When NOT to do the Crossfit Open… Alea iacta est

You know, I actually know myself pretty well – having been with myself 50+ years now.

And when you know yourself, it’s best to LISTEN to yourself.

I have joined the “Crossfit Community,” now about 5 months ago. Seems amazing it can be that long, since I still can’t do most of the movements required by the sport. Oh sure – I’m doing WAY BETTER than at the beginning – but there are 15 moves that are “generally” in the Crossfit Open, and how they stack up for me:

“Non-Bar” Moves:
Double Unders: I have had ONE “magical” day when I was able to do double unders (one at at time, mind you). The stars aligned or something. I have been doing this as a GiveIt100.com project, and I’m up to Day 25 or so, doing them EVERY day, and I have had ONE day when I could do one.

Box Jumps: I’d have to jump on (surprise!) a box. I can jump on 2 plates stacked up. Not a chance on a box. I’d kill myself ;-)

Burpees/Pushups: When I started, the doctor said NO WAY I was NOT to do these. Now, I am checked out to do them, so that’s at least something. I of course have my special flop down on the ground, rest on my forehead, go back up method, but i can get a few done.

Pullups/Muscle Ups/etc.: Still doing this with the black (80 pound) resistance band and a box.

Toes-To-Bar: I can BARELY hang there and get my knees up into a sitting position.

Wall Balls: Can’t squat low enough to get a rep counted, though I imagine I could get ONE if I had like 10 minutes. The “ball” part I’m fine at.

“Bar” Moves:
Deadlift: I can do this YAY ME.
Clean: I’m doing better at this actually, but I can’t do the weight that the Open would be for – then again, I could probably get one though it wouldn’t be pretty.
Anything that uses a squat: Nope. Can’t go low enough by FAR – can’t squat lower than about 45 degrees with my thighbone without holding on. So any “squat” move (front/back/overhead) is a no-can-do for a rep that would count.
Press moves – I might be able to do one, but not sure I could do it at weight. I’m still doing most of these with a 10 pound bar, except squat ones where I do it with a band, because I can’t both try to squat and try to watch my shoulder.

So there you have it. Now, because I like the idea of being “one of the girls” (NEVER having been “one of the girls”), I listened to a Crossfit Community that I’ve joined online, and paid my $20 to do the Open. Everyone in our box is doing it as well, but that isn’t really the deal – they were SHOCKED that I signed up (probably because they have SEEN me do this stuff).

First workout came out yesterday – two moves I can’t do, basically. It’s 10 minutes to get as many rounds of 30 Double Unders and I think it was 10 snatches (floor to overhead) at 45 pounds as you can.

Yesterday, after absorbing this, I tried double unders (in the condo) for 300 times – no joy. I DID get TWO of them when I did my daily Double Unders (or, shall we say, “whipping myself”) down at the spa (did I mention I’m in Hawaii? So I have to do the Open workout at a “foreign” gym?), so I actually know it’s POSSIBLE with the rope I have (got one measured and fitted to me at the last competition I photographed), but I don’t think I’ll let on I have a rope when I go into the box.

I was REALLY UPSET last night. Not that I “can’t do Double Unders,” it’s hit and miss for a lot of people. No. Because I let myself get “talked into something” that I had a gut feeling was stupid for me, in that it would likely be upsetting. More because I’m doing this at a foreign box, so presuming I get a “zero” (you can’t advance to the next week if you don’t get at least 1), I return to my box and though I will of course DO the Open workouts on Friday (because that’s what you do), I will be already wiped off the leaderboard.

My husband has NEVER seen me try something that I don’t even have a BIT of the possibility of success with. Example – when I did the Ironman, I knew I could run, ride and swim – just not that far. And I had a year to get it done. Which I did. He doesn’t know what to do with me, and I feel bad about that, too.

He even pulled up a ton of YouTube videos on Double Unders, trying to figure out how to help. He finally said it’s obviously “a zen thing” and just to try to get into that mindset. Poor guy.

The last time I tried to do something to be “one of the gang” was grammar school. I SWORE that I wouldn’t do it again. And I also swore that if I did something physical (never been a physical kinda girl, always much more mental…or….couch potato…) that I would KNOW that I could do at least what was required.

Why? Because I’m a quitter. I remember trying to learn how to ski, and as I obviously seemed to be doing well enough, being taken up to a slope too much for me. Instead of making the class wait while I did it, I actually MADE THE TEACHER LEAVE ME. Yes, really! Imagine! I think she sent the ski patrol up (wow, this is SO long ago, imagine the liability concerns now LOL) because they showed up to “help me down” and I convinced THEM to leave me, too. A pretty convincing young adult I was, then.

So now it’s time to get dressed, make coffee, and go get a Double Under.

But if you’re a person like me – if any of this rings true to you – and you happen to read this blog, I’d suggest NOT to sign up for the Open. It will blow your confidence in anything that you “can” do in Crossfit (if the WOD that comes out of the roulette wheel isn’t those moves), and you will say to yourself “I’m an adult, I don’t have to do this” and you’ll QUIT.

Even though you really like Crossfit.

So, save your $20, do it next year when you’re closer to being able to do what’s required – but don’t listen to the siren song of everyone saying “it’s just $20,” “oh, it’s fun,” “they’ll be doing that WOD anyway on Fridays, why not?” and go buy a few lattes with the money.

I’ll let you know if I get that Double Under . . .


I did wind up getting the Double Unders – the WOD (did I say this?) was 10 minute AMRAP of 30 Double Unders then 15 55 pound snatches. Coach Andy of Crossfit Pohaku set me up with both a judge AND a coach (who was suuuuper cute, always helpful LOL). He also went through three different jump ropes (including mine) until he found “the right one” for me. The coach literally watched everything I did, and his patter went basically “Faster wrists! Higher! That one caught the back of your feet! Good, you got one leg over, this time both, Higher! Faster! Higher! Faster! Tuck! Jump! Yes, ONE!….” The judge was funny – she was counting the times that I got ONE leg over so at one point the coach said “how many is she at?” (I was at 11) and she said “26” just as I said “11.” I knew I was right, so I started counting out loud when I would get all the way over the rope.

On the snatch there was not a prayer I would get it overhead (best snatch I have done is like 10 pounds) but I did get it cleaned like 5 times – which is 10 pounds heavier than I’ve done the clean. I said I was done at about 8 or 9 minutes, because I wasn’t going to get the snatch.

I was of course ECSTATIC that I got the Double Unders. But that doesn’t change what I said above. I did have one experience that made me laugh – got back to the hotel (H was at breakfast, so met him at Ulu) and I asked him what he had thought when I sent him the text I had gotten the Double Unders. He said he’d been practicing all sorts of phrases because he was terrified I would be the grumpy crying wreck I’d been the day before. ;-) Then I was talking a bit about how the Pohaku owner had given me a coach, etc. and the bartender (we were eating at the bar) zeroed in on us and came over and said “I don’t want to interrupt but, are you talking about 14.1?” I laughed out loud. This is what “all the Crossfit folks” have said about the Open – that it gives you something like your Fran time, etc. to discuss. He was going to be doing it Saturday, at the other box on this side of the island doing the Open. (The one that didn’t return my calls or emails when I wrote – he said he was going to “take the owner down” about that – ha ha)

I’ll post photos that Dana (other owner of Pohaku) took – but what a great, great box. I would have to say that in my very limited experience of Crossfit boxes (3 in Marin and now this one) that this was the best Crossfit box I have ever, ever been to. Fantastic group warm up, mobility work, really caring owner/coach, etc.

SO, I guess that signing up for the Open – which made me go search this box out – which was a WONDERFUL experience might have evened itself out.


3 thoughts on “When NOT to do the Crossfit Open… Alea iacta est

  1. I am so happy that I read this AFTER I knew how you did… I was gonna get all up on you for being so down on yourself.. ;)

  2. just because I got the Double Under doesn’t mean I didn’t make a mistake being (in a friendly way) “peer pressured” into the Open. HOWEVER, as it made me search out this box, and it was by far one of THE best Crossfit experiences I’ve had, perhaps it evened out ;-)

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