CF2a’s Open 13.2 is in the books. I have been so impressed with the athletes in our Box. Before I begin my daily rant, I want to give special thanks to all the folks who encouraged me this week, including the peanut gallery that gathered around to cheer me on today.
Everyone strives to perform to the very best of their ability. Today I had the pleasure of watching Andrew crank out his WOD. He amazed me with his speed and power. Chris Monsini also bested his Thursday performance by a few points.
I also had the pleasure of judging Ron Lohse as he sought to improve his prior score. It always amazes me to see how these brief workouts can pack so much exertion and pain into ten minutes of fury. Ron burst past his prior score of 162 up to 177.
I have spent the past 76 hours thinking about what I need to do to improve my score. Clearly I had one obstacle in front of me, Shoulder to Overhead. I failed to lift 95# on Thursday, so I crashed and burned with a score of 32. I need to master, or at least manage this lift to proceed in the game.
Friday I did nothing but practice Jerk, poorly but persistently. I need to learn to engage my hips in these lifts so I can benefit from the power of my lower body. I took Saturday off from the gym to rest, but I tried practicing with a PVC pipe. Unfortunately my wrists and elbows were so inflamed and painful I couldn’t even get the pipe on my collarbone or shoulders. I was growing very concerned about whether I could pull this off. I have also been battling bronchitis so my sleep was impaired.
I know this is a game and it’s supposed to be about health and fitness, but it is also a remarkable incubator for personal growth and achievement. It is also one of the most supportive communities I have ever experienced. So it isn’t just another WOD to me, it’s a personal goal to succeed. It reminds of a marathon, where winning is nice, but finishing is glorious. I want to finish and I want to finish well.
I decided to go to the Box at 10:30 so I would have ample time to warm up and stretch. I paid particular attention to my shoulders and wrists. I also worked my hips to ensure I could handle the plyo-box. I tried practicing the Jerk with PVC, I still could not rest the bar on my collarbone, chest or shoulders. So I grabbed a 45# barbell and jerked, the weight forced my elbows and wrists to stretch amply to perform the move. I did three reps and I figured it was time to roll.
My strategy was to redefine the “end”.
In his popular book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, Stephen Covey encouraged readers to “Begin with the end in mind!” My strategy was to redefine the “end”. Thursday I defined the end as 10 minutes into the workout. Today I defined the end as the lift I was doing at that moment. If I don’t get this lift, the next nine minutes and fifty seconds are totally irrelevant in this game. One Lift! followed by One Lift!
It’s time. 3-2-1-Go!
I had positioned myself to not see the clock. The seconds didn’t matter, this lift is all that matters! One Lift! One Lift! More specifically, one more painful lift! I got through the first five, moved onto deadlifts, then to box jumps (step-ups). Now the moment of truth, the second round of Shoulder to Overhead, this is where I failed before. I addressed the bar, cleaned and jerked – one rep, back to my chest, dip and bounce, two reps. I struggled but I got all five and moved to deadlifts and box jumps.
Round three, the bar is getting heavier and my shoulders and elbows are al dente. I am in trouble. I got a couple jerks and threw the bar down. When I experienced this on Thursday, I unraveled. Today, I just slowed down. One more lift, the end is one more lift. Drop the bar? Shake it off! Walk it off! Catch your breath, regain your composure, come back to the bar and do it again. Yes! Five more, then deadlifts and box jumps.
I am amazed, I am on my fourth round of jerks, which really were more like Push Presses. I managed to get them off, even though I crashed the bar once. Deadlifts and onto the box for three step-ups before the buzzer. That’s 108 points, 76 more than Thursday, more than 300% improvement. I didn’t win the marathon, but I finished well. I am not boasting, I am rejoicing!!