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12 on 12 project: {Alive}

Can I be honest? March slipped away from me. . .And April is not looking any better, BUT I fortunately was able to get this challenge done before the 12th. Whoot!

What challenge? Well, I am fortunate to be part of a group exploring dramatic black and white images with a theme once a month.  .on the 12th of the month. This month’s theme was {ALIVE} Of course the Pearl Jam song comes to mind immediately. What can I say? Formative years during the explosion of the grunge era! But what a great soundtrack for this month’s theme!

The most reasonable topic would be the coming spring. . .well, here in Texas we sort of have two seasons. .. hot and… not quite as hot. So “spring” is sort of a 3, maybe 4-day event. And I love the colors of spring, so I wanted to explore something else (although I HOPE to see awesome budding images throughout our circle in black and white!)

No, I was excited to post this month about something that has been a HUGE part of our lives these past five weeks: The CrossFit Games Open. If you don’t know what CrossFit is, then take a looksee here at their main page.   For more info about the Games itself, check out their page here.

Basically, every July there is a competition of Olympic proportions (okay, well, a small Olympics) that gathers the absolutely FITTEST men and woman on earth. And they compete in an incredibly wide variety of movements and challenges. The exciting part is. . .you never quite know what the next event will be. Open water swim? Heavy deadlifts? Triathlon? Pullups-burpees-hitting something with a sledge hammer?  Pulling a car? Truly, these athletes come prepared for anything and accomplish Herculean feats. It’s pretty much the most exciting thing to watch, ever.  Or perhaps I have just sampled the CrossFit Kool-Aid.

But the Games is just the end.

I want to start at the beginning, where 65,000+ athletes across the globe started out competing in weekly workouts or WODs (“workout of the day”–lingo = Kool-Aid) to establish their ranking in their local region.  Some of you may have seen things like “I can’t wait for the announcement of 13.1 (2, 3, 4, 5)” in their Facebook newsfeed. That’s a reference to the announcement of the weekly CrossFit Open workouts. And even the announcements were exciting! Would it be handstand pushups? High reps or heavy? Overhead squats or snatches? Muscle-ups? Box jumps? The possibilities were endless.

And once the workout was announced it was time to get to work! All of the athletes who entered the Open were to complete this workout in the presence of a judge and have their score submitted to see where they ranked in their region. Top competitors at the end of the five workouts would advance to the Regional competition in May. And here’s where my exposure to the Open comes in.

As some of you may know, my husband recently became one of three co-owners of Pearland CrossFit, our local CrossFit box (lingo for “gym”–I told you there was Kool-Aid involved). To say he is enjoying it would be a terrible understatement. . .he’s totally immersed in his passion for fitness. And it’s been wonderful for our whole family. We’ve been enjoying it immensely. It’s been a great opportunity for my kids to play with other kids of CrossFitters, swing on the rings, and climb the ropes in the gym. I’ve enjoyed practicing taking pictures in an athletic setting. And my husband.  . . has pretty much enjoyed everything about it! As one of the owners, he both participated in the Open by completing the workouts as well as judging.

What we’ve seen over the past five weeks has been amazing. I’ve  seen men and women compete with their whole hearts to surpass their own personal expectations. I’ve seen amazing performances. I’ve seen athletes push themselves to the limit. Athletes who said they expected to get three reps and got 30. Athletes who tackled workouts where they spent the whole time attempting that very first rep but REFUSING TO GIVE UP.  Athletes who set a personal PR and those who achieved movements for the very first time ever. I’ve seen the amazing COMMUNITY of our box and the encouragement each athlete has given the other to endure these grueling workouts.  And to relax and play afterwards.  All the while planning for next year. Through it all there has been such a sense of VITALITY from the athletes of all ages and abilities. Such a sense of LIFE that I knew it was this month’s theme.

I know this is a huge write-up for one picture, and I will pause a minute to submit my image right here.

This is my own darling husband after completing 13.4–the fourth WOD of the 2013 CrossFit Open games.

To continue in our circle of images about {ALIVE} visit … Tiffany Andews’ site here.

There is no more feeling of being {ALIVE} than pushing yourself to your limits–in any way–and coming out stronger.

And it is with great honor and admiration that I was able to document some great moments from the Open at our gym. It has been a great way to get to know people. It has been fun for me because, hey, I like to take pictures, remember! I’m not going to pretend that these images are “good”.  . . but they do hold a lot of emotion for me and for the athletes involved.


I know that’s a crazy number of images, but it is just a few of my favorites. One can imagine that after five weeks of intense competition I have quite a few images to choose from.




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