I managed to forget a lot of stuff when I left the house for 24.3. I didn’t have a headband, for one, which isn’t something that I absolutely need to workout, but it is something that I almost always use for working out. I sweat a lot, and that sweat tends to fall down my face into my eyes and sting. But I figured it wouldn’t be the end of the world not to have it, so I did without. And after the workout, I left my water bottle behind, so I’ll need to grab that the next time I do a CrossFit class, which may be a couple of weeks from now. 

But what I didn’t forget was how to do a 65 pound thruster, and how to get chest to bar pullups, albeit slow singles. 

I made it in time for the athlete briefing, choosing to wait until after that before I put my contact lenses in this time. I probably would have been okay wearing glasses for this workout, but wearing contacts means I don’t have to worry about glasses so that’s what I did. 

After I was dressed and ready to rock, I went over and found a barbell to load up with weights. I needed to test my thruster before I committed to doing Rx, which was 5 rounds of 10 thrusters (65 pounds) and 10 chest to bar pull ups, 1 minute rest, and then 5 rounds of 7 thrusters (95 pounds) and 7 bar muscle ups. I knew that 95 pounds wasn’t going to be happening for me today, so I focused on getting ready for 65. 

I pulled what I thought was a 15 pound bar from the wall and got started. I mean, it felt heavy, but I figured that was just because I hadn’t been doing much lifting lately. I did some warming up with the empty barbell, then added 30 pounds, and then another 20. 

What I thought was 65 pounds felt incredibly heavy, but I did it. My left wrist wasn’t happy with me though, so I went into some wrist warm ups, rolling my wrists and trying to ease the little ache the left had developed. A toddler caught me and stared at my antics, and one of the coaches noticed as well. The coach offered to lend me wrist wraps, but I did have my own so I went and put them on. Nothing wrong with a little support!

Oh, and when I asked her if the bar I had been using was 15 pounds, she said it was 22 pounds. So I’d actually warmed up to a 72 pound thruster, not a 65 pound one. After that 65 should feel relatively light. 

One “issue” with the way Four Rivers is set up is that there is only one short bar. And by “short” I mean a bar that I can jump to without massive effort – there are no bars I can reach without jumping. I did not get placed at the short bar, so I had to ask what I could use. The coach I’d been talking with showed me where some gymnastics mats were and I planned to use those, once it was my turn. That’s the other kind of issue – all the pull up bars were taken up with folks doing the Open, which left no room to warm up those pull ups that I could see. 

I warmed up my shoulders with some ski erg. I didn’t know how any of this was going to go, but I knew that I could get through some of the work Rx, so I decided to see how much. I mean, I’ve got chest to bars, even if they aren’t pretty or prolific. 

When the time came, I figured out that the gymnastics mats were not sufficient. I was too short for the bar that I had. Luckily, my judge knew where to find a short box, which was about half the height of a box for box jumps, and about twice the height of the gymnastics mats. It was the perfect height! I was able to easily jump to the bar from it while keeping my feet hanging. 

The standards that I’d learned at Arbor for chest to bars were a bit different than how they were interpreted here; in the past, as long as I hit any point of my body below the collar bone, that was cool, even if it was on my arms. For this workout, I needed to make sure I hit the bar centrally below the collar bone. Harder, but that’s what the standard was so that’s what I went for. 

And then it was time to get started. I managed a set of 5 to start on the 65 pound thrusters, but they just kept getting heavier! It was all singles with a chin up grip for my chest to bar pull ups. Those were hard as well, especially since my hands were sweaty and the chalk was on the other side of an athlete briskly butterflying his way through the C2Bs. My judge moved the chalk so it was between us, and I used it a few times to help with my grip. 

The wrist wraps really paid off as I went back to the thrusters for another round. This time I got two sets of 3 and two sets of 2 to get through, but I wasn’t able to do a squat clean to thruster start anymore, instead cleaning to my shoulders and then dropping down for the thruster. 

On the last rep of my 2nd set of chest to bar pull ups, I got a no rep. It was fair, I had been getting lower and lower with my touches. I took a moment to gather myself and did another. 

By this point, I had less than 5 minutes remaining in the 15 minute time cap. I didn’t know if I would make it through the thrusters, but I was going to try. My judge was cheering me on, and, once the athlete next to me finished, so were some other people watching. I got through 3 sets of 2 and then a single. One more set of 2, and then, with great effort, one final single. I rushed to the pull up bar to get one single chest to bar and I was done with the 2024 Open. 

Now, on that last set of thrusters, I almost quit. My quads were crying out for mercy. Going down into a squat, I could feel the soreness in them expanding. But I’d felt that way in my muscles on the coast last summer, and I knew they could do more. So I kept going. 

I did the best that I could with my current level of training and conditioning, and keeping health and safety in the forefront. I could have done a little better in the standings if I’d forced myself to do the first workout Rx, but I think I would have hurt my arms a bit. The coach that judged me was very worried about my back in week 2, but I held good posture, and despite the strenuousness of the lifting, I wasn’t injured. And, if by some miracle I made it through 5 rounds of the 65 pound thrusters for this workout, I was already planning on not touching the 95 pound bar. I know my limits. 

I hope by next year’s Open I am attending CrossFit more regularly, or at least doing more CrossFit style workouts at home. Even without barbells and dumbbells, there’s a lot I can do at home. I still plan on getting a muscle up, no matter how long it takes. 

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