Well, 13.1 is here. How do you feel about it? Everyone hates Burpees, obviously, but I think this is a pretty interesting WOD. When the CrossFit Games’ page posted the WOD on Facebook, it garnered a lot of not-so-positive comments, things like, “Shouldn’t the Open be for everyone? I understand that the Games is hard and focus on the elite athletes of every gym, but making the first wod like this is over the edge” (that is one very eloquent example, most of the comments were a little more… heated than that). Basically, lots of people worried that they are already out of The Open because the first WOD is “too hard,” “too heavy,” or “too technical.”
Well, I have one thing to say to those people: Welcome to CrossFit.
Let’s be honest, almost every CrossFitter out there can do one Burpee in 17 minutes. And if that’s you, then guess what? Your score is 1 and you are still in the Open! And if you can’t, then I don’t imagine that you thought you were going to do very well in The Open anyway, and maybe this week you will get to spend a lot of extra time working on your Burpees and your snatch. And you might even PR! And then there you have it, The Open has already made you a better athlete in just one week.
One of the best things about WODs like this is that there is no DNF. Whether you score 5 or 205, you still completed the workout. Even if you only get through the first set of Burpees, you have still just done 40 more Burpees than most people will ever do in their lives. But this WOD has definitely made me start thinking a little more about something that’s been bouncing around in my head the past few weeks, which is the real meaning of AMRAP. As Many Reps As Possible. Not As Many Reps As You Think Is Enough or As Many Reps As The Person Next To You Did So That’s Probably Good. AMRAP is not just an instruction, it is a challenge. It brings into question the existence of things that are truly not possible. Truly beyond and outside your ability. At what point can you honestly say, “This is all I have to give”?
For me, that is a pretty heavy question. It encompasses a lot more than just a number of reps or the weight on the bar. Sure, in 13.1 I will reach a point where I physically cannot go any further. My previous snatch max is only 70#, and with the 2nd round of reps at 75# for women, I may not get much farther than one or two reps at that weight. There will be a point in this WOD for everyone where another rep is literally not possible, because the snatches are too heavy, the Burpees are too exhausting, and time is finally up. But when the clock strikes zero, are you going to be able to look back at the WOD and honestly say, I did everything–everything–that was POSSIBLE for me to do? Can you say with absolution and satisfaction that you have nothing left to give? To me, there is nothing in CrossFit that is worse than the feeling of looking back on a WOD and saying, “I could have given more.”
I think that is going to be the real challenge for 13.1. Really, it is the challenge in CrossFit–heck, in life–every day. What does it truly look like to AMRAP–to truly give everything you’ve got? I hope we are all about to find out.