Last week I posted a link to my Open 14.2 Post Mortem, as a “preview of coming attractions”.
A year ago I struggled with Overhead Squats. I mean I suffered to get 8 in 3 minutes. This year I knocked off 10 in about a minute.
I then moved onto the rig to demonstrate to the world that I am unable to lift 200 pounds of ugly onto a steel bar. Pull-ups of any flavor are a problem for me. Even when I was a scrawny 85 pound kid, I couldn’t do one. So my score was 10, a 25% improvement over last year. If I look at it statistically, it sounds pretty good.
Actually it is good, not because of the score, but because it highlights a fact that we all know, but frequently find ourselves in denial about. You get good at what you practice!
Since October of last year, I have spend a great deal of time and effort on Olympic Lifting. I haven’t been doing a lot of CrossFit. During Oly drills, we often hang in the OHS position while performing Snatches. We deliberately sit in the hole for a few seconds, to get the feel of the positioning of the body and the bar. If you don’t learn where to set your arms and shoulders, you are going over.
I am still lifting light weights, but my form has improved tremendously. And my range of motion is amazing compared to last year. So I consider these 10 points I got in the 2015 Open to be well-earned, and I am delighted to have them on the Leaderboard.
Conversely, I did nothing to improve my strength on the rig. I didn’t practice Toes-to-Bar, so I failed in 15.1. I didn’t practice any kind of pull-up, whether it be a strict pull-up, kipping, chin to bar, chest to bar. Nothing, nada. So I got what I deserved in those movements too. Zero.
The takeaway for me is simple. If I am content with some moves being a no-go, then I can keep on doing what I’m doing. Getting strong in other areas, and being happy with that, and neglecting what I am poor at.
Or, I can put a stake in the ground and select a couple movements that I plan to master in next year’s Open, and develop a 52-week progression plan to build strength, and endurance to get me there.
The internet forums will buzz with people, like me, who failed pull-ups. We will moan about how we will do better next year. But the fact is that if you are counting on your regular WODs to help you slay these goats, it ain’t gonna happen friend.
Your regular WOD schedule is too varied to help you get proficient in anything. Once you discover a weakness, if you desire to master it, the onus is on you. It’s homework. It’s Open Gym. It’s get there early and toss that particular move into the mix after your warm-up, stretching and mobility drills.
Some of us are quite content to just show up and do what we’re told. That is fine. You’re still stronger and fitter than most everyone that you know. But, if your desire is to excel at your local CrossFit Competitions, or in the next Open, you have to look beyond the WOD. You have to own it.
Good Luck in 15.3.
Be Defiant! Be Well!