Guest Blog – Thomas Murray – Crossfit ‘Always Learning’

Time to reflect and share my thoughts on my weekend European Inferno. Eight months had gone by from when I registered , I arrived on the Friday and seen the arena where I would be competing for the next two days. Excited, all I wanted to do was get stuck into the workouts there and then, but that would have to wait for one more day.

thomas inferno

Saturday comes , I arrive with my partner Crawford for the athletes brief prior to the day starting off, excited and also nervous in anticipation for what lay ahead for the weekend. Brief begins, WOD 1 is a max clean & thruster in 4 minutes and then straight into a max ground to overhead for 4 minutes. Perfect, heavy lifting suits my strengths anyway! Then WOD 2 is announced, 1000m row, 400m run, 600m row, 400m run……surprise! Organizers of the event informed everyone that the due to rowers not being available the next day, we had to do this on the Saturday instead of the Sunday as planned, it was not a pleasant surprise as this WOD was least suited to me. WOD 3 was plain and simple, 100 burpees over bar and then 100 shoulder to overhead with 50kg. Looking at this positively, my thoughts were “Well at least those two hardest WODs are out the way now”.

WOD 1 was a decent way for me to get warmed up into the day and relax myself. WOD 2 was the opposite, by far the worst I have felt in a very long time! 1000m & 600m row was to be split between the pair and the 400m run was to be done by both simultaneously. This workout stood out for me out of the whole weekend as it was such a mixed bag of emotions before, during and afterwards. Starting off I was apprehensive and nervous, kept telling myself “You have done enough training up to this, you have got this”. Very briefly I was feeling great and fresh during the row, but as soon as I started the run it hit me that I was going to be hurting big time during this workout. We finished, my lungs were going to explode, it was humbling and motivational at the same time. I had improved a lot since my last competition on my conditioning, however it was still not in the same league as the other guys round me, like I said, mixed emotions. WOD 3 was a tough workout as well, but the decent performance in that was a great way to wrap up day 1.

Day 2 started in similar fashion, fortunately no surprises in store for us today. WOD 4 was 16 rounds of shuttle sprints and WOD 5, 8 Rounds of 10x 100kg deadlifts, 10 box jump overs & 10 24kg kettlebell thrsuters. After day 1 I was raring to go, excited to once again to get stuck into the workouts. Shuttle sprints were my kind of workout, coming from a rugby background prior to starting Crossfit helps that’s for sure. WOD 5 in my view it was just a workout to suck it up, ignore the soreness and get through it as best as we could like every other workout. Personally I always prepare myself mentally to empty the tank on every workout and leave nothing out there, this has to be trained as well as all the physical stuff.

European Inferno was an open competition, anyone could sign up regardless of ability or experience, this gave me a chance to see something important. Competitions are totally different than training, you really have to give everything and leave nothing out there. Having the will to dig in and keep going really makes or breaks individuals. But one thing that really impressed me more than the top teams at the competition, was seeing pairs not giving up. Even though they knew they weren’t going to finish in the time cap, that they were pushing their physical and mental limits, these guys never gave up and people supported them to the end. Being part of a community where everyone supports every person in the room no matter if they know them or not, it really is inspiring and I don’t think there is many better emotion than to be cheering on your fellow competitor on the floor until they are done. It’s what makes Crossfit special in my eyes and why I started in the first place, the support of like minded people who teach me every day and motivate all with their own achievements and improvements.
Amazing weekend, lots of lessons learned. New program is almost sorted for the next year, weaknesses need to and will be addressed, strengths need to be improved and countless hours need to be spent learning and working harder.