I still don’t know what motivated me to sign up for the CrossFit Games. It is not in my nature to be a competitor and I have never considered myself to be an athlete. But for some reason, I jumped in with both feet. In fact I was the first person from CF2a to register.
In the daily WODs I always scale stuff for my fitness level and ability, so you can imagine my angst when I found myself stepping up to the plate doing Rx workouts for my Masters 60+ Division.
These weekly workouts pushed me well beyond my limits, and often to failure. I quickly learned that these games are as mental as they are physical. I spent a good deal of time during these past five weeks in pain from the strain of pushing beyond my bounds on Thursday, only to do it again on the weekend.
Yet, in spite of repeated failures, I eagerly awaited every Wednesday evening as the WOD of the week was announced by Dave Castro, demonstrated by Julie Foucher and then Thrown Down by elite CrossFit athletes.
This was followed by a restless night’s sleep as I pondered how to perform a movement at a weight I had never done before. I was both terrified and thrilled as I stepped into the CF2a Box every Thursday morning. I grew accustomed to the lamentations of all the competitors as they pondered their strategies to conquer the next round.
Though my athletic performance leaves much to be desired, I was in awe of the camaraderie and encouragement offered by my friends. I also found it was contagious as I judged friends during their rounds. I found myself learning a great deal about empathy over these weeks. Joy, frustration, personal victories, PRs and failures brought many of us to anger, to joy or to tears. As mentioned earlier, since I have never been an athlete, this roller coaster of emotions was foreign to me. It was a tremendous opportunity to learn about myself and to get to know my friends better.
The CrossFit Open has been a remarkable experience, but I admit I am glad it is over. The bar was being raised too high for such a rank amateur as myself, so I was finding myself up against the wall on moves or weights simply beyond my physical capacity.
Now is the time to restore some sanity to my daily workouts. It is also an opportunity to recognize where my weaknesses lie and to ensure that I work on them. In the Box we refer to our weak movements as our Goats. Since the Open, I have changed my occupation to goat herder.
I have already set my sights on CF Open 2014. Assuming these same movements reappeared is some fashion next year, where do I need to focus some attention?
- Wallballs: I need to trade my 14 pound ball for a 20 pounder. I have to be more willing to fail with the 20#, than to succeed with the 14#.
- Kettlebells: I need to trade my 26# for a 35# and then a 53#.
- Box Jumps: Though the option to do step-ups worked fine this year, I don’t expect that will always be the case. I must learn to jump 12 to 20 inches confidently and consistently. Of all the Goats listed on this page, this is the biggest mental hurdle for me.
- Rope: Jumping rope has been a frustrating exercise for me. I am just getting reasonably comfortable with Singles. I need to learn to master singles to the point where I can consistently jump 50+ before tripping. Once I have accomplished that, I need to figure out Double-unders.
- Pull-ups: I must develop upper body strength to be capable of performing every variant of pull-ups.
- Hips: I must learn to use my hips for everything from lifting to box-jumping, to kipping.
This list could go on, but I only have a eleven months before the next Open. I can’t wait. You might be wondering how I ranked in the Open. Well, I sliced and diced the filters and I found I was in 5th place worldwide. The filters were 62 year old males, who have been doing CrossFit for 6-12 months. Yes, I was thrilled to be in 5th place, it’s too bad there were only six of us.