Sunday, April 20, 2014

Prepared to Fail

This past week, I had a couple of workouts that proved to be outside my ability. On paper, I could tell they would be brutally tough, but somehow the thought never crossed my mind that I would fail to complete it. CJ had given me several difficult EMOMs (every minute on the minute work) in the past few weeks and prided myself on being able to complete them as they were written. This week was a totally different story.

What was the difference?

Everything. I cannot compare EMOM a, b, c, etc. They are all unique in reps, movements, surrounding workouts, and evilness. I cannot think that success in one EMOM ranks higher than another. I had to tell myself this a few times.


During the minute that I realized I couldn’t physically complete the assigned work, I experienced my oh-so-typical anger and frustration at myself. Why can’t I do this? Am I not giving enough effort? Is this all that I have? Every four-letter word was vocalized too.

The Take-Away

Once the rage and total self-disdain wore off, I got a chance to reflect on the training sessions with on open mind and heart. Maybe, I thought to myself, I wasn’t supposed to finish those EMOMs. Maybe that wasn’t the point of the workout. Maybe I am missing something…

I need to be ready to fail.

There is so much to be learned from failure. Not only does it open my eyes to the way I respond when I encounter disappointment, the experience also helps me adapt to it better.  It doesn’t do me much good to always crush a workout and walk away feeling all warm and fuzzy. That isn’t reality. That isn’t competition. And that sure-as-shit isn’t Regionals.

How will I respond when shit hits the fan? My knee-jerk reaction is to want to punch a wall, punt a foam roller, or something destructive like that. My challenge is to remain calm and collected and press on. This week I encountered good training for that and I am prepared to fail.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Being Better

Over my traditional birthday breakfast this morning with Robby, we discussed progress - the progress of our members at CrossFit Chicksaw as well as the progress that we have each made over the course of our CrossFit careers. I started to reflect on my own journey and how far I have come. Afterwards, I came to an obvious realization.

My weaknesses are still my weaknesses, but they are better. And better does not mean “good.” And I better not tell you what they are. Ha! Actually, you can easily take a peek at my last four years of competing and clearly see where I fall short.

I occasionally hear about people striving to make “strengths out of weaknesses.” I haven’t quite experienced the 180-degree turnaround in my personal weaknesses. I am pretty sure that I will never win any kind of barbell ladder, no matter how much I focus on it. But I can and will be better. You better believe it.

Progress can be painfully slow. I remember, all too well, when throwing 155lb. from ground to overhead was the best I could do in 2011. I proved my improvement in the 2013 CrossFit Games clean ladder, sadly not in form, but in physically being able to move the 195lb. bar. You don’t have to tell me. I know it was ugly. I am really not sure why I do that weird split thing. Anyway, I will take the PR tie!

I continue to press on. I work on the small intricacies of each movement in hopes of continuing to ride the train of progress. I think it is pretty cool that even after four years of CrossFit, I still improve. I still PR. They don’t happen fast or often, but they certainly let me know that my efforts are paying off. 

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014

14.3 Notes

Last Thursday, I knew that the weekend of 14.3 (because weekends during the CrossFit Games Open are titled by their corresponding workout number) was going to be a special one. Not only did I show the world the #kinneyshuffle, Dave Castro and company announced a workout that suited me well. Upon the 14.3 announcement, I knew that I would put up a good performance. Also, my girl was coming in town, just to add to the awesomeness of the weekend. 

I was as excited as a kid on Christmas Eve! Then, that little demon of doubt in my head started whispering, as he so opportunely does… I started to fear that my back would tighten up because it had earlier in the week. In reality, my back was fine, totally fine. But, the last thing that I wanted to do was disappoint myself and everyone who believes so strongly in me.

Em flew in early on Friday afternoon with plenty of time to get settled before heading to CrossFit Chickasaw for my 14.3. It was wonderful to simply have her there.

14.3 -2-1-Go Time

In front of about 30 of my dearest friends and family at CrossFit Chickasaw, Karen (fellow Honorary Invicti and training partner) and I attacked 14.3.

I planned and stayed unbroken through the 155lb. barbell. My back and the deadlifts felt great, so I kept moving. My pre-game strategy for the 25 reps of 185lb. was to complete it in sets of 12-8-5. To my pleasant surprise, I still felt good, so I did sets of 16 and 9 instead. The 30 reps at 205lb. were tough but I labored through them and was able to get to the 225lb. bar with about 30 seconds remaining. I managed 9 deadlifts at the final bar in sets of 4, 2, 2, and 1.

My goal for this workout had been written down. What was written, you ask?



I wanted time on the 225lb. bar.

I met and exceeded that goal. Doing so in my home gym with Em and everyone else there to watch was such an amazing feeling. The weekend proved to be the special one that I had imagined. I am one lucky girl.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

14.1 Notes

The much anticipated start to the 2014 Games season gave us a 2011 Open repeat of snatches and double unders. I distinctly remember that workout. It was the very first ever Open workout and it was rough! My double unders were decent, but I hadn’t developed the ability to relax while completing them. The snatch weight was pretty light then too, about half my 1RM at the time. I buzzed through round one like a boss only to make it halfway into the next round of snatches before slamming into the brick wall. I broke up the snatches from then on. I tripped a couple of times during the double unders but stayed fairly consistent with them. One thing that stands out to me as I reflect back is how elevated my heart rate was throughout the workout. It was a ten minute intense fight, for sure.

Fast forward to 2014, my double unders and snatches have improved tremendously. The snatch weight is now around a third of my 1RM. Yay for progress and strength! My strategy was to stay unbroken (I know, a novel idea) as long as it felt right. I often have the strategy of play-by-feel and I elected to use this strategy for 14.1. After three rounds of power snatches, I switched to a clean and push press hybrid. I felt (operative word) that I could keep the bar moving quickly this way. It seemed to work, so I stuck with it. I had to break the (now) ground-to-overhead in round five. The 55lb. barbell began to feel so heavy. I kept my breaks brief, though, and was able to register 392 reps. I had about 30 people from CrossFit Chickasaw there to watch, cheer for, and support me. When the clock was running down and the yells got louder and louder, you better believe that I wasn’t going to stop. I credit my getting through the last set of double unders and back to the barbell for a couple of reps to my wonderful friends and fans, the #tribe and #kpc at CrossFit Chickasaw.