Competition "Friend or Foe"? 2015 Pensacola Beach Brawl!

Pensacola Beach Brawl

There is a new aura at PortSide lately.  Athletes are walking taller, holding their shoulders back, their heads up, and have the look of determination and success on their faces. There is a sense of “WANT TO” that I have never seen before. Passion and excitement fill the gym every time the doors open and we begin class. I ask  myself:  Why?  BUT the answer is clear -- the athletes are seeing success in more ways than one. They feel more confident, stronger, faster, and healthier, but what sparked these new feelings?

This past weekend 11 athletes competed at a well-known southeastern regional CrossFit competition called the Pensacola Beach Brawl.  Competitors from the CrossFit games and Regionals were there amongst the others from all over the southeast. This wasn’t a ‘mom and pop’ competition; it was a “GET YOUR MIND RIGHT” competition, and our athletes did just that.  I could go on and on about the Beach Brawl and how proud I was of everyone but I want you to hear from them.

Q: What was your overall experience like at the Beach Brawl?

“I had a blast at the PBB this year.  It was my first team competition and I couldn’t have picked a better event.  All of the other athletes and spectators were encouraging and the experience was so motivating.  Being in an arena with athletes who have been to the CrossFit Games was pretty incredible”  - Beth O’Neil

“The Beach Brawl is the absolute best competition in the southeast and the crowd proves that.  It is run to a ‘T’ and they stay enthusiastic throughout the entire weekend” –Garrett Raskett

Q: What did you think was the hardest workout for you as an individual?

“The hardest workout for me was the “reverse.” I knew we needed to try and catch-up after our poor performance on the first workout so I wanted to go hard and fast for my team! My forearms and legs were shot from a 40 cal row, then I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to help Sara with the few snatches I did because of how exhausted I was, and the box overs….they were just a joke. I kept spinning around like a girl in a tutu, then stepping over the box and doing it all over again---I couldn’t think, I couldn’t feel my legs, I am not sure if I was breathing at all, and I had no clue how to stop spinning before I did another box over (I kept thinking to myself, what an idiot, but keep going!!)” – Melinda North

“Most difficult workout was the chipper, more specifically the box jump overs and finishing up with the 20 cleans at 155#.  My leg and body was taxed at that moment.” -Justin Edwards

Q: What surprised you the most about competing?

“The biggest surprise about competing is the level of competition and the overwhelming support of everyone there.”  - Justin Edwards

“The thing that surprised me the most was how difficult it was to run in the sand.” –Johnny Byrd

“I’d have to say the thing that caught me by surprise was how encouraging other teams were towards each other. It wasn’t like normal opponents I had faced. Everyone was there to compete to his or her best ability, but they also were supportive to each other.” –Kristin Young

Q: Would you compete again?  

I could quote everyone that competed this weekend and say ABSOLUTELY!

I am looking forward to the next few months and the excitement that I hear at PortSide.  There are already new faces ready to go for the next competition in November.  Whether you compete or not, do scaled or rx’d (prescribed) workouts, or whether you are first or last, doesn’t matter at all!  What matters the most is that you gave effort and put forth your best foot forward, that’s what counts.  I watched a team go before us in the sand run and I knew that it would be a struggle for them.  They were the last to finish but I felt more accomplished cheering them on until they finished then I did finishing first in our heat!  To me, that’s what CrossFit competitions are all about.

Until Next Year Beach Brawl 2016!


CrossFit PortSide