The second CrossFit Open of 2019 just started last week — the CrossFit Open 2020. Yeah, I know 2019 isn’t over yet, but the CrossFit Games will be held next summer, so this is considered the “2020” Open.
Some years I’ve had a lot of fun with this competition. This would be the 6th time I’ve done it since I started CrossFit in 2013. And I was looking forward to it for a bit, until something shifted in my brain. It’s taken me a few days, but I think I finally figured it out.
About a week before it kicked off, I started rethinking my participation. Usually I’m “all in” for the first few weeks at least. In the past it’s been a family thing or at least a couples thing where I was able to workout with my wife or kids. That’s not going to happen this time due to some travel she’s doing. And my daughters are both doing their own things, so they won’t be around either.
Then there was the list of athletes itself. I watched the pool of participants carefully and we just don’t have that many folks really jumping in this time. Friends I usually work out with or against are simply not going to be there. Not that there wouldn’t be friendly faces or other folks, but somehow it’s just not the same as even back in February/March for the last one of these and definitely not the same as in years past.
So for 20.1 I was left with a couple of things I absolutely dread. One is a pressure heavy workout description. The other is the lack of the usual camaraderie I have felt in previous years.
Let’s break down the first one. Each of these workouts is usually timed. And you have to complete a certain amount of work within a given time domain. This means you’re working not only against your own limitations to complete a certain amount of work, but you’re also working against the clock.
I am not a competitive person by nature. I’ll cheer you on. I’ll do my best. But usually I’m working against my own physical and mental limitations more than trying to beat someone else’s efforts. Once the clock gets into my brain, I’m kind of screwed.
It’s one thing if the workout is “complete as many of this sequence of movements in this amount of time.” That’s what we call an “AMRAP” – As Many Rounds as Possible. You’re given a time domain – let’s say 15 minutes – and go until the clock ends to see how many rounds you can complete. I’m good with that. There’s no set final state – just do what you can do until the clock runs out.
Unfortunately for me, the first workout of the Open was — complete all of these movements in this amount of time. It’s similar to an AMRAP, but not the same. And I really should have restructured it so that it was more of just a traditional AMRAP instead of reading it as written. 10 rounds for time was not the way for me to look at this one.
It’s a mind game, but I’m coming to recognize that I have certain little mental pitfalls I can avoid by restructuring my thinking. I should have done that for this one, but I wasn’t thinking as clearly as I might have when I went in. I usually work out in the morning, so I’m less “with it” at the end of a long day like I was on Friday night.
So that’s the personal mind trap crap I’m dealing with. And then there’s the other half of the equation – the people.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my CrossFit box — CrossFit Continuum has been a home away from home since I started this crazy journey more than 6 years ago (7 in Feb 2020). And there are some fantastic folks there – from our coaches to our athletes.
But life happens. Athletes and coaches come and go. We live in a military town, so people are constantly moving and we’ve lost a number of great friends to deployments elsewhere. Quite a few members are younger and having kids, so that’s changing the equation as to when they can or can’t come workout. And job changes also play a part.
As a result, though I had friends there on Friday, they weren’t the right ones for me to push through my mind traps, so I fell in. And my judge (thank you Heather!) was more than a little worried when I just walked out after completing two rounds.
That’s it – I got through two complete rounds of 20.1, looked at the bar, patted Heather on the arm and said “I’m done” as I walked out the front door of the box to walk half a mile.
My score? 36. I was shooting for 100. I think I walked out at around the 5 minute mark, so it’s possible I could have hit the 100 by the end of 15 minutes. Who knows?
Nothing about that night felt right, but I failed the workout because of my own mind games more than any other reason. Was I sore? Sure. I hate burpees. But I scaled the ground to overhead – did a few snatches, did a few clean and jerks. 95# isn’t that heavy. And I broke down the burpees into smaller and smaller sets, but was doing them ok too.
This was just me imploding because things didn’t feel right. So I apologize if I worried anybody (sorry Heather!) but I didn’t have enough of the supports in place to keep me moving forward.
This week I will have similar issues, but I will try and reframe the workout if it’s another mental hurdle. I suspect some of the workouts for this Open will be physical ones that I can’t overcome, either in regards to weight or movements — but that’s a different issue entirely.
So let’s see what this week brings, shall we?