I was not physically, mentally or spiritually prepared for this year’s CrossFit Open. My fitness was doing much better back in October, which was when we should have been doing this Open. I was struggling to keep up my fitness through the pandemic, but I was doing pretty well until November. After my mom passed, I got quite a bit off track. 

And right now, I’m working through some diet changes. I want to feel better, and that means I need to find a baseline and then start experimenting. I’m still working on the baseline, which means I’ve limited my diet to simple foods – things with ingredients I can read through easily, and not very much variation. 

I haven’t been counting calories, but maybe I should be. After my performance for 21.3 and 21.4, I suspect that I am not eating sufficient fuel for doing CrossFit. I’ll be looking into trying to eat a bit more, but I’ve cut out the things that I most want to eat. I guess I’m a bit of a junk food addict, and the withdrawal from chips and Cheetos and candy makes other food seem less appetizing. 

Even though I made a mental note of it, I still forgot that the Open announcement was taking place in the afternoon instead of the evening as usual. So I missed the whole thing live, but I did go back and rewatch it. But the first I learned of the workout was via email. 

I was expecting something with the pull up bar. Toes to bar, or chest to bar pull ups. I thought bar muscle ups would be out, because not everyone has the room to do those at a home pull up bar. In that, I was wrong. We got all three of those in the Rx version of 21.3. Then a complex for 21.4, to give us all that heavy barbell we’d been missing from our lives: deadlift, clean, hang clean, jerk. 

Oh, but I forgot about the rest of 21.3 – so, 15 front squats, 30 toes to bar, 15 thrusters, one minute rest, then 15 front squats, 30 chest to bar pull ups, 15 thrusters, one minute rest, then 15 front squats, 30 bar muscle ups, 15 thrusters. 15 minute time cap, Rx weight 65 pounds for women (95 for men). 

Yeah, I didn’t do that. I scaled, which replaces the toes to bar with hanging knee raises, the chest to bars with chin over bar pull ups, and the muscle ups with chest to bar pull ups. Plus the weight went down to 45 for women (65 for men). 

And I didn’t even finish that in the time allowed. I’ve done 65 pound thrusters before for an Open workout. It was, in fact, my first Rx Open workout, the one with 10 rounds of 9 thrusters and 35 double unders. But this year, 45 pound thrusters were almost more than I could handle. The only easy part of that workout was the 30 hanging knee raises. I can hanging knee raise all day! But my pull ups have suffered from the pandemic. I have no pull up bar at home, and I know I’ve lost some strength. 

I did a few for warm up, and they were hard. I even tried a few chest to bar, which I can kind of do, as long as I do a chin up grip and pull really, really hard. 

But when it came to the workout itself, I was not ready. 

Part of this was because I was feeling pretty emotional. I cried before I got there. Part was because, for the first time ever, I puked at CrossFit. 

It did NOT go down how I imagined it. 

I figured I would one day puke at CrossFit. It’s almost a rite of passage. But I figured it would be because I worked so hard, or worked out while hungover. Mid-workout! Or just after. Hard core!


My mask is a lint trap. It sucks in dryer lint, and positions it so that my lungs will attempt to suck that lint right down my trachea. Usually, I catch it in my mouth and that’s gross, but merely inconvenient. On Friday, I sucked a piece of lint straight down. A coughing fit ensued, and I headed to my car where I had a bottle of water. 

The coughing was not helping to clear the lint, and neither was the water, so, in desperation, I swiped a finger into my throat to try and clear it. 

As an overweight adolescent, I had considered about a bulimia lifestyle at least one or twice, but I never did it, because I had a hard time making myself puke. 

Not on this day. Part of my dinner made a precipitate reappearance. (I really should chew more thoroughly.) I poured some water over it, but I didn’t have enough to rinse it off the blacktop, so I went in and got the coach to help me get the mop bucket out and then I rinsed it off the ground well enough. 

And about 5 minutes later, I was attempting 21.3. 

The first 15 front squats weren’t bad, and the hanging knee raises were easy. But the 15 thrusters were slow and painful. My body just didn’t want to do the work. The one minute rest went by super fast, and the second set of front squats was harder than the first. 

It took me most of the remaining time to get through 30 pull ups. Mostly singles, because I felt just absolutely drained after dropping off the bar. each time I got a couple sets in, 2s and 3s, even one set of 4. But for the most part, it was just a long trip on the struggle bus to finish those 30 under the time cap. I had time left for 2 thrusters, and then it was time for 21.4.

I had no plans to lift heavy on this. I had already felt my body going weak on the pull ups; I wasn’t going to risk it going weak with heavy weights over my head. I got in a set at 45 pounds, just in case. Then went to 65, then 77, then 82 for the last set. I could have lifted a bit heavier, I think, but I was glad to stop where I was. 

I know this is not my best performance. But that will make getting the strength back that much sweeter. And it’s quite possible that once I figure my tummy issues out, that I’ll be able to build back better and faster. If for no other reason than that I’ll not be expending energy on those issues. 

This was a weird CrossFit Open, to be sure, but it was also a good test. A new benchmark after a strange year. 

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