Do you ever get it in your head that you just can’t do something?
Come on, you’re human, just admit it. Lord knows I do. I’ve been better about it lately, and since starting Crossfit over a year and a half ago I am much more willing to at least try something that scares me.
But I’m stubborn as shit, and every once in awhile something ends up in the “can’t” basket.
Up until a few days ago, double unders were in that basket.
I would love to tell you that I practiced them religiously and just simply couldn’t get them no matter how hard I tried, but that wouldn’t be true. Sure, I had practiced them. For a few minutes at a time a few times a week, usually whipping myself in the shins or the ass and totaling maybe 50 jumps before getting frustrated and quitting.
When they showed up in any WOD I just did the penalty (at our gym it’s burpees) and never even tried them.
I had actually convinced myself that I didn’t care if I ever got a dub. Didn’t matter. Jumping rope is just as effective of a workout if you swing it once or twice and I’m not competitive or anything so it won’t matter if I never get them.
That was, until 14.1 was announced on Thursday night. As most of you know, we are in the midst of the Crossfit Open. The Open is a 5 week competition where anyone in the world can register to see how they stack up against Crossfitters everywhere, and against themselves. The workouts are announced via a live broadcast on Thursday nights, at which point two of the big dogs go head to head and show us how it’s done.
Like every other Crossfit addict worldwide, I was glued to my laptop on Thursday beyond excited to know what the first workout would be. Because the Open is truly meant for everybody, I was confident it would be doable movements and something I could totally excel at.
Imagine my dismay when they announced a 10 minute AMRAP (as many rounds/reps as possible) of 30 double unders and 15 snatches (75/55).
Um what? The FIRST movement that you had to do in order to get ANY reps whatsoever were DOUBLE UNDERS? And I had yet to ever successfully do even one.
I wish I could say that I put on my happy face and decided to give the workout all I had, but I can’t. The truth is I went to bed that night telling hubs “well this sucks. I guess I’m taking a 0 for the first workout because I don’t even see the point in trying.”
I woke up the next morning, the day I was to do the WOD, and just didn’t want to go. I got to the box early and practiced for a solid 15 minutes. I managed about 3 reps in that time, and truthfully, they were almost accidental. But I was going to try to do the workout Rx. I wanted a score. Even 3 reps was better than 0.
The clock counted down 3…2…1… and a funny thing happened. Suddenly, getting double unders became important. Not being able to do them just wasn’t acceptable anymore. I had to figure it out. And I had 10 minutes to do it.
I’m not going to say it was fantastic. In fact, it was a tough and frustrating 10 minutes. But by the end of it, I had managed 27 reps. Mind you, I never even made it to the barbell or finished a complete round, but whatever. It wasn’t a 0. And for ME, it was a PR.
But what’s more, by the end of just 10 minutes of consistent practice with a clear goal in mind, I was actually stringing a few of them together. I knew that if I had ANOTHER 10 minutes, I could do a lot more.
I’ve never repeated and Open workout before, but after taking the weekend to think about it, I decided I just couldn’t let that score of 27 stand. Not because I cared about my standings, but because I KNEW I could do better. That simply wasn’t my best effort, which isn’t ever ok by me.
Monday is the last day to submit scores for the week, so I went in early for class. I warmed up alone and set up my barbell. This time, I knew I would need it.
I grabbed a judge and asked them to count and time me, and set out with one goal in mind. Get thru one round. 45 reps in 10 minutes. I knew if I made it through the dubs I was home free.
What a different experience the second time around. I was stringing together doubles in sets of 3-4, and at around the 5 minute mark I was done with 30! I flew through the over head movement, and got back on the rope as fast as I can. With just under 4 minutes left, I knew I could make it through one more round of jumps.
AND I DID.
Not only did I, but I managed a few more overheads before time ran out.
Final score, 78!!!
I won’t lie, I almost started crying.
See, it doesn’t matter to me that the top competitors in our region and the world managed 450+ reps. It matters that I did something I had NEVER done before. I let go of the “can’t” and found the will to figure it out.
That my friends, is what is beautiful about the Open. So many of us do Crossfit to push ourselves out of our comfort zones, and then still end up sitting there anyway. Sure, the zone has become bigger than what it maybe was before, but it’s still there unless we continually challenge ourselves.
I won’t rest. I will grow. I won’t fall victim to “can’t.”