Tuesday, March 22, 2011

True Grit

Kallista Pappas, who finished 25th at the 2008 CrossFit Games at the age of fourteen, is competing again this year. She's still only 17, but already has two Games appearances under her belt. Plus, she's a professional CrossFit trainer and competitive Olympic weightlifter. (When I was 17, my greatest accomplishment was appearing on a local TV station's "70s Dance Party" show, shimmying around in a green velour shirt and white bell bottoms with cars printed on them.)

Kallista is best known for the grit she showed at the final event of the 2008 Games in Aromas, when she struggled through "Heavy Grace" (100-pound 30 squat clean-and-jerks for time -- men's RXed weight was 155 pounds), falling in the dirt but getting up to finish the WOD.
Kallista said it was there at the Ranch in Aromas, Calif., that she “really felt like a true CrossFitter.” She says that she had a great year of training and decided she’d try to complete all the workouts as prescribed, knowing that she was setting herself up with, in her words: “quite a challenge” given she weighed “only 100lbs. at the time.”

On the final event, 30 squat clean and jerks for time at 100 lbs., Kallista faced that year's biggest hurdle for an athlete of her size. Her well-trained technique helped her through the first few reps, but by the middle of the workout she was clearly struggling. On rep 22, she made the clean but apparently lost focus heading into the jerk. Just as she was locking the bar out overhead, she teetered backwards and lost her balance. Kallista fell backwards into the dirt and her bar landed on top of her knees, bouncing off her body. Clearly shaken, she sat on the ground for a few moments before being helped back to her feet by her judge. At that point, she got up, dusted herself off and performed a few air squats to see if she could continue. Kallista proceeded to get back on the bar and clean and jerk nine more times, completing the workout as prescribed in 10:47.

Holy crap. If she can do that at age 14 (and weighing 100 pounds), you and I have no excuse for whining about our workouts. Ever.