On Saturday, March 9, 2013, Erica competed in The Gump Games held in Montgomery, Alabama. The event was held at the Cramton Bowl Multiplex which catered to hundreds of athletes and spectators. Erica McDanel competed in the women’s scaled division for her first competition.
“Besides the Throwdown- it was the first big competition I had ever done. I honestly don’t know what made me sign up for it.Even though I have been “doing” CrossFit for close to 8 months now, I have only been a CrossFit “athlete” for 3 months. In January, I decided to be dedicated to the sport. I no longer looked at it as an opportunity to go to the gym and do something with myself. I FINALLY had the mindset that I was going to go in there and excel in the sport. With the support from everyone at CFP and the huge accountability, I was in the gym four to five days a week as opposed to my previous one to two days a week. After the Whole30 began, my goal was to see an increase in performance, so maybe that’s where my motivation for doing The Gump Games came from.”
“I was SO NERVOUS, and of course ended up being in the first heat (of six.) The first WOD was my favorite. It was called “Ladder Up.” 12 min AMRAP, starting with 3 DL, 3 Power Cleans, 3 Push Jerks, and 3 Handstand Holds. The next round was 4 reps, the next 5, and so on. I completely dominated the Handstand holds with perfect form I completed 9 full rounds and 15 reps of the 10th round. 183 reps I think.”
“The second WOD was by far the hardest. 20 min time cap; 6 rounds of 20 Wall Balls, sprint 150 ft, 20 KB swings- first starting with a 50 hand-release push up buy in. I was so angry with myself because I feel like I could have done much better. I completed 5 1/2 rounds. That was the first time in 8 months that I wanted to stop and walk out. My entire body was like a big noodle and I could not breathe. THANKFULLY, my judge was super awesome and encouraged me to keep going. This WOD was mental for me just because I dislike Wall Balls.”
“The last WOD, “Mr. Cramton” was insane. We had to sprint around the stadium, run 3 stadium ascents, 50 yard burpee broad jump, 75 ab mat sit ups, 50 yard prisoner lunge, and 75 lateral jumps over a barbell. This one was actually kind of fun. I got really confused on the running part on the beginning and added an extra 200 yards which wasted time on the clock… but oh well. I finished in close to 17 minutes. Quinn gave me the advice to keep going and never stop. I can honestly say that I never really STOPPED for a long amount of time. A second here and there to re-adjust on the sit ups and a couple of times on the lateral jumps just because I’ve never done the movement before. Here is where my body impressed me. I was dead by this point, but not in the same way as the second WOD. Every single muscle in my body was just fatigued and I remember thinking “Dang, 75, thats A LOT.” I did a few reps and then busted out like 15, then 25, then like 35. And was done. FINISHED. The happiness from finishing made me feel like I could do the WOD all over again!”
I finished 27th overall but mentally I was strong. I definitely enjoyed it, and will be doing more competitions. Having Michael there was a blessing, I am not sure I could have done it without him. He was the only other member from CFP. I can see the effect that all of yall have on me in the box, and there is no doubt in my mind that I could have done better with all my peeps there cheering me on. So that is where I am frustrated with myself… I wish I could have had that motivation ON MY OWN to perform better. BUT that’s just part of CrossFit… the community. It’s so repetitive, but SO TRUE. I was out of my comfort zone and it was weird not having any of the familiar voices screaming at me. I think thats why the second WOD was my least favorite. It was me and the judge. Nobody else. So my pansy mind definitely won that one. CFP seriously rocks and I couldn’t imagine being part of any other gym, like for real. The standard and integrity of our gym is at the very top. You couldn’t pay me to go anywhere else. So that’s why I’m never leaving Auburn. Ever.”