Karla M - Competing in Puerto Rico


Barbell Bettys was definitely a great experience. It was a very supportive environment, the girls were really nice and encouraging, and coach Cassi is awesome! It was really cool learning how to lift correctly and making progress every time. I’ve never felt stronger. I was surprised by the confidence I gained during Betty’s, it was good for WODs and for my other outside activities. My favorite story about how Betty’s made me stronger and more confident is when I mistakenly ended up in a difficult hiking trail in Acadia National Park. It felt more like rock climbing than hiking, but somehow I was not scared, I felt so strong and I was able to get to the top of the mountain. I think that before Betty’s (and crossfit in general) I would have quit at the first steep climb.

I was a bit bummed out because I didn’t get to attend the last Betty’s session, since it happened after I left for Puerto Rico. When I learned that the program was going to continue uncoached, I asked Cassi if I could be part of it and do my accessory work on my own. I was very excited to continue to be part of the group even while away. I was gone for two months and I didn’t want that to get in the way of the progress I was making. I’m so ready for the next Betty’s to start!

After Bettys I spent 2 months in Puerto Rico and took part in their internal throwdown. I felt very nervous of course! I wasn’t thinking about participating at first, but the coaches convinced me to do it. They told me that the throwdown (or gameness beatdown, as it’s called at Barrio 12) was designed so everybody could participate. They posted the weights and possible movements in advance; I felt confident that I could do all the scaled moves at 55 lbs., except for the shoulder to overhead, that’s why I was hesitating. That was my 1 rep max for a strict press, so I figured that I could do a few reps if it was a push press and finally decided to go for it.

It was fun! I was really scared that I was going to pass out haha, but I didn’t. I was super excited because I finished all the workouts within the time caps; and yes, I was able to do 5 rounds of 10 push presses! It was also fun seeing all the other groups (Rx and teens) and feeling part of the box even for the short time I spent there. I realized that in a competition there’s nothing to be scared of and a lot to be excited about.


Mat Frankel