As with every other Crossfit Games Open announcement, there is a large amount of anxiety that builds up beforehand, anticipating which movements will be thrown into the mix, what sort of rep scheme, and the amount of time that the athletes would need to endure the result of the seemingly random hopper. Since workouts 14.1 and 14.2 both contained movements that even veteran Crossfitters struggled with, there was no telling what 14.3 would bring. Of the movements that had not been programmed yet, I had predicted this workout would involve some variation of box jumps and my nemesis movement of wall balls.
As we tuned into the announcement at my box on Thursday night, The Dave Castro smirked his devilish grin and started to speak..
And after what felt like forever to provide the details of the workout, and the twists and turns that succeeded the initial announcement, the resulting workout was (for women):
Complete as many reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
95-lb. deadlifts, 10 reps; 15 box jumps, 20-inch
135-lb. deadlifts, 15 reps; 15 box jumps, 20-inch
155-lb. deadlifts, 20 reps; 15 box jumps, 20-inch
185-lb. deadlifts, 25 reps; 15 box jumps, 20-inch
205-lb. deadlifts, 30 reps; 15 box jumps, 20-inch
225-lb. deadlifts, 35 reps; 15 box jumps, 20-inch
Knowing my struggles with double-unders from the first workout and my new virgin skill of chest to bar pull-ups in the second workout, I listened carefully to this one and can only bet that once he was done talking, I was grinning ear to ear.
I got this.
Deadlifts are my jam! I had just PRed my 1RM deadlift earlier in the week at 255# and knew with the structure of this workout, the “box jumps,” which could be substituted with step-ups, would not be an issue. After watching some of our own athletes do the workout on Thursday night, I set a respectable score of 100 as a goal. I knew physically I was capable of all of the movements, yet lifting heavy weights for heavy reps was an inevitable issue. My observation was that the step-ups were the rest, and the deadlifts, though much less than many of the athletes’ maxes, seemed to get heavy quickly.
On Friday, I visited my chiropractor (who told me I was flirting with danger), and performed the workout that evening, busting out the booty shorts and channeling my inner Stacie Tovar (my official new girl crush) and her “#strengthisbooty” motto.
I breezed through the first and second set of deadlifts and step-ups, maintaining a comfortable pace. I tightened up my weight belt and went for the 155#s, having to break them into sets of no more than 5. I made it through and still had plenty of time left on the clock to work on the 185#s, loosening and tightening my belt often to catch my breath. When time was called, I had scored an extremely proud 106, and I felt pretty awesome. My back has no sense of demise as many others had experienced and I even stuck around after class to do some more skill work.
(Oh! And then, THE Stacie Tovar “liked” this pic on Instagram!! SWOON! Which made me think- I am going to change all my dating profile pics to Crossfit lifting faces. Seriously, the guys will be all over that, right?)
Then, thrilled with my score, proud of my reps, and more than satisfied with my attempt, I did what any logical person would do – planned to repeat the workout again. Just as with the last workout, I more than exceeded my goal, yet then felt a need to push even further. Why do we do this? Egos, I suppose.
Sunday I ran an untrained 10k in 14′ weather. Oh yeah, that happened. It was miserable. My body hated me afterwards; my hamstrings were tight and everything just felt off. Monday I still felt the same, where my everything hurt.
After some back and forth self-talk, I opted to warmup with a few deadlifts and see how my hamstrings felt before I attempted to do the workout again. I had a respectable score and putting my body through that workout again could be asking for trouble, so wanted to proceed cautiously. I had a friend barbell mash those hammies and still undecided, I judged a couple other ladies as they repeated their workouts.
There is something about judging and watching others do the workout that gets me so pumped up. Athletes went two at a time, and I watched my long-lost wodbuddy rock this workout, lifting her current 1RM of 155# multiple times. I watched my girl, who seems to only be motivated when competing, beat her Friday score by 7 reps. And I watched a birthday girl make it to the 205#s. I needed to do this again. When it came to my turn, I had no one to go head-to-head with, so had an audience- all eyes on me.
I fought through my reps, determined to beat my prior score, having to be reminded to breathe during the step-ups, but making it through the first three sets of deadlifts and step-ups with little issue. Then I faced the 185#s; I wanted every one of those reps so badly and with 3:34 to finish 25 of them, my goal was well within reach. Anytime I would take a few seconds to rest, one of the coaches would yell at me about how I am really not tired and I need to keep moving. I’d step away from the bar and get scolded for wasting time. I nervously kept fixing my plates and adjusting my belt as I passed my score of 106 with time left on the clock, struggling for every single rep.
The other athletes were cheering me on and with less 30 seconds to go, I needed only 4 reps to make it to my goal of 115. I grabbed that bar and managed rep 112.
And then there was that overwhelming feeling that the body just cannot do anymore.
I had three reps to go and a fair amount of time to do it, with everyone screaming, “Back on the bar, Jen!”
Ten seconds left.. two reps to go.. So close.. I was more than satisfied beating my prior score, but craved that 115..
I put my hands back on the bar, took a deep breath, chest up, heels down, and nope.. The bar wasn’t moving.
Nauseous yet elated with my score, I laid on the floor for quite some time to catch my breath and reflect on what I just accomplished.
I did not meet my second goal, but I reflected on major progress. Out of 59 ladies competing at my box, I was ranked 23rd from 14.1 and proceeded to rank 11th in this workout, bumping my overall place to 12th.
My chest-to-bar last week was my first major defining moment in this year’s Open and this workout marked another milestone for me. This workout, I managed to score higher reps than some of the girls I look up to. I scored higher on this workout than the girls who were ranked 4th and 6th in our box after 14.2. Higher than athletes that were younger, faster, fitter, than me.
Sure this is one workout. And sure, it is not about the comparison game. But the Crossfit Games Open continues to change me inside and driving me to be a better athlete. I am used to being near the bottom of the class when I RX WODs, but I am continuing to do things I had never thought possible and becoming more and more proud of my accomplishments.
To see a higher score next to many name than someone who I admire, respect, and am in total awe of, is a a huge ego-booster and has left me even more excited to push harder for the future. I am sure wall balls are inevitable and I will resume my normal whining and tears which have not yet made their way into this Open, but for now, I am relishing in the fact that I am almost in the top 10 in my box. 😉