Ruth Anderson Horrell: Looking Back On The Games

Ruth Anderson Horrell on Day 2 of the 2013 CrossFit Games

It has taken me a bit of time to put together some thoughts after the 2013 CrossFit Games. So much of your thoughts, energy and time are occupied toward such a big event, so when it finishes, you can feel like you’ve just been through a vacuum and slipping back to daily life can seem a bit strange.

For me it was returning to New Zealand, catching up with friends and getting back into some coaching. It’s been a great time, but to not be training for so many hours of the day, suddenly you feel like you’ve stopped going to church! Yesterday, I got my first real WOD in since the Games. It was a great feeling to have such a well rested body and to have a new focus for the coming year.

This year was filled with many ups and downs. My training in the first 6 months went well, I gained good strength and although I was a little under conditioned, I felt the benefits of this in the WODs. The last 6 months I had some thoracic spine and neck issues which flared up 3 weeks before the Australia Regional, and really blew up 2 weeks before the Games. I definitely was considering not competing, but that was essentially giving up, and I was very fortunate to get some great mental and emotional support from everyone around me to get me to push through and continue with treatments, doing a little training if I could.

Ruth Anderson horrell 2013 crossfit games

I was scared to be competing at the highest level when you consider I was leading in to the Games with just a few sprints, and aerodyne workouts (initially really just biking because any arm movement was painful). The year before, I had felt my cardiovascular fitness was peaking, but this year, pain obstructing my training meant I felt a little under done.

In hindsight, the rest was probably excellent for me, and on the Games weekend I felt my body coped fairly well with the volume. My neck was requiring treatment throughout the competition, and referred a lot of pain in to my shoulder, and I think caused some deactivation of stabilizing muscles, as even ring support became difficult. It was frustrating to not have the strength and gymnastic skill (turnover, in the rings was difficult, and landing on my head in deficit HSPU caused so much pain my movement was very hindered), that I worked so hard on through the year, but I guess, it has fuelled a fire within for me to come back and show what I can do.

ruth anderson horrell injury

My program is currently mobility, treatment, activation exercises, and some strength work that does not induce any pain. I’m working closely with my physiotherapist and also seeing what time and rest can heal. I expect to do this for another week and then am hoping to hit a few WODs before competing at the Wellington Cup. I’m looking at some options for training this year, which are really new and exciting, but will continue to work with my wonderful coaches, who have been so patient with my issues and injuries.

So what is my focus? It looks like I’m planning on returning to the CrossFit Games for another year. Every year I think it may be my last, and then I feel I can get further and want it again.

2014 will be a massive year, I cant wait to see where this year’s journey takes me.

Ruth Anderson Horrell
Ruth is a 28 year old CrossFit athlete from New Zealand and competed at the 2011 and 2012 CrossFit Games (placing 31st and 17th respectively). Ruth is also an Olympic Weightlifter for NZ, representing her country in the 2012 Oceania and Trans Tasman Champs. When she is not competing, Ruth spends her time coaching at her affiliate CrossFit Wild South, working as a sheep farmer and building a career as a Locum small animal veterinarian.