For us, the coaches, it's almost worse. Luckily, we're familiar enough with the sensation that we don't confuse excitement with anxiety anymore, but still....we're twitchy.
Take the Womens' Rx class: Esther is fast. She's hitting PRs on her deadlift...but she's counting on events #2 through #4 to carry her. She won Scaled #1 last year, and wants to move up....meanwhile, Mel Rose came home from Kuwait an absolute monster. Take a frail, demure burka-wearer...now imagine the opposite. Strong AND skilled, she's got a legitimate shot at the title. Jess King has been rocking the weights and doing personal training for months, plus running groups. She's got the means to take it all...but she's also got a shoulder thing that hasn't let her press for six weeks. And Lisa Proctor's home...we haven't seen her in a year, but she left as a real star, and hasn't stopped training during her year in Korea. Michele Irwin has the mindset...can she handle the heavy stuff? Carolle holds our deadlift record....if she has time for the 'big' pull after the run, she's got a great crack at event #1. She's also won a METCON or two lately.... Betty-lou is among our fastest; can she handle the skillset? Anna's a veteran with massive skills...can she stay close to the top in all four events? Cindy Henson has been very consistent, and LIKES to compete....and what's with Meagan Vance...what's coming out of that infamous Bar River Barn? Miranda's back in the midst. Deb's awesome but absent, lately. Pam's been practicing the events; both Kath's have booked some extra help this week; no one knows, really, what to expect from the Manitouwadge crew. There are more. Really, there are always a few surprises from the crowd, too....expect some. It's Catalyst chaos theory: the only thing predictable is the unpredictability of the competitors.
On the mens' side, there are still no clear frontrunners. Eddy Cappelli has been hammering the WODs consistently, going from the back to the front of the pack on runs. I sprinted with him a few weeks ago and didn't win one single race out of six. He's got a decent deadlift...can he do a muscle-up when he's tired? Phil's running, too, has been awesome...can he still get the big weight? Ted Fryia's definitely got technical skills, and he's been working on his running; conversely, Matt Moore's got a sprained ankle but had a deadlift PR a few nights ago. Gowlett's out, but Cam Wilson's a newcomer with a very fast run and amazing deadlift. Watch for him to battle it out with Brent Rose on event #1 (Brent ran a 6:05 mile and then pulled 465 last week, but back issues may limit him in the early morning.) Last year's third-place finisher, Jeremy Paquin, is focused on only one thing, and it ain't his after-party. He's crushing double-unders, linking up to 14 muscle-ups.....he's scary. The men are also featuring a lot of young guns this year: Brad Rennison, who came with us to Sectionals, and has his eye on that competition in the spring; Cody MacDonald, a fast runner with developing skills but a big deadlift, and a willingness to walk over the cliff to finish; Brandon Corelli, a high school quarterback who made huge strides over the summer, and is used to the limelight of competition. We've met Glen Harrison, but not Aaron Bell, or the boys from 'Wadge; what will they bring to the table? Joe Scott (and Marnie, too) has been rapidly moving up in the lifting world, thanks to the Summer Frat, and they both fearlessly tackled WOD 2 with the 'no box touch' rule when everyone else was arguing against it. Can they rock their double-unders in time?
Then there's Clint.
Favoured to win last year, Clint struggled along with everyone else on the Chipper. He's got the run down. He's maybe the best overhead squatter in the gym. He likes to compete, too. He was at Sectionals with us. He just competed in a martial arts world championship event. He's still Captain Ridiculous. Could be something special this year....
Sandy Bunting, too, won the Scaled #1 division last year, and wants to move up. He'll do the first two events, and then head out to a wedding. But he's got potential to really throw a wrench into things in the morning. Two other firemen, Rob Shaughnessy and Jeremy Van Hoek, have been training at the fire station, but they've both done big things in the last year.....
Add in dynamic scaling...yeah, this might be kinda exciting.