Where to begin, the night 13.4 was announced I was in Key West, getting dolled up for a night on the town with two ladies you might know, past members of Arx, Laura & Jen. I thought well the Cleans won’t be an issue; however T2B now that could be problematic. I scale when they are in a WOD and I have not practiced them as much as I should have (in my defense I have been diligently working on my pull-ups). So the mental conversation begins, I set my sights LOW, I decided that I would be pleased if I could get through 3 sets of each and get to the set of 6, knowing that T2B would be a large hurdle, if I could get through the first 3 then I thought well a few in the set of 6 of T2B would be progress, my hope was to score at least a 12. Laura set her goal, mine was set; not much more discussion of 13.4 occurred, it was time to hit Duval Street.
So the night before we went to bed early and rose at 7 am to head out the 1st Annual Tuna Trot 5k. Running sneakers on, we hit the road. The race went well, my second fastest time, I was happy considering I am not a real runner and I have not ran consistently for over a year, I thought good start to the day. So from the race Laura and I headed off to Crossfit Bone Island to complete 13.4, seven minutes of our lives and it would be over.
Let me give you some back story. CF Bone Island was suppose to be up and running in January; they like most have permit/construction issues and unfortunately were not up and running. However, they were kindly offering people the chance to complete the Open WODs and have a score that could be submitted and validated.
We arrived and there were about 20 people there to complete the WOD, we met – nice people, signed the waiver and soon it would be time. My anxiety while still manageable was increasing, WODing in a foreign box, with strangers watching and not to mention my poor ability to complete T2B; I thought well at least I have Laura with me. I think she could sense my anxiety not mention the fact that I would randomly announce that I was freaking out. For those of you that know me (Lauren & Kristen) I tend to end up in a crazy place in my head, trying to subdue my anxiety can be impossible and the lovely ladies mentioned above can be heard telling me to “get out of your head” such good advice. I also usually let out a scream right before the clock starts, mentally trying to scream out the anxiety and focus on the WOD.
So we enter a room, nice size and it has the potential to be a nice box, yet I looked around and see sheet rock, beams, concrete floors, wires hanging everywhere. The clock and a pull up bar was all that hung on the wall. There were two bars loaded, one for a male and one a female. There was a 45lb. & 65lb. available to warm up. One man and one woman would go at a time; I was number 4. I practiced a few reps with the 65lb. & 95 lb. bar, again not concerned about the Cleans, I moved onto a bar that must have been hung the night before or possibly that morning, I jump up and manage to crank out 4 or 5 (I honestly cannot remember how many and no they were not strung together) T2B, I thought ok, so I can do them, but I needed to do them when it counted.
As the other athletes went my anxiety was increasing rapidly, I cheered them on like I would anyone else and hoped that the 7 minutes would fly by. Laura went and did a great job, reaching her goal and working hard up to the last second. She was happy once it was over and came over and told me it would be fine and to not stress if I miss the T2B, to just keep trying. The clock ticked down, 3, 2, 1 go. The first 3 cleans went up, no problem; now the challenge began. I hopped up on the bar, first attempt, I miss, second attempt, I miss; this repeated itself for over 6 minutes. I tried and tried and just could not connect both feet to the bar at the same time. I was hanging there, flailing like a fish out of water. At one point I looked over at Laura and mouthed “I want to kill myself.” My judge Alex, one of the owners tried his best to give me tips, strategies to get my damn toes to the bar- his efforts while appreciated did not make it happen. I was frustrated, embarrassed, thinking you asshole; you can do this, one at a time, just get to 3.
Eventually I heard 10 seconds being yelled out…it was over, my score a 3. I came off the bar, Alex signed my score sheet and gave me what I affectionately call the “loser speech,” meaning all that matters is that you tried and you are participating; now you know you need to practice. My eyes were filling, my nose dripping snot; I rushed over to Laura, picked up my things and said I need to get out of here. I walked out found a concrete slab around the corner, sat down and had my first mental breakdown of the 2013 Open (I mention this specifically because this was not my first break down as a crossfitter). I cried like a baby, by myself with the sun shining down on me…mortified, mad at myself for not practicing T2B more and believing I should have done better.
Laura eventually came out and sat by me, I told her I did not want to talk about, that I did thank my judge- I didn’t want to be a cry baby and a jerk, cry baby was enough. We left and got back to the hotel, I went for a walk, I needed to cool down, emotions were running high. In about 45 minutes I had pounded the pavement enough to go and change into my suit and relax by the pool. I texted my coach, she was supportive as usual and encouraging; I trust her when she tells me we will work on them. I will never forget how I felt on that bar and 13.4 will always be ingrained in my brain, but I know that it I can let it deflate me or I can learn and grow from it, I chose the latter.
There are many lessons that I am taking away from this experience. I am a humble person, but this experience has reinforced the importance of being humble. Like I said in my last blog, the list of what I need to work on continues to grow; I am embracing my weaknesses and I know that with practice I will get better at each and every one of them. I also learned that we as individuals are our worst critics and WE put the unnecessary stress onto ourselves. I could go on with the lessons I am walking away with but I will finish with one last thought: I crossfit because I love it, because it keeps me in shape, because it challenges me mentally and physically, and I must always remember to have fun.
So with only one week left of the 2013 Open, I wait with baited breath to see what the final WOD will be and I can tell you one thing, no matter what it is I will have fun doing it.
Wounded but not broken,