Another I CAN Games in the books. Another great event. Another time to be able to watch nearly 200 athletes working hard over the course of two days.

The first day was individuals and there were plenty of chances for me to say to myself, “I cannot believe how great these guys are.” They did amazing, amazing things out there.

One of the workouts was a sixty second cap which sounds like it should be easy. It proved to be one of the most fun workouts. There were a series of ever increasing weight Atlas stones. There were a series of towers built of boxes with weight plates and they got progressively shorter. The stones were on the path and the boxes were closer and closer to the path as the weights increased. When you got the last, heaviest stone, the box was conveniently handy right there so you didn’t have to walk around with a 250 pound boulder in your hands. It was way cool.

The most amazing thing, in my opinion, was the sheer fact of doing four workouts during one day as the temperature kept climbing. By the middle of the afternoon while competing in an 11 minute AMRAP, the temp was 96⁰ with a heat index of 106⁰.

I was under a tent so in the shade. I was just sitting. I was melting. I can’t imagine being in the sun and working so hard. They were doing pistols (can’t do those), ground to overhead (more weight than I can move), over the bar burpees (just nasty), and double unders (with a chance to sub on the scaled for single unders instead). I got overheated just reading the dang thing.

The top five competitors in the RX division then got to compete in a playoff, winner-take-all event. This was a series of diminishing numbers of thrusters with hand stand walks and then increasing distance for sprints with three rounds beginning with 9 then 6, and lastly 3 thrusters. The weight on those thrusters was 155 for men and 115 for women. Daunting.

Even with all this, we managed to keep everything on time and the award ceremonies were begun at 3 PM.

Dick and I were so hot we had the air conditioning on full blast all the way back to Craig and Dayna’s house. I got to take a shower first because Dick is always nice to me. I felt almost alive again.

We managed to stay awake until sunset, but just barely.

Then back to the park for day two and the teams events. Again, there were four workouts, and again they started in the water and then moved back to the park itself. It was a cooler day and it stayed that way until about 1.30 or so.

After lunch a bunch of clouds rolled in and it looked like we might get rained on. Instead, there was merciful shade out on the field. The last team WOD was again called the Determination WOD. How much determination did you have. There was strategy involved, too. Higher weight and lower rep count or lower weight and higher rep count? And there was an unknowable … what would the buy in be?

It ended up being a partner carry and then a series of moves to be completed by each team member and then another partner carry. The fastest time for this was 18 minutes and something while the longest time was 30 minutes and something. The first group was lucky enough to have cloud cover. Then the clouds burned off and we were back to clear skies and now 92⁰ with a heat index of 96⁰ which was still a damn sight better than the day before.

The award ceremonies were held at 3 PM and a bunch of tired people were happy to put another one in the books. I thought it was fun and amazing, awe-inspiring and thrilling. One of the best things to hear was the cheering along the sidelines, not just by friends or family, but by all the competitors as well. The sportsmanship and the spirit of encouragement under such trying circumstances was a thing of beauty.

As an added bonus, I not only RXd the scoring this year, but got a PR in that I didn’t make any mistakes. This was probably because Sara and I are getting to be quite practiced at it and had a real system which worked well the entire weekend.

Thanks Conviction Training Facility, home of CrossFit Hilton Head. It was great.

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Random athlete moving an Atlas stone.

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