Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The CrossFit Blues

We're about halfway through the CrossFit Open of 2013.  We've all completed at least two workouts, and we're getting to watch the elite fight for the top scores in the world.

For some, this is a really exciting and motivating season.

For me, it's kind of been a discouraging one:

1. I was sick with flu right before 13.1, which would have been a really awesome workout for me.  I love burpees and am fairly efficient with my technique, and I've also put in a ton of time on my Olympic lifts.  My score was still alright, but not what I know it could have been if I did the WOD healthy.

2. I didn't push nearly as hard as I could have on 13.2 Most people were on the floor when they finished and I wasn't even that tired.  I had enough in me to work on strength and skills for an HOUR later that day.  I didn't take a bunch of breaks on 13.2, I guess I just moved slowly on my deadlifts especially...which stinks because deadlifts are a great movement for me and those were light.

13.2 Scoresheet

3. I lost sight of my original goal for the OpenLast year in 2012, there were some workouts where I couldn't even get a score of 1 due to limitations in strength or skill.  My goal this year was to get a score of at least 1 on every workout.  So far I have crushed that, but instead of being proud of myself, I've compared myself to the other athletes at my box and felt jealous of them if they beat me.

I was so upset with myself on Saturday morning (after 13.2) that I could hardly think anything except "I suck at CrossFit."  I had to fight myself to work on my skills.  I kept thinking, "Why bother?  I suck at this, too, even after working on it for months."  I actually cried on the way to the grocery store!!!

From talking to a few other CrossFit athletes, it seems I may not be the only one having a "Woe Is Me" season.  With that in mind, I thought I would share a few tips that are helping me work through my frustration with my limitations.
  • Talk to your coach.  I spent a while sobbing my broken little CrossFit heart out to Jared on Saturday.  He had some really good insight, reminding me what my strengths are in the gym, and helping me to refocus on the fact that ultimately I am only competing against myself, and when it comes to that, I have beat my old self pretty handily!
I love this guy
  • Keep your goals realistic.  You should definitely see improvement from last year or even a couple months ago, but chances are your body is not going to do any magic for you in five short weeks.  Don't set yourself up for disappointment - if you aren't even one of the best athletes at your box...you probably aren't gonna make top 100 in the region.  Tailor the goals to what YOU can do (don't make your placement the only goal).  For me I need to stick with my first goal of a score of "1."  Everything else this year is icing on the cake!
7 minutes of burpees in 12.1 last year

  • Focus on how you've improved since the previous Open.  For me, one of my biggest areas of improvement is my pullups.  Last year, I couldn't do ONE without a band.  In the summer I got my first dead-hang pullup, followed shortly by my first kipping pullup.  Recently I performed a WOD that included 39 kipping pullups!  Make a list for yourself comparing "Where I Was" to "Where I Am."

  • Remember that CrossFit is not the be all and end all of life.  Chances are you have a few other interests and talents in your life.  Think outside The Box!!!  Don't spend every free moment reading about the Games and tips to do better and obsessing about your diet and strategizing your reps.  Read a book!  Hang out with a non-CrossFitting friend (these people are so sane and fun)!  Eat a doughnut!  Catch up on your favorite TV show! 
  • Continue training and stick to your OTHER CrossFit goals throughout the Open season.  Chances are you had something you were working on before the Open (double-unders, a power clean PR, your first muscle-up).  Since most of us aren't going to the Games, or even Regionals, we shouldn't ignore all the other work we want to do in favor of totally zeroing in on the five workouts of the Open.  If you were coming to class early to work on skills or strength, keep it up and track your progress!
Working on my strict press

You tell me - what are your goals for the 2013 CrossFit Open?  Are you totally pumped and inspired this year, or struggling with comparisons and discouragement like me?  How do you stay sane and not let CrossFit doubts crush you?


  1. I can totally understand getting that way. It seems as though most people who do CrossFit are the go hard or go home type... and it becomes so easy to forget where we've come from. I'm not technically competing in the open, so its not exactly the same for me... but I still struggle with comparing myself. If i'm not the best at something I don't like doing it. Which is why I hate wall balls. ha.

    1. Ah! I hate wall balls too! My goal is to get 20 unbroken wall balls at #14 by the end of March. I usually end up missing the target, dropping the ball, or worst of all catching it with my face instead of my hands.

  2. Keeping your goals realistic is something I always struggle with - but hey we are go big go home types of people. Keep up your hard work, loved this post thank you!

    1. Thanks Jess - I guess that's why we start CrossFit in the first place!


Thanks for adding your two cents to The (Megha) Mix!