18.3 was a beast of a workout. In 14 minutes, complete 100 double unders, 20 overhead squats (115 lbs for men, 80 for women), 100 double unders, 12 ring muscle ups, 100 double unders, 20 single arm dumbbell snatches (50/35), 100 double unders and 12 bar muscle ups – twice!

The athletes who performed it at the open announcement didn’t finish.

I figured I should probably just go ahead and scale. Scaled meant replacing the double unders with single jump ropes, reducing the weight on the overhead squats to 45/35, all the muscle ups with pull ups and 35/20 for the dumbbell snatches. On Friday morning, I went scaled and I completed 922 of 928 reps in the time cap.

I also tore my right hand open under the ring finger. I bled on the bar, and there was no way I was going to try that workout again within the next three days.

So I decided to try it Rx’d on Sunday. I knew that I would not get past the first 220 reps, because I do not have a ring muscle up. But I did want to try getting on the rings, just to see how they felt. I have enough grip strength that I can hold onto them, and even, on a good day, do a strict pull up to them.

What I didn’t expect was just how difficult 80 pound overhead squats would be after doing 100 double unders. Now, I did complete those first hundred double unders in 1 minute and 29 seconds, which I’m really proud of. But it drained me. And maybe I wasn’t feeling all that well. Because I could hardly get the bar over my head. One of the coaches came over and advised me to bring my grip closer together. I’d thought that I needed to have a wide snatch grip, but apparently I didn’t. My one regret is that I didn’t just go straight overhead and lock out, because I do have the shoulder mobility for it. But I got through the 20 overhead squats, with much tribulation and then stumbled my way through the double unders for a tie breaker time of 9 minutes 6 seconds. The second set of doubles didn’t go quite as well as the first, but when I got close, my judge told me I had 21 reps to go and I just knocked them out. No way I could have done a set of 21 double unders exhausted like that last year.

And then I spent some time swinging on the rings. I managed a few ring pull ups with kip swings, but never got high enough for the turnover. And also I don’t really have ring dips so that would have stopped me right there. But it was fun to try. It makes me want to try more often. This workout, more than any of the others so far, made me want to get stronger.

After my heat on Sunday, I stayed to watch and cheer others on. One of the women actually introduced herself to me and thanked me for the encouraging smiles.

I only worked out for 9 minutes and 6 seconds – plus some efforts at the rings, but that hardly counts. And yet, I was exhausted for the rest of the day. Doing the workout scaled on Friday did not drain me anything like getting through a mere 220 reps did on Sunday.

I’m not at a level where I can do Rx’d workouts regularly. But pushing myself to do Rx during the Open is showing me how I can learn and grow by trying what either seems or is impossible (for now).

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