When one uses the word “Performance” the imagination may conjure up a well choreographed ballet, an eclectic jazz quartet, or a brilliant comedian.
My debut in the CrossFit Open 15.1 most closely resembled a comic performance. It wasn’t even remotely similar to what I had envisioned and predicted in my previous blogpost.
There is a fair degree of risk when one forecasts his results. Muhammed Ali was quite the showman when he predicted what round he would take down his opponent. Unlike “The Greatest”, my prognostication skills are as poor as my CrossFit skills.
This morning I drove to the gym with high hopes of working hard to get through two cycles of 15.1. Yeah, I know for many of you beasts out there, it may sound rather mundane. But for me, it was an ambitious goal.
For the first heat, I judged my pal Julia. She is a strong young lady who inspires me and motivates me. She worked hard for every point, in every move. She made it through three complete cycles and knocked off a few more Toes-to-Bar as the buzzer sounded. She then moved to a solid and poised performance in the Clean and Jerk. I was proud of her effort.
Now it was my turn. Julia’s struggle did not discourage me. I knew from the beginning I was doing singles. I did 25 T2B last year, when I had never done one prior to the Open. So to get through the first round was “guaranteed”. To get through the second would be icing on the cake.
On the drive to the gym, I had 20 minutes of total silence. I visualized every explosive move. I would jump up, grab the bar, kick up to hit the bar, and drop off the bar immediately, thus minimizing the “hang time” of my 200 pound frame taxing my shoulders.
By the time I got to the gym, I was rather excited that I was gonna rock this WOD.
I jumped up to the bar, kicked up, dropped back to the floor. I heard Julia yell. I continued that four more times. Julia yelled four more times. She was yelling that I wasn’t hitting the bar. My feet were clearly above the bar, but they were an inch from the bar.
I had already expended effort for five T2B and I had only accumulated five No Reps.
That first minute overwhelmed me. I tried to regain my composure, but I was clearly rattled. My body was not performing any where near the level I had envisioned as I drove to the gym.
A flood of emotion overcame me. I was facing failure. I no longer saw my ambition, I now was struggling to survive. Can I get off the rack and at least make it to the barbell to grab a quick 15 points on Deadlift and Snatch? No, I had already lost it in my head.
I jumped and kicked occasionally touching the bar. I had 40-50 No Reps. My shoulders were not pleased with my repeated failures and my taped hands were still torn.
The first part of the WOD left me devastated. All that effort with each T2B, only to miss by inches. But inches might as well have been a mile, either one is deemed a No Rep.
I moved on to 15.1a, the Clean and Jerk, not having touched the barbell even once in the previous 10 minutes. I had predicted an optimistic 60 points for 15.1 and 105-115 for 15.1a.
The reality was a meager 10 points for 15.1. I achieved 105 for the second part of the WOD, and I was pleased to get it, especially considering the agony I was experiencing from tossing 200 pounds of old man around on a steel rack for nine minutes.
Many of the Masters did Scaled and they were pleased with their performances. Their reasons for doing so were quite valid. I wanted to challenge myself, and I truly thought I was up to the task. I thought I would be slow and steady, but I would progress. But I was mistaken. Now I find myself second guessing whether I should have done scaled, and at least have had an opportunity to experience the full scope of the workout.
After the WOD Julia and I went out for breakfast. I drowned my sorrow in bacon, eggs, sausage and pancakes soaked in butter and faux maple syrup. Julia, a mental health pro by trade, always has her hands full when I experience an athletic meltdown. Julia, there is no such thing as a free breakfast.