Starrett high above the stadium floor in one of her many muscle-ups on the day.

2010 CrossFit Games Finals

Juliet Starrett vs. Muscle-Ups

A recollection of her first muscle-up (ever) in front of a large crowd.

Unless you’re a member at San Francisco CrossFit, you may be unaware of the name Juliet Starrett, though you probably know her husband Kelly. Juliet was a member of San Francisco CrossFit’s affiliate team and left a big impression behind at this year’s Games. The one movement that she didn’t want to see come out of the hopper, muscle-ups, reared it's ugly head in the last event. The following is her recollection of her first muscle-up in front of a screaming crowd of fans, friends and loved ones.

Everyone on our team except me and Corrine Brenner (our third woman) had muscle-ups going into the Games and had been practicing them. Angel Orozco was probably our best and our team strategy for the last workout was to have Angel do the vast majority of the muscle-ups (maybe 20) with Damian Marano helping out (maybe seven or eight) and with our other woman Catherine Gravelle doing one or two. The plan was for me to "attempt" one.

I think our team really struggled on the rope climb which, admittedly, is a skill none of us  practice very often. By the time we got over to the muscle-ups, Angel and Damian were blown out and were failing at their muscle-up attempts. Once it was apparent that we were having an issue, we all began to panic because we were already in last place in our heat and we totally failing at the muscle-ups. But, between the crowd support and having one of our coaches, Carl Paoli, tell us to just relax, we pulled it together and slowly began to chip away at the remaining muscle-ups.  

For my part, I had been practicing them for the 2 months leading up to the Games because I knew they would show up. While I had gotten pretty close to getting one before the Games, my first one was indeed during that workout. Honestly, it was the thing I was the most stressed about before the Games because I was convinced it would show up in a workout and I didn't want to let my team down if the workout was set up so that each person on the team had to complete one.  

It was pretty amazing for me because, not only was it my first muscle up ever in that stadium, but I was the first one on our team to actually get one during that workout. Since I had been struggling before the Games, it felt like a major accomplishment for me to get one at that time. I went from being really panicked about our team struggling to being elated to have overcome that barrier. Then, to my own surprise, I was able to do 6 more during the remaining time and did a total of 7 in the workout. While I probably should have been bummed that we came in DFL in that last workout, I left the stadium totally elated and stoked and was on a high for several days after.

The crowd support and the support of the two other teams who came out to cheer us on was huge.  I was really proud of our whole team for just gutting it out and getting the 30 muscle-ups done. We supported each other, the crowd supported us, the other competitors supported us. I thought it really exemplified what is awesome about sports and the power of competition. It also made me really proud to be part of the CrossFit community. I don't want to overstate the experience but it was a great moment for me personally, a great moment for our team, and a great moment for the CrossFit community at large.

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3 comments on this entry

1. molly wrote...

rock on, Juliet! I was in the stands rooting for you and your team. I agree that it was a moment that truly exemplifies what is awesome about sports and competing. You're an inspiration.

2. Adam Kayce wrote...

Watching the SFCF team do the muscle-ups was definitely one of my favorite moments during the entire weekend. The level of absolute heart that was displayed as you all gutted through those was seriously inspirational.

I loved it. I cheered for you all, alone in my room with my computer, and it left a wonderfully indelible impression on me. Congratulations on your first muscle-up (and your next six), and hats off to your entire team for your determination and sheer resolve to give it your all.

3. Blaine wrote...

Juliet... WOW, great story. I can now say that I have been inspired by the whole Starrett family.
Well done!


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