Well, I managed to guess the closest this time on my box’s online contest to guess the next open workout. One year, I named three of the four movements on a workout, but two others did the same and the winner was chosen randomly. I did not, therefore, “win” that one. For this one, a good number of people had guessed handstand walking, myself included, but I was the only one to put up dumbbell box step ups (technically, I think I wrote step-overs, but that’s pretty close).

19.3 was a 200 foot walking lunge, with a dumbbell overhead for Rx and in the front rack for scaled. Then 50 dumbbell box step ups. Then 50 strict handstand pushups – with 5 inches of elevation for the head if one were going scaled. And, to round out the action, a 200 foot handstand walk, or bear crawl for scaled. All this in a mere 10 minutes.

I did not have high hopes for getting past the box. I’m not feeling the best this Open season, and, being a short athlete, the box height is comparatively high (20 inches is nearly a third of my height). And, to add insult to injury, the scaled dumbbell weight was the exact same as the Rx. I had to handle a 35 pound dumbbell up and down that step up.

Plus… I tend to cheat on step ups. I get tired and I put my hands on my legs to finish the movement. Not only would I be busy with a 35 pound dumbbell, but hands on the legs were specifically forbidden in the movement standards.

I’ve got a deal set up with two friends, where one takes the first heat, one the second, and I take the third. Then I judge number 1, number 1 judges number 2 and number 2 judges me. That way we don’t have to worry about getting a judge – this can be especially fraught if you’re going in the first heat because people don’t tend to show up early unless they are in that first or second heat – and you are discouraged from judging in the heat right before your own. So that’s working out well.

I felt pretty sick on Sunday morning, but I got myself to the box and got ready to judge. Laurie made it to the handstand pushups with a good 2 minutes plus and worked on the wall until time ran out. Then she judged Alex while I warmed up with burpees. I wouldn’t normally warm up with burpees, but March has a burpee challenge and somehow I agreed to do it. 3 burpees times the date, March 1st through March 20th. It’s… been interesting so far. At least it’s a good warm up.

Then I did some cheering, because I couldn’t think of what more to do for warming up. And then it was my turn to go. The lunges were a lot harder than I expected, in part because my forearms started burning up from holding the dumbbell in the front rack. Looking back, I wonder if I shouldn’t have just tried Rx, since the box movement was exactly the same, but I didn’t. Maybe next time.

I had practiced holding the dumbbell behind my neck for the step ups, and it worked alright. Us short folks had worked out that bringing a foot up and then bringing the other foot to join it before straightening out both legs at the top was easier than trying to stand up straight on one leg and bringing the other one up, as we might have done without the weight. I did sets of 10 as best as I could, but my back was panicking with pain and I had to switch over to holding the dumbbell over one shoulder.

I made it through 41 step ups. And it just about killed me. No, that’s an exaggeration. But it took a lot out of me and I didn’t even make it to the handstand pushups, which is a bit disappointing since I’d like to know how I would have done with the elevation. Again, next time.

After that, I indulged in one of my favorite activities, using my outdoor voice indoors. See, there was a guy, not a regular at our box, but a friend of a regular. I knew the woman judging him, and I heard him ask her to yell at him, call him names, for motivation. She did her best, but I knew I could contribute here. So I went over and yelled at him. It was great fun. And he finished the box step ups before the time cap. He even had enough time to try a handstand pushup, though he couldn’t get one.

Later, when I was judging someone else, he came over and thanked me for the motivation.

I actually like judging, though I do get nervous about getting the standards correct. I’ve mostly gotten over the hesitance about calling a no-rep on a friend. And I am pretty good about giving a warning when I start to see form on its way to collapse. Maybe one of these years I’ll take the online judges course and evaluate video submissions, because that sounds like fun to me.

The Open is more than halfway over now, and I definitely don’t feel like I’m as fit as last year. Something feels off and wrong in my body, and I am trying not to make it worse by pushing myself too hard. My friends have both been sick this open, and I have emphasized with them that they just need to get through it and do their best for the day. And I’m trying to do the same, doing my best – for now.

I’m being very judgy in my Bears hoodie.

Again, with the jugdment. 
Now I’m being judged and burning out my arms. 

This is near the end when I gave up on the behind the neck method and worked as hard as I could with single arm.
A bit before I started yelling at this guy doing box step ups. 
Judging again.
I actually had to give some no-reps when she didn’t start with her hands behind the line. 

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