Noah Ohlsen Opens Up About His 2020 CrossFit Games Experience

Event 10

The night before the final day I had done exactly what I needed to do to put myself in the perfect head space to finish the weekend. I wasn’t wallowing in what had thus far been a handful of shortcomings. I was confident and fired up that for one more day, I would give it absolutely everything I had left in me. And we’d start with a swim. I like swimming…

However, as we got off the bus and strolled up to the pool the next morning, I caught a glimpse of an assault bike in front of each lane. Gulp. What I was hoping would be a huge advantage for me seemed to have just been nullified by another bike. I shook that thought off and remained confident that I’d dig in and finish with no regrets.

I have none. There’s literally no way that I could’ve pushed my body harder on that one. In fact, the finish of this event was by far the most painful of the weekend. It all came down to the bike. The swim, sit-ups, and ball slams were unfortunately not what would win it.

I sent it and was pleasantly pumped to cross the finish line of the first round in first place. Round two was almost a stalemate across the board. I was not expecting what hit me on round three. Coming off the bike sprint that ended round two and starting with more of the same for round three, rocked my world. I managed my way through the 15 cals and when I dove into the pool, almost panicked at the way my body felt, thinking I may not even be able to make it across. I took it one stroke at a time then struggled to lift a 60lb ball up over my head.

As with intervals, no matter how you feel, when you make it to the last one and the end is in sight, there’s a slight glimmer of hope. As my body screamed internally from head to toe, I promised myself that I wouldn’t give up or give in. I sprinted through the slams and sit-ups, and on numb arms and legs, swam myself across the pool for the final time. I got on the bike and drooled my way through the last 15 cals at the absolute fastest pace that I could, then collapsed across the finish line.

The “swim” event that I was hoping to knock out of the park to stay in podium contention, rewarded me with a mere 35 points.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Event 10⁣ The night before the final day I had done exactly what I needed to do to put myself in the perfect head space to finish the weekend. I wasn’t wallowing in what had thus far been a handful of shortcomings. I was confident and fired up that for one more day, I would give it absolutely everything I had left in me. And we’d start with a swim. I like swimming…⁣ ⁣ However, as we got off the bus and strolled up to the pool the next morning, I caught a glimpse of an assault bike in front of each lane. Gulp. What I was hoping would be a huge advantage for me seemed to have just been nullified by another bike. I shook that thought off and remained confident that I’d dig in and finish with no regrets.⁣ ⁣ I have none. There’s literally no way that I could’ve pushed my body harder on that one. In fact, the finish of this event was by far the most painful of the weekend. It all came down to the bike. The swim, sit-ups, and ball slams were unfortunately not what would win it.⁣ ⁣ I sent it and was pleasantly pumped to cross the finish line of the first round in first place. Round two was almost a stalemate across the board. I was not expecting what hit me on round three. Coming off the bike sprint that ended round two and starting with more of the same for round three, rocked my world. I managed my way through the 15 cals and when I dove into the pool, almost panicked at the way my body felt, thinking I may not even be able to make it across. I took it one stroke at a time then struggled to lift a 60lb ball up over my head.⁣ ⁣ As with intervals, no matter how you feel, when you make it to the last one and the end is in sight, there’s a slight glimmer of hope. As my body screamed internally from head to toe, I promised myself that I wouldn’t give up or give in. I sprinted through the slams and sit-ups, and on numb arms and legs, swam myself across the pool for the final time. I got on the bike and drooled my way through the last 15 cals at the absolute fastest pace that I could, then collapsed across the finish line.⁣ ⁣ The “swim” event that I was hoping to knock out of the park to stay in podium contention, rewarded me with a mere 35 points. ? @crossfitgames

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Event 11

This was when it hit me emotionally. I recognize that the narrative I’ve been weaving has thus far been of a negative experience, but it wasn’t until this one ended that I was pissed. All weekend, even though I hadn’t had any real luck, I hadn’t given up hope. I was in the fight and prepared to do whatever it would take to make this crazy hard year all feel like a worthy struggle when I stepped onto the podium.

I knew this event would be over in a minute and I knew that I could force myself to do anything for that short a time. I blazed my way down the field and was aware that I got to the sled first. I’d made myself a promise ahead of time, that no matter how much it hurt, I wouldn’t stop pumping my legs. I could no longer feel them as I gutted through the last 15 yards of the push. When I finally crossed the line and turned for the final sprint, I almost tripped on my numb legs. I recovered and with every desire in my heart, tried desperately to race to the other side. I couldn’t tell where anyone else was in that blur, but when my vision cleared, I saw that I’d taken 4th place. Again.

I felt like screaming WHAT MORE CAN I DO! I’d given every event everything I had, and not ONCE had it been enough.

One event remained and @maxelhag reminded me that anything could happen and there was still a chance to sneak my way onto the podium.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Event 11⁣ This was when it hit me emotionally. I recognize that the narrative I’ve been weaving has thus far been of a negative experience, but it wasn’t until this one ended that I was pissed. All weekend, even though I hadn’t had any real luck, I hadn’t given up hope. I was in the fight and prepared to do whatever it would take to make this crazy hard year all feel like a worthy struggle when I stepped onto the podium.⁣ ⁣ I knew this event would be over in a minute and I knew that I could force myself to do anything for that short a time. I blazed my way down the field and was aware that I got to the sled first. I’d made myself a promise ahead of time, that no matter how much it hurt, I wouldn’t stop pumping my legs. I could no longer feel them as I gutted through the last 15 yards of the push. When I finally crossed the line and turned for the final sprint, I almost tripped on my numb legs. I recovered and with every desire in my heart, tried desperately to race to the other side. I couldn’t tell where anyone else was in that blur, but when my vision cleared, I saw that I’d taken 4th place. Again.⁣ ⁣ I felt like screaming WHAT MORE CAN I DO! I’d given every event everything I had, and not ONCE had it been enough. One event remained and @maxelhag reminded me that anything could happen and there was still a chance to sneak my way onto the podium.⁣ ⁣ ? @crossfitgames

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Event 12

Atalanta

So so so unbelievably and painfully close. I needed to have my first event win of the weekend in order to get on the podium. I finished in second by less than 38 seconds on a 52 minute workout.

Let’s rewind. We got to the ranch and awaited the announcement of the “the hardest @crossfitgames workout in history.” My body was rocked. Quads, hamstrings, hips, low back, and triceps all sore and fatigued. It’s kind of the unspoken thing that we assume we’re all feeling at that point. Still, I was determined to keep my promise that I’d pour out everything left in my cup before leaving that ranch.

I didn’t know whether to feel amused, hopeful, or nervous as @thedavecastro told us that we’d complete, all in a 20lb weighted vest…

For time:
1 mile run
100 handstand push-ups
200 pistols
300 pull-ups
1 mile run

I’d never done 200 pistols or 300 pull-ups straight through in my life, let alone in a weighted vest.

But… the last time that combination of movements showed up at the Games, I secured an event win.

Our first mile took 8:30. I kept the handstand push-ups in sets of 5 until I had to break them into smaller sets to finish. As I moved into the pistols, I could see Mat chipping away and heard Jeffrey’s judge say that he was 30 reps in. I took a big gulp of my @evertrain Post Pro and got to work. Advancing to the pull-ups, I’d built about a 40 rep lead on Jeff and Justin. I kept them in sets of 5 and demanded myself to stay diligent and push my limits. Miraculously, I took off for the final mile in the lead!

However, as I began the run I was immediately aware that almost my entire body, but specifically every muscle from my waist down, was on the verge of fully cramping. I kept my feet moving and begged my body to hang on and pick up the pace. I tried a few times and was shut down by a muscle locking up to the point where I’d have to walk it out for a couple steps to avoid toppling over.

As Mat and Tia trotted past me at the halfway point, I wanted to say something to them. For whatever reason, no words left my mouth and I watched in desperation as they slowly widened the gap.

With 400m to go, @maxelhag met me at the fence. He pointed to Mat, who was about 30 meters ahead of me and said, “you need to beat him to get on the podium.” I tried to will myself to catch him but could not physically get my legs to move faster, no matter how desperately I tried.

As I watched them cross the finish line just in front of me, I wanted to cry out. Tears, a yell, anything to get the sickness out of my stomach that I felt, knowing I hadn’t done enough. I was crushed. I am crushed. I wonder if I could have done more. I want to believe that’s the not the case. That I did truly do everything I could. Either way, I can’t dwell on it for long. I am already fully committed to training this season so that I don’t have to experience that feeling again. I still have a burning desire and I still believe.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Event 12 Atalanta So so so unbelievably and painfully close. I needed to have my first event win of the weekend in order to get on the podium. I finished in second by less than 38 seconds on a 52 minute workout. Let’s rewind. We got to the ranch and awaited the announcement of the “the hardest @crossfitgames workout in history.” My body was rocked. Quads, hamstrings, hips, low back, and triceps all sore and fatigued. It’s kind of the unspoken thing that we assume we’re all feeling at that point. Still, I was determined to keep my promise that I’d pour out everything left in my cup before leaving that ranch. I didn’t know whether to feel amused, hopeful, or nervous as @thedavecastro told us that we’d complete, all in a 20lb weighted vest… For time: 1 mile run 100 handstand push-ups 200 pistols 300 pull-ups 1 mile run I’d never done 200 pistols or 300 pull-ups straight through in my life, let alone in a weighted vest. But… the last time that combination of movements showed up at the Games, I secured an event win. Our first mile took 8:30. I kept the handstand push-ups in sets of 5 until I had to break them into smaller sets to finish. As I moved into the pistols, I could see Mat chipping away and heard Jeffrey’s judge say that he was 30 reps in. I took a big gulp of my @evertrain Post Pro and got to work. Advancing to the pull-ups, I’d built about a 40 rep lead on Jeff and Justin. I kept them in sets of 5 and demanded myself to stay diligent and push my limits. Miraculously, I took off for the final mile in the lead! However, as I began the run I was immediately aware that almost my entire body, but specifically every muscle from my waist down, was on the verge of fully cramping. I kept my feet moving and begged my body to hang on and pick up the pace. I tried a few times and was shut down by a muscle locking up to the point where I’d have to walk it out for a couple steps to avoid toppling over. As Mat and Tia trotted past me at the halfway point, I wanted to say something to them. For whatever reason, no words left my mouth and I watched in desperation as they slowly widened the gap. Continued below.

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