Possible

//theascentblog

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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=14831163 Megan Richards

    Good Luck Claire! You’ve been getting stronger every day it seems, so I’m sure you have more 75lb snatches in you than you think! Go for it! I finished 13.1 with 118 this morning. I had wanted to get through at least 130, so I will be at it again this weekend, because I think it’s possible!

    • clairechapman

      Thanks Megan! Did you try again yet?? I am going again tomorrow… pretty nervous…

  • GREG GARAND

    Awesome post Claire! My goal is to get to the 165 pound snatch and give it one attempt. That is right around my 1 RM, so I will be very happy if I get to attempt that weight completely exhausted from 90 burpees and 60 snatches.

    • clairechapman

      How’d it go??

  • Kelsi

    Great post. I am not a CrossFitter (I do Beachbody Insanity) but the AMRAP challenge is the same. When I started the program, I’d e exhausted at the end of the warm-up. The warm-up! But instead of giving up, I’d stop the video, let my heart rate come down from 387 million BPM, and do the next part. I’m proud of myself that I didn’t give up just because it was by far the hardest workout I’d ever tried.

    I went through mental stages of not seeing physical results as fast as I wanted, or getting discouraged because I couldn’t keep up with the people in the video. They’d do these power jumps and my post-op knee was not strong enough to do more than 8 or so in a minute. But then I started to feel energized by the warm-up, not exhausted. I doubled my amount of power jumps. I couldn’t do push-up jacks in the beginning; now I can do a couple dozen.

    The way I FEEL knowing I’m doing AMRAP (rather than based solely on what the scale or my pants size says) is the biggest motivator and the best sense of accomplishment. I still want that scale to move and my pants size to shrink, but NOTHING is as gratifying as doing the same circuit as last week and breaking my own PR. That’s something I never would have believed if you told me before I tried it.

    Sounds like there are some people posting comments out there who are being whiny and making excuses… as well as comparisons. I stopped comparing myself to the people in the Insanity video a long time ago. Shaun T said about Insanity: “The only way it won’t work is if you don’t do it.”

    • clairechapman

      Yep so true. The other day a girl at our gym (who is actually from Middleton… BECAUSE EVERYONE IN DENVER IS FROM WISCONSIN…) was complaining about double unders and said, “I literally physically am incapable of doing these!” and I wanted to say, “I bet they would be a lot easier if you’d stop telling yourself you can’t do them…” (I also wanted to say, why are you being so whiney!? but I held back…)

  • http://twitter.com/SnowfoxBandit Simone

    Well put. :)

    • clairechapman

      Thanks! Are you guys doing 13.1?

      • http://twitter.com/SnowfoxBandit Simone

        We haven’t, but you’re making me want to try!

  • Laurie

    Love this: “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.” SO TRUE!

    • clairechapman

      Thanks, Laurie! Did you do 13.1? How’d it go?

  • Jamie

    I needed to read this because I am Freaking out about this open. It’s my first and I am hoping to get done at least a few reps

    • clairechapman

      How’d it go??

  • Emily

    Is this post in English?!

    • clairechapman

      you better learn to speak CrossFit before we come to visit otherwise we won’t have anything to talk about…

  • Nick

    I wasn’t thrilled when I first saw this workout – I’ve only been crossfitting for 6 months and struggle with snatches (my PB was 120). But then I realised that the challenge was what Crossfit was all about. I sucked it up and managed to lift 135 for 8 reps. I walked out of the gym with half the skin ripped from my hands, having just lifted a new PB 8 times and knowing that I had done as many reps as I possibly could.

    • clairechapman

      That is amazing!! The BF had a similar experience–his previous PR was 125 and he was able to get 5 reps at 135. Nice work!

  • Pingback: Well played, 13.1. Well played. | squats&stilettos

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