I signed up for the CrossFit Games Open a few months ago on a whim. I know there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that I would ever make it past entering my scores onto the web site. Only the elite athletes go to the regional competitions with the dream of making it to the Games in California this summer.
So why did I spend $20 to “compete” in an open where I can’t complete half of the movements so far? To push myself. To see exactly how far I could get and to set a benchmark for myself and give myself something to look back on next year. If the entry fee was $100, I wouldn’t have done it but $20 is worth it for me.
Some of the ladies from our gym made a group text and we all texted each other leading up to the announcements of each week’s Open workout. Last week I was driving up to ski with my family when I had my husband read the texts because I couldn’t wait to hear what the first workout (14.1, which stands for the year 2014 and the 1st workout) was.
As soon as he said it was double unders and then power snatches my heart sunk: I can’t do double unders. I’ve probably gotten 1 or 2 sporadically in my 9 months at CrossFit so I was seriously bummed. After feeling sorry for myself for a few minutes, I decided to go into with an open mind and do my best because I have nothing to lose; this was for fun and no one’s future was riding on my ability to jump a rope. That Monday afternoon I did the 14.1 workout with my friend Kristen P. and you know what? I got 68 double unders! It was ugly and I almost hung myself on the jump rope multiple times but I did it. My final score of 98 was one of the lowest on our “team” but I am so proud I actually *got* double unders for once.
Fast forward a few days later and our group text was buzzing again on Thursday night while we waited for the announcement of the second week’s workout: 14.2. Since I was at home, I was able to watch the video footage live of the 2 amazing female CrossFit athletes: Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and Talayna Fortunato. These ladies are incredible, check out the video of them performing the workout live: (fast forward to the 27:00 mark)
Overhead squats, ok I can do that. Sixty-five pounds though? That would be a PR but I’m confident I can pull it off. Chest to bar pull ups? I just gained enough strength to do one ugly, single pull up so I knew achieving a flowing, butterfly chest to bar pull up like those ladies was not going to happen this week. Camille and Talayna make it look so easy they almost can convince you, sitting at home on your couch with a glass of wine, that you can do it too.
Saturday morning I got my opportunity to do 14.2 at No Risk. One of the coaches organized a special time for those entered in the Open to come do the workout. It was nice to do it at the same time as others because we were all in the same boat and the extra support always helps.
The competitive athletes went first: those folks who can bang out overhead squats like an air squat and look like a hummingbird on the pull up rig. It’s so much fun watching them, especially since a few of them have a real shot at going to Regionals. I would have preferred doing my workout in a dark corner with no one watching but I got over my embarrassment of my ability when I reminded myself that no one cares here: everyone was a beginner at some point. Babies aren’t born doing pull ups or olympic weight lifting moves, right?
I had a blast and like always, was incredibly humbled by this workout. The 65 lb overhead squat was more difficult than I had expected but I squeaked out 10 (in sets of 2 or 3) like the workout called for in about a minute, especially thanks to Coach Rob who gave me tips and kept me motivated throughout his judging. The next part of the workout was 10 chest to bar pull ups, but my goal was to just get one. Or even get my chest close to the bar. Once. I failed. I could barely even do a pull up, much less get my chest to the bar, but I had fun, laughed and narrowly missed slamming my face into the bar a couple of times (note to self: it’s chest to bar pull ups, not face to bar)
Total score this week: 10, which all of a sudden makes my anemic 98 from the week before look amazing. You know what? Ten is better than none, which is what I would have gotten had I not joined the Open this year.
I’m so glad I decided to join the Open. For $20 bucks I’ve been able to test my athletic ability and compare myself to thousands of other people across the world. Sure, I can’t do every week’s workout but that’s life: no one is the best at everything. I’m going to finish the last 3 weeks of the Open doing my best at whatever movements I can handle. I will not be surprised if I get 0 in some workouts either but that is just fine, it shows my opportunities for improvement. Already on the list: chest to bar pull ups and double unders.
Bring it, CrossFit Games!