March 26, 2013
Nicole Spitzack: Amaze Yourself
By Lauryn Lax

“The theme at my box for the Open is 'Amaze yourself.' That is just what the athletes at my box intend to do ... myself included.”

Top photo courtesy of Manivanh Baythavong Lindeman

Nearly two months ago, box owner and CrossFit competitor Nicole Spitzack began her day teaching classes and training for the 2013 Open. That day ended in the back of an ambulance after a head-on collision.

“Fortunately, there were three gentlemen there from another nearby business (who) grabbed my 6-month-old son, and then grabbed me as I climbed out of the truck and fell to the ground,” she says. “I was bleeding a lot, cut from hip to hip, had a busted nose and I couldn’t feel anything from the hips down other than excruciating pain. I didn’t know what to expect. Was I going to lose a leg or be paralyzed?”

The athlete and her baby were rushed to the nearest emergency room where doctors ran several tests. Unbelievably, they found only cuts and bruises on both her and her son. She was told their survival was a miracle.

“I am beyond blessed. It really is a miracle, and it was a reminder that I am here for a reason, fulfilling my purpose,” she says. “Nothing brings me greater joy than to coach others and see someone accomplish something they never knew they had in them. My mission is to inspire others to believe in themselves in a way they never have before.”

After pulling herself together, she realized the Open was just a few weeks away. A few days prior, she was wondering if she could walk, now she was curious if she could still compete.

With a large gash on her shin, compression socks and ice were necessary tools. She began testing movements and modifying workouts two weeks before the Open began.

“The Open to me this year is about the fight,” she says. “Proving to myself that I’m made of something that will not quit.”

Spitzack wasn’t confident how her body would react to the demands of 13.1. Her hands were shaking as she approached the bar.

“When I got to the 100-lb. bar, I didn't know what to expect,” she says. “I didn't even know if it would be possible with my limitations and injuries. I had a group of friends there around me saying, ‘It’s OK if you don't get it, just do what you can, listen to your body and take it easy.’ Their support that day meant so much to me. When I did that first snatch and landed it, all I could do was smile and scream, ‘Yes!’”

That smile remained for the next 17 reps. Spitzack completed a total of 167 on 13.1.

“It felt so good just to pick that bar up and throw it overhead,” she says.

The CrossFit Solafide owner didn’t stop there.

With wounds still healing, she scored 300 reps on 13.2 and 240 reps on 13.3. Again, smiling at the notion of being so close to the end, and yet so far from giving up.

“The theme at my box for the Open is ‘Amaze yourself,”’ she says. “That is just what the athletes at my box intend to do ... myself included.”