It’s entirely possible that some folks from my box will see this and when they do, I will probably get a burpee penalty for the coming negative comments. I will start with the negative and end with the positive so you all don’t think that my crossfit world was shattered (though it came close).
In case you’ve forgotten, or didn’t know, the second workout of the 2017 CrossFit Open consisted of dumbbell lunges, toes to bar (scaled is knee raises), dumbbell cleans (2 rounds) and then 2 rounds of the same thing, replacing toes to bar with muscle ups (scaled is pull-ups).
Upon watching the announcement, I was pissed. CrossFit has always advertised that it is for anyone, scalable for all ages, abilities, mobilities and strengths. So the second workout includes a move that really isn’t scaled?! What in the actual heck-fire? A pull-up isn’t really scaled (see my pre-17.2 jitters rant).
So I basically knew going in that scaled was really my only option. I know I can move the Rx weight (If there is one thing I am, it’s strong). But I don’t (yet) have toes to bar and pull-ups remain firmly in the realm of mystery.
Just over 3 minutes in and I’m ready for pull-ups. Jump, kip and … nope. Repeat for nearly 9 minutes. At one point, one of the coaches pushed me over the bar telling me that I am oh so close and not to give up, keep fighting for it. But I can feel how hard she’s pushing. Those last 2 inches (or however far it really was) might as well be 3 miles. I tried a range of emotions to help here. I tried telling myself that I’m certainly strong enough, so just do it already. Nope. I tried getting pissed at the bar. Nope. I tried getting pissed at myself. Nope. I tried getting pissed at the coaches (not sure why….was simply running out of things to be pissed at). Nope. I tried pleading with my arms. Nope. At the 12 minute time cap (oh so thankful for time caps), I was exhausted, frustrated, mad, pissed, happy, annoyed, irritated, pleased … you name the emotion, I was feeling it. It was best summed up by the word confused. Especially since all these people were congratulating me on a job well done, but it really didn’t feel like a job well done at all. It felt like 9 minutes of failure. It felt like confirmation of my perennial joke that blue whales can’t do pull-ups.
Here’s where I’m sure the coaches would say that I didn’t do it because I believed I wasn’t going to. It’s possible they are correct; but, it’s also possible that I’m still lacking something, some tiny piece that once that clicks will allow pull-ups. That piece could be strength in certain muscle groups; that piece could be a timing issue with the kip. Maybe if my hands were further apart, or closer together, or I did switch grip, or reverse grip…. or …. or …. or ….. Who knows?
Now, despite all the negativity you just read, it’s really not all bad. It certainly shows where I need to work. I can start with the strength piece, building accessory muscles, working on negatives. I can start to play with grip a bit and see if that makes a difference (I do have a pull-up bar and a banded assist at home). The coaches really want us doing strict pull-ups before we get down to business with the kipping portion, so I need to work on that. There are a metric ton of videos available for how to progress to a pull-up. Perhaps I just need to pick one and do some work after dinner. Would 5 minutes really be that hard to find in the evenings?
On the very plus side, the lunges and cleans were just shy of a piece of cake for me. I felt good moving through them; the weight seemed light and I felt I moved smoothly and efficiently. I’m not unhappy with my “tie-breaker” time. It can also be said, that I could have asked for a box and simply moved to jumping; that is what most of the athletes without pull-ups did. I would probably have gotten a better workout that way, but I WANTED a pull-up. I wasn’t going to give up on that. So I spent nearly 9 minutes trying, feeling my arms fatigue and still working toward it. I never gave up, even as a wave of confusing emotions washed through me.
I know that 17.1 took a piece of my soul and refused to give it back. I’m pretty sure I could have used it for 17.2! Now for 17.3 can we please have moves I can do and do well?
No matter what moves are included, I will show up, I will work to the best of my ability and I will do what I can!
PS…the image was taken by one of our dear box members, Jen Proaño, who really managed to capture the range of emotions I was attempting to process!