Monday, March 7, 2016

The Crossfit Open 2016, Naked In A Bubble

Well, we are two out of five weeks into the 2016 Crossfit Open.. What starts off as a $20 entry fee ends with the the best of the best competing in the Crossfit Games in Carson City, California. For me, being a part time Crossfit coach, the Open season is the BEST time of year, its the ice cream on top of the ice cream cake! I see people bring their A-game and their best strategies to their workout.

The twisty part is getting to switch hats. Going from coaching athletes to actually doing the dirty work.  And no matter how many times I tell myself, "it's just another workout"  I know its a total lie. It's more because you're putting your vulnerabilities out on the table, showing the world where you are today. Putting your first and last name out there as a Crossfitter tinkering with competing. And you're crossing your fingers (Pretty-Pleeeasse with a cherry on top) that you are better than you were last year.

Lessons in Humility. 
 A game changer for my dubs
The biggest take away from doing competitions comes where your weaknesses are layed out flat on the table like a poker bluff. It's like you just being naked and exposed for all the world to see. And your vulnerabilities will come out, (money back guarantee.)  But here's the silver lining. When I did an all-girls competition last year, called Girls Gone Rx, I had to do 20 double unders and I failed. I ended up doing one double, then one single and I did that for what felt like an eternity. I was embarrassed on behalf of my team mates and I was red faced and slightly angry the whole time. But after that, after I was completely vulnerable- I got serious about getting them. That was my gift from the competition, not shame - oh no - an opportunity to become better. That's what the Open gifts to you - use that gift to improve yourself and climb higher.

This year, I've already patted myself on the back. That's because last year, in 2015, one of the workouts had double unders in them, and so I skipped the workout entirely. Already, double unders have been in the workout in 2016 and I was THRILLED to be able to skillfully jump my little heart out. I actually felt GLEE as I jumped this year thinking of how proud I was. WEEEEEEEE!

So, of course I'll declare what I've realized so far and what I anticipate is approaching.


Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 20 minutes of:
25-ft. overhead walking lunge
8 burpees
25-ft. overhead walking lunge
8 chest-to-bar pull-ups
Exposure #1 - I can't link my chest to bar pull ups. Maybe I can get 2 together but I seem to drop my legs down as dead weight after one.

Exposure #2 - Brain working ahead of the body. When I was doing burpees over the barbell, I couldn't stop thinking about the fact that I had to go back and do the lunges. Instead of staying present, I was slowing down during burpees as I was mentally dreading what was to come.

Quick word on MENTAL TOUGHNESS. Again, as a coach, I watch people come in with a crum attitude that expresses itself in their workout. They get sloppy or they miss lifts or miss easy shit when they are focused on the wrong things. So, quick note on negativity. Your body AND your mind need training. If you're thinking negatively the whole time you work out, I know you aren't having fun and you aren't giving your best. Giving it your best means pumping yourself up and keeping the positive thoughts rolling in. And shifting your thoughts when they take a turn for the worst. Thinking positive is a practice, as our family motto goes, Practice makes Better! I suggest coming up with a mantra, something you repeat in your head if you notice your thought taking a nose dive toward hell. A few I thought of:

  • Strong as Shit
  • Everything is going perfect
  • Killing it
  • I've Got This

Exposures Revealed From the Crossfit Open so far...


Beginning on a 4-minute clock, complete as many reps as possible of:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  15 squat cleans, 135 / 85 lb.
If completed before 4 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  13 squat cleans, 185 / 115 lb.
If completed before 8 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  11 squat cleans, 225 / 145 lb.
If completed before 12 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  9 squat cleans, 275 / 175 lb.
If completed before 16 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  7 squat cleans, 315 / 205 lb.
Exposure #3 - Doing double unders with ease. One of the other coaches I know can do double unders for hours. I eye his jump rope with suspicious eyes wondering where the magic is hidden. I'd love to get to that place, maybe I'll hunt down a Genie Lamp.

Exposure #4 - Squat cleans turn into a power clean + front squat when the barbell gets over 100#. I love squat cleans! I really do, but when the bar gets heavy my body gets a little retarded and tries to break things up into manageable moves. I have to learn to get under it quickly, and hopefully this will translate to help with snatches too :) This also showed up last year in 2015 when we had to do the max clean and jerk and I could jerk more than I could clean because I couldn't  "get low".

I like to pretend I can double Unders barefoot. I like to impress one year olds
What I anticipate in the next Open Workouts: (DRUMROLL...)There will be bar muscle ups (which I can not do lately). And there will be something that gets outrageously heavy - which always brings on that overwhelmed feeling of almost pooping my pants. Part of me really hopes there will be pistols, "bring on the one legged squats" says my left leg. Though my right leg isn't quite sure. Damn you non-dominant leg!

Until next announcement, stay positive, breath deep and whatever you do, don't miss out on your own shining-light opportunities to improve. Don't shy away from these- face them with gusto! Work Your Weaknesses. You've got this, you're a Crossfitter, damit.

  When will this be in the Open? Useless Human Tricks.