I wanted to try my best to recap another awesome “Throwdown” between the Northlake and Vitality communities. This year, we had 64 Teams compete, nearly an identical turnout between the two boxes. Since Northlake opened 5 years ago, the goal has always been to combine these two communities and come together to support causes that we all are passionate about. This year was no different as we chose Shriners Children’s Hospital as the charity that we would raise money for this year.

The day started off with our National Anthem which was performed by the amazing Mattea Williams.

The 1st Heat started at 9a and saw the teams tackle the Squat Clean and Jerk ladder. This provided the opportunity for so many of our members to PR both of these movements. The speed at which some of these teams flew through the ladder was incredible to watch. Even more incredible were those teams that had planned to do singles or double-unders once they got to a weight that they thought they had no chance of lifting, only to realize that they were much stronger than they thought they were.

One of the reasons that we decided to have these “Throwdown’s” be partner workouts is because of how much fun it is to see how well members work together and support each other. It’s always surprising how much harder someone will work when the thought of “letting” someone else down is in the back of their head. This year didn’t disappoint, so many people would have stopped or slowed down if they were on their own, however, instead they pushed harder and further than they ever would have on their own. This has always been one of my favorite parts of Coaching, being able to watch people in the moment they realize that they are stronger and more capable than they imagined. To say that this realization carries over to so many other things in their lives would be an understatement.

The second event was one of the first times that we were able to test a longer time domain. We used all 3 of the machines that bring us the most pain, Air Bikes, Rowers, and Ski-Ergs. The 27-minute time cap put teams in quite the predicament, they would need to push really hard in order to have a chance at completing the event. To make matters worse, this event was setup in the “Pain Cave” that has little to no air flow. Throw in the fact that it was 90 degrees and it made this workout much worse than most people anticipated.

The final event was a chipper and it saw teams tackle 100 wallballs and a number of other movements that caused a moderate level of “discomfort”. This was where you got to see the teamwork and communication between partners showcased. It was great to see so many teams tackle these workouts and I have a feeling there were a few people that didn’t sign up for this years “Throwdown” but got bit by the competition bug and they are looking forward to next year and possibly signing up for the 3rd Annual “Throwdown”.

One of the coolest pieces of the weekend for me was how many volunteers showed up to help out. Without them, this event would have never run as smooth as it did.

Candice and her Wonder Promotions team supported the event for the 2nd Year and as always, Registration and Heats ran super smooth and efficient.

Frank was my right hand for the planning and prep for this event. The amount of time and energy he donated and poured into making sure this event went off without a hitch was incredible. This guy continues to be one of the hardest workers I have ever met and I am really glad he is on our team.

Judges worked hard to do their best to ensure that the standards were upheld across all the teams. I was proud of all our athletes who showed a ton of respect to the judges and realized that without them, there would be no competition. Thank you to all of the volunteers that helped make this event amazing.

It’s funny how the build-up of the event is surrounded by who would “win” but when it came down to it, as much as I thought it mattered, it was secondary to how much fun I think the teams had competing. To be able to surround ourselves with so many amazing people has such a positive impact on all of us. This year CrossFit Northlake won the banner to make it a back to back performance. As much as I wanted a victory for Vitality, it was pretty cool to see the Northlake crew pull it off. I wouldn’t get too worried, I think we had a lot of athletes get a year of experience under their belts and they will be hungry for another chance in 2018.

This year came to a close with awarding the “CWG” Spirit Award. This was awarded to the individual who demonstrated the best attitude and overall sportsmanship that those of us at Vitality had witnessed from our Christine Warden Gilley throughout her time with us. Christine always had the biggest smile and was the first to cheer on competitors from both sides of any competition….as long as she wasn’t working out, in that case, it was game on and her only goal was to crush everyone, which she normally would. However, as soon as the workout ended, that smile would come right back and she would cheer just as aggressively as she had competed only minutes before.

This year, Frank Higginbotham was chosen as the first recipient of the award. I couldn’t think of a more deserving person to start off and represent, what will be an amazing group of people.

Congratulations to all the teams that came out and competed this weekend. Thanks for your support in helping us raise money for an amazing cause. We can’t wait for another opportunity to get that banner hanging from the Vitality rafters but until then, we will keep putting in the work until we get another chance in 2018, to Throwdown with the defending Champs.

Final Scores From The Throwdown:

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