After using a 35 pound dumbbell in 18.1, I wasn’t quite as nervous upon hearing about the dumbbell squats in 18.2. Sure, it would be two dumbbells instead of one, but I knew I could get the weights up to my shoulders and squat it. No, I wasn’t worried much at all about the dumbbell squats.

It was the burpees over the bar that gave me the jitters this time.

18.2 was an ascending ladder of dumbbell squats and burpees over the bar – 1/1, 2/2, 3/3 etc… to 10/10. If the athlete completed this before the 12 minute time cap, then they would have earned the right to do 18.2a, the establishment of a one rep max clean.

I am slow at burpees. I don’t like them very much, because I’m not very good at them. And there was a new standard this year for Rx burpees – no longer would it count as Rx if an athlete stepped back into the burpee or stepped forward out of the burpee. The feet must stay together going back, going forward, and, of course, going over the bar. Anything else would be scaled.

So it was with nerves and trepidation that I approached the 5 am class on Friday. Could I possibly finish all those reps (55 for each movement) and get in a clean?

Everyone paired up and I went second of my pair. I watched my partner take it nice and easy and get through everything in plenty of time to do cleans. Of course, she was scaling the weights and is much better at burpees than I am. So I figured, just take it nice and steady and don’t rush and you’ll be fine.

I got to 109 of 110 repetitions at the time cap and I was wasted.

But the prevailing attitude was that I was too close not to try again on Sunday. Even I agreed with that, though I dreaded the thought of doing all those damn burpees over again.

On Sunday, I was extra nervous. I took every little step I could to improve my time. On Friday, I’d been pulling my pants up a lot, so on Sunday I wore really tight pants. I tend to push my glasses up my nose when they slide down while doing burpees – that takes time! So I entrusted the glasses to a friend while I did the workout. That move also prevented me from seeing the clock, which meant I’d have to trust my judge. I picked a really good judge and enlisted as many people as possible to yell at me while I worked out.

And I finished in 10:37, leaving just enough time to establish a clean that was not as heavy as I have lifted, but was way heavier than the 0 I’d gotten on Friday (105#).

I figure that there’s going to be a workout coming that I will have to scale, but I’ve got two down Rx and I’m really, really happy about that.

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