Battle of the Belles 6 Write-Up

What does success mean to you?

It could be:

  • entering the competition & showing up
  • winning
  • beating personal records
  • doing your best
  • beating a rival competitor
  • achieving goals in certain events
  • performing better than yesterday
  • completing the training that culminated in being prepared for this big day

Six weeks ago I received a speaking invitation the weekend after Battle of the Belles 6 and suddenly – just like that – defining success became critical (so I wouldn’t go crazy).

I’ve done crazy. Crazy is the all-200-things-I’m-involved-in-must-be-150%-perfect-and-receive-my-best mentality that drives one to go hard at everything.

Crazy is pushing too hard without adequate recovery.

Crazy burns you out, gives you upper respiratory crud, causes one to despair of life itself, and requires two months to recover from the hell you just put yourself through.

I’ve tried crazy. It’s not worth it. 


Thankfully, there’s another way.

Defining success created parameters and triaged my chaotic schedule. And that’s when I had a lightbulb moment.

In the grand scheme of life, strong(wo)man is not my top priority, but something I do for fun. I ultimately compete not to win (though I love winning), but to have something to train for. 

Once I had that lightbulb moment, the path opened up and success became clear:

1. Relax & enjoy the process

2. Don’t jump ahead of myself

Relax & enjoy the process

After taking about 6 months off from lifting over the past year to focus on Gymnastics Strength Training & my mobility, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to recover enough strength to be competitive. I was bummed “I wasn’t where I was a year ago.” I was nervous about the “missed training time” compared to everyone else in my weight class. And I spent time questioning my decision to take the time off.


Always one to take myself way too seriously, I instead chose to let it go, and enjoy my 10 weeks of contest prep.

Being true to myself and my body’s needs has never steered me wrong, so I decided to trust.

The result was mind-blowingly peaceful and fun.

It’s the first contest for which I’ve written my own programming. Instead of putting myself under pressure & second-guessing my program, I let loose, went with my gut, mixed events with GST, and had a blast.

While I cooked breakfast Sunday morning, my husband asked me, “Gerilyn, is there anything you do to get in the zone before your competition?”

“Relax. I’ve already done all the work – the training, the recovery, all the visualization. I’m as prepared as I’m gonna get. Now, just relax and let it flow…”

2. Don’t jump ahead of myself.

How you do one thing is how you do everything. I have a tendency to be 3-steps ahead instead of right here, right now, in this moment. An “act now, ask for forgiveness later” kind of mentality.

In training for Battle of the Belles, I was so bent on doing each event as fast as possible that I’d make tiny sloppy mistakes on picks, thinking it would work out, and then drop an implement or need to readjust later, wasting precious time.

First, do it well (especially the first pick off the ground).

Then, do it fast.

So I chose to risk taking an extra second to be sure of myself than race off and need to try salvage a dropped implement.

While I made some costly mistakes on the Deadlift Medley, I’m happy with the two events in which I was most worried about the transitions (the Yoke/Farmers and the Load Medley).


The crazy part about relaxing & letting it flow was that it never really flowed…

Flow is that state in which time slows down, you’re in the zone, and you just kill it.

Something felt off in every event besides the last load medley. So off that I did more poorly by several reps or seconds in every event than in training 10% heavier than contest weight in contest conditions. It felt weird.

The lesson is…

We cannot control the day’s circumstances, but we can control our reaction.

You can prepare perfectly and still get curveballs thrown at you. That’s life. How you react, that’s your choice.

Ultimately, it was the learning experience I needed… to know how to keep going even when things don’t feel right. To use it instead of give up and wait for conditions to be perfect.


Success for me was making a strong start and a strong finish. I did both of those. Achievement satisfies. Even when it doesn’t feel like “my best,” it was “my best that day,” and for that I am grateful.

Placing 2nd and getting an early qualifier for Nationals 2016 was the icing on the cake! ๐Ÿ™‚


BIG thanks to my sweet husband for putting up with me. Thank you Ashlan for your support and friendship. It was fabulous to see so many friends who came to spectate in the COLD. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks to the great folks at CrossFit Newton, Eric at Titan Barbell, and TPS for your great training facilities!

It takes a village. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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