In what's being called the hardest CrossFit Games to date, Blonyx Athletes did more than hold their own against the world's fittest women.
In her second straight Games, Carleen Matthews improved tremendously on her 36th place finish last year, finishing up 23rd overall. Not only that, but she also placed in the top three on two events: 3rd on Murph and 2nd on the final event of the weekend—the elusive pegboard. Three-time Games athlete Emily Abbott was consistent across the board, her top 20 finish proving that she is once again one of the world's fittest athletes.
Carleen smiling big after her 3rd place finish in Murph.
As for the rookies: Tasia Percevecz started out slow, but kept believing in herself— knowing her strengths were yet to come. She wound up an impressive 15th overall! Finally, Kristi Eramo topped the Blonyx athletes after putting in one of the most consistent performances of any athlete all weekend. She placed 8th overall, and had two top 3 finishes: 3rd on the 7 km run and 2nd on the swim event.
All four ladies are enjoying some down time now, but took the time to give us some final thoughts on their CrossFit Games experiences.
Now that the weekend is over, take us through the ups and downs, emotionally and physically.
Games Rookie Tasia Percevecz at the athlete briefing, soaking it all in- and enjoying the comraderie of the other games athletes. image credit: CrossFit Photo Journal
Percevecz: I had some very high highs. Those were the good times. The lows were tough. When you do your best, but still come in a low placement; it hurts and it's frustrating.
Matthews: This year has been so much better than last year both mentally and physically. Mentally, I walked in with more confidence and when I doubted myself, I just lied to myself until I started to believe it. Physically, I was prepared to hurt. I knew that this would be a part of it and I would need to get through it.
Eramo: It was hard mentally because there were so many events and so many points up for grabs. If you look at the leaderboard, literally everyone had a bad event or two, or maybe three or whatever. So the key is when you have a bad event, leave it behind and literally just move on. Train your brain to have a short memory, as in like three seconds. It also helps having a supportive person in the back with you helping you immediately move on to the next one. I was disappointed after the sled pull, and my boyfriend (also coach) gave me 30 seconds to be negative and then made me move on. That was a huge help. Physically was hard as well because you are sore and aching but that doesn't mean you can't perform. As soon as you hit the floor that feeling goes out the window. So it's like, 'Just quit feeling sorry for yourself. Everyone else has done the same work and is just as sore so stop thinking about it.'
Going through such a stressful experience must bring you closer to the other athletes. Tell me a bit about what it's like to survive a weekend like that with 39 other ladies?
A 3 a.m. wake up call and delayed flights home left lots of 'field trip' bonding time with other athletes. Image credit: CrossFit Photo Journal
Abbott: There was definitely more bonding this year because we were forced to have down time together—like when the Southwest Airlines computers crashed and we had to wait in the airport for hours. Lots of bonding. Also because the sleep deprivation was quite high this year, when you're tired and waiting and being herded like cattle (the athlete control does an amazing job but it does wear on you), the best way to (spend) your time is to joke around with other athletes. It takes your mind off the negativity.
Matthews: It's a bonding like none other. It's a sport that creates this bond between competitors. On the floor I want to rip everyone's throat out. But the second it's over, I'm your biggest fan, and want you to succeed as much as I want to succeed. There's a vulnerability from suffering and it creates a bond that some will have forever. I've become closer with more girls this year, and every year more competitions and more experiences bring us all closer. It's an amazing experience.
Percevecz: I definitely feel closer to the girls after the weekend. We all struggle through the same things. We experience highs and lows. We feel the same excitement and doubt. We all suffer together, and that brought us closer.
How are you planning on spending this post-Games week?
Emily and Carleen will be 'plowing' their way through the Disneyland lineups this week to have some fun while the athletes enjoy their well earned recovery time.
Eramo: This week, I will stay active and try to do things outside the gym and just appreciate life and my body for what it has allowed me to put it through. I'm also planning my next rock climbing trip with my boyfriend. I'm itching to get outside and go amping, hiking and climbing!
Percevecz: I am taking it off CrossFit! Relaxing and eating some junk food!
Matthews: We're staying in Cali until Thursday and will be hitting Disneyland and Knots all week!
Abbott: I'm relaxing this week. I was useless yesterday, chilled by the pool with some other athletes. Drank some of Margaux Alvarez' wine with her dad and fiancé—it was exquisite. Today, I'm at Disneyland. Tomorrow, I'm going surfing then heading home to the ranch for some RnR.
On behalf of Blonyx, congratulations, ladies!