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Well … I completed the CrossFit Open 2016 and to be brutally honest I’m incredibly disappointed in myself. I guess I thought that I had come further in my CrossFit journey than I actually had. I really expected better of myself. I’m not saying that my scores were horrible and that there was anything that I could have possible done to improve them other than push myself a bit harder, I’m simply saying that I expected more out of my body than it gave. But with that being said, I now know exactly where I stand, and that isn’t where I want to be. Because I’m a fan of lists for improvement purposes I’m going to put a couple in here for accountability purposes.

First, my weaknesses at the box (in no order):

1. Running - I’m awful. Really I am, it’s almost like my body knows my head is already sabotaging it and gives out before I start; my legs cramp up, my calves get painfully tight, my feet go numb, and my asthma kicks in. I don’t know how to improve on this other than being made to do it and man I’m grouchy when I have to. (Ask Eric.)

2. Burpees/Pushups - I’m getting better. I know that repetitive motions like this are good for me, and that through going through the motions properly, and often that I will get better. These were a huge struggle for me in the beginning but I’m slowing getting better and more comfortable with them.

3. Chin/Chest to bar/Bar hangs/Any pull up- I know that these are a weakness for a lot of people but it’s still frustrating. I don’t understand why I can’t jump high enough to get my chin over the bar or chest to it when I can easily handle a box jump. I know a lot of these issues are mental rather than physical but I’m not sure how to shake them.

4. Crabwalk/Crawl – These are hard for me because of the fact that my mobility isn’t quite where it should be. More ROMWOD’s will be in my future.

5. Getting into a handstand against the wall – Now I know this one is all mental. In my head I think I’m going to crash into the wall and shouldn’t be doing it without a helmet. I know that the coaches wouldn’t be having us do it if it weren’t safe, but for some reason I can’t stop thinking that I’m going to snap my neck, fall on the floor, and die. Drama Queen.

6. Rower – I don’t know why this is such a hard thing for me. I’d go all day on the assault bike but the rower to me is like walking through hells gates. I want nothing to do with it, ever.

Secondly, my strengths at the box (in no order):

1. Heavy weights – I love lifting heavy. Whether it be with a bar or kettlebells. I love deadlifts, thrusters, snatches, etc. I think my body just adjusts and compensates well for these types of movement better than anything else. When I hear squats or thrusters in a WOD I actually get excited. I know that they are going to hurt but I also know that I will crush them.

2. Jump rope – This is something that a lot of people struggle with but it’s something that I really like. I have been on jump rope teams, and just have a lot of fun doing it. Slowly my double-unders are coming back and I couldn’t be happier.

3. Sit-Ups – I know it sounds simple but these are super easy for me. Don’t get me wrong, they hurt but I love them. I’ve always had a strong core and so it’s been incredibly beneficial to me during most of the CrossFit movements.

4. Squats/Lunges/Wall Balls – I LOVE SQUATS. In fact, I love leg movements in general. I am so powerful when it comes to leg movements and lifts that it’s awesome and I have such an amazing sense of pride when it comes to these I just wish that I could somehow work my leg strength into my running.

5. Kettlebell swings – These may not be my favorite but I can knock them out with good form. I know that when I see kettlebells in the WOD that I will be able to do them and increase my weight for an amazing workout.

6. Box jumps – I really love these lately. I’m getting better and my height keeps increasing. I don’t know if it’s the fact that it’s a leg movement or something that I know without a doubt that I’ve improved on that has me digging them but I’ll take it.

So those are my lists for now. I know that there are probably some things that I missed in either list but it’s the items that I could think of offhand. These lists are for the purposes of reminding me where my strengths and weaknesses lie and for showing me where I need to push myself and where I need work on form and finesse.

The Open wasn’t a terrible thing for me despite my disappointment. The atmosphere and comradery was something that I haven’t experienced since high school/college sports. I missed being part of a team; I missed fist pumps, and cheers. I missed the all out, you can do it attitudes. The pushing, and genuine congrats on a job well done. The Open was a real definition of what CrossFit is all about; it was a group of people doing their best daily while cheering on their teammates/friends/loved ones to do the same. I will never doubt the level of commitment or caring that my box mates have for CrossFit or for me. These people inspire me daily, and I love them all. I’d also like to give a special shout out to my Swole Mate Emily, you crushed the Open, and you did it with such an amazing attitude. I’d also like to thank you for your endless praise and enthusiasm. You pushed me when I needed it and lifted me up when I felt like throwing in the towel. You got me through this Open and I couldn’t be more thankful for having you there and a part of my life both in and out of the box.

So here’s to the 2017 Open, I know that Emily and I and all of my box mates will murder it. Cheers!

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Dawn O'Brien

Dawn is a participant in CrossFit Nashua's 2015/2016 "Fit-For-Life" program. Participants track their progress in the CrossFit training program during the coming 1-year period and log their progress in this blog. Best of luck Dawn, in meeting your training goals!

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