I’ve been doing CrossFit for ten months now. Wow. I had no clue it had actually added up to ten whole months. It just sounds so much longer than it feels. There are still days I go into the box (we call our gym “the box) to find I’m doing an entirely new movement I’ve never learned before.
(I have a lot of friends and readers that are not knowledgeable of CrossFit details, so I’ll be explaining a lot of terminology as well as my overall thoughts on the workout. If I post something that isn’t clear, feel free to comment below or email me and ask! I’m trying to make sure I explain everything, but I might skip something. If you already know what all this stuff means, good.)
There are also a few movements I refuse to do… specifically jump rope and box jumps. Now, I have a reason. In the Fall, I had to take an antibiotic which has the unfortunate side affect of causing Achilles Tendonitis. I had been really careful with WODS (workout of the day) when I was taking the medication. A few weeks after I’d completed the full round of antibiotics, we had a day that incorporated jump ropes. By the end of that day, my Achilles had flared up. I 100% attribute this to the antibiotic and NOT the jump rope or CrossFit. Regardless, that had been the last day I’d picked up the jump rope… until 14.1.
For the CrossFit Open, everyone world wide can participate for just $20. For $20, you’re guaranteed the opportunity to submit your score for five workouts. Every Thursday at 8 pm EST, the Crossfit Games announces the next workout. Each competitor then has until Monday at 8 pm to submit their final score essentially giving them five days.
In case you were wondering, The CrossFit games have formally been competing since 2011, which started with the first round of Open games respectively called 11.1, 11.2, 11.3, 11.4, and 11.5. This year, being 2014, the workouts are called 14.1, 14.2 and so on.
I’ve never really been big into watching sports, but for whatever reason, I actually enjoy watching CrossFit. I know, I’m a little sick. I have enjoyed playing soccer, running, and volleyball, but never really that jazzed about watching others participate. I’m not sure what I find exciting about watching people lift weights, but it does it for me. The CrossFit Games website and YouTube channel have quickly jumped up to being one of my most visited websites. I’m starting to learn the names of the top competitors both men and female. Following them on Instagram, Twitter and even Facebook.
The day before 14.1 was announced, our coach posted to the blog asking everyone what they thought the workout would be. I chimed in posting my thoughts along with everyone else and quickly forgot about it.
When 14.1 was announced, I was actually out to dinner with a friend. I had no idea the announcement show was such a big deal. It’s not broadcast live on television. The only way to watch it is to tune into http://games.crossfit.com/ for the live broadcast. Each week they match up two different top competitors to go head-to-head one-on-one live just seconds after the workout is announced. Prior to the announcement, only a few people actually know what the workout will be. (The competitors do not know)
Shortly after 8 pm, my phone started blowing up. Several CrossFitting friends were texting me their thoughts including my friend Elena who was wondering how the heck I had predicted the workout! What? I burst out laughing! The day before I had posted that the workout would be a repeat of 11.1, and I was right! In all my internet stalking, I had heard repeatedly that the workout would be/should be/could be a repeat of what was essentially the first workout to see how competitors now would match up with the competitors back then. On a whim, I posted it.
So what in the world did that mean?
The workout for 14.1 (and 11.1) would be:
15 Double Unders
15 Snatch 55#
Double Unders are when you do the jump rope but the rope goes around twice before your feet hit the grouud.
uh. Remember when I said I hadn’t done jump rope since September. Yeah. that.
As for the snatch, which was the weighted part of the workout, I actually wasn’t worried about at all. The reason for that was because I would be lucky if I even got one Double Under. I had only ever gotten ONE double under in my life. Basically, I was going to spend ten minutes attempting to get one, single double under so I could get my name on the leaderboard.
“All I want for CrossFit Christmas is one Double Under… “
So with that said, I had about 24 hours to go. Several of my CrossFit friends headed to the box after work that Friday to practice their double unders. I was terrified I was going to burn out in frustration (and calves) so I waited until Saturday morning.
Our coach had a special workout setup for everyone that was participating in the Open so we could all do the workout together (though this wasn’t required). It definitely added a bit of excitement to everything.
We had several people there that morning, so our coach broke everyone into several heats. This allowed several of us to help judge each round. Each competitor is paired up with another person so they have a judge. The judge not only counts to keep track of the number of reps, but ensures they’re doing each exercise with proper form. If you don’t do something right, say don’t go below parallel on a squat, you’ll get a bit “No Rep!” and it won’t count towards your score for that round.
I got to score my friend, Elena, and she did great. She and I are quite competitive in a very healthy, friendly way. She’s definitely the push I need some days to try just a little bit more.
I was actually the last of the four groups to go. Sometimes I wonder if our coach does stuff like this on purpose, or if it’s entirely random. I’m pretty competitive and watching everyone else go before me made me eager to try the workout.
It was incredible seeing so many people work so hard! Yeah, for a snatch, you ARE technically supposed to have two hands on the bar. Unfortunately, Steve cut his left hand earlier in the week, so he had no other option! I’m sure I would have wimped out of the workout, but Steve kicked ass! This definitely shows there are no valid excuses for skipping out on a workout.
Finally it was my turn. You may notice I’m wearing my Garmin (aka running watch). That’s because I figured if I was only going to get one Double Under, I would have enough energy to run after the workout.
Before long, the timer started and the final heat was under way. I did a single under. Then another three singles. Then tried a double under. WOAH. Stopped the rope. (more like slapped the rope painfully against my shins…)
What was that? I did a double under? Just. like. that. [snap] What is going on? Let me try that again.
jump. jump. jump. JUMP.
stop. [wack.] (that’s the rope whipping my legs AGAIN. ouch.)
jump. jump.jump. JUMP JUMP.
what! two back to back?
jump. jump. jump. JUMP JUMP jump. jump. JUMP JUMP.
Well, this just continued until I actually got all 15 double unders for the first round. Then it came time to pick up the bar for snatch.
yeah. that’s me bewildered because I really did not think I would be seeing the bar today!
I moved pretty quickly through the 15 snatch. The weight on the bar wasn’t that bad. (After several double unders, that starts to become a different story!)
Next thing I knew I was back on the double unders.
How did this happen?
jump. jump.jump. JUMP JUMP.
jump. jump.jump. JUMP JUMP.
and so on until I noticed I actually got pretty close to Elena’s score…
so then I started asking my judge
“What did Elena get again? What did she get?”
Yeah. I’m that annoying person that didn’t even think I would get a single double under, but in the end made sure I got just. one. more. than she did.
Does that really matter I got more than she did in the long run? Heck no. I had the advantage of going second, for sure. If she had redone the workout on Monday (which I told her time and time again to do), she would have killed my score. I know that. She knows that. We ALL know that. lol
For the scoring on this workout, we were just to count the total number of reps we got. The first round, I completed all 30 double unders and 15 snatch. The second round, I completed 16 DUs. As a result my total score reported was 61.
Why didn’t I redo the workout on Monday to try and better my score? Since I never do jump rope, I was SO SORE. For days. My calves were complete knots. I was honestly limping until the following Wednesday.
What really matters here is that I not only conquered my fear of the jump rope, I gave it my best shot and did pretty darn well. In fact, I’ll be buying my own jump rope now so I can improve. I would like to be able to start doing DUs in actual wods now.
I also got my own personal page on the CrossFit Games website which will be there forever (or until they change their policy)
I also got on the leader board, which was incredibly exciting.
…and I wasn’t last. (Though last beats at least means you tried and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!)
Ah 14.1. We won’t forget you. At least not until these welts go away.
Onto 14.2. I wonder what challenges that will bring!