16.5 is Done. Finally.

I knew the 2016 CrossFit Open was going to throw me some curve balls this year. And it did. But I wasn’t prepared to redo 14.5 as 16.5. Apparently Castro likes his curve balls.

If you don’t remember, 14.5 is the reason I didn’t do the 2015 Open. I walked out in the middle of 14.5. Simply stopped my workout, opened the door, and walked outside. I was ticked at myself. I was embarrassed. I was upset. It was not a good day. And I really didn’t want to revisit it.

So thanks Castro. Apparently you like your dramatic irony. When I watched the 16.5 announcement, I made a decision that I wouldn’t care about my time. I would do everything I could to face away from the running clock. And I would finish the damn thing.


I even announced that on Facebook and quite a few of our crossfit friends offered encouragement and kind words.

Was I really prepared for 16.5 when I got to CrossFit Continuum tonight? Probably not. I watched several different groups of our athletes suffer through it. Some did well – getting times under 20 minutes. Others pushed to 30. And some went as far as 40. But everybody gutted it out and finished.

When it came time for our heat, my whole family joined in the “fun” – along with a few others. Coach Clare. Coach Ray. And the four of us. I did it Rx (95#), as did my wife (65#). Mickey did it at Rx for her age group (45#) and AJ did it scaled at 25#.

So how’d it turn out? Ev finished in 30:30. Mickey in 24:42. And AJ in 19:38. They all kicked ass.

That just left me. I had Shaun judging and he was kind, but kept me moving along. And it sucked.

It really sucked. Did I mention that it sucked? By the time I got through the round of 21, I was sucking wind. Through 18 I wanted to die. And by 15 I really wanted to walk out the door.


Coach Clare had threatened to pile boxes in front of the door the night before on Facebook. And when we saw her before our heat she said she had done some entertaining things to our car so we couldn’t escape. (It was snowing pretty good outside by that point, but we knew she was joking. 😉 )

Everybody’s heart was in the right place. They wanted to see me succeed – and “success” in that case wasn’t breaking any records with time – it was just finishing the damn thing.

By the time I got through the round of 15, I had a few other folks cheering me on. Greg. John. Dan. And I heard other voices behind and around me. But it was all I could do to keep breathing. Keep standing. Keep falling. Keep pushing the bar above my head.

Did I mention that it sucked?

Before too much longer I had Coach Ray motivating me (he’d already finished his own workout) and that helped. I had a lot of help, honestly. And though I was swearing like a sailor in my head, I didn’t have the breath to do much more than mutter.

I discovered a new way to do burpees. My shoulders were unhappy and the falling to the ground has never been one of my most efficient moves. So by round 12 I started doing a bit of an army crawl… get down on my elbows, fall the rest of the way, then scrunch up like I was doing knees to elbows on my belly to get to my knees – then step up one leg at a time.

It was far from efficient. It was god awful ugly in fact. But it worked. One at a time.

The thrusters weren’t as much of a problem, though by the end I would sometimes get one done and have to drop the bar, then do 2 more or 3 more, etc.

It took me 46:56 to complete the workout. But damn it, I finished.


Why do I do crossfit? Because I have a family encouraging me. Some are blood. Some are family by sweat. All are friends I will help do damn near anything I think if they asked.

They said I showed grit and courage to finish. But the truth is that if they weren’t there to cheer me on and somehow block the way to the door, I might have made a run for it.

But I didn’t. I had my wife and daughters cheering me on. I had coaches and athletes cheering me on. And though many of them kicked ass with their own workouts there wasn’t any judgment – no looking down their noses because I took FOREVER to finish the damn thing. Just love and encouragement.

Crossfit is pretty damn awesome.

But Castro – you kinda suck. Not sure I’ll do the Open again next year. I’ll wait until next year to determine if it happens or not. But if you work 14.5 back into the mix again I may have to send a flaming bag of poo your direction. 🙂

Thank you, thank you, thank you – to everybody who offered encouragement. I don’t think I would have had the strength to finish without it. I really wanted to quit. Really.

But I didn’t and can now cross 14.5 – I mean 16.5 – off the list. And I hope I don’t have to do anything even remotely like it again for a long time.

The 2016 CrossFit Open is done. Thank goodness. 🙂


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