I was going to lead off this blog entry discussing my experience from yesterday and 14.1, but I can’t. The best part of the Open WODs is watching someone do something they thought they couldn’t do and this time that person was my wife.
It took me a good two years to convince my wife to start CrossFit. When I finally landed at my current box the owner is a former co-worker of my wife’s from 15 years ago (or more?!) and that helped get my wife to CrossFit. I think it has been about a year now since my wife started and it took just a little bit of pushing, but I got her to sign up for the Open.
She doesn’t have double-unders or pullups or handstand pushups and a few other movements, but she can lift a bunch of weight – she is strong like bull, which is why I try not to piss her off – she hurts me. (this is where the observant reader calls the authorities for me….please!). Then last week she received a diagnosis that could have, and would have a year ago, sent her to the bench: she was told that both of her retina’s are detaching and she requires surgery. A year ago, heck, maybe even six months ago this news would have easily been enough to give her reason to stop CrossFit altogether. The doc told her no impactful exercise and he thinks jumping rope and running are impactful (I would disagree, but I ain’t a doc). Box jumps? OK, those could be impactful, but jumping rope? When she received the news she went to CrossFit that same night and instead of having a pity party she was more concerned with how she would compete during the Open.
Fast forward to Thursday when 14.1 was announced which includes 30 double-unders per round. That’s 30 reps of an exercise the doc told her not to perform. She might have had the detached retina’s for a year now, or longer, and she figured if they haven’t fallen off by now she would give it a go. What the hell? What’s the worst that could happen? She loses sight in one eye? Pffft, this is the OPEN AFTERALL!
On Friday she went to open gym and spent an hour working on her double-unders and got one double-under. ONE! In sixty minutes she got one successful double-under. Now her anxiety was building. After I got done with my WOD on Friday night I saw her at one point with three different jump ropes outside of the gym trying each one trying to find one that would pass under her feet twice in one jump.
OK, enough suspense, it’s her turn to WOD and she immediately gets one double-under. And then another, and another, and another. She nailed her first 30 double-unders in about three minutes! BAM – snatches are light weight. She is back on the rope with just over five minutes left and drills out another 30 double-unders including nearly linking two in a row twice. She gets back to the snatches again and finishes them again. With about 30 seconds left in the WOD she runs back to the rope and makes a rookie mistake – she left the rope in a heap instead of laying it down nicely so when she picked it up it was all tangled and it took her nearly 30 seconds to get it ready for use. But she got it ready and hit one more double-under before the clock expired!
NINETY. ONE. REPS!!! She was worried she wouldn’t get one rep in the WOD and ended up with NINETY-ONE! So proud of her. So freaking proud. Who cares if her rope was tangled at the end, she was on cloud nine.
And, yes, she can still see fine out of both eyes.
Many of the girls she WODs with regulalry were cheering her on and everyone was so excited she got so many double-unders If you do CrossFit you know what this is: it is CrossFitters being CrossFitters – being extremely happy, proud and excited for those they workout with daily.
Here I am the next morning, at 5am, and I am still immensely proud of her score yesterday, but that is miniscule compared to how proud I am of her for just TRYING. What an example that sets for our children. Never give up and you will be amazed at what you can do.
Now onto my experience which is far, far less exciting.
My original plan was to take a complete rest day on Friday and do nothing but judge athletes at my box on Friday night, but that changed I woke up later than normal on Friday morning and felt good. I watched entirely too many videos on planning and performing 14.1 while at work that I just had to get it over with. So I went on Friday night.
I warmed up with a lot of shoulder mobility and upper and lower back mobility. I started off rowing for two minutes with a straight leg rowing (no legs – all back and arms) and then two more minutes easy rowing and one minute hard rowing, all on damper setting #1. I did a few snatches with the weight for the WOD and a few clean and jerks. My strategy was I would power snatch the weight until my grip started to fail, at that time I would switch to clean and jerks. I knew my grip would fail after watching the videos and with my own experience in doing double-unders. After getting some reps at the weight I made sure I linked 30 double-unders which, thankfully, I did my first attempt so I didn’t have to jump a bunch of rope.
My last goal was to get one round every 90 seconds. That was going to be my pace which would allow me to get six-plus rounds. I thought if I could get 270 reps that would be pretty damn good for me. For a guy who had real problems with double-under until just a few months ago and still have trouble of them when I run out of breath, that was a lofty goal.
I nail my shoes on my second double-under. Uh-oh…but then I link the next 28 and move onto snatches. I don’t run to the bar and I don’t try to throw the weight around quickly and just go with a nice and easy pace. I was back on the rope at about 1:15 and well under my 90 seconds per round goal, so I take my time. I think I linked all 30 DU’s to start round two and nailed all 15 snatches and was back to the rope around 2:30 into the WOD. This is where it starts to get blurry.
I don’t recall struggling with the DU’s at all, which is amazing. I know one round I had to break them up due to fatigue and I know two rounds I finished my DU’s with my eyes closed because I wasn’t letting that rope go with less than five reps to go even though my forearms were screaming at me. What I do recall struggling with was my grip on the bar. The weight never felt heavy, my shoulders or back never hurt or felt tight…but my grip was blown out. I moved to clean and jerks in round four. At one point I looked at the clock to see if I was still on pace, but I had no freaking idea what round I was even on and if I did doing the math to figure out if I was on pace wasn’t happening, so I just went.
With 45 seconds left I had to get through my DU’s and get back to the bar and thankfully my pacing left some gas in the tank so I went and went hard. I got through my DU’s and got back to the bar for four more reps for a score of….259. I didn’t get my six full rounds, much less the six-plus I was hoping for.
No matter, I’ll take that score. I’m not re-doing a WOD this year unless I really piss an effort down my leg. If I had to do it over I’m not sure where I would improve, so why do it again?
I consider my score pretty good for a WOD that has a movement that has given me trouble for a long, long time.
Now what do we have for 14.2?