Guest post by Ambassador Tasha Parks
For the first time ever, I watched the announcement of an Open WOD on Thursday night. As much as I wanted it to be something in my wheelhouse, like kettlebells or cookies for time, I had a feeling it was going to test me physically and mentally. And then it was announced:
10 Min AMRAP: 30 double unders 15 power snatches, 55# for women
Shit. This girl doesn’t “dub.” This girl Django’s herself and cusses in frustration. This girl never, ever attempts double unders in a WOD because she can knock out singles like a boss and doesn’t walk away looking like a candy cane. My favorite thing to say about the elusive double under is “I have a better chance of winning the lottery than learning dubs.” My coach tells me all the time “Practice, practice, practice. It’s all about finding that rhythm.” When I think of rhythm, I think of dancing. I can’t dance. My dance moves are very similar to Elaine’s from Seinfeld:
Saturday morning rolls around and I’m half excited because I’m helping judge the WOD at my box, and half full of dread because I was convinced I was going to spend exactly 10 minutes lashing myself, struggling to get ONE double under. I’m going to be that person with a 0 on her scorecard.
Before the WOD today I overhead a friend (also an L1 Certified Coach) giving some pointers, and he suggested keeping your eyes focused on the floor a few feet in front of you, jump tall, quick with your wrist. I grabbed my rope, and started trying it.
“No. No. Nice try. Nope. Not it. Ha! No. That’ll leave a mark. No. Nope.” — Double Unders
So I asked my coach, “How will I know when it happens? Will I feel it?” Yeah, lots of jokes came after that. But seriously, when I do try them, I have no clue if the rope ever passes twice. How will I know when it passes under me twice? I purposely waited and waited to do the WOD. I watched almost everyone else because I didn’t have the courage to try it yet.
I vented my frustrations to the friend who was giving pointers and told him I was nervous because I can’t do double unders. He stopped me and said, “You’re not allowed to use the word ‘can’t’ around me. Don’t say it, I don’t like it.” Check. From now on it will be “I struggle with dubs” or “I have a lot of room for improvement when it comes to dubs” or “Dubs can kiss my ass.”
Then it was go time; I had to get it over with. I was the only one doing the WOD and a few people were watching. No pressure. 3…2…1 …go!
I had my eyes focused a few feet in front of me and I was trying to jump high, flick my writs fast, keep my arms in … all the things. I was getting so frustrated and tangled in my rope. A whole minute passed and I didn’t have one yet. All I could think of was Elaine with a jump rope.
Then I hit the double under lottery! I FELT it! The rope passed under my feet twice! I wanted to pull a Brandy Chastain, rip my shirt off and do a victory lap around the gym – but I was wearing a brand new, super cute Lulu tank and there were 29 more dubs to go. It took me over four minutes to complete all 30 double unders. By the end of that set, I figured out that there IS a trick to it: it’s all about rhythm. The rhythm can’t be taught; you have to find it yourself.
The snatches felt fine, up down up down. I wanted to knock them out as fast as possible because I wanted to get back to my rope! Now I’ve proven to myself that I can do dubs and I want to see if I can get through the next round!
Back to the rope.
I struggled to find that rhythm right off, but it came back to me. I got tangled and frustrated because the clock was winding down. I was knocking them out one at a time. Single, single, double. Stop reset. Single, single, double ….
The clock got me 17 dubs into the second round. Final score: 72. I was nowhere close to even getting back on the bar in the second round, but I’m pretty sure the feeling I had at that moment is how Froning feels when he wins the whole thing. I did a victory lap around half of the gym (shirt on) and gave out a few high fives.
I plan on going back on Monday before final scores are due and trying this WOD again. Now that I know what the rhythm feels like, I want to see if I can beat my 72.
14.1 tested me mentally and physically, but I think I did okay. I’m happy with my progress.
Progress. Persistence. Patience.
Now I wait for 14.2 to be released. This will be the longest five days in the history of time.
UPDATE! Tasha went back to her gym yesterday (CrossFit Elizabethtown, KY) and knocked out 41 additional reps! A 41-rep PR! 113 total reps, meaning 83 double unders!
#PPP Patience Persistence Progress
What’s your Achilles’ CrossFit heel? What’s the one move that you do NOT want to see in the 2014 Open? Tell us in the comments below!
For more tips on Double Unders, read our TIPS article!