“Through the Eyes”

“Through the Eyes of an EAD Coach”

By Josh Sroufek


Coach Rory, Scott C, Coach Amy & Coach Jenn (okay ... Coach Jenn's knees) at the CrossFit Games North Central Regionals.

The 2011 Crossfit North Central Regionals were held this past weekend at nearby Navy Pier.  This is the second consecutive year I have had the honor of representing Crossfit Arlington Heights as a team in the competition.  Now that I have had some time to reflect back on the event, I’d like to share some of the memorable moments of each athlete that I was able to witness first hand.

Scott Carlson – I would be willing to bet that Scott’s performance on Event #1, particularly the hand stand push ups, will stick in the mind of many for a long time.  After each member rowed 750 M, the team had to then knock out a total of 50 HSPU.  When Scott’s turn came to kick onto the wall we had 0 as a team. When he dropped down from that first attempt we had 29.  It still astonishes me that someone can make such a difficult movement look so effortless.

Amy Procarione – Various moments come to mind when I think about what sticks out over the weekend when it comes to Amy, like for instance, her nonchalant smiling and looking around at everything around her as she rowed during event #1.  However, what will always be burned in my memory is Amy’s performance on WOD #3.  I, along with Amy, did a team deadlift and box jump workout for #3.  After I performed my portion of the workout, I then tagged Amy and she proceeded to do the rest.  Maybe it was because I was suffering and knew just how bad it was about to be for her, but watching her perform the workout with all she had was inspiring.  I could not be more proud of the heart, guts, and fortitude she displayed during that workout.

Rory Oliver – Rory is known for many things in the EAD community.  Great athlete, phenomenal father/husband, veteran, borderline model,……..you get the picture.  But I was able to see something that many already know, but you tend to forget if you don’t see it on a regular basis.  Rory was involved in both team WODS #1 and #4.  Those workouts consisted of four athletes in each.  With that many movements/exercises and that long of time domain a lot can go wrong.  However, nothing did as Rory was the leader in those workouts.  He stepped up and talked Jenn through her hand stand push up attempt.  He didn’t panic when we were last off the pull up bar during #4.  Instead he showed great leadership in staying calm and talking each athlete through the remaining movements.  Those athletes that get to work with Rory in class daily get to see this side of him on a regular basis, but it stands out so much more when that is not the case.

Jenn Vautier – Jenn’s moment was touched on above.  Her moment had to be the hand stand push up “challenge.”  In short, during WOD #1 every athlete had to attempt a HSPU.  Little did we know just how strict those standards would be on an attempt.  Jenn continued to kick onto the wall to meet the standards of the judge, but continued to get no repped.  I believe I speak for everyone when I say a silence fell over our crowd as we feared for the worst if Jenn did not succeed.  However, being the fighter she is, she prevailed.  She never argued with the judge.  She never quit and gave in.  She kept kicking and kicking until she succeeded.  Reminding everyone there that you can’t ever count Jenn out.

Samantha (Sammy) Olson Last but not least Sammy.  Sammy is mentioned last because she ended the weekend with such a memorable moment.  During workout #4 teams had to complete 250 chest to bar pull ups, 250 kb swings, 250 double unders, and 250 overhead squats.  Only one athlete could work at a time.  Hearing this workout may seem challenging, but watching it in person gives a person a different perspective.  As team members cycled through the pull ups, Sammy sat by anxiously watching as the game plan was to save her for the swings and squats.  It is always tough for a coach to watch an athlete hold back as you never know how they will respond.  EAD could not have asked for anything more from Samantha Olson once the thirty minute time limit went off.  She continued to pick up the barbell and do squat after squat when the expression on her face said it all.  The crowd felt for all of the athletes involved, but particularly for Sammy as her shoulders looked to be breaking under the stress of the weight and she continued on.  Her performance put an exclamation point on how EAD and Crossfit Arlington Heights was represented.

Posted in Coach's Column.