Guest post by contributor and ambassador, Tasha Parks
For anyone keeping track, there have been thrusters in every final Open WOD for the past four years:
- 11.5 was thrusters and pullups
- 12.5 was thrusters and chest to bars
- 13.5 was thrusters and chest to bars
- 14.5 was thrusters and bar over burpees
Thrusters are not my jam. I’ve noticed a pattern and expect thrusters to be announced for 15.5. My prediction was thrusters and rowing – and I was right!
27 Calorie Row
27 Thrusters (95/65)
21 Calorie Row
15 Calorie Row
9 Calorie Row
Well, it’s time to close out the Open with a bang and finish strong. Every week has been a physical and mental challenge, and 15.5 won’t be different. This time last year a 65# would have been a little difficult for me. Not this year. I used that weight in a WOD on Thursday and one of the coaches said, “That looks really easy for you, you could go heavier.” My plan for 15.5 was to break in sets of 9/9/9 , then 7/7/7, then 5/5/5, and finish with 5/4. Ha! I judged a few people on Friday and each of them battled hard during the entire event. It looks awful. They were breaking up their sets way earlier than I had planed. And then it hit me “If they are breaking now, my plan is busted already.”
Saturday rolls around and I’m ready to just get it out of the way. Here we go! 15.5 is going to be an assault on my thighs, which were still sore from Wednesday’s WOD. I wanted to finish the cruel couplet of rowing and thrusters in under 15:00. Jeremy was right next to me and we did a good luck fist bump.
I wasn’t even half way through my 27 calories and the burn in my thighs from Wednesday started to intensify. I immediately thought to myself “I should have stretched more. I should have warmed up more. I shouldn’t have relied on the 27 calorie row to warm me up. Fail.” Then in just over a minute, Jeremy was finished with his first row. What the heck just happened? My judge reminded me that Jeremy’s bigger than I am, his row pulls are going to be harder and faster, and that it’s OK if he finishes that part first. He told me to stay focused on my row and what I was capable of. That makes sense.
Then I got to the 27 thrusters. Holy hell, my thighs feel like noodles and fire all at the same time. It’s funny how 65# in an Open WOD suddenly feels like 95#. My plan to break into sets of 9/9/9 was already out the window, I only made it to 7 before I dropped the bar.
By the time I made it back to the bar for the round of 21 thrusters, Jeremy was starting his set of 15. He was killing the WOD and the WOD was killing me. I did some quick math in my head and I knew I’d have to seriously pick it up from here to finish under 15:00. But my legs were on fire. I thought, “Maybe I should shoot for under 20:00, this sucks!”
3…2…1 … I finished in 16:13.
Not at all close to my goal. As I was laying on my back trying to catch my breath I thought to myself “Thrusters aren’t my jam. WHAT am I good at here?” Suddenly my mind was blank and I couldn’t think of one thing. I was mad at my time, my sore thighs, and mad for not warming up. Then I thought, “Why am I here? I should go back to running. I’ve been doing CrossFit for over two years now. Shouldn’t I be able to handstand walk to the movies by now? Nope, because I’m still getting used to the feeling of being upside down. What is wrong with me?” But like I said, “Every week has been a physical and mental challenge, and 15.5 won’t be different.”
It’s easy to forget that progress is progress, even if it’s slow. Eighty percent of the time I know that all progress counts and is not insignificant. But then there’s that other 20 percent when I compare myself to the best in my gym, or the girl close to my age, or the one who doesn’t have a kid, or the one with a kid, or somewhat close to my body size, or on and on. I often wonder how the girl who started at CrossFit Elizabethtown nine months ago is already busting out 10 unbroken butterfly pullups. Meanwhile, I feel like a handstand pushup is a mother-effer that will also never be my jam. Ok, we don’t really have a new female at our box that can do that, I’m just venting my frustrations. It’s unreasonable to compare myself to other people. I know this. I kick myself on the inside for allowing myself to have this pity party and feel less than awesome in my own way. But seriously, why do I feel like my head is going to explode and I’m going to Million Dollar Baby myself every time I try to kick up on the wall and do a handstand pushup?
Honestly, I don’t like to think like this for too long, especially when I know that I’m still progressing, even if it’s slowly. I don’t want to downplay my progress or PRs, but I think it’s important to recognize these “pity party” days and not pretend like they don’t happen. If we’re honest with ourselves, we all have them. Especially when we see so much badassery around us in the CrossFit world (in and out of the box). Most of us are competitive and want to keep up with other badass people. Then we forget about our own badassery. So I acknowledge my slow progress, my little pity party, and then try to move on. There’s nothing else I can do but keep trying and move forward. Even if it’s at the pace of a an elephant with emphysema running next to a beautiful gazelle who finishes her 800 meter run in half the time it takes me. I recently texted a friend, “I’m really proud of the progress you’ve made and how hard you push yourself.” Really, I should text that to myself. Compared to who I was three years ago, I am proud of where I am. I’ve learned so much about my strength and what I can do in these two years. And really, two years isn’t really a long time when you look at the bigger picture. Sometimes I daydream about competing AND winning first place. But really, I started CrossFit to live a healthier life and to eat cupcakes without feeling bad. I want to lift heavy things for many more years. I want to wrestle the large bag of dog food out of the bag boy’s hands who’s determined to help me to my car; run away, kid, I can handle this! I’ve been stuck at a 95 pound overhead forever; I want to finally get three numbers over my head. And CrossFit will help me reach all of these goals. Even if it’s at a slow pace.
Your Strong Figure Conditioning Workouts for the Week:
In honor of open workout 15.4:
Workout 1: 8 Minutes–As Many Rounds as You Can:
- 6 Push-ups (any style of push-up)
- 6 Heavy Kettlebell Cleans per arm
If you don’t have a kettlebell, sub 12 lunges.
In honor of open workout 15.5:
Workout 2: For time:
- 27 Calorie Row
- 27 Thrusters (barbell, kettlebells, dumbbells–you choose!)
- 21 Calorie Row
- 21 Thrusters
- 15 Calorie Row
- 15 Thrusters
- 9 Calorie Row
- 9 Thrusters
If you don’t have access to this equipment, substitute burpees and hollow rocks.
Workout 3: 7 Rounds for time:
- 7 Toes to Kettlebell (laying on the ground, holding your KB behind you for stability, bring your toes to the kettlebell)
- 7 KB Swings
- 7 Shoulder taps (in plank position, tap each shoulder, alternating arms, 7 times each. Don’t let your hips move.)
- 7 KB Swings
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