Jul 18th, 2012
Mr. & Mrs. Hester
We are truly humbled and inspired by you on a daily basis and it was an incredible privilege to be witness to your preparations for and participation in the 2012 CrossFit Games. Nobody that knows you even a little was surprised by the way you dedicated yourself to your training, working through pain, fatigue and frustration, ultimately ending in triumph as you made yourself and all of us proud this past weekend.
Please know that our support, admiration and friendship is not limited to your athleticism and strength, but extends to the core of who you are – a smart, talented, kind person with a tremendous heart.
We are grateful to be a part of your life and will support you whenever possible as you pursue your goals.
Your devoted CFO Family
And now, from Candace to all of you:
Crossfit Games 2012 Reflections
I was prepared for the Games to feel different this year; this is my first experience at
the “Reebok Games” and yet it was different in ways I was unable to anticipate. Yes, I was prepared forthe utterly cool Reebok Crossfit Games 2012 gear that was tailored exactly to my size in less than 24 hours upon receiving the apparel. I was prepared for the other athletes to have a diversity of talents and to be endlessly interesting and fun because Crossfit has always attracted a special crop of people. And I was prepared to be tested physically, mentally and emotionally because Crossfit, particularly Crossfit competition, is notorious for exceeding the mental and physical preparation of its athletes in a manner that requires those participating to test physical and mental thresholds. This competition’s two day early start with a triathlon including a 590m ocean swim, an 8k trail bike ride and a 11k hilly trail run at Camp Pendleton was more than enough to push my physical and emotional threshold. Despite triathlon preparation that I’d performed with Chris VanLuen in the gym setting, I’d only biked on a paved road and run fewer than 5 miles. As a result, this first test pushed me to tears even before we hit the water. I fell off my bike, choked up multiple times on the run, and yet, I survived, finishing quite near the bottom of the pack but finishing nonetheless. And upon crossing the finish line, I was met with a barrage of support from the Crossfit staff and my hometown CFO community that filled me with tears over and over again on the return bus ride. And while the details of this incredible experience were unexpected and trying, in many ways, this was not the most noteworthy element of my Games experience because all Crossfiters know well that the Games will provide an “unknown and unknowable” component.
I was entirely unprepared, however, for the level and diversity of support I received
from our community upon qualifying for the Games. Even before stepping foot in the Carson Home Depot Center the financial support that made it so that I had to cover only a small portion of my food expenses during the trip left me humbled and grateful. The coaching support of Mike, first and foremost, but also of Max and JoAnn Aita, Carl Paoli, Arnold Chua, Aaron Castillo, and my good friend Tamara Holmes was irreplaceable. I hit a 10 pound clean PR with 215 pounds, performed 3 unbroken sets of 7 bar muscle-ups in a workout only 5 months after performing my first bar muscle-up, and completed a workout that included 21 deficit handstand push-ups within the time-limit only a year after I failed to complete a workout at Regionals with regular handstand push-ups within the time-limit; this is what good coaching yields. The team support of Lydia, Joey, Michelle, Moses, Robyn, Tamara, Arnie, Joe Pa, Sanjay, Amanda, and so many more who pushed me on 800m repeats, connector hill sprints and other “pain cave Saturday” workouts left me more physically prepared than I’ve ever been in my life prior to this weekend. And, finally, the game-time mental and physical coaching and support that I received from everyone who came down but most especially from Mike, Tami, and my loving husband was the only thing that kept me going after starting off Friday in 41 st place and having my first 20 foot rope climb disqualified in Saturday morning’s rope climb event. It is the love and unconditional support of this group, the larger CFO community, and other friends and family which is the only reason I could muster the strength to pull it together both to finish that workout and continue on for the remaining workouts of the day. In reflection, I believe the most unexpected component of my Games experience was learning how truly unconditional the support of friends, family and our CFO community is and experiencing the transformative and empowering nature of this type of support. Because of this support, I learned how to perform despite adversity. I learned to feel proud of my efforts regardless of the score on the board and I am quite confident that this lesson will serve me well in realms far beyond the Crossfit domain. Thank you so much for supporting me through this Games training and competition and for your love and friendship in life beyond the Crossfit Games. I have learned a good deal from my Games 2012 experience including how to come back from a grueling and less than stellar start, how to finish what feels impossible and the exceeding importance of friends and family to remind you of your strength and confidence when it feels fleeting.
Thank you all, sincerely.