The 18.3 dilemma

In lack of other photos, these screen shots from my video will have to do! Sorry! Hope it doesn’t hurt your eyes too much! You can follow my emotional journey through this WOD at least haha.

Hello lovelies! Goodness, 18.3 was the workout we’d all sort of were expecting to come sometime during the Crossfit Open. We didn’t know in what shape or form it would exactly take but on Friday morning we woke up to the pleasant announcement of the weekend’s workout which was for women in my age category RX (as prescribed):

14 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible): 100 double unders, 20 overhead squats (35kg), 100 double unders,  12 ring muscle ups, 100 double unders, 20 dumbbell snatches (can’t remember the weight), 100 double unders and 12 bar muscle ups.

I just laughed when I saw this. It was basically a “Let’s take everything people struggle with and put it into one WOD” workout, the only thing missing was handstand push ups pretty much, then it would’ve been everything complicated in one workout. Everywhere on social media they were pushing the line “14 minutes to work on your weaknesses” and that was really what it was. A lot of people wouldn’t even get through the first round. Whether it it double unders, overhead squats or muscle ups of some form holding you back, there is a wide variety of movements there to trip you up along the way.

I went in early Friday morning to class and hadn’t had much time to even think about what I was going to do before we did a run through. In my tired head I had sort of given up and was thinking, I can’t do double unders that well so maybe I should just go scaled, which was:

100 single unders (normal skips), 100 single unders, 15kg overhead squat, 100 single unders, chin over bar pull ups, 10kg dumbbell snatch, 100 single unders, 12 chin over bar pull ups for the same time and for two rounds as well.

I went through the different parts of the class in the scaled version and wasn’t sure of what to do. I knew if I did the RX with the double unders and somehow managed to get through them I’d get stopped at the muscle ups because that’s something I’ve barely ever practised. I knew with scaled it would be incredibly light weights for me and it would just be a matter of getting through as fast I possibly can and finish the workout. I wouldn’t be challenged in the same way I would’ve been with RX and if I started doing scaled, I would immediately be placed underneath everyone who does RX all the way through the OPen, no matter how good of a time I would’ve gotten on the scaled attempt.

I was watching loads of incredible people in the gym desperately trying to get their first pull up in order to be able to do scaled and I felt sort of like I was cheating and taking the easy way out by not pushing myself and doing these dreaded double unders. I can sort of do them but not consistently and not unbroken for loads of reps.

I was discussing it for a while with Faye and Stella on Facebook afterwards and after our chat I realised I would be a hundred times happier trying to get through 100 double unders even in RX rather than doing scaled and not challenging myself. This was meant to be a challenging WOD. It wasn’t meant to be easy. It was scary deciding that it was what I was going to do but I needed to do it.

This weekend I did my submission on Sunday so on Saturday when I wasn’t filming or cheering people on I was standing at the end of the gym skipping and skipping and skipping. Just trying to find a flow somewhat in these double unders. Nothing makes me more angry or frustrated than double under practise haha. Well maybe toes to bar… I finally got into a flow of doing a single skip in between each double and decided that it was the way to go. Just chip away and not trying to focus on putting several together in a row. The same way you break down pull ups when your arms are getting tired, one at a time.

Then it was Sunday and go time. I felt really nervous coming into the gym in the morning. I didn’t like the idea of people watching me fail at double unders, I hadn’t had thoughts like that in ages! Usually the people watching is the last thing of my worries but this workout made me feel very self conscious! I preferably would’ve wanted to do it on my own with no one there haha. Another addition to the equation was doing it in lifting shoes for the overhead squats, which made it all feel a bit uncomfortable and odd skipping.

I was in the first group, Nicola (my old lululemon colleague) judged and Carol (my Rainhill buddy) filmed. Luckily we weren’t as many people in on the Sunday so it felt a bit calmer! Looking at my face on the video recording is hysterical before I get started I look so nervous and sad haha. After Stella saying to everyone firmly that she’s first going to tell the filmers to start filming with her first countdown and then starting the timer on the next countdown (we use an app that shows the time on the screen when recording these), when the athletes start. Guess what I did? After hearing all of that I started skipping on the first countdown haha. Oh Maddie, Maddie, Maddie… Silly me! I had two seconds when I stopped to then start and again… “Go!”, Stella screamed. And off we went.

The funny thing is, once you’re in the workout, everything you felt and thought before is gone and all there is is the workout and you there doing it. Nothing else matters. I got through the first hundred!!! There were a lot of stops along the way but I did it, I got through 100 double unders. The overhead squats I was looking forward to because I like them and the weight was manageable for me. I was slightly out of breath after skipping which made them a bit trickier than usual but I got through them fairly quickly by breaking them up into chunks. Back to the double unders I went! This time, way tougher! My calves were getting tired and I was getting caught up with my feet on the rope but I didn’t give up. I kept on going and chipping though them gradually. For me every double under skip was a win and something I didn’t think I could do. I finished skipping and just got over to the rings to dangle when my time was up. I’d gotten through all the way to the muscle ups! Who would’ve thought and I felt amazing for doing it! I was so happy that I’d put myself through that. I couldn’t believe I’d managed it!

Then it was time for Carole (Faye’s mum) to do her workout! Since she’s in another age category and was doing scaled she got single skips, lighter weights on the snatch and did jumping chest to bar pull ups with a box underneath to bring her closer to the bar. For her just getting through the overhead squats was a win he said and she absolutely SMASHED her workout. She was incredible! She got through all her overhead squats and then went over to the pull ups. She didn’t manage a single one of them the day before when she practised and managed all 12 of them in that workout. She almost finished the entire round when the time ended and I was even happier than when I finished my own workout. You could just see the joy in her eyes form accomplishing overhead squats and her first ever jumping pull ups! It was amazing to watch! What a woman she is, such an inspiration.

What a day it was and even though we all dreaded this workout, to me it ended up being my favourite so far because we overcame obstacles we all had. We all had different things we were worrying about but it didn’t stop us. Numerous people managed their first ever pull up which is amazing!!

It’s only two weeks left and I’ve got no idea of what to expect for them. Can it get much crazier than this? It probably can haha.


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