The Crossfit Games 2016: How I went in way over my head

Confession time: In a fit of sheer madness, I went and joined The Crossfit Open.

When I signed up, I was doing Crossfit at Crossfit Subtero half-seriously for only about three months. While I’ve made some progress in that short amount of time, I was still hindered by lack of strength and mobility problems, both of which made me question my judgment about the decision to join. But alas, the $10 fee and my pride were already on the line, so as a last-minute self-preservation tactic, I kept my involvement under wraps except for a few good friends. “Whoa, seriously? You’re a total badass!” said one, sounding (I assume) impressed. “Don’t you think it’s a bit too soon?” said another, who (I assume) saw through my bravado.

Still unsure and not quite confident, I watched as everyone in the box trained harder and religiously followed the recommended Zone diet. That’s not to say I didn’t try, but a busy schedule and the aforementioned weaknesses prevented me from being completely dedicated to the cause.

And so I went and bombed every single workout for five consecutive weekends. Spectacularly.

Crossfit 03
95 pounds times who knows how many reps. (Photo: James L. Go)

Considering I signed up for the scaled division, it initially bruised my ego to fail most of the WODs. No matter how much I sweated and swore, or how my muscles ached and burned, the prescribed weights were just too darn heavy and I didn’t have enough endurance to power through. Heck, I gave up and didn’t finish the killer 16.5, which allowed participants as much time as they wanted to complete the movements. I didn’t realize I had already started crying, my tears mixing with the sweat, until long past the 30-minute mark.

In retrospect, despite not-so-little voices in my head wondering what the hell I put myself into, I kind of feel a little badass after completing the Open. I was never going to make it to the actual Crossfit Games, but the event allowed me to push myself further. I was always skeptical of the coaches and my fellow athletes for congratulating me after each failed workout, but when I stopped to think about it, I’ve actually achieved a lot. My one rep max weight for a deadlift? I blew it and did almost 100 reps. Thrusters? I’ve only encountered them twice in my short Crossfit Journey, and then I went and did more than 50 using a weight I wasn’t accustomed to. Wallballs? Everyone at the box knows my hatred for those things. I can’t even hit the lightest eight-pound medicine ball on the target, and yet I managed to actually execute some 25 of those correctly. Pressure seems to be the key, huh? Looking back, damn girl.

Crossfit 01
Ha! That’s bye-bye to eight-pound wallballs for me. (Photo: James L. Go)

It has always been emphasized to me that even though Crossfit is a sport, your main competition is yourself. While I’ve always consciously thought about that, joining the Open definitely proved that point loud and clear. And with that, bring it on Open ’17!

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