My Personal Prediction for Open 15.1

How many Snatches will I get tomorrow? A Gazillion!

How many Snatches will I get tomorrow? A Gazillion!

This is my third year participating in the CrossFit Open.

I always seem to make progress even though I do not possess the star power of Rich Froning & Jason Khalipa. It’s close, but I’m not quite there yet.

Every year I find an event, or movement, where I Crash & Burn, and every year I experience a personal victory over the five week period.

This year will be different in that I am not a six-day a week CrossFitter. I now do Olympic lifts two evenings a week, and attend a WOD or Open Gym on the weekend.

Yup, I spend only 4-5 hours working out every week. Guess what, I’m feeling better, and when I do a WOD, I am stronger. Yeah, I may be sucking more wind after a WOD (I hate metcons), but I’m not trashed and sore all week.

I love CrossFit. I enjoy the people and the workouts can be a lot of fun (and they can suck badly too, I hate metcons).

I made the change quite deliberately, because in my enthusiasm, I had abandoned my original goal of wellness, and got sucked into the CrossFit community. I drank the Kool-Aid (insert trademark here).

So I reset my goals and made CrossFit a fun addition to my health regimen, not the main focus.

With that said, I really didn’t know if I was going to do the Open this year. After all, it is easy to get drawn into the excitement. Then CrossFit Games had a reporter call me and ask to interview me about the 2013 Open. It seems that someone at CFHQ had read my blog. (I hope I don’t get sued for all those things I said about Dave Castro)

As my friends read the article, they all laughed and told me that I had to do the games now. I was featured as a success story on the Games page.

I am at a point in my my life where my mere survival is declared success.

Another thing that is different from previous years, is announcement night. Last year several of us would get together for dessert and watch the events unfold on a huge screen. We’d all moan in disgust when the WODs were announced. We’d second guess ourselves, we’d strategize. But mostly we all laughed and encouraged one another, and that always overflowed onto the gym floor on Saturday morning.

This year, though we keep in touch, work and family and relocations have disrupted our little team. So I was unable to meet my friends for whine and dessert. Also, I had been graciously offered a last minute ticket to attend the Open Announcement at Reebok One in Canton Thursday morning. But I had too many business commitments to extricate myself from, so I had to pass. I got out of work in time to make it to Barbell Club and watch the events unfold on the gym TV.

For the first time, I wasn’t rattled by the announcement. That does not mean I will smoke this event. But it does mean that I am confident that I am going into the WOD knowing I am capable of performing the movements at the prescribed weights for Masters Men 60+. Since this year I have a choice to do Rx or Scaled, I reviewed both WODs. I chose Rx, not because I am some kind of macho stud, but because I can do the moves. I don’t care if I only get one round, I can perform the movements as prescribed, so I will not sandbag.

Make no mistake, if I felt unsafe or inept at a movement, I would not be embarrassed to opt for Scaled. I suspect that I will be faced with that choice in the upcoming weeks.

After the announcement, my Android Tablet overheated as Facebook Forums ranted about the WOD and what played to who’s strengths or weaknesses. Questions flew about the issue of Rx vs. Scaled. And of course there were some people who wanted to gripe about Dave Castro. By noontime on Friday, a handful of Masters had begun reporting their results. Some rejoiced and some lamented.

For those of us taking note, we were being given nuggets of wisdom to implant into our personal strategies, thus arming us for success on Saturday morning.

So where do I expect to be on Saturday morning? Well, Toes-to-Bar is going to tax me greatly, since I cannot string them together. Last year, I was able to pull off 25 in just under 10 minutes. This year, I have only nine minutes, and I need to complete 30, plus the deadlifts and snatches, to complete 2 rounds. Having to mount the bar for every T2B (doing singles) will eat up the clock, and energy. My hands ripped last year, so I will tape them this year.

To pull off two complete rounds, doing singles T2B, I would have to do them at a rate of 5-6 per minute. That’s one complete cycle every 10-12 seconds. That would only leave three minutes for Deadlifts and Snatches, including transition time and failed reps. With these handicaps, 2 complete rounds in nine minutes would be a major accomplishment for this old man, but that is what I am aiming for.

For the second part of the WOD, max Clean and Jerk…

…I suck at Clean and Jerk, and my arms will be trashed. I will have six minutes, so I will take my time setting up the bar to allow some rest time to catch my breath. I’ll start at 65-70% to see what’s left in the tank. Then I’ll add from there. I’ll be shocked it I can get 95-105 overhead after the first part.

That’s what I’m forecasting for now, so if I get two full cycles on Part 1 that’s 60, and 100 on C&J…

If I can break 150 points I will be a happy camper and I will view my first outing of the 2015 Open a success.

My next post will be my post mortem. Well, hopefully not my post-mortem, but more specifically a post-mortem of my performance on 15.1. Good Luck to all the athletes performing this weekend.

Be Defiant! Be Well!

Five R’s to take into the 2015 Open

Looking ahead. Progress and personal growth are on the horizon.

Looking ahead. Progress and personal growth are on the horizon.

This is a letter of encouragement to CrossFit Master athletes who may be embarking on their first Open. This is not targeted towards the elite CrossFitter who has aspirations of making it the Regionals.

You may be sitting on the fence, wondering if you have what it takes to do the Open WODs.

I encourage you to jump in. Set a goal for yourself. It may be uncomfortable, but you will amaze yourself. These next few weeks will be a roller coaster of emotion. Buckle up. Here is a brief tour of five things you may experience in the next month.

Your first R is Register

You wanna play? You gotta pay! Well you may not have to pay. Register on the Crossfit Games site. I pay because I enjoy checking my weekly stats. Though I am always in the back of the pack, it is encouraging to see how I am surviving, as other athletes drop out of the game. Download the free phone app. Watch the videos. Have fun. I also Register because it is an act of Commitment.

The second R is Resistance

Whenever a person sets a goal, the mind jumps into action, desperately seeking to preserve the status quo, and creates barriers to success. I am not talking about the real-life obstacles that may in fact actually exist. No, I am talking about the imaginary ones conjured up by your imagination.

“You are not good enough!”, …strong enough! …experienced enough! …to heavy! … too old!

Yeah, I have heard all of these rattling about between my ears, and so have you.

The third R is Recommit

After you Registered, you have pushed through the Resistance. You have sorted out the true obstacles, from the imaginary ones. Focus on what you can affect. You have set the Resistance aside, and now is the time to Recommit yourself and focusing on achieving what is within your power.

The fourth R is Revise

Revising means there may be times when you may need to assess what is before you and set a more realistic goal.

For example, if your Max Deadlift is 200 pounds, it might be realistic to lift 225 in the Open or any CrossFit Comp that has you pumped up. But, it is unlikely you’re gonna pull 285 off the ground. Yes, you want to challenge yourself, but foolhardy injuries are not part of the plan.

Perhaps you may need to pace yourself differently than you would like in the first movement of a WOD, to ensure you don’t gas yourself for the second.

You may have already done three Open events at RX, but don’t let your ego set you up for injury. You may need to Revise the fourth WOD and go Scaled. There is no shame is exercising good judgement.

The fifth R is Regret

Let me ask you a pointed question. I know we all want success, but that doesn’t always happen. Recognizing that, would you rather show up, give it your all, and fail; or just stay home, and never know if you could have done it? I believe it is safe to say, most of us would regret not trying, much more than we would failing.

Now, get off your R’s and sign up for the Open. I’ll be looking for you on the Leaderboard next week.

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