The CrossFit Open is a 5 week competition held at each CrossFit affiliate (read each CrossFit gym-- known as a box). Each week the athletes must complete the WOD (Workout Of the Day) which is announced on Thursday evening. The athlete has until Monday at 5 pm PST to post their score.
How does one receive their score? Well, each athlete is evaluated while doing their WOD by an official CrossFit judge (certified by an online course) who counts your reps/rounds and gives you your official score. The top rated (highest scoring) athletes move on to regionals where they can qualify to compete in the CrossFit Games to become the fittest man or woman on earth.
If you remember, I fully am aware that I will not be qualifying for regionals or moving on to the CrossFit games. I, like so many others, am competing to challenge myself. I want to see what I can push my body to do and hopefully prove to myself that I am capable of more than I think I am.
You see, all WODs have to be performed as prescribed (or Rx). That means there is no scaling, which is often done in daily workouts. For instance, if the prescribed weight is 75 pounds, then the athlete must use 75 pounds to post a score. You can't scale your weight, to 55 pounds for instance, and post a score. So if you can't do 75 pounds for that particular exercise, well you're pretty much screwed.
Ever since I signed up for the open in early February, I've been sweating what all the workouts will be (I still am). I was waiting by my computer all night on Thursday (when they announced the first workout). My heart was beating so fast, and I had sweaty palms. I was terrified because there are MANY (as in many, many) CrossFit movements that I can not perform without scaling (i.e. NOT as prescribed).
So the first workout was announced and that workout is knowns as 14.1. 14 for the year 2014 and 1 for it being the first workout. Next's week workout will be 14.2 and so on. 14.1 was actually a repeat from 2011 (11.1). The workout was a 10 minute AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) of 30 DU (double unders) and 15 snatches.
Double unders are done with the jump rope and it's when the rope passes under your feet 2 times per one jump of the feet. I do NOT have my double unders. I can do them, but I can't do any two consecutively. I have to do a few singles and then throw in a double. Obviously that takes a LOT longer than consecutively stringing DU one after another. So many athletes at my box (and really good athletes) don't have their DU. To me, it's was a relief because I knew I could at least do them, albeit not well.
The next movement is the snatch. The snatch is actually one of 2 olympic weight lifting movements. The snatch is moving the bar from ground to overhead in one fluid continuous movement. Of course there is much more to it than that, but that's the general idea. In this workout you can use any form of moving the bar from ground to overhead. The only thing is that your arms had to be locked overhead at the end of the movement (as well as the legs).
I debated whether or not to use the snatch technique (which is hard but quick) or switch to the clean an jerk which is easier, but also much slower (for me). I went to Tracey's house on Friday morning because she has a 55 pound bar just to see if I could snatch it. I could! Yes!!!
I wasn't confident, however, that I could snatch the bar 15 times in a row without fatiguing myself. I figured I'd ask Tammy (my coach) when I got to the box the morning of 14.1 if I should try for the snatch or move to the clean and jerk.
Tracey and I schedule to perform 14.1 at 5:45 am on Saturday morning. I went to bed early on Friday night in hopes of getting a decent night's sleep. My mind just would NOT shut off as I lie in bed tossing and turning. Finally, I got up and took a Benadryl and slept like a baby until about 4 am. I get up around 4:30 and got ready. I was nervous, but I've been a LOT more nervous before big races before. I felt like my confidence was pretty high.
When I got to the box, I talked to Tammy. She watched my snatch and encouraged me to stick with the snatch throughout the whole workout. She said I could do it and so I would try.
Before I knew it 5:45 rolled around and the 10 second countdown to begin was on. I was definitely nervous, but I knew it would all fade as soon as the workout began. I fumbled through my first few double unders, but I was right, my nerves faded and I got into a pretty good groove.
I asked my judge to let me know when I hit 25 DUs. I thought he was never going to say 25, but he did and I was the first one in my group to hit the bar for the snatches.
I decided to do my snatches a little different than a "real" power snatch. I had to take the bar from ground to overhead, but I still don't feel comfortable doing it in ONE swift movement. So I decided I'd take it from ground…
to the high hang position before I would snatch it overhead. I just knew my technique would be overall better if I snatched from the high hang position (that I'm used to).
I'll be honest. Snatching 55 pounds felt pretty freaking awesome. Everyone around me (all the other athletes and coaches) were so encouraging. I heard cheering for everyone and people encouraging me specifically and it really lifted me up and made me believe I could do it.
By the time I made it back to the next set of DUs I was feeling weak (sad but true). I stumbled a bit, but somehow I managed to make it through 30 more DUs. My breathing was so out of control. I was gasping for breath, but I had to keep moving.
I think I was so in the zone. I didn't hear anything around me. I was so focused on getting the weight up and that was it. It was my goal going into this to just do 2 full rounds and score a 90 (1 "point" for each rep). So when I surpassed the 90 point mark I was ecstatic.
I wasn't ecstatic, however, to go back to the lung-burning double unders. I managed to knock out another 16 before time was called. My final score was a 106.
Let me just tell you, my lungs were ON FIRE. I have never worked that hard in my life. I know I was full on anaerobic for at least 9 of those 10 minutes. I almost barfed. I ran to the bathroom and I really thought breakfast was going to come up, but it didn't. My lungs continued to burn for the rest of the day and I had a cough that sounded like I was a 3 pack a day smoker. It is so crazy to me that 10 minutes of exercise can take such a toll, but it does.
I'm happy that I was able to post a score for 14.1 and it may be the ONLY workout I can do throughout the open, but I would be happy with just that. I'm already proved to myself that I am capable of things I probably wouldn't even have tried during a regular WOD. Seriously, I NEVER would have tried to snatch 55 pounds during a WOD.
I'm excited that 14.1 is in the books and look forward (sorta) to the announcement of 14.2 on Thursday.