A Higher Standard: Spirit of WZA Runs Deep

It was a simple miscalculation, one that perhaps would have seen as a boon to another team.

Wodapalooza Bayfront Park

But Team CFCH (CrossFit Central Houston) didn’t come to Wodapalooza to be handed things. The first-year RX Men’s Team came to win on their own terms.

So when their judge raised a hand in the air —signaling five more wall balls reps in WOD 3— Greg Ashcroft and his two teammates were quick to correct it.

“We almost got away with not having to do 30 reps, but we held our judge to the standard and finished out that workout,” said Ashcroft, whose team still triumphantly ran across the finish line victorious in their heat and overall in WOD 3’s RomWod Downward & Upward Dog Chipper.

Sure, Ashcroft and his team may have gotten away with the judging error. But that’s not them and that’s not the spirit of the WZA Fitness Festival, a celebration of fitness and a symbol of hard work and sacrifice for many out on the competition floor.

“It’s an amazing experience,” said Trevor Phillips, part of a Broflex Boys team that were able to stage a late rally for a Heat 1 win in the combination of burpee box jump overs, synchronized toes to bar and wall balls.  “We came all the way from California. We talked about doing this all year and were able to qualify and to actually now be here is really special.”

Added Ashcroft: “We wanted to come to a big offseason competition and what better one than this?”

Photo by: Jay Knickerbocker

While the fun and sun of Miami is a significant lure, Friday put competitors to the immediate test. Many RX teams —including both heats of the women— failed to complete the daunting ROMWOD chipper in the allotted 13 minutes. And for good reason.

After a morning spent up at the crack of dawn, all competitors completed WODs 1 and 2 mostly in the dark on Friday morning.

The first two events were dual events that featured the PowerDot 7k run and a wreckbag run, with all three athletes on RX teams running the entire course. Midway through the run through downtown Miami, they were faced with the start of WOD 2, which was a continuation of their current run with sharp turns and a 50 or 70lb wreckbag to tote.

“Our legs are a little tired from that run. [I] fell down from the sandbag,” said Broflex member Sean Scott. “So did [Phillips]. But this has been awesome. We’ll come in tomorrow ready to go.”

Their arms may be pretty sore, too.

Following 60 burpee box jump overs and 90 synchronized toes to bar, teams were tasked with 120 wall balls to close out their day. The catch? The two team members not doing wall balls had to hang from the pull-up bar.

“The 10 foot target, honestly was the most difficult [part],” said Prodigy Fix Chicks team member Taylor Rohrbaugh, who traveled for Essex, Md. to compete. “ Definitely the wall balls was where it held us up. But it’s been so much fun. I love it. I definitely want to come back next year.”

While Miaimi’s fun and sun was new for Rohrbaugh, teammate Alexis D’Tiole is a perennial competitor and has gotten a firsthand look at how much WZA has evolved over the years.

“It just gets bigger and bigger,” D’Tiole said. “It gets tougher every year [too]. Two years ago, I was on elite. This year, RX. But the competition is just great.”

Britt Ghiroli, Staff Writer