For the past month my excitement has been building about the 2014 CrossFit Open Series. Then two things happened to dampen my enthusiasm.
First, I have been physically wrecked for several weeks. Every heavy MetCon has left me wiped out. I mean destroyed. It has been taking two to three days to recover. This will likely be a story unto itself in an upcoming post.
The Second thing is the 14.1 WOD announcement. It was devastating to me, since the event opens with Double-Unders. It took me a year to learn to jump rope. If the planets are aligned properly, I am quite capable with Single-Unders. On the occasions I have attempted Double-Unders, to date I have done exactly ZERO. Twice this week, I worked on them, all I got for my efforts were welts on my arms. Not one successful jump.
Last year, I was able to compete in the first three events before I had a total collapse. CrossFit Open 13.4.2 was extremely frustrating mentally, physically and emotionally. Follow the link for a grim reminder of how that train went off the rails.
I had gone into 13.4 with some points on the leaderboard. When the clock stopped, I had no points to add to my score. Though I did do 13.5, in my head and heart, the 2013 Open ended after seven minutes of 13.4. Imagine being poised at the start of an AMRAP, the timer goes off and you spend the next x minutes, grinding your body and mind to a pulp, and only failing for your effort. That is what 13.4 was.
Now I am on the eve of the first WOD of the 2014 series and the first movement is one I have never succeeded at. Add to that the fact that I am still sick from Thursday’s MetCon, I see little to be excited about. Saturday morning I’ll be there to cheer on my friends.
IT’S A NEW DAY – Saturday, March 1st
I slept nine hours, I felt well rested. I had a 16 oz cup of bulletproof coffee and a Lara Bar and I drove to the gym. But I didn’t come here just to cheer on my friends, I came to compete. I came to claim my single point. I came to get a PR, my first Double-Under.
I got there very early and did some light rowing, some stretching, some jumping. And I installed a lighter cable on my jump rope. I am convinced I will need the lighter rope to persevere.
My pal Julia made a point to return to the gym, even though she had already completed her 14.1 workout succesfully. She said she was shocked to see me appear at the gym this morning, because we had spoken Friday night. She knew I was physically wrecked and frustrated with the thought of a 13.4 repeat with Double-Unders.
Julia agreed to judge my performance. I grabbed my rope and practiced briefly. She chastised me for not setting up my barbell for Snatch lifts after the DUs. I laughed and said, I’m never going to get 30 Doubles, so I’ll never need a bar to lift. She went and grabbed a bar and dropped it at my feet and scolded me for my bad attitude. I loaded the bar with the prescribed weight for Masters and practiced a few Snatches.
I jumped singles and occasionally tried to get in a double. Every time I tried, I got whipped for my trouble. The cable was leaving welts all over my arms, thighs and butt. Julia kept coaching me, “Jump higher! Keep your elbows in! Don’t stop! Shake it off! Plenty of time, keep jumping! More wrist!” The time kept marching on and I kept flailing myself for 10 minutes.
Time’s up! Zero jumps, zero points! Julia was very encouraging, telling me how close I came to getting one here and there, but no matter how you slice it, zero is zero.
As the second round of athletes were stepping onto the floor to begin their turn, I looked to Julia and said, “Let’s do it again!”
My thoughts were, if I was that close to getting one, now is as good a time as any to just push through it. Metabolically, I wasn’t gassed, my legs were throbbing, but my heart and lungs felt fine. So I stayed on the floor and waited for the game to begin once again.
More of the same, but a few minutes in I tried something strange. I jumped as high as I could and flicked the rope as fast as I could and it passed under my feet twice. I had just completed my first Double-Under. Julia’s jaw dropped and her face lit up as she cheered me on for an encore.
My DUs were just plain ugly, but I plugged away for the next five minutes and was able to collect 9 points for my pain. As I am at home Saturday evening, writing this account of my trial, my legs are stiff, my welts are stinging and all is right with the world.
Thank You very much for sticking around for me Julia.