This past weekend was the 2012 LaLanne Fitness Garage Games Kickoff. An all-day CrossFit event Saturday at LaLanne Fitness in San Francisco and the first big competition of the season for my boyfriend and his teammates from American River CrossFit in Sacramento.
After last year’s introduction to the joys of CrossFit competitions – the Fittest of the Sierra’s in South Lake Tahoe was the 1st big competition I attended – I wanted to share my advice & lifesaving tips on how best to survive one of these high intensity, rowdy, crowded events.
(1) What To Bring:
- Bring food – Lots of it. These kids can EAT, so pack unprocessed, lean meats, cheeses & nuts for snacking between workouts.
- A close second on the must have list is booze. You’ll need it and so will they. Trust me. These are work hard, play hard types and blowing off steam immediately after a brutal competition is a MUST.
- Water! I can promise you that a giant water bottle will come in handy. This weekend all three competitors ended up using my Nalgene which had to be refilled every 5 minutes.
- Camera – The biggest issues that I’ve had photo-wise is that the athletes are moving so quickly that in some cases the pictures are blurry or the camera doesn’t reset quickly enough to capture the next shot. As much as I love my Canon, this season I invested in a little HD video camera that also takes stills. Success!
(2) What To Expect:
- Lots of people – These are busy, crowded events and in addition to lots of competitors, you’ll be surrounded by members of the hosting team and tons of spectators. Expect to be bumped or asked to move to accommodate events.
- No place to sit – In some cases events will be outdoors and you’ll have bleachers to sit on, but primarily the events are indoors and you’ll be standing pressed against a wall, craning to see over the heads of the other spectators.
- A fast-paced environment – With large numbers of competitors and a handful of workouts to get through, the organizers may be rushing to get through the events. Some workouts can be “blink and you miss them” short so keep an eye on your competitor to make sure that you see everything.
- LOUD and offensively bad music. This weekend was bad. R&B bad.
(3) What To Do Afterwards:
- Plan to go out – You’d think everyone would be beyond exhausted after a day full of crazy workouts, but my experience has been that the adrenaline is still pumping and they have a few more hours of energy left in them.
- Head straight to a restaurant, trust me when I say they’ll be ready for a big meal. And if they’re paleo-people I’d pick a restaurant in advance to make sure that the menu is acceptable.
- Make sure that the restaurant you’re going to has a bar. Your competitors will definitely want a drink. Or two. Or three.
I can’t recommend checking out one of these events enough – they’re exciting and fun to watch, never a dull moment.
P.S. Ladies, in case you need some more incentive, the shirts come off about a fourth of the way through. I’m just saying.