The First Time I Did Fight Gone Bad

Today’s Workout
As many rounds as possible, in 20 minutes:
1 Rope Climb
400m Run
Max Reps Push UpsThe first time I did Fight Gone Bad was also the first CrossFit Certification I ever attended. This was about six years ago. This was when the certifications were all held at the original gym in Santa Cruz and they were three days long. Greg Glassman taught the majority of the weekend himself and there were two workouts each day. The final workout on the final day was Fight Gone Bad.

I had been CrossFitting for about five months when I attended my first certification. It was a great time and I learned a lot. It was the certification where Glassman invented “Frelen.” We also spent an afternoon learning from Coach Burgener and another afternoon learning from John Hackleman. By day three our minds and our bodies were exhausted.

Mid-afternoon on Sunday the setup for Fight Gone Bad began. At each exercise a CrossFit Santa Cruz coach was stationed. I remember two coaches distinctly, both because I idolized them from afar prior to visiting Santa Cruz, and also because of their impact on me during Fight Gone Bad.

The sumo deadlift high pull station was manned by none other than Eva Twardokens. She scared the crap out of me. I was pretty sure she was going to have nothing to say to me other than what I was doing wrong. This intuition proved true. By the end of my first 60 seconds with her, out of nearly 30 reps of SDLHP she allowed me 7. I was already dreading rounds 2 and 3.

The second coach I remember is Annie Sakamoto. She was stationed at the box jumps. It was the last station on the last round. I remember starting my box jumps and looking up at Annie standing on the other side of the box, in front of me with her arm outstretched as if to catch me. “Do I look that bad off?” I thought to myself. She cheered for me, encouraging me to keep moving, yelling louder on every jump until my time was done.

From both these women I took great lessons. While I was angry at Eva at the time, I later appreciated the standard she held for me. A standard higher than I expected of myself, but that she knew I should aspire to. And from Annie I learned enthusiasm and joy, the delight that comes from hard work and the safe feeling that comes from a coach who knows you are on the edge before you even realize it yourself.

So, when I think of Fight Gone Bad, it starts with Annie, Eva, and Santa Cruz.

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Annie and Eva

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