Have you ever finished a WOD gasping for breath? Of course you have, you’re a CrossFitter.
But have you ever started a WOD gasping for breath? Well I decided to give it a try.
I have been sick since before Christmas.
A bad cold has morphed itself into pneumonia. The icing on the cake was when I got hit by the flu. Respiratory issues have been keeping me down for over six weeks.
The Doc put me on bed rest and told me to stay out of the gym. I followed his orders. Well, kinda, sorta, well mostly. OK, maybe a little.
The fact is I can’t breathe, so heavy workouts haven’t been on top of my list of things to do.
I had signed up for a friendly in-house CrossFit Competition. It was a team event. Teams of three (one RX, one Scaled, one Intermediate), allegedly chosen at random.
I ended up with an awesome team, of course they were younger than me. Everyone is younger than me. The dirt on the gym floor is younger than me.
The WODs were posted. The Teams were set. The heats were assigned. And I had not done a WOD in six weeks. I had done a few Barbell Club evenings of Snatch, and Clean & Jerk, but that’s it.
Now I had suggested weeks back that my team replace me with someone healthy, they wouldn’t have any of it. It may be because they liked me being on their team, or it could be that teams got bonus points for DOA participants.
So I went to a few open gyms the week before the event and tried the WODs, just to set my expectations, in light of my impairment. I timed myself and reported back to my teammates. We had scheduling conflicts, work, family, non-stop blizzards, all kept us from getting together to strategize. We had a short series of group messages on Facebook. We never met as a team until 30 minutes before the Comp began.
Before we gathered to discuss our strategy for playing to our respective strengths, and how to maximize our points, I had to make a pit stop. When I returned from the bathroom, I came back to find out that they had made all the decisions and they told me my role. It was slightly different than our Facebook interactions, in that they could now see me roll my eyes.
My biggest concern was WOD 1, a relay, where each member sprinted all out, rowing 250m, swung 25 Kettlebell Swings, tossed 25 Wall Balls, and tagged the next team member to begin their round. Each member would do two of these, then all would join in knocking out 100 burpees, with only one person working at a time. It was a fun WOD, but breathing was not optional with any of these timed activities.
During practice sessions, I was able to pull it off in 3:30 for the first round, rest five minutes, the 3:40 for the second round. In the comp, I did the first round in less than 3:00, only 3o seconds more than my young team mates. I was thrilled.
At the end of the day, our team fared alright. We all had fun and I discovered that although breathing is not optional, it is easier when mixed liberally with adrenaline and encouragement from friends.