibuprofen when we got back to the hotel. And a little prayer for him to heal.
The next morning he woke up and he felt a little better. Super sore but he could at least do some air squats. Walking was a bit slow….. Once we got to the Athlete pavilion he started warming up for his event which included 15 squats at 275lbs and 30 box jump overs using a 30 inch box. Warm up went ok and he said he felt good enough to gut through the Event which he ended up with a 10th place finish. From my vantage point, I could see he was favoring his leg on the squats and the box jumps and he was a bit sore at the conclusion of that Event. To his credit, he didn’t say a word to anyone about his injury. He did NOT want to use that as an excuse for the remainder of the competition. When he made the choice to continue, we agreed he had to put the injury aside and compete to the best of his ability. We also knew if he could get through the heavy squats, he would be able to push through the remainder of the Events as the weights were either light or the movements were things he could adapt to without putting more stress on his quad.
From this point forward, the Games turned into something different for Logan. He stepped away from the pressure he had put on himself to win and started to enjoy the experience of being at the pinnacle of his sport. He stepped away from the idea that he might be letting his family, gym family and supporters down. The messages of support he was getting helped him so much more than anyone knew. He needed to hear that no matter how he was doing on the Leaderboard, people still love him and support him. He started to smile and laugh and joke around. In short, he started being Logan. The Leaderboard started to show this as he continued the Events with two 12th place finishes and an 8th place finish in the final Event which leapfrogged him two places up the Leaderboard and into his final place at number 15. 15……He is the 15th fittest 16-17 year old in the WORLD!!!! As his Coach I couldn’t be more proud. Competition aside, I am most proud of how he handled himself on the competition floor. He rolled with the no reps. He adjusted his plan when things fell apart. He never made excuses and he NEVER….EVER gave up!! He could have finished 20th and I would still be just as proud.
Final Thought (this one is from Dad): The embrace we shared when the last event was over will be something I will treasure for the rest of my life. My son was just on the biggest stage of his sport and I had the honor of being his Coach. We did it together. With a lot of support along the way. I can’t thank everyone enough for loving my son and supporting him chasing his dream. You all are appreciated beyond words.