For me, the CrossFit Games Open is now done. I am very happy about that. While I feel like I was somewhat of a catalyst for some people to sign up, I feel like I wasn't a very good competitor this year. I felt like I didn't really give it my all on any of them (except maybe my second attempt at 12.2). I wasn't really excited about any of them....until 12.5.

I practiced handstand push-ups all week. I still haven't gotten one, but I am SO CLOSE!!! I was sure they would program a Diane ladder (deadlifts, hspu). Most people thought this. Instead, they brought out the last one from last year: the Fran ladder.

Last year, I got three thrusters and spent 6:30 trying to get a chest to bar pull-up...twice. And although I've been able to get chest-to-bars in practice now and then, I haven't really done them consistently, so I wasn't sure if I was able to get them during the WOD.

I got 23.

And I would have been able to do more if I hadn't been SO HAPPY!!!! I don't know if I've ever smiled so much in a workout. What a relief! I've actually improved! It's been so long since I've seen actual improvement...maybe this is just what I need to kick myself back into some sort of mental shape.

And part of me thought, for a minute, 'Damn. I could have gotten more reps if I would have known I would have done that well. And that was my one shot.' But then, my true self came through. It's just exercise and I improved! How often do we just enjoy what we're doing in CrossFit (as much as you can enjoy thrusters and pull-ups)? I was smiling for hours after that. Not because I looked ridiculous, like my snatches in 12.2, but because I was awesome!

So the moral of the story is don't forget to have fun. Otherwise, what's the point?

So I hope that the Open was worth it for everyone who participated. I look forward to seeing who will be going to Regionals this year. And for those of you who pushed yourself farther than you intended, nice work. You understood the point.

“Promise me you'll always remember: 
You're braver than you believe, 
and stronger than you seem, 
and smarter than you think. ”
Christopher Robin to Pooh
A.A. Milne


And this, right here, is truly what the Open is about: Pride.

**And I am purposely leaving out any mention of the wall balls in 12.4. I completely lost my motivation and those weren't fun. Not at all. They never will be.** 


Setting the Bar

So I think I'm finally able to move my arms again. That will change again tomorrow, I'm sure. For Open WOD 12.3, we finally got a CrossFit WOD! 18 minutes of box jumps, push presses, and toes to bar. Awesome! And it didn't feel as bad as I thought it would when I did it Thursday. That also means I could have pushed harder. By Friday evening, I started to hurt. By Saturday morning, I was sooooo sore. And for some stupid reason, I decided to try it again this morning. Let's just not talk about that.

The hard part about the workout for me was the push presses. 75lbsx12 per round = real heavy, real fast. The toes to bar was like a break for me. It hasn't always been this way.

I don't know what it is about this move that pisses off so many people. Maybe it's because when athletes are good at it, it looks so effortless. But it does take a lot of effort. Those of us who can do them felt that effort as the rounds added up.

But many people struggle with the movement. All you have to do is a big kip, swing your feet up, and touch the bar, right? Sure! OK, well, not really.

Last year, I judged one of my favorite people in the world. She did her 5 heavy power cleans, then spent 18 minutes trying to get one toes to bar. She did leave and cry at one time. BUT she came back! And she kept trying. This year, she did 34 toes to bar. So proud.

And this weekend, I worked with 2 other athletes who knew they could post a score to the Games site with what they had already done, but who continued to work at getting those toes to bar. And if they keep coming in and working on them, next year, not a problem.

The Open can expose our weaknesses. I'm not good at short workouts. I know this. I like the 10 minute + workouts. I haven't been great at box jumps before, but somehow, they're starting to click with me. I need to work on stringing them together. As long as we work on these things, and KEEP TRYING, we will get better. 

And hopefully, by the time they release 12.4 (double unders and heavy cleans?), I'll be able to move my arms again.


Snatch It Like It's Hot...Or How Not to Get A Lot of Weight Overhead

My hopes of showing off my double under skills were obliterated when CrossFit HQ announced WOD 12.2 - a snatch ladder. Just snatches for 10 minutes, increasing in weight every 30 reps. After some initial grumbling, I understood the WOD. Most can get through 30 reps. Those with some strength can get between 31-60. Those with both strength and skill will get the most reps.

For women, this meant starting out at 45lbs, then moving up to 75 for the second part. That was my previous 1 rep max. So I walked in not knowing what to expect. My goal was 40 reps. I got through my first 30. Then it got ugly.

Yeah, my back is hurting.
I failed trying to get 75lbs up. And I failed another 3 times. I swore loudly. I didn't want this to happen. I didn't want people watching me fail for 5 minutes. And I don't quite know how it happened, but I finally got that weight overhead. And I did it the way we really shouldn't - I managed to get it up to head-level then press it up. Ugh. It was nasty. I finished with 48 reps.

And one of my favorite athletes said I was smiling the whole time. Of course I was. It was RIDICULOUS! There were a few rules about what we couldn't do, but otherwise, just get it from the ground to overhead in "one" motion. I was also smiling because I exceeded my goal - I was pretty happy with my score. But some stupid instinct in me told me I could get 60 reps. So I waited a couple days, then I went at it again.

So I came in on Sunday, ready to get 60 reps. After my first 30, I had 7:30 to complete it. That is such a huge jump in weight. It really is. I ended up with 53, 5 better than the first time, and I was completely happy with that. 

And I could care less how I compare to other people. I know a lot of women in the box got 60 reps and that's awesome. I just didn't have it in me this time. 75lbs was my one rep max - now it's my 23 rep max.

We also saw some amazing determination (SISU!) by our athletes. One woman, Annie, got the 60 reps on Thursday and new she could get to the next level if she focused. She showed up on Saturday, got through the 60, then loaded the bar. A crowd formed. She attempted to snatch 100lb. - failed. Tried again, failed. And suddenly, something clicked. She got that weight overhead, and everyone was so happy. And she did it three more times. That's a true CrossFitter. That's what the Open is all about. Nice work, Annie!