This year’s Open is the first that I have not spent at Arbor CrossFit. I wasn’t sure how it would go away from my old home box. Over the years, I’ve built up expectations as to how the Open goes for me. Most years, Arbor held Open heats on Sundays, and they usually would have the workout as Friday’s workout as well, giving us multiple chances to get it done. At Four Rivers, they do Friday nights, at least this year. 

Arbor did Friday’s one year, but then went back to Sunday’s. I’d much rather have it be on a Sunday than a Friday since I live so far away, but I was able to get there only a little bit late (athlete briefing was at 6, and I got there about a quarter after). 

Arbor would usually have themes for dressing up, and I always liked giving those a go. Four Rivers also has themes, but I wasn’t sure what to do for the first one, which was Disney, until Friday morning. I have a pink nightgown, and I made myself a headband with little black yarn ponytails, and went as Boo from Monsters, Inc. I thought it looked cute. 

I don’t know what anyone else thought about it, because no one said one word about my costume. In fact, not a lot of people said anything to me at all, even when I tried to talk to them. As in many places where a lot of folks know each other, and I know hardly any of them, I found myself without anyone to really talk to as I warmed up. 

However, I did have one big fan there, because my husband decided that he would drive me, and film me. Which was wonderful, because it appears that Four Rivers does not have a media person going around and taking photos of their Open, just folks taking pictures of their friends and family. Without Ambrose, I wouldn’t have any footage at all. 

When I first arrived, I did find out that I’d been assigned a heat at 7:50, which I definitely was disappointed about. That would mean a 90 minute wait before I could do the workout, then the workout, and then the hour drive home. Luckily, just as the first heat was starting, I got a cancellation spot for the 6:50 heat, which I gladly took. 

And then, instead of watching the first heat as I’d initially planned, I started warming up so I’d be ready for the 2nd heat. Warming up was easy wearing the nightgown over my workout clothes – it retains heat very well. For 24.1, which was a classic 21-15-9 with some devilish doubling (single arm dumbbell snatches, burpees, other single arm dumbbell snatches, burpees – each of those got 21-15-9), I did some burpees, some stretches, a bit of Ski-Erg, and several dumbbell snatches at 15 and then 20 pounds (that being the women’s scaled weight). I thought about trying the 35 pound dumbbells (women’s Rx), but I have not been doing consistent weight work for several months. Best to stick to a weight I could be confident with. 

I felt awkward walking around. I didn’t see a single person that I recognized, though that didn’t mean I hadn’t met anyone. I don’t have a great memory for names and faces, especially when I don’t have continual exposure. I still feel embarrassed about introducing myself to someone at Arbor when I’d already introduced myself to her the prior week… though to be fair, she was wearing a completely different hat. 

I smiled at a lot of people. I caught some of the little kids giving me surreptitious glances. I think maybe they recognized my costume. 

And then it was time for me to compete. After brief confusion over which lane I was supposed to be in (one end or the other, but I was directed to the wrong end), I found my judge and introduced myself. The judge didn’t seem particularly excited to be there, but she did have to wait for her turn until the last heat, and I could sympathize with that. 

I wasn’t really ready to go at the call of start, but I got going. The first 21 dumbbell snatches I performed with my left hand, and they went by easily and quickly. The 21 burpees over the dumbbell that followed went at a much more moderate pace, but I completed before the 4 minute mark, not bad. 

Then it was time for 21 dumbbell snatches with the other arm, and oh boy am I glad that I started on my weaker left arm, because after 21 burpees, my right arm felt like it had lead weights attached on the inside. It was a struggle to get through those 21 snatches, and the 21 burpees that followed were slower than the first set, though I still completed under 9 minutes (8:27). Not bad considering I have not been doing as much aerobic work this winter either. I’ve mostly been doing MoveU, which has been helping me in a lot of ways, it just doesn’t make me a better CrossFitter unless I’m also doing CrossFit. 

I knew I wanted to get through the round of 21, but once I finished it I had a glimmer of hope that I might finish the round of 15. And, despite the dumbbells feeling heavier with every snatch, and my legs feeling heavier with every burpee, I got very close with a final score of 140 reps, scaled, which means I was a mere 4 burpees away from completing the round of 15. 

I was satisfied with my performance. I knew that this year’s Open would not be a record breaker for me. But it is very important to me to continue to participate in the Open, even when I haven’t been CrossFitting as hard as I want to to be prepared for it. What can I say? I love CrossFit. 

I’m eager for the next workout, and I really hope this Open is going to allow me to showcase the one skill I’m still actively practicing, pull-ups! 

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