Battle in the Barracks 2015

Last week, I didn’t write a post because it would’ve sounded something like OH GOD I’M SO NERVOUS on repeat.  I actually drafted said post but couldn’t bring myself to post it because I feared it would only heighten my already high anxiety.

With that said, this past weekend was without a doubt one of the best weekends of my life.  Anxiety and all.  I went way outside my comfort zone and gave more than I knew I had to give.


Coach Eric wrote a tiny WOD for us Battle competitors to do on Friday, if we felt up to it.  Since I’d taken Tuesday and Thursday as complete rest days, and had plenty of nervous energy to burn, Meg and I met after work to work up a tiny sweat and practice some of the movements.  It was pretty chill and really helped us relax prior to the big weekend.  We took Penny for a walk after and the fresh air was very nice.

Since Dana was out babysitting Kade for the night, Meg and I ate dinner together, then called it a night pretty early.


Amazingly I woke up well-rested, and got out early (about 7 AM) to walk Penny as I knew she’d be in her crate most of the day with us away at Currie Barracks.  I had my breakfast and coffee, got dressed, and hussled Dana out the door in time for check-in and the first event’s review at 8:45.  Meg and I were scheduled for the second heats of both events so we had a bit of time to warm-up before it was our turn.

My goal was to hit 85# on the hang snatch, and I did on my third attempt with ease.  I was annoyed after because I bet I could have done 95# with all the adrenaline and cheering!  My previous PR was 80#.

 The front squat part blew me away because I did 33 reps at 75#.  The best I’d done to-date was 27 reps at 75#, so I was very happy with my score!

Since Dana was judging, we hung around the Barracks all day.  It was a fun way to spend a day though!  Colin, Mal, and Haley came to spectate the first event which was awesome.  Lots of time visiting with friends and cheering loudly for all the other competitors.  You can’t beat the sportsmanship in CrossFit, I’m certain of it.

Pretty quickly, it was time for event two:

When I’d trialed this workout with Meg back in October, I found it cardivascularly challenging but not ridiculous.  However, the bounce of the plates at Currie certainly added another element as the cleans had to be touch-n-go if you wanted to be efficient.

With the crowd cheering loudly and adrenaline surging through my body, I found this event incredibly overwhelming.  I got great reps in my first minute, but got slower as the seven minutes went on.  Those burpee box jumps killed me!  I finished the event with a score of 69 points (13 full rounds of power clean + left lunge + right lunge).  Doesn’t sound like a lot but let me assure you… it is.

I was pretty out of wind after the event and took full advantage of the wonderful free massages.  I nearly fell asleep on the table which amazes me, as hardly twenty minutes before my heart had been exploding out of my chest.

Dana and Wade (Meg’s husband) judged lots in the afternoon, so Meg and I sat in the stands and cheered our hearts out until the last heat was over around 5.  Between our own workouts, the stress leading up to the weekend, and the excitement of cheering for others all day, we were both so utterly exhausted by the end of Saturday.

Dana and I opted for leftovers for dinner, and curled up on the couch to watch a movie before he had to leave for hockey later in the evening.  I was sound asleep by 9:20!


I felt bad we abandoned Penny all day at home on Saturday, so I made sure she got a decent walk in the AM before we had to leave again.

Based on Saturday’s performance, the heats shuffled on Sunday.  I was moved up to the third heat, which was hardly fair as my friend/rival (jokes) Anna tied me on Saturday yet was in the second heat.  Which meant I was the lowest scored competitor in my heat.  Gulp.

I got to watch Meg’s heat go first and cheer her on (she did amazing!  I was so proud of her!), then I warmed up while Anna went.  My stomach was clenched so tight all morning as I was beyond nervous.  After trialing the third workout back in October, I never wanted to do it again.  It was one of the worst I’ve ever done!

After dreading it for weeks, there was no backing out.  I had to do it!

The theme of this post should be adrenaline and crowd support, really.  The first rope climb was fine in my lifters.  The clean and jerks were singles pretty quickly, but constant singles.   

Definitely didn’t feel too heavy, like they had six weeks ago.  I was dreading the row but luckily my rower was set up right beside my friends and family, because they motivated me to finish the 30 cals in about 2:10.

My sister-in-law Jenna came to spectate and I wanted to show her that I wasn’t a wimp, so that helped too.  The wall balls went okay.  Apparently Wade no-repped me three times, but I only remember once.  I could tell at this point that all the other ladies were getting ahead of me by more than a few reps.

I hated getting back on the rower.  Again, my cheer squad got me through it, although it was probably painful to witness me slowing down.  I finished around 2:30 this time.  The clean and jerks were the easy part.  I pushed through them, and when I got to my last five, I was the only woman left competing.  My fellow competitors gathered around me and cheered me on, as did the crowd.  Everyone counted down my last reps.  I was so exhausted.  When I dropped the barbell one last time and walked over to the rope, I had no idea how I would find the strength to climb it.

photo – christi barber


I failed my first jump.  My lifters, definitely not ideal climbing shoes, were not helping.  My arms were so tired and my legs could barely support me on the rope.  I knew I had to finish the rope climb to finish the WOD.  I checked the clock again.  I knew I had to do it.  Everyone was yelling and cheering me on.  A fellow competitor held out the chalk bucket so I could chalk up.  I took a deep breath and jumped as high as I could while I grabbed the rope.  For a few awful seconds I thought I’d fail again as my feet struggled to grip the rope and my arms throbbed.  The cheering got louder.  I pulled with all my might and slowly – very slowly – worked my way up the rope.  I thought I’d fall to my death but then reasoned that I wouldn’t get a score for doing that horrible WOD.  I found a tiny bit more within myself, reached up, and FINALLY touched the top of the rope and slid down.

It was one of the hardest WODs I’ve ever done, and for a few hours afterwards, I couldn’t fathom doing another competition ever again.  But, as with anything difficult in life, after a good shoulder-cracking on the chiropractor’s table, some food in my stomach, and some hugs from my family and friends, I can see that it was an amazing growth opportunity for me.  I can’t wait to sign up for next year’s Battle in the Barracks!  It was a fantastic event and I’m so glad that I competed this year.

We went home after watching the rest of the ladies’ RX heats to walk Penny for an hour, then got cleaned up and ate lunch before heading back to Currie to watch the surprise fourth Elite event and awards presentation.  It was amazing to see the best-of-the-best compete in a crazy sprint (12/8 muscle-ups, then 3-2-1 heavy cleans).  Again, more loud cheering, and visiting to round out the weekend.

Dana took me for an early pizza dinner at Una after and it was fantastic.  We both inhaled our supper after our adrenaline-packed weekends.  I walked Penny again after dinner, then Dana and I watched another movie for a bit before heading to bed at 9.  I slept right through until 6.  It was amazing!  I’m pretty exhausted today, but in the best way.

It’s amazing to work towards a goal for two years, and finally get there.  I’m so happy with myself for achieving my goal to do a legit crossfit competition.  Can’t wait until next year!


13 thoughts on “Battle in the Barracks 2015

  1. Awesome job Kaitlyn!

    That was really motivating for me to watch someone work so hard these last couple years and see you become one of the beast women that I used to be so intimidated by. I remember saying to you back when we were roommates, that why should I do crossfit when I can just workout on my own at home. I am happy to say that you proved me wrong.

    Keep going and please keep pushing me to overcome my fears. I may need my mom to hold my legs every once in a while for my handstands.

    If my rival Paul can compete in the battle then I sure can too.


  2. We’re so proud out you Honey and sorry that we missed seeing your first competition. It sounds like you rocked it, way to go!! You’ve come so far with your athletic ability. Keep having fun doing what you love to do:-) Love MOM


  3. Crushed it Kate! I had so much fun competing with you! I am so glad you pushed me to sign up and train for this. I won’t lie, I really didn’t think I could do it. Your encouragement and positive yelling has been huge! I am so grateful for you!!! You are an amazing athlete and I will be continue to chase after your skills!!!


  4. Great job Kait! I knew you weren’t a wimp even before this competition! It was inspiring to see you work so hard and finish so well! The crowd and all of the competitors were so supportive, it was nice to see what a great community of people you surround yourself with!


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