Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Reebok Crossfit Opens 2014 and ME!

This past February I decided to register for the Crossfit Open Games.  This is a competition where people from around the entire world compete and finish prescribed WOD's (Work Out of the Day) each week for 5 weeks.  Your scores are then calculated and those with high enough scores move onto Regional's, and then the official Crossfit Games.  The winners of the Crossfit Games are known as "The fittest Man/Woman on Earth."

So why in the world would I register for such a competition??  To be honest when I first heard about the games I never would have imagined registering.  There were so many reasons I shouldn't register for such an event.  I have only been going to Crossfit since June 2013, I very rarely can RX a workout, lets be honest I'm just not very strong, and the only thing I had a chance at claiming was last place.

So during the Month of January talk about the Opens was a common topic at the Box.  Everyone asking "Are you going to register?"  Most of the time people, just like me would laugh and say "why would I register?  I have no chance"  Over and over again I would hear people say they didn't want to register because they didn't feel good enough.  The people who were saying "they weren't good enough" are people who are incredible athletes.  People I watch, day in and day out, at Crossfit Kill WODs, RX workouts, and lift heavy.  Well, if they aren't registering why in the world would I!

Well, one night after a workout my coach came up to me and asked if I was going to register.  I kinda laughed and she expressed that she wished that I would.  She explained to me that the Opens weren't just for the elite but, for everyone to see where they stack up and it's a good record to see how far you have come the next year if you decide to compete again.  So I went home that night and thought about what she said.  I thought about all the people around me who weren't registering because they "didn't feel strong enough"  then I decided maybe if I register other people won't feel as intimidated because they will know last place is claimed:)   So that evening I registered.

14.1 Announced...... 30 Double Unders and 15 PS @55# (Power Snatch at 55 pounds)  My first thoughts were "you have got to be kidding me!"  Just the day before I had PR'd on my snatch 50#.  That 50# Snatch was such a huge accomplishment to me I even cried I was so happy.  How in the world was I supposed to get 1 at 55# let alone 15!!!!  Lucky for me Double Unders are something I can actually do.  So I knew my score would be at least 30.  So the day after the WOD was announced I came ready to do my best at 14.1.  My sweet coach prepped me on how to get through this workout.  I found out as long as I got the bar from ground to over head it would count:) This was still a heavy weight for me but, I felt a little more confident.  The timer started and I got all 30 DU done unbroken.  Now onto the hard part, I set up for the snatch and pulled.  I got it!  I seriously got it! I kept going and got the next 5.  Then switched things up cleaning and Jerking it up.  In the end my score was not 30 but, 177!  I was so excited!

14.2 Announced..... 10 OHS @65# (Over Head Squats) and 10 C2B (Chest to Bar) and the number of OHS and C2B increases each round.  Well, my OHS 1 RM (1 rep max) was 50#.  If I would have seen this WOD any other day I just would have scaled it and felt good about the workout.  But, with the Opens you could not scale the workouts.  If I was to scale my score would be 0.  So Friday after the WOD was announced I came in.  I came in with mixed emotions mentally.  I told myself it was going to be okay if I get a 0 on this one.  I knew how hard OHS were for me.  But, I was going to try my hardest no matter what.  So the timer started and I struggled (seriously it was so tough) to get the bar above my head and maintain any sort of control.  By some small miracle I got 2 reps.  So my score was 2.  So after the workout my stubborn nature took over and I knew if I could get 2 then I could at least get 10 in the time allotted.  I practiced and practiced OHS after my workout.  Then came in the next morning and practiced again.  Took the next day off and came in Monday afternoon ready to try again.  My goal was to get 10! The timer started and I cleaned then jerked the bar up.  I felt so much more confident!  The bar was still heavy but, I was in control.  I started slowly but, surely.  I got 3 then 4, 5, 6, 7, a no rep attempt (ya that was horrible)  then dropped the bar.  Okay I thought only 3 more I can do this.  Grabbed the bar again, time was running out. Then 8, 9, and seriously with seconds left 10 (but, the 10th one I didn't maintain control at the top so no rep) but, my final score was 9!  This was huge for me! A 15 pound PR!  50 pounds was no longer my 1RM for OHS.

14.3 Announced..... 10 Dead Lifts @ 95#, 15 Box Jumps 20", 15 Dead Lifts at 135#, 15 Box Jumps 20", 20 Dead Lifts @155#, 15 Box Jumps (and then it just kept going up from there.  A ladder of Dead Lifts and Box Jumps)   So again I was put in a place where I normally would just scaled the workout.  I started Crossfit only being able to jump on the 12" box.  Over months of practice I had reached the 16" box and was feeling pretty confident (I sound like an Elephant every time I land on the box but, I knew I was always landing on top) and my 1 RM Dead Lift was 125#.  So this workout I took 1 lift at a time.  I just looked at it as an opportunity to Max Out and to find my new 1 RM.  A couple of the coaches in the Gym helped me through this workout.  I could not have done it without them.  In this work my final score was 60!  That means I made it all the way to 155# and I lifted that 5 times!  New PR!  All because I didn't allow myself to scale the weight!

All of a sudden the Opens became something new to me. The Opens were giving me a chance to do things I never thought possible.  I was achieving goals I thought would take months for me to do! The Opens were not only doing this for me but, for so many people around me!  As a box we were all achieving new and incredible successes together!  Some of the top athletes at Crossfit Utah Valley were my biggest supporters and were there cheering me on until each WOD was complete.  The sense of community and fellowship people already feel in Crossfit was only magnified during the Opens.

14.4 Announced.... 60 Calorie Row, 50 T2B (Toes to Bar) blah blah blah (that is all I heard after Toes 2 Bar) so basically because of the weakness and lack of sensation in my legs certain movements like T2B seem almost impossible.  Again like the first work out I knew I could get the 60 calorie row.  But, after that who knew what would happen.  So I started the workout and ended the 60 calorie row with the majority of the people competing.  Headed over to the bar.  There my judge, my husband, and a few other people from the Box came over to cheer me on and give me pointers.  My hands were torn and bleeding by the time I actually got 1!  But, you heard me I got 1.  So in my mind this workout was going to turn into 14.2 were I could come back after practicing and get at least 10.  Well after practicing all weekend.  I came back Monday and got 0.  Yep, my score was 61.  I will be honest I ended this workout very sad.  I totally cried.  For me this workout exposed my weaknesses so visually to myself.  With each attempt at the T2B my legs felt like a sack of potatoes.  I would watch as my right leg would touch the bar and my left leg would fall short.  I left that workout frustrated but, determined.  My final score was 61!  Before this workout I had never done any T2B and after I had done 1 that is huge bigger than any PR prior to that point in my book.

14.5 Announced (The final WOD for the Opens).... 21/18/15/12/9/6/3 Thrusters @65# and bar facing burpees.  No time cap!   Okay, seriously no time cap!  The time cap was always my saving grace.  My 1 RM on Thrusters was 65#.  I knew I could at least do one and drop the bar and keep going.  When I was preparing for this WOD I knew it would take me at least an hour to complete.  Throughout the day I was watching scores be recorded online.  The average score being 25 min.  I knew I wanted to RX this workout.  I looked at this workout the same way I used to look at running races.  No matter what place I came in I still ran the same amount of miles as the person who one.  This was my one chance in the Opens to do the same amount of work as all the top competitors.  My coach Brandy was my Judge for this workout and she kept me motivated every single minute.  Telling me when to rest and when to pick up the bar.  She didn't let me stop, she wanted me to succeed as much as I wanted to succeed.  Throughout my workout groups of people would come cheer me on.  They had no idea how much that meant to me!  Well I finished 14.5 completely RX'd in 55:30!  My 1 RM max I'm guessing is no longer 65#.

The Reebok Crossfit Opens in not just for the elite.  It is for anyone who wants to prove to themselves they can do hard things!  The Opens brings together athletes in every Crossfit affiliate around the world and gives us a common goal!  No matter where you place you are cheering on the people around you!  It is amazing to see what the human body and the human spirit can do!

So the Opens of 2014 showed me that
*I can Power Snatch 55 pounds
* I can OHS 65 pounds (6 times)
*I can Dead Lift 155 pounds (5 times)
*I can jump and make the 20" Box
*I did 1 T2B and that means I have the capability to do more (a lot more)
*I won't stop even if I come in last!
*I can do a lot of Thrusters at 65 pounds not just 1 like I thought before!

I'm excited to see what changes will happen in the next 12 months.  I have a lot of goals and I'm really looking forward to next February when my limits will be pushed again and I will be able to find the true athlete inside of me!

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