The best part of my bike ride today wasn’t during the actual rides, although the smell of all the citrus trees in bloom was intoxicating, but what the rides today bracketed.
Workout 17.3 of the CrossFit Open threw me for a loop. It consisted of jumping chin-over-bar pull-ups, which I am able to do easily, and squat snatches, starting at 35 lbs then going up. Great. Just great. A snatch involves a wide grip on the barbell and raising it from the floor to overhead and locking the elbows. A squat snatch means then going down into a squat deep enough so that the thighs are lower than horizontal.
Because of tightness in my shoulders, the most weight overhead I’ve been able to squat with has been 25 lbs. Additionally, the snatch has been the most difficult lift for me to learn. I can do them at 45 lbs but coupled with the squat, I just KNEW I wouldn’t be able to do a single one. Sigh. Meaning I’d have a pitifully small number for this workout.
So, I did what I do best when confronted with a situation that is frustrating and scares the daylights out of me – I formulated a plan on how to manage the situation.
I wanted a worthwhile workout today, not just the few minutes it would take me to do the jumping pull-ups of 17.3, so I rode my bike over for the 7:30 am workout that consisted of back squats, ring rows, thrusters, and a killer core workout. I lifted lighter than I normally would have to save some energy for the 17.3 I was going to do at 11 am.
After the workout, I cycled over to Epic Cafe for breakfast, then came back to Wildcat CrossFit at about 10:15. I told everyone how awful I was going to do (part of managing the situation is heading off pitying looks when I really tank at something), then interesting things started happening. Noah told me how to stretch my thorax and shoulders. Raelene, Jennifer, Carmen, and Laurie talked me through the technique and proper form, showing me where I was limiting myself. The most crucial piece was that I needed to stick my butt way posteriorly, like I’m shutting a car door with it. And then you know what happened? I COULD DO IT!!! I could squat snatch at 35 lbs!!! Me! I thought I was going to have a score of 6 (the number of jumping pull-ups) then be stopped at the squat snatches. Instead, my score ended up being 34!
Because the community at Wildcat does not give up on me, ever, even when I give up on myself, I broke through a major psychological barrier. I am stronger than my mind says I am. The voice who tells me I can’t lift with the big kids is wrong. Furthermore, it isn’t even my voice but a throwback to a time in my life when I had no idea of what I am capable of.
The ride home? Pretty darn amazing. There is nothing like feeling strong, like being an athlete, and like having the confidence to call myself one.