Something strange happened last Thursday evening when Dave Castro announced 15.5. I smiled.
For the record, I did not like 14.5, a Descending Ladder of Thrusters and Over-Bar-Burpees. In fact I thought I’d die doing that WOD. It took me about 35 minutes last year.
I still have no fondness for Thrusters, but I do like rowing. I row about 2,000m every time I go into the gym. And I have been doing barbell work two nights a week at CrossFit Reach. So I squat a great deal. I felt I was prepared for this workout.
I typically perform CrossFit Open WODs, at CrossFit 2a, on the Saturday following the announcement, but every year, I end up working all day on the fifth Saturday of the Open, so I end up doing the Open alone, or with a couple fellow stragglers on Monday morning. Such was the case this morning.
I had the pleasure of watching Marie (on the left) push through a powerful performance. She is a strong lady, who has graced a few podiums at local comps over the past year.
Then later, Tia (center) and I did 15.5 side by side. She finished in just over 10 minutes. That left her plenty of time to cheer me on.
My judge was a fellow Master, Erica, who coached me as I rowed and lifted. I reviewed my strategy with her beforehand, so she could advise me according to my plan. I kept most lifts in sets of five, with a few sets of three.
Last year, I dreaded every moment of 14.5. This year, I savored it. Yes, it was difficult, but I resolved to enjoy it while it was happening. I was mindful of it while I was doing it, rather than simply looking a half hour into the future, to when it would be over.
I focused on my rowing, keeping a steady pull and cadence. Erica coached me to ease up a bit, while rowing the last few calories, to rest my legs before the next set of Thrusters. This seemed to work well. She worked with me to get my sets of five reps, encouraging me to shake off my arms and legs for a brief rest, before telling me to jump back on the bar.
As I mentioned, last year I took about 35 minutes to do 14.5. I set a personal goal to reduce that, hoping to break 25 minutes today.
During the WOD, I was oblivious of the time. I focused on each pull on the rower. I focused on each lift and press of the barbell. I knew when I lifted well. If I was wonkie, I simply paid more attention on the next lift. I had no negativity in my head. I was focused.
When I began the last set of Thrusters, I was amazed how good I felt. I certainly wasn’t fresh, but I wasn’t beat down. It was a Goldilocks moment, everything was just right. With Erica’s great coaching and judging, I paced myself perfectly.
As I mentioned earlier, my goal was to beat 25 minutes. I far exceeded that. My time was 18:12, and I did the WOD Rx. I was ecstatic. As I am writing this hours later, I am still ecstatic.
Thanks to my friends from CFR, CF2a and CF Masters for your encouragement. My CrossFit Open 2015 is in the books. I guess I’ll see how I fare on the leaderboard by this time tomorrow, after all the scores have been submitted and verified.
Well I guess it’s time to start planning a road trip to Hartford for the Regionals.