Last Thursday, I watched the live stream of the announcement of the first workout of the 2018 CrossFit Open. It was kind of annoying, because they were only streaming it on Facebook, so I pretty much had to watch it on my phone instead of the TV, and the video was obscured by the likes and comments and while nothing was really blocked by that stuff, it was distracting.

Since I’ve been wanting to do more workouts Rx this year instead of scaled, I was paying close attention when Dave Castro finally started to tell us what torture lay ahead.

He said, “Toes to bar,” and I was like, yeah, I can do those.

He said, “Rowing,” and I was all, heck yeah.

He said, “Dumbbell clean and press,” and I gulped.

Last year was the first year with dumbbells in the Open, and so I was pretty sure the weight standards wouldn’t have changed for them. And that meant Rx for women would be 35 pounds.

I had no idea whether I could clean and press a 35 pound dumbbell with my left arm.

To be fair, I wasn’t sure about my right arm either, but I wasn’t worried about my right arm. If there’s going to be arm weakness, it will be on my non-dominant side. So I went to bed that night thinking about 35# dumbbells.

And I dreamed. I dreamed about picking up a 35 pound dumbbell in my left hand and hefting it. Feeling the weight of it. And being completely unable to get it up to my shoulder. It was a boulder that wouldn’t budge – though for some reason I was able to lift it off the ground. I dreamed that I could get it up to my shoulder, but that it wouldn’t go overhead from there. None of my dreams were reassuring. In every one, I failed to lift the weight and decided to scale the workout.

So I was a little nervous going in on Friday morning when 18.1 would be the workout of the day, all day. The full workout (women’s Rx) was a 20 minute AMRAP of 8 toes to bar, 10 35# dumbbell clean and press (5 each arm) and 12 calories of rowing. Scaling meant doing hanging knee raises instead of toes to bar and a 20 pound dumbbell.

We partnered up so as to take turns judging each other. I got the rower while my partner fetched the dumbbell. She could barely hold onto it with both hands, and my stomach gave a flutter as she went back for the 20 pounder for her use.

I stepped up to that dumbbell and I lifted it in my left hand. It was heavy. I leaned forward a bit into a hang clean position and hefted it up to my shoulder. Then I dipped my knees for a push press and got the beast overhead. I repeated that twice on the left side and then gave the right side three reps (right side was easier, of course).

I could do it. It might be slow and painful. It might take everything I had to keep going. But I could perform this workout Rx, and I was going to do just that.

On Friday morning, I got through 144 reps.

I re-did it on Sunday and got through 196.

A very nice start to the Open this year. I just hope that 18.2 will be something I can do Rx. I know my goal is to do 3 of 5 Rx, but of course my brain is whispering, wouldn’t 5 out of 5 be nice? I’ll have to wait and see.

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