Trying to decide how and what to write to talk about this past weekend in Portland, Oregon for the 2016 Crossfit West Regionals, is like trying to pick my favourite dessert, difficult. The truth is, I had so much fun and felt so much inspiration this weekend I don’t know where to start the re-cap! So, I guess I will just begin and we will see what happens, I think we will go back to 2014…
2014 Canada West Regionals was the first ever Crossfit competition I spectated. It was in Vancouver, and at the time I was a super newbie to Crossfit and to dating Wade. I was mostly going on this trip because I was both curious about this Crossfit thing and the dating Wade thing. I think my passion and love for watching Crossfit competition at that level started then. Watching the athleticism and the passion that the athletes had completely grabbed hold of me! Emily Abbott, who was a coach I sometimes saw or was coached by at the time and barely knew, WON the Canada West Regional, it was was epic! There were so many Crossfit Currie Barracks and Emily supporters there and the energy of the crowd, cheering and excitement overwhelmed me. I remember tearing up in happy for her, thinking don’t cry these people are going to think you are soooo weird! Truth, I was hooked! (On both Crossfit and Wade 😉 )
(Note: I began Crossfit at Crossfit Currie Barracks, and when the talented owners Eric & Christi Barber opened a second box, Crossfit Sunalta, I moved over there and it is my home gym. Sunalta and Currie Barracks are like a big crazy extended family.)
Wade and I then proceeded to attend the 2014 Crossfit Games in Carson. That experience is a blog post on its own! Also Epic! (Unfortunately I didn’t have my blog then and no post was done…#sadface)
Then the 2015 West Regionals were in Tacoma, Washington, Wade and I went and saw another incredible win by Emily. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make the games in 2015 but I watched basically all the individual events from home! I couldn’t get enough. If I couldn’t cheer from the stands then I cheered at the tv!
This year, the Regionals event was set in Portland, Oregon. A destination on my list of “need to visits”. Wade and I tried to make plans to go, but it seemingly appeared it was not going to happen. I wanted to go so bad, Emily would be competing again and we had a team that made it and would have 5 other coaches (Jane, Shana, Christi, Tim, Eric) and another fellow athlete (Scott) from our extended Crossfit family competing together. Long story short, Kait and I ended up on a road trip to feed our Crossfit addiction in Portland!
26 hours drive time, about 2,506.2km, like 10 pee stops, about 25 random CD’s, an unquantifiable amount of chatting and at least 10 really good duets!)
We left on Wednesday and made it pretty smoothly into Sandpoint (about half way) where we planted ourselves for the evening. Before that though we had to cross the boarder into the USA. Kait was driving and in the back seat, I had tapped a little cut out picture of a little girl and seat belted her in (safety first my friends). Now I realize this seems weird, but let me explain: I have a good friend, Sheena, who is a teacher and yearly does a project called “Flat Stanley” for her students. The kids colour a little cut out of a person, and Sheena finds adults going on adventures, who are to take the cut out on said adventure and take pictures. Which we then put into a little journal and write about the adventures for the kids. Therefore, meet flat “Ava”:
So back to crossing the boarder, we roll up, Kait hands the boarder guard our passports and the guard asks, “what’s that in the back?” Kait says, “oh, what the little girl?” The guard looks at her like she’s lost her mind and says, “No, whats in the yellow bag?” “Popcorn” I say. “Can you open the trunk please” says the guard with furrowed brows. I’m motioning to Kait where the button is. “Whose car is this?” says the guard intensely at Kait. “Hers” says Kait. Then he proceeds to ask all the normal questions, where are you going? When are you coming back? Why are you going there? Do you have any fruit or vegetables? Once we got underway again, Kait and I joked for hours about “the little girl” comment that made them check the trunk, possibly looking for a little girl…
In Sandpoint we stayed at a nice little hotel called the Hotel Ruby Ponderay. It was great for a one night stop! We went for Mexican food, a much desired margarita and a hot tub before bed! The following morning Kait tried to kill me with a challenging hotel WOD.
Once I stopped sweating. It was time for coffee and to hit the road (or in Kait’s words “make a mile”). The rest of the drive went fine. However, the scenery got very very dull about an hour after Sandpoint until we were entering Portland. There wasn’t a tree in sight! But here’s some pictures of good scenery from the drive:
When we arrived in Portland, it rained. Not normal rain, but like torrential downpour rain. I was driving and Kait was navigating! Quite honestly, we did great! And we found our AirBnB with minimal detours!
Portland is just beautiful! The greenery and cute old houses make it stunning. We were staying about 32 minutes walking from the Moda Center, and the area was super walkable. Every morning (with the exception of Monday when we left), we got up and did a workout. There was a school less then a block from us, with a field and playground perfect for making up WODS. After workouts we would get ready, get coffee and head to the Moda Center.
We walked so much on this trip! It was amazing! We got to see so much! We never took the same route twice back and forth from the Moda Center. Just zig zagged and made our way. We in fact never used the car once after arriving in Portland and only took one cab ride (this was for safety as it was super dark when we left the restaurant Sunday).
We ate amazing burgers at, “Little big burger” and “Deschutes Brewery”. Amazing gluten-free pizza at “Sizzle Pie“. Delicious beers for me at “Burnside Brewing” and from “Base Camp Brewing”. Delicious salad from “Plum Tasty” and some other places downtown. Coffee from all over! (Heart Coffee, RR, Stumptown….)
We tried to make it to Voodoo Doughnuts, but the line was too long and not worth waiting in to lose out on more exploring time! We also tried to go to Blue Star, but it was closed for the day.
We did our best to see what we could with our limited time outside the Moda Center. But truly the reason we went to Portland was to watch the fitness! And that we did!!!
Before this trip to Regionals, I had never paid much attention to the team events. This time, we watched them all. Not every heat, but always Team Currie Barracks heats! It was so much fun to watch. The team did great! I even teared up a few times being so overjoyed for them! There was a good showing of the family Currie Barracks/Sunalta there to cheer and it was fun to be a part of.
The team events are pretty intense! Sychro movements looked like fun and super challenging. And from what I could see communication was one of the most important parts of these events! Both Eric and Scott, unfortunately broke some toes with a 420 bar dropping and bouncing onto their feet.
The individual events are also super fun to watch. Over the past couple years, I have come to recognize names and some athletes and of course have my faves! We watched a lot of these events too! Making the top women’s heat and the top mens heat a priority. Emily was incredible, again! She finished in 2nd place overall. Another ticket to the Games is punched!
I have now attended 3 Regionals events. Each one very different from the other. Each one allowing me to watch before my eyes the incredible athleticism of the athletes and to be witness to the insane progress and improvements. Their hard work and training results in visible improvements. Emily’s first Games, I watched her struggle with a handstand walk and handstand push ups. Now? Emily can crush those movements!
Other highlights include, Cody Anderson snatching over 200 pounds (pretty sure this is WAYYY over his body weight, he is truly amazing), Brent Fikowski dominating the men’s event this year, Lucas Parker just always so much fun to watch!
All I can say about Regionals is it was EPIC! I am so glad I went! It gives me some new inspiration for sweating at the Box and improving my skills. I may not have goals to go to Regionals myself, but I have the inspiration to keep getting better. Can’t wait to see what happens at the 2016 games!
We finished the trip off with a Sunday evening putting with everyone at Deschutes Brewery! I was too busy having fun and only got a couple people pictures….
I truly enjoyed all my time. Kait makes a great partner in crime and a wonderful friend. We drove the WHOLE way back on Monday, which at 14 hours travel time and most of that car time, was tough! But we talked and laughed and sang to old CD’s with mixes that make zero musical sense and cause you to question your past selfs musical tastes!
I can’t wait to go back to Portland! There just wasn’t enough time to watch all the fitness and do all the things! To close this post, I am going to leave you with some of the best Kait and Megs quotes of the trip, (yes I wrote them down so I wouldn’t forget them):
“Olives aren’t that aggressive…” ~M, when asked if she likes olives
“We must make sacrifices for pizza!” ~K, when deciding whether to go home and change or not before dinner
“If there’s a Salvation Army, I’ll find it, drugs, prostitutes, I’ve got it…” ~ K, when discussing a questionable bridge she led us over…and her uncanny ability to find the sketchy spots…
“Let’s go play Crossfit before we watch Crossfit” ~ M, talking about the next moorings WOD
“What? The little girl?”~ K, when talking to the boarder guard
“Not her first time on the hamster wheel!”~ M, when watching the top heat of individual women run on the TrueForm treadmills
“A lot of guys in this heat have more hair than me…” ~K, while watching the men
“Ab-mazing, you say” ~K, responding to my “amazing” comment of a mens event, where most of them happen to have removed their shirts… “I don’t hate it”
2 pictures captured by our Husbands proving we were in the stands and made it on the stream! 🙂