THIS IS A TRUE STORY. The events depicted in this story take place in Minnesota in 2011. At request of the survivors, the names have been omitted. Out of respect for the victims, the rest has been told exactly as it occured.
I was a part of a box, and within that box a part of a crew. The 5:30am crew. We were the crazies that got up on those cold winter mornings and beat ourselves to a pulp before the sun came up. The class was only twice a week, and was usually the same cast of characters.
Within that crew, I had, like many of us can relate to, that person I “competed with”. We were always neck and neck, pushing to the end to see who would be the victor that day. Sometimes I won, sometimes she won. No matter the outcome that day, we high-fived and looked forward to the next battle.
Two very different people, with very different interests, backgrounds, and personalities who would probably have never shared a connection otherwise. She had her strengths, and I had mine, but we pushed each other to get better. We were bonded in battle.
This continued for more than a year. When “The Open” came around we were both excited. Neither of us did the prior year. She was going to push me, I was going to push her, the battle of battles!
When first workout was announced, a 7 min AMRAP of burpees, I knew I had my work cut out for me. Burpees were more her arena, but I was going to do my best to keep up.
We show up on a Saturday morning, the coach goes over the standards, we partner up with our “judge” and our score sheet and get after it.
When the chalk dust settled, I was shocked to find out I crushed her. By 35 reps. “Something must be wrong”, I thought. I started pleading with her to redo it. Give it another try. I knew she had more in her. I knew because I had battled with her twice a week for over a year.
Then it happened. Another member of the “crew” pulled me aside, “she’s a cheater, man. Everyone knows that.” I didn’t know that. “She cuts reps every WOD. She always has.”
In an instant my world changed. It may not seem like a big deal, but a bond was broken. And it could never be the same. It came as no surprise she didn’t complete another workout in the Open. She said she didn’t have time.
We still worked out together twice a week, we still high fived after workouts, but the bond was gone. The thrill of battle was gone. Celebrating PRs with her was just a courtesy, it meant nothing. Beating her was hollow.
I found others to “battle” with, but I never bothered to look at her scores. They were meaningless numbers on a whiteboard. Not a measure of anything, merely a note she was in the building, did something. No one, including her, knew exactly what.