A thank you to my trainers, coaches and fellow athletes at Paradiso CrossFit.
I’ve been looking forward to the CrossFit Open for weeks (thanks for encouraging everyone to participate!), and since Wednesday’s announcement, this workout in particular.
Last year at this time I was preparing for my biggest race (my first 70.3) and did not sign up for the Open, as it overlapped with my taper. I did not want to overdo it, risk injury or shift focus or priority away from my goal. I did participate in the “Arena” setting some Fridays, but not as a competitor. However, I have a very distinct memory of my attempt at last year’s Open Workout 12.2. The snatch ladder.
I had been CrossFitting consistently for less than a year, and like I said, I was focused on triathlon (with high volumes of running, riding and swimming as well) training in preparation for my race. I had seen major improvements in my overall fitness, my cycling in particular, and I felt good going into the workout. The first 30 snatches (at 75#) went by fairly quickly and I still felt good. I had six minutes to put up 135#. I didn’t have it. I can’t tell you what my one-rep max snatch was at that time, but I thought I could nail that lift. I tried – multiple times – in that six minutes, but each time I missed. I did not have it. Humbling. Six minutes of failure.
I was not discouraged, but I left disappointed that night. I was stuck at thirty. I wanted that lift. I wanted that thirty-first rep.
I have had my eye on that number for a year. I’ve looked at those 45-pound plates and that 135-pound loaded barbell for more than 365 days knowing that I did not yet have that snatch. When I last worked up heavy snatches about two weeks ago I hit 125# but missed twice at 130#. That was a PR, but still not quite there. I remembered those six minutes of failure. I wanted that 135.
So, we get to Wednesday. I watched the reveal of the 13.1 Workout and there it was staring at me! One-hundred-thirty-five pounds on the second round of snatches (and oh yeah, seventy total burpees too before you get there Zak). This would be a true test of my progress. I set my goal at 101 reps. I wanted one rep at 135#. I wanted a new PR.
So tonight I came in ready for it. I was thinking about it all day today. I had been visualizing it since Wednesday. It was time to get under that bar and stand up with 135# locked out over my head!
3-2-1 GO!!! Burpees, schmurpees! I paced them the first round, doing ten at a time then grabbing a breath. I did the first thirty snatches in manageable chunks of five then four then three reps at a time, saving energy and not going so hard I was gassed. I worked my way through the second set of burpees, slower pace than before, still steady but with short breaks.
I added weight. My beloved and dreaded 45# plates. I had five minutes to get one rep at 135# and I would be happy.
I missed my first attempt. Pulled high, but no hip contact and not a deep enough squat. Step back, breathe. Go again.
I missed my second attempt. Better, but not quite there. Step back, breathe. Plenty of time.
With pointers from judge Frank, screams of encouragement from the crowd of fellow athletes assembled in the box, and a steeled will I stepped back to the bar. I set up, I held my breath, pulled, locked out overhead, I got deep enough in my squat and I STOOD IT UP! I had a new PR – and time left on the clock.
My goal tonight was 101. I got to 104. My last three reps were ugly I’m sure, but they were there. One knee to the ground each time, but I fought it out and stood up with that weight four times!!!!
Four times in five minutes. Friday Night Lights is where it’s at!
I would not be here without the coaching, the encouragement, the laughter, the genuine care, the persistence and the general bad-assery of YOU. Diso, Martina, Zeb, Frank, McCoy, Lara, Suver, G, Hynes, Travis, Jackie, Kristina, Alexi, Sean, everyone. Each of you has contributed to my fitness and my well-being in ways that I never knew would happen when I first walked into this box. You – all of you – helped me focus, encouraged me to eat better, trained me to run more efficiently, helped me make better nutrition decisions outside of the box, forged me stronger. I said this last year after you helped me complete my first IronMan (with the sounds of the “Arena” echoing in my head), and I will repeat myself now. I know I’m not the fastest or strongest in class on any given WOD, but I am the fastest and strongest I have ever been thanks to the training I’ve received from PCF. And that training helped me push over the humps and break through walls on a voyage toward a goal.
This time it was a 135# snatch. Bring on Open Workout 13.2!!!!!