Athlete Journal: Patrick McCarty, Entry 5 – 3/27/2013

It’s week three of the Open and I’ve moved up to thirteenth place in my age group. Today I’ll tell you how this adventure started a year ago.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to the athlete journal of CrossFit trainer and masters athlete Patrick McCarty. Patrick competed in the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games in the 45-49 age bracket and has his sights set on the Games again this year. Follow Patrick’s journals here every Wednesday.

Athlete Journal Entry 5: 3/27/2013

After week three of the CrossFit Games Open, I have managed to nudge up three spots to thirteenth place in the 50-54 age group. This is shaping up to be a very solid group of competitors. The plan for the remaining two weeks is to attack, not relax, as my goal is to finish in the top ten by the time the Open is over.

Quite a Year, Part 1: Rock Bottom

One year ago at this time, I made a public declaration that I was going to make it to the CrossFit Games in the 50-54 division and make it to the podium. It was a fairly bold statement, but my training was in a tremendous state of disarray and the only way I knew to bring focus was to create a very specific goal, and to determine the best route to achieve that goal.

Two things had brought me to that state of disarray:

First, I spent the prior year repeating the phrase, ‘Oh, there is no way I will make it back to the games in 2012. I will be the oldest in my age group.’ I literally believed that I would never be able to qualify in the 45-49 group at the ripe old age of 49 because of the talent that populated that division. You know, the kids. The 45- and 46-year-olds who would dominate. Turns out that if you say something enough times, you will begin to believe it and fulfill it.

As a result of believing that statement, I did not train like a competitor. I went along with the daily CrossFit group training sessions at my box, where the programming was much more GPP based than competition based. I had no coach, no goals, and no plan, because I believed I had no chance.

Aside from my own negative mindset, there was another obstacle. Right before the Open in 2012, I left my box. It was tantamount to a very bad break up. For most of you who are part of a CrossFit community, you know very well how important that community is to you – it’s very much like a family. And if you’re suddenly divorced from that community, you lose your family, your home, and your sense of direction. So going into a five-week competition right after a messy divorce was not an ideal premise for competing.

So, like a man without a country, I bounced around to different boxes in Cincinnati. I did 12.1 shortly after having a very bad stomach virus, deconditioned and defeated, and it was a mess. I ended up 209th in my age division.

There was only one thing to do. Claw my way back.

So I took to the blogosphere and posted a very determined and bold article. I stated that I was going to make it to the back games in 2013 and stand on the podium. I had no real idea how I was going to achieve that, but I knew the place to start was to declare the goal. If publicly stating that I would NEVER make it in 2012 worked, why not try the OPPOSITE in 2013?

Then something cool happened. Stephen Flamm, owner of Cincinnati Strength and Conditioning/CrossFit Steel Place, read the post. Steve invited me to train at Cincinnati Strength.

Next week: Quite a Year Part 2: Rebuilding with a plan.

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