Tuesday, March 15, 2022

So How Was It For You?

Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, know what I mean, know what I mean? 

The 2022 CrossFit Open is officially concluded, and I’ll admit to a sigh of relief that it’s over for another year. Proud to have registered. Glad to be back to my/our own gym kinds of things. I’m more attuned to the personalities than I ever used to be, which is noteworthy for a non-sports-person like myself. An interesting challenge is developing on the women’s side (in my mind’s eye) between Mallory O’Brien and Tia-Clair Toomey. That will be fun to watch as the months unfold. Smiles for Saxon Panchik on the men’s side. I was stunned that Rich Froning’s Whoop strain for 22.3 was only at 4.4 (in a scale of 1-21). My body shows that strain for a 2.5 mile nature walk! For myself, I’m proud and pleased to have registered for another year of it. I’m more aware of some of my own recent successes in the just get better journey. And this season was harder than last year’s, if for reasons I can now smile about… How was it for you? What do you notice now because the global CrossFit community gathered to do this thing for three weeks?

I’m in the 50-54 age range, scaled track of things. I’m finding deep satisfaction in the weights and challenges here for me, and I’m noticing more ease in the weights-levels (for the most part). That’s cool and noticeable. Some skills are starting to come more easily that seemed out of reach last year. Double-unders, for instance. Not to the point of stringing them all together, but alternating single-doubles, I’m getting into the teens of reps unbroken. I’ve been more confident in the box jump height my long legs can do just fine. I’m still conservative and will move to stepovers when I get weary, but I’m enjoying the surprise of greater challenge. I've even made a good peace with overhead squats!

For Open things? While I have moved into the weights-range with more comfort, I still lack upper-body strength skill. I.e. no pull-ups will probably always limit me in the third workout. This was a double-edged sword for me this year. I pushed myself to just stay with the Scaled workout, which meant I didn’t get very far into it. I landed back in a shame-spiral I’ve not felt for a long while in these things. I’m proud that I pushed myself to try, to stay with what I couldn’t do...yet. I did so largely because I’ve been doing banded pull-up EMOMs at home, working toward more shoulder strength. It’s fun to do, when I remember to do it. I lack shoulder mobility, I now realize, and my left shoulder may have signs of previous injury/inflammation I’m now tending. I’m learning and will be tending that with some care at home. But the Friday night attempt-night was hard on me, on the inside and outside. Tears were close.

But then I was reminded why I love this community and why I need this journey together so very much. I was standing at the score-sheet table, listening to peeps chit-chat about their processes. One of the guys asked whether I was going to take my score-sheet slip with me, as he noticed my score-sheet was still on the table, whole. “Nah,” I said. “I couldn’t even get past the first round. I couldn’t get even one pull-up.” I tried not to let my own sense of defeat color my face, but I’m sure it was in my voice. “Oh noooo,” he said, picking my paper up. “I have every single one of these that I’ve ever done! Don’t get grossed out,” he laughed as he used his tongue to weaken the paper-fold he had made on my score-sheet. He tore my slip off and handed it to me. “We keep these!” he smiled at me. I received mine and smiled back at him, remembering. I did this. I showed up for the CrossFit Open. I showed up for myself in a new way this year. I attempted something I’ve not been able to do…yet.

It’s so bloomin’ easy to focus on all the things I can’t do when surrounded by those who can do things I cannot do…yet…or perhaps ever. This is the internally demanding thing for me (and surely for others I know) in this annual event. It’s probably worse inside of me now because I’ve begun to ‘buy into’ some of the celebrity/elite-athlete hype, mostly because it IS entertaining…but that’s really new for me. I’m not a social-media or sports girl, after all. Luddite Lisa is more my style. But I DO love the ethos and irrepressibility that this community lives into. 

It was remarkable to see everyone pushing their hardest for the best 'runs' of workouts, all three weeks. I got to count reps for some folks during an Open Gym, and celebrate the strategy and choices they made to improve scores. It was stunning to watch friends step up to the tasks before them. And I know the frustrations and even anger at not being able to...I know that was shared too.

Just get better. Just show up. Train at your edges to make it more interesting for yourself. Try the unknown things you think you cannot do. Do all this with people who can uplift you when you forget. The 2022 CrossFit Open is officially concluded, with good fruit to show for it. And...I’ll still probably always be glad that it’s over for another year.