Proving Grounds - Competing in Imperial Beach, CA


Sometimes, seemingly insignificant changes make the biggest difference. 

Pretty much at the beginning of May I decided it was time to hit another CrossFit gym here in San Diego. I wasn’t particularly happy with the one I’d been working out at for my first 5 months in the country, but thought I needed a little more time and shouldn’t throw the towel right away. 

I am a strong believer of “everything happens for a reason” - so there probably was a reason why I kept going there after work for a significantly long amount of time. However, I feel like I never really clicked with that place, let alone the people. I initially chose this CrossFit box when I set foot on San Diegan ground back in December, because it was a) within walking distance of my house, and b) the cheapest option. 

But apparently, cheap isn’t always the best and so after a few months I sat down, reflected upon my time there and made an oath to myself: to be true - to myself. 

This was when I realized this place just wasn’t for me and I needed to make a cut; I was in need of a change, especially because CrossFit should be my social hub, I spend a great deal of my free time there, so I might as well do so in an environment that I feel completely at ease in. 

When going to my first workout at CrossFit Humanity on a Saturday morning, things became crystal clear immediately: I found my new CF family. I don’t even find the words for how welcoming and inclusive everyone is. The coaching quality is amazing; everyone respects each other’s fitness levels; people are social outside of the gym; and most importantly: everyone is having fun and is lifting each other up. 

I knew instantly that I found what I was looking for. 

It was such an easy decision, and might seem like such a simple thing, but becoming part of the Humanity family means I am part of a wonderful, diverse, uplifting group of people that not only bond inside but also outside of the gym. 

So, here I was, one and a half weeks into working out at Humanity (and I feel like I made a life changing decision - for real, I know it might sound silly to some of you, but that’s how I felt, it was just such a big deal for me), about a year into CrossFit, working on a lot of weaknesses, but a competition coming up: TeamFit by Proving Grounds in Imperial Beach, June 4. 

Without further ado, I found my two Michelles that I happily called my team mates.

The next few Saturdays were spent getting up early in the morning and engaging in some competition training - my first one ever. I gotta say that the closer to the date, the more I was peeing my pants (yeah, don’t take that literal). 

And then the clock hit 4.15 am on Saturday, June 4. 

I don’t think I got more than 5 hours of sleep, but I was wide awake and ready to bounce. After an extensive round of meal prep the night before, I was all set - as my bag was packed, as well. 

I got my caffeine kick, changed into workout clothes and was ready to roll. I was psyched. 

The girls and I arrived in Imperial Beach around 6.15 am ish, where part of the humanity crew had already started to claim a spot and set up. It was overcast and comparatively chilly - perfect weather for a day outside, if you ask me (means less sunscreen, haha). 

Two days before I got our t-shirts done. #TeamBallsToTheWall - we went with the balls theme of the other teams. Everyone somehow happened to grow balls. Not a bad thing, if you ask me. 

Welcome to the battle ground. I freaked out a little when I saw how professional this whole competition seemed (was I the only one?). 

At 8 am, Michelle^2 and I were ready to kick some butt as the first team of our gym. A 1000 m team run (while holding on to that little piece of rope), 60 Deadlifts (85 lbs), 200 Air Squats, all finished off with 30 Hang Power Cleans (85 lbs), that’s what was on. 

Umm, can I say I was slightly nervous? I sucked it up somehow without actually peeing my pants (what an achievement). 

Ready, set…and off we ran. I feel like we were pretty slow, but caught up on the air squats, about 9 minutes or so in, before finishing off with ‘cleaning’. 

This is the most hilarious action shot I have ever seen of myself. Seriously, when I first saw it, I had to laugh so hard (and am still grinning). What did they say? So much speed that my hair can’t keep up? I tend to say I look like a wicked witch only missing her broom, and read to take off.

Tell me about bouncy air squats.

The pain of ‘cleaning’ - doesn’t get more accurate than this.

We spent a great day cheering on each other, fighting through the pain, relaxing together, laughing together, bonding together. 

I never thought it would be this much of a memorable day but sure enough, it is. 

^ Although hitting the target wasn’t all that easy when your arms are shaky.  

Michelle certainly did a good job…

…and so did other Michelle. 

Around 3 pm, we had our third and last workout. Man, I was getting slightly exhausted from getting up so early, being up and running all day, plus all that adrenaline. But we crushed the last WOD. 

Oh, those pull-ups. I was in some kind of a zone as I was desperately trying to hold on to the bar and not let go, because getting up there, as it was so high, was more of a struggle than anything else, believe me or not. 

Although these ladies actually had to suffer from ripped hands, my facial expression might say otherwise. I was lucky enough to come out of this workout without destroyed hands. 

Overall, we finished 5th (or 6th?) of 12 teams in our division. We were super happy about that, but more importantly, we had a lot of fun getting out there and competing a little. We’re stronger than we think! Once the adrenaline rush kicks in, your body is capable of so much more - especially when being cheered on by your crew. 

It’s so much about having the right people helping you to keep going. 

I had one of the best, fun days ever, surrounded by my motivational gym fam. Going for a change was undoubtedly for the better. Sometimes Always, you should go for what feels right.