Momentum is a wonderful thing, you can ride a wave of it to accomplish many different tasks. Whether it's cleaning your house, doing your homework or even in the fitness World: showing up day in and day out. Consistent effort builds momentum and you tend more often than not to exceed your original expectations.
Coming off of 2 very good scoring workouts, I was ready for the final edition of the 2017 Crossfit Open to commence on Friday evening. Deep down, most of the athlete's knew what 2 movements would be included in our workout. We all ended up being correct, what we didn't know was how the long workout would take and if there would be a handful of rounds to chip away at?? Well.....
10 rounds For Time
9 Thursters at 95 pounds
35 Double Unders-Standards as always are listed below.
Straightforward and sweet. Having watched the 2 Superstar athletes demolish this workout in a little less than 7 minutes via Youtube, I was dumbfounded on how they maintained the same pace for those 10 rounds!! Not taking a single second to catch their breath, the 2 Icelandic Wunderkind's made everyone around the World's jaw drop. I knew it wouldn't be that simple, honestly I was a little nervous this time around. I had done 17.4 on that Monday and would now be attempting this one on that upcoming Friday. The last time I tried this, I felt as though I underachieved during the 17.2 workout on that Friday: 4 days after repeating an Open Workout. I had a pretty obtainable goal for this one, I was shooting for 12:45 as a finishing time.
All week, I felt very lethargic. Las Vegas had taken it's toll on me and i now started feeling the aftershock of all the fun I had. I started coming down with a throat issue mid week and took 2 days off to rest up, getting ready for the Friday showdown. My back was still on fire from the workout on that Monday, 55 deadlifts among-st other exercises at a break neck pace will take it's toll on you. I was going to give it ONE more GO with everything I had left in my body. I had already put myself in position to shatter my original goal of placing in the Top 15% Worldwide for my age Group. I was shooting now to place in the Top 10 in my State and build upon the momentum of climbing up the leaderboard the 2 weeks prior. Plus, thrusters and double under's for me are fairly simple movements for me to push through. Not a problem at all right?? 3...2...1...GO!
I stuck to my gameplan, try and finish a round a minute for as long as I could hold on. I went unbroken the 1st 4 and a half rounds(Unbroken means I went straight through the movements without tripping up) and halfway through the workout, I had finished up the work in 5:20. If I finished a round in less than a minute, I would rest up for 10-15 seconds and pick up the bar at 0:54 or 1:56 etc. to continue staying ahead of the game. The millisecond I picked up the bar for round 6, I felt a shift in momentum.
No longer was everything going smooth, the unbroken sets ceased to exist. I had to put the bar down a couple of times in between thruster sets, I started tripping over the rope. Unable to catch my breath at all, the double under started failing me. When round 8 was done, I stared at the clock which read 9:38. I had minimal left in my tank, my lungs were caving in. I was completely doubled over in pain, begging for oxygen. The next round was awful, I looked at the clock once again when I started the final round and I saw 12:24. I was going to fall short of my goal. It stung internally, I felt like I had let myself down. I became irritated and pissed off quite frankly. I immediately threw my shirt on the ground, picked up the bar for round 10 and cranked out all 9 thrusters unbroken. I walked to the rope and started my rotations about 5 seconds later. I was flying on a cloud, channeling my fight or flight triggers to hurry up! I made it through 20 doubles when I tripped up. Again, I was winded and pretty much spent. I hovered down in a ball again for about 12 seconds and then finished the final 15 doubles, the clock read 14:16 when I dropped to the ground in absolute agony. Lungs were on fire, my legs were nearly cramping and I couldn't stop groaning as the music blared over the excruciating sounds coming out of my mouth and my pain prodded figure which flopped like a fish on the ground for about 4 minutes.
"Why do I put myself through this intense work??" I really have no idea? Being an athlete my entire life, you develop a high tolerance for pain. Especially during practices to get you ready for a hockey or football game. Sprints, burpees, sled pushes, gassers, speed was preached from an early age. Nutrition, hydration, mental toughness, rest and recovery are probably the most essential tools needed to ensure you will succeed and thrive in an intense athletic environment. Especially if you have the God given talent to be ahead of the rest of your chosen sport. If you have the other 5 tools above and you are dedicated/gifted, consider yourself LeBron James, Rich Froning or Wayne Gretzky.
The 2017 Crossfit Open kicked my ass. I had to take 5 days off of training when all was said and done on that final Friday night. My goal was achieved: 14th in the State of Minnesota for 35-39 males and finishing in the top 6.4% Worldwide. It gives me incentive to go beyond the limits in which I've honestly feared for awhile to attempt to accomplish. I walked into a Crossfit gym in March of 2014 with muscles, an ability to do a crap ton of pullups and I could run forever. Everything else came difficult to me. In the 3 years I've done Crossfit style training, I have done "just enough" to get by on talent and of course some hard work. Yet when the going gets tough and I have to dig deep, mentally it's a tremendous challenge to go to that "dark place." I feel as though it's time to let go and let God guide me. No more hiding when the weight gets heavy or my wind is near out the window. Athletes hire Sports Psychologists to cure stuff like this, I won't be doing that. Yet I will read more and become more conscious of the state of my mental being during a fitness test.
In closing, my highlights of the 2017 Crossfit Open were my peers. Watching my coaches lead our Open off about 4 hours ahead of Friday Night Lights and crush the workout. Then watching multiple athletes hit their 1st bar muscle up, followed by Jake hitting the 225 lb round in 17.3 and successfully making a lift. To round out the proceedings, we had athletes hit a round per minute or less in 17.5, which is an incredible feat to maintain such a strenuous aerobic/anaerobic pace. I'm beyond proud of ALL my peers for attempting and successfully completing all of the Open workouts in 2017. Here's to an amazing season and hoepfully an encouraging sign for everyone to nail down new goals and reach heights they never knew were in their body! See you in 2018 Dave Castro.......
My name is Jesse Velasquez and I'm a fitness coach in Minneapolis, Minnesota. If you'd like to explore the Crossfit World a bit more, check out www.crossfitkingfield.com. Browse my website for all of your other general fitness and nutrition needs. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @jcvwellness. Email me or search the website if you have inquiries about pricing, customized programming or any other fitness questions!