Stuff I Talk About

by Christina Ledbetter

The Competition

My gym held a competition, and in a moment of glee over having just eaten a really tasty salad, I signed up to compete.

When I arrived that morning, everyone was milling around all happy and buzzy, clapping each other on the shoulders and talking about eating eggs for breakfast. Then the coaches called us over to a whiteboard and explained that unfortunately, some of us were about to die.

Then they broke down the method of death…

That’s when I learned that for my first workout, I had eight minutes to row 400 meters on the rowing machine, and then spend the remaining time doing heavy front squats.

A front squat is where you shove the weight bar into your larynx, stop breathing, and then squat down until someone tells you “Good depth!” and then attempt to stand back up.

They were invented by Lucifer.

So was rowing.

Before we got started, they gave me my very own coach assigned to drag my body away should I collapse and trip up another athlete. They assigned me Ginger and gave her a clipboard to chronicle my demise.

Ginger is a gladiator.

The countdown began…


I begin to row. Like, CRAZY row. Like, heaving and straining and pulling much faster than usual. I have so much adrenaline pumping that I can’t help myself. I’m on FIRE, baby!

Comp 47:50

Ginger grows worried. She has seen me work out before and knows what she is seeing is a shocking abnormality.

“Get a good, steady pace you can maintain, Christina.”


I slow down.


Way down.


My adrenaline’s like, “Check it, I’m outta here!” leaving me yanking at the rower in desperate attempts to finish somewhere above dead last.


I begin to load weight onto my bar. I put on a modest amount that I know I can do.


I do it, and it is roughly 75% harder than I thought it’d be.


I add five pounds to the bar. I have front squatted this next weight dozens of times in the past. This is nothing for me.

Well, maybe it’s something. Holy cow. This is heavy. Maybe I’d been on steroids those other days I squatted this much pound? Is it too late to take steroids now? How does one obtain a steroid? I glance at Ginger, sizing her up. Unfortunately, she is not on the juice and is of no help to me.


Comp 1 Comp 2 Comp 3

Then I fell over in a heap.

The rest of the day was okay though because they had a free pile of bananas on a table set up for us, and I REALLY like bananas. So while my fellow athletes lifted kilos of metal above their heads and went all Rocky jumping ropes, I chewed banana and cheered for them while slapping my free hand on my thigh.

In the end, I came in a three-way tie for 27th place out of 30, of which I’m quite proud. They didn’t give me a medal because the medal company said they were out of three-way tie 27th placers, but I’ll probably receive a certificate of sorts in the mail.

Until then, I’ll be eatin’ more salads…and reliving those first ten seconds on the rower…

29th Place

Categories: This and That

7 replies

  1. Love this, Christina! You did fantastic – this is roughly how I’d have described the event too. I’d add that I had a great time talking to everyone, cheering for each other – and watching my hubby compete. Thanks for sharing!

    Freaking love your blogs!
    And CONGRATS on your 27th place 🙂

  3. Hilarious! I love your drawings! However, as someone who was there I have to say that you are selling yourself way short! But I love that you don’t take it too seriously! We can all learn from that!

  4. Ok I LOVE UR DRAWINGS!….i love ur blogs!…too funny!!…u were totally awesome & i was very excited to judge u!…i hope u do the team competition in the fall! sure ill b volunteering again😊…congrats on ur 27th place!!..YOU’RE AWESOME!!

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