15.1: Those Toes to Bar Though

So. I’m doing it. What every Crossfit blogger worth their salt is doing today or tomorrow (if they haven’t already): I’m writing a post about my experiences with Crossfit Open WOD 15.1 and 15.1a.

Background: I suck at T2B (and pretty much all gymnastics movements). (You know it’s Hilary writing when you read this. Jess is a T2B and body weight movement rockstar. I try not to hate her for it). I got my first successful one in October (after tons of practice, work, and progressions doing things like candlesticks, hollow rocks and hollow body holds). Since then, I’ve been practicing, and have gotten more T2B, but have never been able to string them together or get more than a couple at a time (3 if it’s a really good day). I have also never RX’ed a T2B WOD.

Additional background: I did a WOD on Thursday (before the announcement of 15.1) that was 10 rounds of 5 T2B and 10 American kettlebell swings. I managed to complete 1-3 T2B each round, which I was really happy with. Even though I didn’t RX the whole thing, I did more T2B in a WOD than I ever had before. IMG_3106

After the WOD, I went to high five a friend, and she didn’t high five me back. Instead, she said “you ripped,” and pointed out the blood on my hand (see graphic photo at right). Oh crap. Apparently somewhere in the last round I had torn open a callus, but didn’t notice till Heather pointed it out.

I couldn’t watch the live announcement Thursday night since I was out, but when I got home I had a text from another Crossfit friend Soph that said “15.1 Eek!” so immediately went and checked it out. T2B. Great. That will be awesome for my hand. I was totally stoked for the rest of the workout. Deadlifts at 75? Easy. Snatches. Bring it. And clean and jerk would be fun. But, those toes to bar though. Nothing like doing a skill you suck at already with a hole in your hand.

I had initially planned to do the WOD on Saturday. But, I’m a worrier. And I knew my T2B were not going to get any better with 24 extra hours. And I happened to have Friday morning off so I had extra time to do the Open right after the 6 AM class. And I just wanted to get it out of the way. So I decided to go for it.

It would have been easy for me to do scaled. No one would blame me. But I knew those weights would be super light compared to what I was capable of. And I really wanted to try those T2B, even though I knew it would be slow. So RX it was. After getting my hand taped up and borrowing a gymnastics grip from my coach, helping judge a couple of heats, and trying to re-warm up, I got going just before 7:30 AM.

At first, I think I did a couple sets of 2 T2B, maybe 3. There were definitely some no reps mixed in there. Coach Duncan, who was judging me, well knows my capabilities and weaknesses, so wisely advised me to take rest after each successful rep, and to reach back and engage my lats (HUGE weakness for me…but that’s a whole ‘nother post). He also told me to ignore the clock. This WOD for me wasn’t about being the top (or even near the top) finisher. It was about simply going out there and doing toes to bar.

I FINALLY made it through the first 15 reps about 5 minutes in. Yep, you read that right, 5 minutes for 15 toes to bar. All weekend I’ve been hearing other athletes advising friends to break up the toes to bar, and I joke “yeah, try a 5 minute round.” 😉

I was so relieved to get to the deadlifts and snatches, I banged them out pretty fast (partially because I got a little confused and in my head thought I only had 6 minutes for the AMRAP, not nine)…I got it mixed up with 15.1. And then Duncan smiled and said “now you get to go back to the toes to bar”…I felt less than relieved.

I knew at this point that with less than 3 minutes remaining, I wasn’t going to get back to the barbell. And that made me sad. I would’ve crushed those deadlifts and snatches had I been able to do more of them. But I just made my way back to the pull-up rig and did my darndest to finish as many T2B as I could, getting 7 into my second round.

My score for 15.1? 37 reps. Not tearing up the leaderboard. Not impressive by any means. But the first time I had EVER completed a T2B WOD RX! That is a huge win for me. I’m so glad I pushed myself and didn’t do scaled.

Not a whole lot to say about 15.1a. I rested for the first minute and a half and used that time to adjust my barbell to 85 pounds, my opening weight. I hit it easily, then hit 105, 115, and 125. I psyched myself up a bit going for 135 (my current 1 RM) and missed it, so then at the advice of my coach I took weight off and hit 130, ending it there. Not a PR, but 5 pounds shy of a 1 RM after a 9 minute WOD? I’ll take it.

I have survived my first ever Crossfit Open WOD intact (unless you count the hole in my hand) and will say that PR-ing on T2B is a great way to start. I’m also glad to have that movement behind me…but am dreading the inevitable announcement of a WOD that includes pull-ups.

Not wanting the 15.1 fun to end, I helped judge other athletes at noon on Saturday. Jess showed up too and also judged for a bit. Then she took a selfie, tweeted it, and WE GOT FAVORITED BY THE CROSSFIT GAMES! Pretty much we are celebrities now, right? (If you don’t follow us on Twitter yet, go do it).

Even though it can be stressful at times, I love judging. I love watching fellow athletes push themselves. I love it when others stick around the gym to cheer others on. I love seeing the PRs, and seeing people achieve things they never thought possible. Nothing gets your heart pumping like watching your friend madly scramble for weights with 20 seconds left then throw them on and successfully hit a lift at 14:59 on the clock!

After everyone had completed the WOD for the day, a couple of friends and I went out for lunch, where we compared hand rips, discussed 15.1, our predictions for the rest of the Open, and Crossfit in general. So much fun…love my Crossfit friends!

My thoughts on the Open so far? I’m hooked. I love that I just did the same workout as Camille, Annie, and Rich. I love that the Open brings us together and highlights the community and camaraderie that we all love about Crossfit. I love how it pushes us to dig deep and reach new heights. (Although once they announce the WOD that includes pull-ups, ask me if I feel the same way 😉 ).

Dave Castro, bring on 15.2.

What did you think of 15.1 and 15.1a? Favourite and least favourite parts? Any PRs? What movements are you excited for/dreading in the Open?


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