The CrossFit Open 13.1
A couple months ago one of my friends, and competitive regional level CrossFit athlete told me that I had to sign up for the CrossFit Open. She told me since I was now training in a CrossFit gym that it was only natural to do the Open. I went to my gym and talked to one of the trainers who happens to be an extremely competitive CrossFit athlete herself, and she said why wouldn’t you? So I went ahead signed up and then sort of didn’t think about it for over a month, until this week.
The CrossFit Open is a worldwide competition where each week a workout is announced. This year over 120,000 have signed up around the world. Once the workout is announced you have a couple days to attempt the workout, either in a CrossFit Affiliate with certified judges or a video taped copy sent to CrossFit which is validated. The competition is five weeks long. At the end of the Open, the top 48 men, 48 women, and 30 teams from each region will be invited compete at the second stage of the CrossFit Games Season: Regional Competition. Then the top 100 in the world go onto the CrossFit Games which air on ESPN.
Wednesday night I sat and watched as they announced the 13.1 WOD (Workout of the Day) and a combination of excitement and fear came over me at the same time. What had I gotten myself into this time? This years first workout was:
Proceed through the sequence below completing as many reps as possible in 17 minutes of:
45 pound Snatch, 30 reps (75 for men)
75 pound Snatch, 30 reps (135 for men)
100 pound Snatch, 30 reps (165 for men)
120 pound Snatch, as many reps as possible (210 for men)
As I watched two of the top competitors complete the WOD online that night, I felt my heart sink a little. Not only were snatches and exercise I barely practice and had only done about four or five times ever in my life before the open but I had never snatched anywhere near 75 pounds before. A bit of fear sank in as I realized I would be attempting this workout in a few days.
I tried for the next couple of days to push the thought of the WOD to the side as I am in my last few days before my upcoming book draft is due to my publisher. The book is all consuming my life at the moment so luckily I have someone else to put the majority of my stress, however the WOD was always in the back of my mind.
Friday night approached after a day of shooting photos for the book and I hurried off to Ute CrossFit for the kickoff party/13.1 workout. That morning I had woken up, with dreams of snatches and burpees. The Open had truly taken over my brain. All day I was nervous about those snatches, but before I knew it I was standing there in the gym, surrounded by other open competitors. I was a fish out of water. I didn’t know what to do, how it worked or anything. I found myself asking how this whole thing works and what it’s about more than once. I sat back and watched the first heat go, watching Taylor and Mary both members of Hacks Pack Affiliate Team (2012 Affiliate Cup Winners, yes they won the team championships) as they crushed the workout, making each movement look easy.
Then it was my turn! Oh man, time to worry, and talk was over it was go time. I was lucky enough to have a fantastic judge for my attempt who helped motivate me through the whole workout. As we counted down, 3, 2, 1, GO! I was off doing burpees, now this I know. I quickly made my way through the first set of burpees and was onto the first set of snacthes. I made quick work of the first set, maybe too quick finishing that set in under five minutes. I then made it though a very slow set of 30 burpees. At this point I had over eight minutes left in the WOD and it was onto snatches at 75 pounds, this was the moment I had been dreading. I tried to pull my first set of snatches, starting out with a no rep – failed attempt. My judge told me to take a few seconds regroup and try again. My brain was screaming at me, “What the eff do you think you are doing?”
I put aside those thoughts, gripped the bar and tried again. I got my first rep at 75 pounds, then rested for about 20-30 seconds. I would continue this pattern for the remaining amount of time with about four or five more no reps making their way into my count. As the clock ticked down I tried for my final reps. I would fall way short of the 30 reps to complete that set but finished out with 14 reps at 75 pounds. As I finished my muscles pulsed, hands shook, and I could barely talk. Not only had I hit a new PR (personal record) for snatches but successfully completed 14 reps at the weight, blowing away all expectations I may have had going into the workout.
My final score would be 114 (70 burpees and 44 snatches), which is nothing compared to the top women in our gym (hitting 192 and 190) but for me it was an accomplishment. I came home amped up after the workout. I spoke with an Open veteran and she said that’s what it’s all about, going beyond and finding that you have more in you than you knew before. With 13.1 in the books, I now have new benchmarks set and ready (well nervously ready) for what 13.2 will look like this week.