Sunday, 28 February 2016

Crossfit updates. Vacuum cleaners

Happy Sunday evening to you.

I have been doing Crossfit for a year now. I love it, and I love the friends I have made. That progress is slow does not worry me so much.

Every February, there is a worldwide competition called the Crossfit Open. There are Rx (ie only for the very fit) and Scaled (for mortals like myself) divisions.  There are Masters (40+/55+) divisions. There is a set workout or WOD every week for five weeks, which everyone does. The best 30 or so Rx athletes from each geographic area go on to a "regional" competition, and the best of them go on to the Crossfit Games, which occurs in the US in May. It's a big thing in the Crossfit world. Thousands of people enter the open. It reaches a bit of a religious fervour.

We are all encouraged to enter. I forgot my ego, my "oh my God I am going to do so bad and I don't want people to know" tendency, I paid the USD 20 (AUD 29) and registered. The first WOD was on Saturday. The box was set up with all the markers. Some of the more experienced Crossfitters from the box, as well as doing the WOD (workout of the day) themselves, were engaged as judges for the other people doing the WOD. Strict standards are maintained, no corners can be cut. If the rep/movement isn't done to completion, it's a "no rep" and it has to be repeated properly for it to be counted towards the score.

So I rolled up to the box at 0800 on Saturday. People were already doing the WOD, with looks of grim determination on their faces, and sweat pouring off, their clipboard wielding judges marking the movements off and cheering them on. The music was pumping and the atmosphere was buzzing. The coach referred to those doing the open as "open athletes".

The "scaled" WOD (Females) for Saturday, Open WOD 16.1, was as follows

20 minutes AMRAP (as many reps as possible)

7.5 metre walking lunge with 15kg barbell held in front rack position
8 burpees over bar
7.5 metre walking lunge with 15kg barbell held in front rack position
8 jumping pull ups with chin to bar

The standards were as follows
-knee had to hit the ground at the bottom of the lunge.
-whole foot had to clear the 7.5 metre line
-no dropping the bar in the 7.5 metre walk (if dropped -back to start)
-Burpees are chest and thighs to ground, two foot take off for the jump over the bar, head behind bar when prone
-chin had to reach the bar during pull up.

This workout bought out a number of weaknesses. I with a couple of ankle injuries and tight hips, I had been wobbly at lunges and not much good at getting my knee to hit the ground. I was barely mastering them without added weight. I can do burpees but I am about as speedy as a sloth on valium with them. My pull-ups are coming along but that movement I found hard. A few times I jumped and my chin didn't quite reach the bar. The judge yelled "no rep" and I went "fuck" and did it again.

It was really frickin' hard. I remember feeling a bit silly and slow being up to the burpees when some of the others were on the chinups. I even felt a bit sick toward the end. However I did not stop despite feeling tired, in pain and ill. My "judge" cheered me on, even prompted me "left leg, now right leg, come on, big jump".

Later in the workout a few of the other "athletes" come to cheer me on. It really helped. Finally I finished and I did the obligatory toss of the barbell and fall dramatically to the ground to catch my breath and rest. This going to ground is totally allowed and even encouraged. People find your hand to shake or high-five. The judge congratulated me for not taking a rest and keeping on moving throughout.

Even though I got far fewer reps than some of my mates, I was not worried. That I gave it a crack was good. I had always made a few excuses on the basis of being a bit tubbier or less athletic than the other girls, but today no short cuts could be taken. Rather than being embarrassed for being slower, I felt empowered for doing the same thing as some of the fit girls I admire.

I am also getting far less fearful of the box jump - it was something very simple that my coach said that helped me get my head around jumping without hesitating.

I have pulled up rather sore today. My left butt cheek in particular is giving me curry - that glute has been a bit lazy and it had a workout. I am looking forward to what the next week will bring.

My fella and I got some gift cards for Chrissy, and we pooled them, and added some cash, to buy a Dyson Vacuum cleaner. I had been skeptical, as I am about any expensive cleaning appliance, as scrupulous cleanliness has never been high on my list of priorities (ok that sounds really bad).

I took the Dyson for a spin yesterday, after my big workout, and I was impressed and alarmed in equal measure. Impressed because of the amount of dirt it picked up and how clean it made the carpets looked, alarmed because that heap of dirt and dog hair and my hair was filth that we had been wallowing in.

It's kind of cool to use something that somebody has carefully engineered.


  1. Thanks for the round-up of the Crossfit Open, it sound intense! Well done :-D

    1. Veronica, if you want to get fit, I highly recommend you find a good crossfit box and join. You'll love it.