CrossFit is Humbling – Games Open WOD 13.3

Photographer: Sweat RX

Games Open WOD 13.3: CrossFit is humbling.

12 minute AMRAP:

150 wall ball

90 double unders

30 muscle-ups

Well hello again, 12.4, we missed you (we didn’t really).

HQ loves a repeater WOD. Like any of our beloved benchmark workouts, a repeated WOD is a chance to measure your progress, and such a WOD in the Open allows us to do so on a world scale. This WOD got me thinking about just how we measure progress. Every CrossFit WOD is an opportunity to improve yourself. A benchmark WOD is a special opportunity to provide evidence that you have improved or not; will it be a spectacular accomplishment, or a crushing disappointment?  Open WODs are a special opportunity, yet again; where normally you might scale a weight or movement, you are forced to do it, or spend the entire time trying. If you’re like me, you spend the day fretting about whether or not you’ll get your first 100lb snatch, first double under, or first muscle-up (and whether you’ll be able to do so after copious burpees or wallballs).

I am never so humbled by a CrossFit movement as I am by the double under. When I pick up the rope, I fall completely apart and do a lot of flailing and tripping and not very much jumping over the wire. While my ability to do them has, in general, improved since last year, my ability to do them after 150 wallballs, it seems, has not. In fact, I somehow managed to tie my score from last year. Exactly. I’m not making that up.

But what that number of total reps does not reflect is the more subtle improvements in my fitness since the last time around. While last year the wallballs were incredibly daunting, this year they were just 150 squats between me and the dreaded double under; no missed targets, no questionable depth, and a full minute faster than last year. I have improved in fitness, just not in skill.

With 13.3, as with any WOD, some of us will meet our goals. Some of us, propelled by the competitive atmosphere, will exceed our goals, and some of us will not.

Sometimes I wonder why I do this to myself (repeatedly subject myself to the possibility of such deep disappointment). But then again success, by definition, cannot be achieved without the risk of failure. And it is certainly much more gratifying when achieved after a few failed attempts.

If you, too, did not put up a score you are happy with, consider whether you’re examining the right measure. Perhaps you have progressed in some other way.

Recognize your achievements, identify your weaknesses, and carry forward. Me? I’ll be picking up the rope after every WOD to practice while tired, until I’m no longer scared of it.

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