And suddenly, it’s the Open.

Well Hello there.

Sometimes, life gets busy. Sometimes you write a post or two for 2016, promise to come back and share about goals for 2016, then you’re packing, moving, writing report cards, trying to keep up with life, and all of a sudden it’s the week before the 2016 CrossFit Open and you haven’t written that post (that’s what happened to me, Hilary, if you couldn’t guess…).

Anyway, I’m still alive, still Crossfitting, Jess is still killing it as a mom to twins…just haven’t exactly been blogging much lately. But no matter. I still have goals to share, the Open to do (eek!…more on that in a minute), and life to catch up on.

So…about those goals. I’ve learned over my CrossFit career (going on 2.5 years now) that goals are useful and great to work towards, but I have to be careful. I’m all about the whole SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, time-bound) goals thing, but only to a point. It’s important to give yourself deadlines, and it’s ok to fail to meet them. BUT I have also learned about myself (from experience) that sometimes, if I focus TOO much on a goal, I can either end up injured or really really disappointed.

With that in mind, I came up with a list, and gave it to my coach back in January, that had a couple of sections.

  • Short Term
  • Keep working on…
  • Sometime in 2016…

So, short term I requested:

  • Prep for the Open (within my own programming). And, boy oh boy has he delivered on that one. I’ve said to several friends – I’ll either kill the Open or be dead by then!
  • A combination of things that were in the last two programs I worked on (heavy lifts with more accessory and tempo work)

Keep working on… (no specific timeline here):

  • Getting lats that work (it’s a never-ending quest!)
  • Correcting bad habits to fix lifts
  • Pistols
  • HSPUs

Sometime in 2016 (again no specific timeline):

  • Compete in an individual competition (I’ve only ever done team ones)
  • Handstand walk
  • Deadlift 300 pounds
  • Complete the old goal of RX Fran

So…a few words on the goals and then we’ll move on to the Open.

Lats: The longer I CrossFit, the more I want them. And the more I realize that they are holding me back in EVERYTHING (ok, not everything, but it sure seems that way sometimes), not just pull-ups. Bottom of my clean and snatch? Gotta engage those lats. Rounding out when deadlifts get heavy? Lats again. Oh, and if I engaged my lats, kipping my T2B could actually be a thing.

So I am forever doing accessory work and activation drills in addition to all the pull-up stuff I’m always working on (nearly one year later, I’m still not beyond one strict pull-up in a row). Oh lats, why do you elude me so?

As for fixing bad habits, I’m feeling stalled out on a lot of my lifts. And it’s not because I’m  not stronger. It’s all those little things I’m doing wrong, all the poor habits I’ve kept up over 2 and a half years of Crossfit. So, slowly but surely, I’m trying to break myself of them, fix my form, and hopefully, see my numbers go up.

Pistols and HSPUs: I’m just tired of not being able to do them. Once again, it’s not a strength thing. HSPUs I think are a lot about positioning and learning the movement. Pistols are about mastering control at the bottom. I’ve been doing some accessory work for both, so we’ll see how it comes along. right now I’m feeling somewhat frustrated, especially with the HSPU. Progress, as ever, is slow.

Competing in an individual competition scares me, which is part of why I want to do it. I have loved all of the partner/team competitions I’ve done, but I think I’m finally ready to try a competition on my own. Just to push myself to my limits, outside of my comfort zone, and know that at the end of the day, it’s just me and what I can do. I didn’t want to pick a deadline for this one because it’s hard to know when/where the right comp will come up.

Handstand walk: I’ve been working towards freestanding handstands for awhile now, and I’m getting close. It’s another thing I’m just chipping away at. I don’t desperately need to HS walk (it’s not like I’m headed for regionals, and it doesn’t exactly come up in WODs all that often)…it’s just another thing I want to be able to do.

The last two goals are leftover from last year: Deadlifting 300 pounds and RX Fran. I’m hoping the goal of fixing bad habits helps my DL dreams come true. I PR’ed in January at 285, and tried 300 a couple times. I know I’m close. I’ve just gotta fix all those nagging issues, and I’ve got this.

RX Fran. I am finally at the point where I actually believe I can do it (I didn’t for the longest time). If you told me tomorrow that I had to do an RX Fran, I could. It would be painfully slow, but I could finish. But my coach and I have agreed that it’s better to wait until I’m more competent at kipping to pull it off. The last thing I want to do is to do Fran for the sake of it and end up hurting myself.

So those are my 2016 goals in a nutshell. Of course, there are tons more numbers I want to hit, and things I want to accomplish. I could easily make a list twice as long. But you have to start somewhere, so that’s where I’m going for now.

Now, a few words on the Open…

As previously mentioned, I requested Open Prep from my coach. It’s consisted of little WODs and tests like 50 wall balls/box jumps/burpee box jumps for time…or 4 minutes max burpees/wall balls/etc. The WODs I’ve been doing have been designed to tire me out but try to keep good form. To say they’ve been kicking my butt is an understatement. I’ve also had a ton of gymnastics work (hello, my perennial weakness).

My coach told me he thought a C2B pull-up and possibly even a HSPU during the Open were possible. I felt like he was crazy for saying that. But I also thought he was crazy last year when he had me re-testing strict pull-ups every week, then I got my first one…so who knows? C2B feels possible, maybe…but the HSPU seem illusive.

So how am I feeling going into my second CrossFit Open? I’d be lying if I said totally awesome. I’ve had some max lift days not go great. And my DUs feel like they’re all over the place. And I honestly just wish I was better at a lot of things.

I think part of the problem is my CrossFit philosophy (I should work on changing that this year): Assume that you suck at everything and then it’s a nice surprise when you don’t. This is honestly how I feel. The problem now though, is that I don’t suck at everything. I work my butt off every day.

Going into something feeling like I might actually succeed or have a shot is a foreign feeling to me. And it’s scary. It’s scarier for me to think I’m good at something, because I’ve always just hidden behind the excuse of “I can’t.” Plus I think the fact that it’s my second Open, and I know how hard I’ve worked and how far I’ve come, I’m putting a lot more pressure on myself. Pressure to beat myself, to be better than last year.

This is when I have to chill, slow down, and remind myself of one of the most important lessons learned last year during the Open: we’re doing this for fun. I remind myself of this often, not just during Open season. CrossFit is a hobby, as such, it should be something enjoyable.

Also, deep breath, relax. You’ve got this. You’ve put in the hard work. Shake off the bad days. Don’t let them define you. Because, at the end of the day, Open WODs are just another workout.

So, CrossFit Open 2016: You simultaneously excite, inspire, and terrify me. Whether or not I’m ready, here you are.

Given my current posting track record, don’t expect the weekly check-ins like last year. But I will pop in now and then to chat about how things are going. And one way or another, we’ll all crush our goals and get through the Open together. And life will go on, C2B, HSPU, or not. We will all live to CrossFit another day.

 

 

 

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