Better Than Expected: My 2013 CrossFit Open Experience

I didn’t realize that it’s been a month since my last post. I think I’ve been pondering my recap of the CrossFit Open since it ended that I thought I had posted it. Silly brain.

Well, the Open ended on April 7th and I did WAY better than I thought I would. If you’re new to my blog, I tore the labrum (cartilage) in my left shoulder diving for a base while playing co-ed softball back in August. The first week of the Open, which began March 6th, was my first full (as in full body) week back at the gym. I had been working out while in rehab but with only 1 arm, so I was a bit paranoid to have my first week back the first week of the Open.

For those unfamiliar with CrossFit, the CrossFit Open is a competition where CrossFitters from all over the world compete against each other. It lasts 5 weeks with 1 WOD (“Workout of the Day”) announced every Wednesday evening. You have until Sunday evening to complete the workout and post your results online. The workout must be completed at an affiliate or you have to upload a video to the Games site to be judged. The top 48 athletes in each region then advance to Regionals, and from there the top 3 move on to the CrossFit Games. The Games is the Olympics of CrossFit. Yes, it’s an exercise competition and it’s silly, but it’s AWESOME. These athletes are amazing and inspirational and effing phenomenal.

After attending the final day of the Games last year, I told myself that I would bust my ass and prepare myself for the Open the next year. I was on the right track, until that fateful day in August where I thought it would be a good idea to dive for a base. Even though I only had one good arm/shoulder, I continued to work out doing many of the movements modified, and it paid off. The transition into full body workouts, especially the Open workouts, was of course difficult, but manageable. Below is a brief (well, as brief as I can get – haha!) recap of each of the workouts and what I learned…

WOD 13.1
AMRAP (as many reps as possible): 17 minutes
40 Burpees
30 Snatches @ 45lbs
30 Burpees
30 Snatches @ 75lbs
20 Burpees
30 Snatches @ 100lbs
10 Burpees
Max Snatches @ 120lbs
My Score: 123

My initial goal was to get all the way through the 20 burpees (for a score of 150) and a few attempts at the 100lb snatch. Prior to my injury my max was 95lbs, and I was also much more fluid with the movement. The snatches were awkward since I hadn’t done the movement in so long, but damn, it felt so good to lift weights again. The burpees were surprisingly not as horrible as I thought they would be and I was able to find a nice pace. I was definitely pleased with my score of 123.

Here is a clip of me during my first set of burpees – so exciting, I know!

 

Here is what I looked like prior to my injury doing a full snatch (first video). Much more fluid than the power snatches in 13.1 (second video)

 

WOD 13.2
AMRAP: 10 minutes
5 Shoulder to Overhead @ 75lbs
10 Deadlifts @ 75lbs
15 Box jumps (or step ups) – 20″ box
Score: 264 (8.8 rounds)

I was STOKED for this WOD. I was hoping for something short and quick, and what made it better was that my favorite movement, the deadlift, was on the menu. My goal this workout was to keep a consistent pace and to not stop. DO. NOT. STOP. That is what was going through my head. Well, more like, DON’T FUCKING STOP, DO NOT DROP THAT BAR, was what was really going through my head. Oh, and BREATHE. I was also hoping for 10 full rounds, but I am totes cool with 8.8 rounds. There was a lot of debate going around the CrossFit community about box jumps vs. step ups. Many people thought step ups were cheating, and in a way I felt like that. However, I opted to do step ups to save my Achilles. I’m not about to hurt myself AGAIN. Step ups were permitted, so I’m going with that. I enjoyed this WOD.

 

WOD 13.3
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 12 minutes:
150 Wall Balls @ 14lbs
90 Double Unders
30 Muscle-ups
Score: 162

I HATE WALL BALLS. I can’t lie. I really do. First of all, I suck at breathing. Second of all, being short sucks when doing this movement. I attempted this WOD twice. My last blog post was about this WOD and I prefer to not relive it. You can read about my experience here: https://ninjanomers.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/if-at-first-you-dont-succeed/. In the meantime, enjoy Julie Foucher’s performance of 13.3 (I heart her).

 

WOD 13.4
AMRAP: 7 minutes
3 Clean & Jerks (C&J) @ 95lbs
3 Toes to bar (T2B)
6 C&J
6 T2B
9 C&J
9 T2B
Etc…
Score: 63

This was another favorite of mine, but I was a bit nervous about my shoulder on the T2Bs. As you will see in the video below, there is some shoulder hyperextension during the kip portion, so since my shoulder was a bit tight it made it a bit difficult. I was hoping to get in the 70s, but I am good with a score of 63.

 

WOD 13.5
AMRAP: 4 minutes +
15 Thrusters @ 65lbs
15 Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups
*If you reach 90 reps in the first 4 minutes, you get a bonus 4 minutes. If you reach 180 in 8 minutes, another 4 minutes is added; etc.
Score: 54

Not gonna lie, I was happy that we were finally on the last workout. I was over the stress and anxiety of completing the WODs. I know it’s so silly. You’re probably thinking, “Ninja, it’s just a workout. You’re just exercising.” I get it. But CrossFit is so much more than that. It has changed my life, mentally and physically. CrossFit is accomplishment. CrossFit is pushing through the suck and refusing to give up. CrossFit is realizing my potential. CrossFit makes me better. But I digress.

We all knew some form of “Fran” was coming, but didn’t know how. Well, they surprised us with the craziness listed above. Thrusters are a essentially the same movement as the wall balls, so you can imagine how excited I was to do this WOD. I love pull-ups, so I wasn’t too worried about that. My goal was to get in the upper 60s, but ended up with 54. My thrusters sucked as usual and the pull-ups were difficult because of my shoulder. However, I’m still proud of myself for making it this far.

Overall, I did better than expected. My two main goals were to do my best and to not get hurt. Success! My two bonus goals were to beat my sister-in-law Tiffany and my friend Heather in at least one workout. Success! I beat Tiffany in 13.2 and tied on 13.4, and I beat Heather on 13.5. They both kicked my ass in all the other workouts. Tiffany lives in WA, so it was fun heckling each other over Facebook. Thanks ladies for the push!

What I’ve learned during this year’s Open is that what I eat drastically affects my performance. I also learned that I was further along in my rehab than I thought. However, I think the biggest thing I learned was that I am mentally stronger and am able to push myself harder than I thought.

Below are the scorecards for CrossFit Santa Barbara’s standings as a gym, and then our standings in the world and region.

CFSB 2013 Open Final Scoreboard

CFSB 2013 Open WW-Regional Rankings

Next year, this shit is on…

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One response to “Better Than Expected: My 2013 CrossFit Open Experience

  1. Pingback: Peace Out, 2013, and a Big Sexy Hello to 2014! | Ninja Nomers

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