Workout 17.2 – my CrossFit Open experience

Coming into week 2 of the Open I was hoping to be better prepared, better rested, and I guess just generally ready to do better. Well that was my intention, but then a busy week put those plans on already shaky ground, and then I saw the workout. lol.

The thing with 17.1 is that it was tough and contained a crazy number of reps, but I knew I could do all the movements. With 17.2, once I found out that the scaled version of bar muscle-ups was pull-ups … well my mindset and strategy in approaching the workout shifted. That’s always going to happen if I know one of the movements is not in my skillset.

Thanks very much pull-ups. 😉

Workout 17.2
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 12 minutes of:
2 rounds of:
50-ft. weighted walking lunge
16 toes-to-bars
8 power cleans
Then, 2 rounds of:
50-ft. weighted walking lunge
16 bar muscle-ups
8 power cleans
etc., alternating between toes-to-bars and bar muscle-ups every 2 rounds.
Men use 50-lb. dumbbell. Women use 35-lb. dumbbells

About 3 years ago I WAS able to do strict pull-ups, and even weighted pull-ups. But then a few niggling shoulder and back issues meant that I had to sideline pull-ups for a while. I never meant to neglect them for quite so long, but sometimes that happens when there are so many other movements to play with, and so many heavy things to lift.

So faced with 17.2 I knew I’d be fine with the first 2 rounds, but that once I got to the bar in round 3 that I’d be spending a lot of time trying to get a pull-up. I came close … a couple of times FRUSTRATINGLY close to getting a rep, but as much as I was hoping for a miracle, last night it just wasn’t meant to be.

17.2 setup – photo courtesy CF4504

The thing with CrossFit is that it tests not just your physical strength, it test your mental toughness, and not just in a ‘grit your teeth and push your way through a tough workout’ kind of way. The true tests come in those moments where you’re confronted by a (physical or skill-based) weakness, those moments where you fail, or where you’re completely humbled by a movement. When that happens you’ve got to do your best to accept that on that day, in that moment, that was the best you could do. lol. Easier said than done.

CrossFit, and perhaps more specifically right now, the Open – presents me with two mindset challenges. Firstly, in a sport that is inherently about the numbers – times, reps, rounds, weights – I need to make it NOT about the numbers. And secondly, in a competitive sport which ultimately ranks your achievements against those of everyone else – I need to stay clear of comparison.

These aren’t new struggles for me, and they’re not something I particularly dwell on outside of 1RM days (which also bring a lot of this stuff to the surface). Yes, fundamentally I’m only in competition with myself, and yet it’s hard to escape the fact that on a broader level, there are shitloads of people doing so much better. Hmmm … this is tricky territory to navigate, and I’m not sure there’s a ready solution.

For me personally, 17.2 was a less physically demanding workout than 17.1, but it sure as shit got me thinking. Instead of getting timed out by the clock, I was stopped short by a skill-based issue. So frustrating!

I wasn’t sure where this tale of 17.2 would end, and now that I’ve arrived at the conclusion, I realise that’s actually the issue. The odd, somewhat unsettled feeling the workout left me with, is one of incompleteness – of NOT being finished with it.

With 17.3 now on my horizon, I find myself feeling less fired up about it, and instead just hopeful that I’ll be able to make more headway through whatever the workout holds. Keeping fingers and toes firmly crossed. 😀