The CrossFit Open ended a few weeks ago and it was a roller coaster ride. I’ve had some time to reflect, refresh and refocus the past two weeks and I wanted to share my experience.

Before I dive into the workouts, I think some background information is needed. I have been working hard in the gym and on my nutrition (counting macros) for the past year because I had set a goal to do the 2017 Open workouts Rx.  A few weeks before the 2017 CrossFit Open, I had an old glute/hamstring injury flare up…YIKES! I made a decision that I was not going to let this injury prevent me from reaching my goal.

2017 CrossFit Open Workout 17.1

When 17.1 was announced, I had a mini panic attack. Dumbbell snatches, burpees and box jump overs…yikes! I actually dreamed the night before that I tore my hamstring on the first burpee…thank goodness that didn’t happen. I decided to stay calm and go at a steady pace so that I could “baby” that leg on the burpees. I survived 17.1! I didn’t finish within the time cap, but I did get 214 reps Rx (11 away from completion). My strategy of not blowing up my hamstring week 1 was accomplished. I stuck with my plan and gave it my all. After the workout was completed, it was hard not to second-guess everything, but I had to look forward. I felt lucky to have finished the workout without causing further injury and I thought there was too much risk if I tried to do the workout again.

2017 CrossFit Open Workout 17.2

Dumbbells again?!?!? What is Castro thinking? This workout was all about surviving the walking lunges with 35# dumbbells. My goal was to focus on technique during the lunges and complete 2 rounds plus the 16 bar muscle ups in round 3. I was so happy when I exceeded that goal and finished 3 rounds plus 4 reps Rx (106 total reps).

2017 CrossFit Open Workout 17.3

Squat Snatch is not my jam. I haven’t worked on this movement a lot and I can actually Power Snatch more than I can Squat Snatch. Anyway, I was content to get to round 4 and Squat Snatch 95# 4 times. This has been added to the list of things I need to work on in 2017. Exposing weaknesses is one of the reasons I did the CrossFit Open this year.

“If you always succeed, there isn’t anything to drive you to do better. Failure and set backs are necessary to fuel the fire of greatness.” ~Stephanie Rogers

2017 CrossFit Open Workout 17.4

So many emotions when this workout was announced. I hadn’t deadlifted in the past 4 months because of my injury and Dave Castro is now telling me I had to deadlift 155 lbs 55 times?!?!? AND deadlift is just the first movement. Before the clock started counting down, I told my coach that I wanted to cry. Instead, I calmed my nerves and went for it. My goal was to survive the deadlifts and push through the other movements to get at least 1 handstand push-up…but 13 minutes later I had completed 55 155 lb deadlifts, 55 14 lb wall balls, 55 calories on the rower and 16 handstand push-ups. To say I was elated is an understatement.

2017 CrossFit Open Workout 17.5

Then came 17.5….

Double unders are my kryptonite. I have been working on them for 5 years…yes, 5 years! I’m naturally uncoordinated and I’ve pushed out 2 babies that were over 8 pounds. Let’s just say neither of those bode well for being great at double unders. My goal was to complete all of the workouts Rx and I wasn’t going to let this workout or double unders stop me. So I said a little prayer as the clock started counting down 3, 2, 1, GO. Thirty six minutes and fifteen seconds later I completed the most physically and mentally grueling workout I have ever done.   My double unders did not show up and I spent a lot of time doing single/doubles or just one double at a time. My calves cramped during round 5. It was horrible….

I “willed” myself to finish and refused to give up. When it was over, I went to a corner of the gym and cried…ugly cried. I felt defeated and was mentally and physically exhausted. My amazing gym family let me have a small pity party and then we went out for margaritas to celebrate the completion of the 2017 CrossFit Open.

Changing Mindset

The next morning I decided that I would not let one workout define me as an athlete or overshadow the accomplishments and gains I made over the past year. I went to the gym with a renewed fire and a positive mindset. “Diane” was on the menu and I crushed it setting a new personal best time.

As I looked back over the 5 weeks, I was very happy about how I performed on some of the workouts (17.2/17.3/17.4) and disappointed in others (17.1/17.5). In retrospect, crashing and burning on 17.5 was one of the best things that could have happened to me. This “failure” made me take a hard look at my weaknesses, set goals and focus.

My theme for this year is “Turning Weaknesses into Strengths”.

I’m coming for you double unders….