For the last Open workout of 2018, the director of the games, Dave Castro, gave the community a choice of three repeat workouts. 11.6 – 7 minutes of thrusters and chest to bar pull ups in increasing reps, 13.5 – more thrusters and chest to bars with a different rep scheme and expanding time domains if you finished 90 reps within 4 minutes, and 14.2 – overhead squats and chest to bar pull ups in 3 minute expandable sets for completing ever increasing numbers within the time domain.

I voted for 14.2, because I had done it before when it was 15.2. And I had done it scaled, and the scale at the time was pull ups, which I can do now much better than I could then. I remember being so panicked that it was real pull ups and not banded or anything. And I somehow managed to get through 91 reps, which means I finished in the 3rd 3 minute segment having completed two sets of 6 overhead squats and 6 pull ups, two sets of 8 overhead squats and 8 pull ups and was 5 reps short of two sets of 10 overhead squats and 10 pull ups. That’s definitely something I could have beaten and compared myself to.

But the community voted for 11.6, so I got a new challenge instead.

I had gotten one or two chest to bar pull ups over the summer. I was playing around and managed to hit, but every time since then that I’ve tried, I’ve failed to get my chest to the bar. So I was resigned to scaling this workout to regular chin over the bar pull ups.

Almost every other open workout, I’ve had a new movement that I didn’t think I could do. And I had dreams about how I couldn’t do the movement the night before the workout. And then I went into the workout and was able to do it.

Not this time. This time I figured I’d be scaling. And I dreamed that I didn’t have to. I dreamed that I could do an ugly, second kip to get my chest to the bar if needs be. I dreamt that I didn’t have to do it pretty, as long as I could get it done.

And I went into the gym in the morning and found that I’d misread the scaled standard. It was jumping pull ups. I didn’t want to end my open with jumping pull ups.

So I used the time that we had between warm up and starting to attack that bar and see if I could make my dream come true. The coach helped me with aiming my kip straight up and keeping my grip nice and wide to shorten the distance. And I smashed my boobs right into that bar – which totally counts as a chest to bar pull up.

So I decided to do it Rx. I would complete my open Rx. I wouldn’t get a lot of reps, but I could get more than the first 3 thrusters.

And, with the rep scheme being 3 and 3 of thrusters and chest to bars, then 6 and 6, then 9 and 9, etc… until the 7 minutes ran out, I got through the set of 9 thrusters and 5 chest to bars in the set of 9. That’s about 12 more chest to bar pull ups than I’ve ever done before, and I did it with a pretty bad sore throat/cold thing going on in my chest.

I had a goal this year of doing 2 or 3 of the open workouts Rx. I crushed that goal by doing all 5 workouts Rx. I had no idea before this open that I could handle the 35 pound dumbbells for cleans or jerks or squats. Before this open, I didn’t really work on kipping handstand push ups or chest to bar pull ups, because those things were not things that I could do.

But I can do all of those things. Not very well yet, but I can do them. So when they come up in workouts over the next year, I’m going to work on them. And next year, I’m going to do the open again and see how far I can go when I believe in my own strength.

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