3 Rounds for time:
15 Kb Swing @ 53/35
This is the time of year where we continuously bombard you with stories and anecdotes and everything we can to get you to sign up for the Open. Below is another example.
“I Took Last Place in the CrossFit Games Open” By Industrious Athlete Greg L
I began doing CrossFit in June 2013. Horribly out of shape and overweight, I made a decision to change my situation. It wasn’t easy. Athletic things came easy for me much of my life. In my late 20s, I stopped making my health a priority and began to gain weight and lose fitness. From there started a downward cycle. Trying to climb the fitness mountain seemed daunting. And the slide continued.
My wife had already been doing CrossFit for about a year. She was hooked. I saw how much she was enjoying it. I told her I would try it. She was encouraged…albeit skeptical that I would last. I was skeptical that I would last.
So many things went through my head before I started:
- “I can’t do it.”
- “I don’t want to be made fun of.”
- “Everyone will think I’m wasting my time.”
I’ve never been last at anything athletic that I can remember. I had to come to grips mentally that I would be last now. It was the largest mental hurdle that I had to tangle with. I knew everyone in the gym would be fitter, faster, more flexible and stronger than me.
I kept seeing mention of the term ‘community’ on CrossFit websites and I didn’t understand what that meant. It made no sense to me. I was used to ‘team’. Team means to showcase the best and replace the weak link. I didn’t want to be the guy that everyone felt sorry for. I would soon learn what community meant.
I sat in the parking lot before my first On-Ramp Introductory class. Walking those last few steps was perhaps one of the more difficult things I have done. We started the warm-up. It was simple dynamic stretching. I was already struggling. We then ended the warm-up with a 400m run with a coach’s instruction to not leave anyone behind. I didn’t make it 50m. As I struggled to catch my breath, two wonderful people, Katherine and John, walked with me that last 350m.
The start of my CrossFit journey was slow and steady. I began learning the movements and learning what I needed to do to scale each exercise to be self-sufficient. I enjoyed it.
Each WOD provided new challenges. As my body adjusted to pain and soreness, I became more comfortable with each movement. My mobility slowly started to improve so I could do the basic moves without too much discomfort. I took last every day, every WOD, nearly without exception. My results were the worst on the entire board everyday.
Most times at the end of class, I would walk close to the board to give the coaches my time, my rep, or my barbell weight. I struggled with the embarrassment of last place and being the worst.
Finding the right gym for me was key. The coaches at our gym are great. They understand what I need to do to scale and be successful. Every coach not only seems technically strong as an instructor, but they also provide a good mix of motivation and care and concern. In addition to the encouragement from coaches, my gym-mates would even cheer me on as I tried to finish each workout. I wasn’t expecting that. Was that the ‘community’ I had heard so much about?
Nine months into my CrossFit journey, I was making some progress. I still had last place solidly locked up, but I was getting stronger, more flexible, and fitter. The CrossFit Open was coming fast and I knew the question would be asked—Are you going to sign up? I had never done any workout at RX. I wasn’t even close much of the time. Many of the basic movements I knew would be programed in the Open I could still not do. For example, I still scaled pull-ups to ring rows or box pull-ups. Every time I was asked and encouraged to sign-up for the Open, I always said no.
Thursday morning before the first Open workout was announced, I signed up.
First on the list was double-unders and power-snatch. I had never done a double-under. I viewed it as a good opportunity to practice them and went into it with the attitude that it was a good time to learn. I signed up for my heat. The gym was buzzing with excitement and packed from wall to wall.
I walked out onto the competition floor at my prescribed time. I looked around and I was the only one standing there. Somehow, this was a heat of 1—me. I was used to being last and used to having people watch me struggle, but the spotlight heat scared me. There was no turning back. I turned to my coach and said, “My goal is 1.”