Crossfit Games Open 15.5: Would you redo?

by ~jenniferlynn on April 1, 2015

in CrossFit

And the Open is OVER!!!

I know you all think I write these recap posts for you to read and enjoy, and yes, I do love that you get to share in my struggles. But in full disclosure: most of the blog posts that I write are for me! I love looking back at my progress to see how I have grown physically, mentally, and emotionally.

I look back at some of these posts like 13.3 when I repeated a workout because I wanted to finish 150 wall balls in 12 minutes so badly, now knowing I have finished Karen sub-9:00. And 14.2 when I got my first chest-to-bar pull-up. And when I recently PRed my clean and my jerk, it was funny to look back at when I couldn’t get more than two 95# C&J during 13.4.

Ignore the conversation over the video as @kandidlykristina and @katieryan11 discuss my brown bananas.. 😂😂🍌 My jerk still needs a lot of work, but since I PRed in the fall at 130#, have struggled with anything above 115# So often I rack 120# and panic.. Today I committed to 120# and 125# though 130# felt heavy in that position, I wanted to hit my max that I have only done once before. 130# felt better than 115# did, so after PRing my clean today I was feeling confident to go for it..! Still have some technique issues but jerked 135# – only a couple pounds away from bodyweight!!! Photo cred: @beans905 #crossfit #jerk #oly #nikeweightlifting #pr #wodmob #poweredbypoptarts #crossfitgirl #prdance #banana @fabletics @beastette.traindirtyapparel @humanx @strong_girls_club @women.of.crossfit

A post shared by Jennifer Hudy (@winetoweights) on

But major progress or not, there is bound to be a workout that reminds you what it is like to feel behind; a WOD that is soul-crushing and demoralizing, and one that you never want to repeat again.

While it was inevitable that there was going to be thrusters in an Open workout, and the potential for no time cap, the combination of rowing and thrusters was less than expected. Everyone knew it was going to be terrible. Similar to 14.5, it was going to be one that left you lying on the ground breathless, defeated, and possibly contemplating what you are doing with your life.


27-21-15-9 reps for time of:
Row (calories)


So why on earth would someone like me do this workout… twice?

If you have been following my blog for a bit of time, you may know that I used to get, what I can only refer to as, exercise-induced panic attacks. I don’t know if it is a real thing, but it is real to me, and it has caused a lot of pressure and anxiety during WODs, and even more often, running. The best way to prevent this? Breathe. Such a simple, unconscious task, and one that I have been quite a bit more successful with since I have cut back on doing regular classes and working out on my own in the back of the gym; doing WODs on my own terms, and under my own clock. I know it may sound silly, but by taking the pressure off, I feel I have made significant improvements in almost every arena.. though conditioning still falters way behind.

I joined the 6:30pm class to tackle 15.5, knowing it was a one-and-done and hoping the hype and adrenaline rush of having a crowd around would help to push me.

And boy, was I pushed..

Pushed to the point that as soon as I was about halfway done through my 21s, I wanted to vomit. And I couldn’t breathe.

Now I understand this workout sucked for everyone, and even one of our head coaches made a comment that he wouldn’t redo this workout even if given a Golden Ticket to the games. But for me, it was pushing me into such a bad place that I couldn’t get beyond the idea that I couldn’t breathe. I was in full-on panic mode, heavy breathing, nauseous. I vaguely remember my girlfriends cheering me on, yelling at me to push through it and to BREATHE.. shouting some sort of encouraging words that were intended to make me feel better, knowing that I CAN do it, and that I have done workouts like this before (more than once I did rowing/thruster/burpee combination wods, and came out alive). Watching other people out of the corner of my eye struggle, yet they were finishing strong..

thruster crossfit games open 15.5

I grabbed the handle of the rowing machine for the 15 calorie row and I had zero pulling power. My legs had no drive, yet somehow I finished those calories. I had to do my set of 15 thrusters in no set bigger than 5, staring my training partners each in the eye, with the most pathetic look on my face, nearly in tears, telling them I wanted to stop the workout and just take a zero. I wanted to quit so badly, that it didn’t even matter what my score was.

crossfit games open 15.5 rowing calories

The Open was ending, and I didn’t get a muscle-up, and I know my endurance sucks, so who cares what I got on this workout?

I hated Crossfit.

I hated my training.

I hated anyone that was yelling at me.

Crossfit is supposed to be fun, folks.

I somehow miraculously finished the workout, calming my breath, and completing my last set of thrusters unbroken.

And then, as most people did, I died a little. It was about 30′ outside and after lying on the ground for about 10 minutes, I stumbled to the door and sat outside in my sports bra. Shivering and sweating and head-spinning. I don’t remember a workout that had made me feel as badly as this one, mentally and physically.

I know I will never be the first person to finish a workout, and I know my endurance is poor. These are facts. And most days, when I know I give 100%, I can accept this; and my manfriend even commented that he knew I gave it my all because of my reaction afterwards, that it was obvious I “went hard” and gave it my all. But know that spending a good portion of the workout panting and whining and unable to calm myself down  was not my definition of going hard. It was more of a definition of wussing out, and giving up.

This workout took me a few days to recover, and while in the end my score didn’t matter to me, I wanted to redo it.. but not redo it that weekend.

So last Saturday, I did my normal weightlifting and then rather than run the prescribed 5k, I chose to willingly, voluntarily, determinedly repeat 15.5. On my terms. My clock. My audience and competition of just me, and a score that was not going to go up on the Games site, and not going to be recorded as an official judged score; but just a score for me to write in my logbook and for me to know I did all I could.

I had to do this workout for myself, to know that I can push through the pain and discomfort while staying in control. I needed to get a “real” score, a real time that shows the output of the effort that I have been putting in.

I only finished this workout about 15 seconds faster than the week before, but I felt much more at peace with my score. I probably could have gone faster (as my recovery time was only about 3 minutes compared to about 20 last week); I probably should have gone faster. But this workout was about me. And my goals. And my mental state!

Now that the Open is over, it is time to take a step back again and remember my why, set some goals, and remind myself to fall in love with the process.

Your turn..
Have you ever had a panic attack mid-WOD?
What do you do to calm yourself when you find your breathing out of control?
Are you glad that the Open is over?
Do you ever feel more comfortable working out alone than in a crowd?

Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed April 12, 2015 at 8:29 pm

15.5 was evil! Those 65 lbs thrusters felt heavy before I even started. My legs hurt for a full week!
Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed recently posted..15.5 & Phillies Charity 5K Race RecapMy Profile

~jenniferlynn April 12, 2015 at 8:30 pm

Thanks for the comment April! Just remember why you’re doing it and HAVE FUN!! come back and let me know how it goes or share with me on social media @winetoweights!

Jen @ Chase the Red Grape April 13, 2015 at 4:31 am

Actually, I really want to repeat 15.5 too! My husband thinks I’m crazy but I actually think I could do so much better – I dropped the bar a few times when I could have gone unbroken… I just think I could push myself further!
But then again that in itself frustrates me, why can I not just be content with how I did… Ack the life of a crossfitter! 😉
Jen @ Chase the Red Grape recently posted..Making a small change to a healthier happier you!My Profile

Chris April 13, 2015 at 2:14 pm

I scaled my 15.5 and I do want to tackle it at the Rx weight at some point soon… If I ever get over this sinus infection! It took me a while to recover from this one too and my quads were sore for days afterwards!
Chris recently posted..You Might Be A CrossFitter If…My Profile

Madeline @ Whitewall Collective April 14, 2015 at 6:00 pm

Haha! I love how your friends were chatting away, you hit a great lift, and they’re all “did you get that?!” That was awesome! Congrats on the pretty jerk!

Ron Miller April 16, 2015 at 9:02 am

I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who is constantly asking if I gave my all on that set. Constant improvement!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: