Rory: You made a huge mistake, what was that and how did it play out?
“Well I was pretty consistent through all the events except for that Go Ruck, which was a complete disaster for me.
It just felt bad from the very beginning. There’s a lot of things that happened during that event. Mentally it was the worst one. I felt really really warm and I’ve got used to the heat. It isn’t affecting me, it really isn’t. But it brings back memories, I’ve worked through them but it brings back memories of Murph.”
(In 2015 Annie suffered from heat exhaustion during Murph and had to withdraw from The Games)
“When I get to that stage I thought, well two more (athletes) going past me is worth it because I will be able to survive the rest of the weekend.
I’m the mentally strongest I’ve ever been. I’m physically in the best shape that I’ve ever been going into the CrossFit Games. I am one of the fittest women in the world right now. I am in a really good place and I don’t want it to sound cocky it’s just the truth.
I’ve worked my ass off and I’ve failed myself. In the Ruck Event I ended up taking 40th place and it’s outrageous that I started walking. That’s one of the things you never do. That’s mental give up.
I should never have got myself into a situation where the sprint is what takes me out. Yes, I know I hit a column and that cost me my top 10 spot but I should never have been in that situation in the first place.”
Rory: Is there a way to address that? The mental fear?
“I work through it a lot. I would like to say that I am fully through it but apparently not so that’s something I’m going to have to continue doing.
I’ve always lived knowing that my mind will give up before my body does. That’s been one of my superpowers. I don’t quit. I don’t give up. I know I can do it. I ran an ultramarathon in Iceland in Iceland without prepping for it. I know that I can do it…the pain is only temporary. I know I can do anything that I set my mind to.
But in 2015 I hit that barrier where mentally I was going to continue, I dug that hole deep and I don’t even remember the end of the workout. Seeing footage of me stumbling around was weird and my body took really long to recover. I had to withdraw from the Games because I couldn’t straighten my arms, I couldn’t lift my arms over my head.
It took me about a week/10 days to be able to straighten my arms. It took me two months to be able to do push ups again. I really thought that I had destroyed myself.
That fear of making a mistake in an event made me not want to dig a hole that deep that I would not be able to get out of it. But, I decided I was going to take one event at a time and I wanted to leave it all out there and I didn’t in that Ruck event. I did not leave everything out there.”
Rory: How do you process this experience and move forward?
“I don’t think I’ve fully processed it yet. Like I said, I still have this empty feeling inside. I don’t feel like the Games are over. I’m hoping that once the games are over, I’ll get over it.
I don’t want to sound cocky but I knew I was going to be top 5 in the world. As long as I would perform.
I’m supporting Bjorgvin, I’m supporting Katrin, I need to get closure on the 2019 Games, I’m not done by 11am on Saturday!”