“Be more like Emily Abbott.”
Her legs were heavy, wobbly, temporarily functionally-challenged.
And her lungs burned. Like never before.
At least, that’s what I assume she felt since that’s what I was feeling during the second sled event at the CrossFit Games.
It’s entirely possible, though, that Emily Abbott wasn’t feeling pain at all when she crushed the entire field against some of the fittest ladies in the world. But I never actually asked her what was going on physically.
So while our legs felt like they were falling off, every single one of us stopped a couple times (some many more times than that) on the second sled event, but Emily Abbott hauled her ass the entire way; the sled didn’t stop even once.
That event epitomizes the Emily Abbott I got to know in Carson, and the Emily Abbott I respect more than she probably knows.
“Be more like Emily Abbott.”
My boyfriend said that line to me more than once over the course of the week in Carson. At the time, I wanted to swat him across the face (I may have once) because I felt so insecure that week as it was; I didn’t need him telling me to be more like someone else.
But at the same time, I knew his words were meant to help me. And I couldn’t have agreed with him more.
I wanted to be more like Emily Abbott—not because she won an event at the Games, but because of how she won it: Fearlessly.
From the first time I ran into her in the hotel lobby at the Games, this fearless quality to her shone through. Just before the Games, she said to me, “Let’s just dive in head first and work our asses off and still be us.”
I tried that. I tried adopting her attitude, but I kept finding myself overcome with nerves and intimidation and feelings of inadequacy, and her attitude radiated the words, “Bring it on!”
She wasn’t cocky or arrogant. She was simply unfazed and fearless about lining up against Julie Foucher and company.
While I stressed over minor details of the weekend and found myself cautious in the warm-up area—often not warming up enough because I was simply crippled with emotions—Emily looked confident and happy and ready to be aggressive out there.
While I stressed about the Midline March event—agonizing about how it would feel and how I should pace it—on Wednesday afternoon as we drove to the venue, Emily Abbott’s response was, “The what? Midline what? What event is that again?”
It’s not that Emily was ignorant and oblivious as to what was going on around her; she was just simply living in the moment, or at least that’s what it looked like from an outsider’s view. She informed me after the Games that it took a lot of work to get herself to a place where she believed in herself.
“It was facing my self-doubt and my fear head on,” she said, adding that visualization helped her a ton leading up to the Games.
Whatever she did worked. Both at the Games and since the Games.
If you’ve been following this girl, she’s continuing to kill it. She hit a 180 lb. snatch at the Granite Games and recently posted a video of a 220 lb. clean and jerk.
Scores aside, what I love about Emily Abbott is that her passion is innocent and real.
Lucas Parker mentioned to me that he’s not sure how genuine some athletes are with their alleged social media enthusiasm. He put it this way: “I do wonder how much of that is true puppy-dog excitement and infatuation, or if it is in fact a calculated effort to cement themselves in the ever-expanding context of CrossFit cyberspace.”
I couldn’t agree with Parker more. That said, Emily Abbott’s enthusiasm is real. Perhaps she’s still in the honeymoon phase, considering she hasn’t even been doing CrossFit for two years. She is an incredibly talented athlete who rose through the ranks quicker than most, but the energy she is bringing to the world is inspiring.
That’s why my motto this year has become, “Fearless, Like Emily Abbott!”